It’s barely been 3 weeks since the ITU world champs and I’m straight back in at the deep end – an Ironman.
It’s a strange feeling when you spend your whole time preparing for an event, for it to be out of the way and your focus has to instantly shift to the next one.
With my next big goal being Ironman Barcelona it’s been very hard for me to focus in on this event – or even comprehend what I’m about to put my body through.
I’ve not applied myself with the same discipline I normally do leading into a big event – but I’m not worried about that.
We’re in for a very warm day on Sunday, pushing 30 degrees which won’t benefit a slightly over weight version of me. I’m up 2kg since Denmark, though that has certainly helped recovery and training through the last 2 and a half weeks, it won’t help me on that marathon. But when have I ever made weight?
My recovery has been good – I’ve managed to shift most of the issues I carried into Denmark and my training has been consistent and strong.
I’ve just gently ticked over – with a few big sessions in the mix, nothing out of the ordinary.
So how does the race look?
Well – I suppose the obvious thing is this race will be a lot longer. Denmark took me a little over 6 hours to complete, whereas here I’m hoping for a little over 9.
And where is that time coming from?
Well, luckily not the swim!
The swim is meant to be 800m longer – which means it could be anywhere from 600 to 1200… but even on a bad day, that’s only an extra 15 minutes.
I should be on the bike an extra 90 minutes – 2 hours – plenty of time to make ground on the rest of the field. A hilly course doesn’t benefit me in my current condition – although I’m sure there’ll be plenty for me to get stuck into.
Then there’s the case of the marathon. If I held my Denmark pace it would take me and extra hour, and I have much more faith in my legs after some really strong run sessions in the last 2 weeks.
As always – the real tell will be nutrition, and who can hold themselves together at the end of a long day.
So obviously the old motto of “don’t try anything new” on race day applies…. right? No?
Of course, that would be far too sensible.
So this time we’re going to completely revamp my nutrition plan. And going to do the whole race on only energy gels, no “real food”.
Yeah it probably sounds as crazy to you as it does to me. So we’ve done the maths, and at my current weight I’ll need 28 energy gels to get me through the day, what’s the worst that can happen?
There is plenty of method to the madness of course – and if my body can stomach them then I think it could be the solution I’ve been searching for.
And if not – I’ll probably leave my stomach somewhere between mile 15 and 20 of the marathon.
Hopefully the day won’t look too dissimilar to anything I’ve done in the past:
Very strong bike.
See how much ground I can make on the run.
I’ve had plenty of mishaps this season – so I’m not worried about that happening again, I can only control myself and my effort, so that’s what I’ll do. If I get a mechanical or find myself in difficulty – I’ll adapt and react appropriately. This is where the experience is slowly starting to show.
I’m number 99, first time down in double digits has to count for something right?
It’s super easy to track on the Ironman app – or their website if you’re old school and my sister will be fuelling the social media hype.
So for now I’ll get my head down, rest up, eat more pastries than I should and see you all on the start line.
And from the moment I come out of that river – I’ll be on the hunt.