Ironman 70.3 – Rapperswil-Jona – 2016

Done it! How was it? Good! Not the performance that I chased but at least a good result! 5minutes less than the other year. But looking at each fraction 10min better!! So… Where I lost 5 minutes!? In the changing area… But let’s start from the beginning.

Schermata 2016-06-06 alle 19.00.28

The day before was cold. Freezing. And the day of the race even worst, it started raining in the early morning.
The water was 14.9 degree Celsius. I started panic! It was so damn cold that I was afraid of not finish the swimming. I had even the neoprene cap with me but (thanks to a non-athlete suggestion) I luckily did not used it. Yes, it was so damn cold that even if I approached the water with the firsts I took almost 10minutes to actually jump in the water to get to the starting line, but the cap was too much. I would have had my head too hot with fog in the goggles if wearing the cap.
Anyway, as I said, I went in front of the small bridge to get in the water with the firsts, but I decided to jump at the last minute to avoid a waiting position for ten minutes, freezing. There were almost 100meters between the bridge (where enter) and the starting line and I used all the centimeters to warmup and lose time as much as possible. Wise choice. I was warmer and ready at the countdown. BANG! As usual I took the first group but I was so afraid of the cold water and my swim condition (I trained a lot less and I felt really not ready nor fast in the water) that I tried to get the draft of some guys. The swim course was pretty easy: go and back. As usual I had the first 300/400mt fast-pace with consequent “hard-shoulders”. A couple of backstroke helped to relax the shoulders and see the situation behind and back.
At the turn back, I saw a good distance between me and the chasing group, but I knew that I had to boost a bit the way back. And so my “draft-buddy”! He increased the pace the last 500mt and we exit the waters together.
Only after the race I realized to be 3rd of my wave (age group until 29 years old).
IMG_2016-06-06 19:06:06
I ran as fast as possible to warm up the legs and not lose time.
But in the changing tent..
My hands were not warm and my brain in a “hurry-up” mindset because I knew that I needed to not lose time. And as usual, more you are afraid of losing time, more you burn energy and time. I couldn’t fit the upper part of the body (yes… That is unusual… You should wear the upper body already under your swim suite.. But I decided before start to not have the wet upper part of the body on the bike leg. I usually suffer of stomach cramps and having the stomach wet on cross wind would have dedtroyed me). It was a good choice since the weather was really cold and windy but I panicked once my arm was not getting inside the vest. I don’t even know how many athlete passed me. 15 maybe 20! Once the vest was on I was so relieved that I started running but I forgot my bike shoes and socks! So… A disaster!
Here the 5 minutes loss!
I jumped on the bike after a good dose of anger! The bike course had no secret for me and I really bited the road in the first loop. I studied all the slopes and the turns to get the maximum and even with the wet road I really pushed! I indeed reached my record in the long descent! 74km/h!
The second lap was a small fault. In a sense that I felt a bit of fatigue on my quads and I decided to not push too hard as the first lap.
Result? Three minutes less than the past year.
Reminder for the next year: the nutrition strategy was perfect! Three half bars divided into the first and half loop and 3 gels for the last half. Actually I used just 2 gels but the third was for backup.
The drinking: mostly water (2/3 bottles) and one of electrolites. Usually I drink more electrolites but this time I felt a bit of nausea for all that salty and sweet taste.
Schermata 2016-06-06 alle 19.01.20
The T2 went better even if I deliberately deicided to spare a bit of time to change the wet socks, avoiding blisters.
The first five 5km were a nightmare, I had the calvs hard like stones. I thought that maybe the compressing socks would have helped but after the first five kms the legs started feeling better.
I never stopped or had a real crisis like in 2015, but I ran too damn slow (slower than my usual standards)! Fear! Fear or having a crisis! I literally had this thoughts for 18km from the T2!
I ran with breaks!!!
Schermata 2016-06-06 alle 19.02.21
I knew very well the course so I could manage the pace, but all was set on a “feeling-mode”. I had no pace meter, I had a watch but I couldn’t be able to really calculate the pace. (The days before I was not able to manage the gps watch to function for more than 3,5hours! Bad settings, too signals.. No idea… Maybe because I needed to buy a good 920garmin and not this fancy-jogging vivoactive!)
In the end, I accelerated just the 2 last kms, when the race was already done and I was afraid to not beat my record.
I did seven minutes better in the run! So really a good result! But I was disappointed by the bad management of the transistions! Really… A shit!
For the next time:
– be less scared
– follow the plan to improve the result
– get a gps-watch to get the pace
– force the first kms on the run to warm faster the calfs and the legs
– verify if the compressor socks on the calfskin benefit
– pro more transitions bike-run to have a better biomechanics change
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