Ironman Journey : All over bar the racing…almost

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This weekend just finished was nice and ‘easy’ with ‘only’ about 6.5 hours of training. Although the taper started last week the training influence curve is still positive for a few more days, so I reckon that there is still a little bit of beneficial training to be had.

This weekend was a race-kit testing weekend amongst other things. This essentially boiled down to wearing some fancy kit and riding a fancy bike.

I was finally trying to swim the full 3.8k in a lake and got there late on Saturday morning so I only managed 3.2k before it closed. grrr. I was quite a bit slower than I thought I would be despite feeling good…like MINUTES slower than last year. Not sure why. I was trying out my race wetsuit with my race tri-suit underneath. The wetsuit felt a bit tight now I’m all muscled-up. Maybe that was it?? I’ll have to re-do that 3.8k swim session on Wednesday with an older wetsuit and see what happens.

I also used the same tri-suit for a 2 hour run later in the day following on from a sneaky 45 minute bike to get my tri-juices flowing. I got a bit of chaffing around the armpit area by the end of it all. That chaffing was either from the run or the swim+run chaffing combined. Either way that’s not good. I might have to resort to my GB Age Group tri-suit – just kidding that WOULD be embarrassing and it hasn’t got back pockets either.

The run was really good in terms of feel & my actual running performance. I managed my standard route quite a bit quicker than I normally do (whilst still being aerobic). Either the taper is working or it was the beetroot juice and caffeine. Happy. Happy.

The negative side of running in a trisuit around you locality is that you look like a bit of an idiot and attract unwanted attention of many kinds. I started off imagining myself as Javier Gomez (don’t ask) but as the abuse followed I began to feel more like Lance Armstrong. I’m not doing that again in a hurry. #lycrafail

Cycling on Sunday was a solitary 3 hour affair around Richmond Park in aero-race super-mode. That was my race bike and race clothing as I’ve already alluded to. I even drove the bike to the park so that I could simulate a refuelling stop or two from the boot of the car every other lap. I still haven’t got the hydrating right. I’m definitely not dinking enough but when I drink more, nature calls. How I hydrate *will* pretty much extend to 100+ miles but then I’ll be stuffed for the 26.2 that follows. #bitofaworry. Fuelling is probably Ok and being in aero for >90% of the time is probably Ok too, I’ve always found that vaguely comfortable.

Gearing is probably NOT Ok and I cannot spin up hills sufficiently well to stay in Z2 without a lower gear. I have changed the rear cassette and I can’t just change to a smaller inner front ring without changing the bigger front ring as well – the physical drop between the two would probably be too much. So that would leave the option of shorter cranks (which I quite liked when I recently used the WatTeam Powerbeat) but that’s not going to happen either. #mash #smash #grind. I don’t mind doing the grinding but that necessarily, for me, takes me into Z4 which I had planned to avoid as much as possible on race day.

I have decided against a silly TT aero-helmet (I do have one or two) and used my S-Works Evade helmet. Which I like. It is relatively good at cooling and I’ve no idea how aero it really is. The problem that I have with it, that I’ve never had with other helmets, is that it seems to direct the insects as well as the air onto my head. I got stung as a result yesterday. grrrrrr. I’ve had insects in it once a month whereas every other helmet it’s probably once EVER. #wierdbutplausible.

In other news I might have got my hands on a pair of Mavic CXR 60 (60mm), that extra 1cm might make all the difference over my existing wheels. I do have the Zip option as well but I don’t get on well with their disc. #undecided

The phone was also getting good usage as I’ve just phoned up Mr Beet-It to get my stash of the purple magic sufficiently replenished. I’m planning on one a day for a week or so prior to the event.

Does anyone know if it has a half life like caffeine? ie how should it be consumed during an Ironman, if at all? Otherwise the default would be 2 at the start.

Garmin 935 STRYD
The beating heart of my shoe

Mr Garmin was also ever-present. It looks like I am doing the IM with the 935 and with the 820. In the likely event of an 820 fail I have the 935. In the likely event of 935 power dropouts I have the 820. Perfect failsafe strategy #Maybe. FWIW The 935 *IS* dropping power readings from my BePro pedals (even in extra power transmission mode) whereas the 820 picks up the power perfectly. #fenixfail

And, yes, I have just discovered hashtag humour. #lightheartedness

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Barrie

Have you measured your fluid use for each event?
I burn about a litre an hour for a run and 800ml on the bike at race pace, but i can’t put in more than a 750ml bottle before i have had too much.
So i’m 250ml difficient per hour, which is fine for a 3 hour marathon, not so much for anything further…

Also, i absorb water much more easily than any of the energy drinks, so i avoid those.

I also found the ZipVit gels helped, since i didn’t have to use as many leaving more time to sip the water down.