After a few false starts for various reasons, I finally got to race at Weymouth 70.3 this past Sunday.
From Thursday the week prior I adopted my usual race week diet of very low fibre whilst focusing on nutrient density and prioritising carb intake.
At around 4.30am on the morning of the race, I forced down 1 x white tortilla wrap with butter, jam and salt (don’t ask where the idea for this came from), then coffee at around 5.30am. At around 6.45am I had 100mg caffeine and then acclimatised in the sea - this felt especially worthwhile given that i’d never swam in the sea during a race so wasn’t sure what to expect. Managed to find my jumper and shoes afterwards so avoided getting cold, which had been a concern.
Time = 00:35:20
Couldn’t have asked for better weather conditions. Calm, cool and dry. The sea was incredibly calm with little to no ‘chop’ or waves. Self-seeded right in the middle of the 30-40 minute holding pen, which in hindsight was spot on.
Not an awful lot to report in all honesty, some shocking sighting on my part, but that’s about it, found my rhythm quickly and achieved my overall aim of getting out in one piece.
Point to note for anyone in the future - returning to the beach, the sun was on our right and blinding, so I switched to a breath every four strokes to my left side - it definitely paid to be able to breathe on both sides.
T1 = 00:07:13 [I purposefully took my time here… plus, my socks are notoriously difficult to get on].
Time = 02:38:02
So. Much. Traffic. for the first 10-20km, it was near impossible not to draft and passing was a matter of being patient and waiting your turn, but after the first of a few short undulations, the larger packs broke up.
Being lighter (62/63kg) definitely helped on the climbs where I would overtake a few riders, only for them to whizz past me on the descent, which I found quite comical… I’m not sure they did.
Again, I don’t feel like there’s much to report - some good-looking bikes being ridden is all I can really remember. I also observed that a lot of people seemed to be sticking to power targets - I don’t have a power meter on my Colnago, which I thinks helps me not become too fixated with a specific number.
Bike fuelling consisted of 100g CHO concentrate in my bottle + a mouthful of gatorade + 2 caffeine gels… I could have pushed more but I didn’t want to risk any GI distress, plus, I didn’t feel like I had worked all that hard for the first hour!
T2: 00:03:58 [toilet stop + a change of top slowed me down, but I knew I wanted to be comfortable]
Half-marathon PB in its own right, never mind during a 70.3 - super happy with that.
Broke the run down into four x 5k races with the third being intentionally conservative before a final push… not believing that the route would equate to the distance came as a welcome distraction!
Fuelled with 2 x Maurten gels, one at each of 9 and 16km… the second saved me. First time trying Maurten gels… they’re odd in a kind of, “I should really hate this, yet I don’t” way…
Finish time = 04:48:19
12th / 296 - 30-34 age group
55th / 1580 - males
56th / 2002 - overall
All in all, lovely course, but I can imagine it’s very different in any other weather.
First Ironman event… it was annoyingly well organised in terms of registration, transition and support… almost makes the entry fee worth it (almost…)
Walked back to collect my bike, 5km cycle back to accommodation and I was back in the gym on Monday… just about recovered for a social ride this weekend - happy way to sign off the season.