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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Am I Ready for Ironman Canada

Seven weeks to go

I'm an analyst by nature. I analyze.

I don't trust my gut or emotions, I trust numbers and facts.

So here it goes: analysis of my Ironman readiness, by the numbers.


How far they are making me go: 3800m
How long they give me to do it: 2h20
The Pace: 3:38/100m

I have done 2000m a bunch of times now, including twice in a lake in a wetsuit. In my most recent race, I finished in 47:46, and that included a fairly long run to transition. That works out to 2:24/100m.

Fast? No. But quite a bit faster than I need to be on race day.

The last tri I did had a mass start. Around 500 people, it was a bit hectic. My strategy was to be nearer the back and to the outside - this worked well for me. I will do the same at Ironman Canada.

Strategy for the last few weeks: get out open water swimming at least 2-3 more times.

It's my weakness, no question, and I will absolutely be one of the weaker swimmers out there. But I feel I've done all I can to be ready, that cut-off time seems entirely reasonable.


How far they are making me go:
180 km
How long they give me to do it: 8h00 (or more if swim is OK)
The Pace: 22.5 km/h

I haven't gone that slow in many years... I don't go that slow on my mountain bike, on gravel and mud roads when the snow is still on the ground.

Confident? I'm downright cocky!

My pace in the 1/2 Iron Swim/Bike race I did last weekend was almost 31 km/h. I did a century ride (160km) in early June that went really well (my third time doing that distance) and have done a bunch of 100km rides as well.

Biking is my strength, and I feel great these days. I can't see anything outside of a mechanical problem standing between me at the cut-off time.

The bigger challenge will be holding back enough to run a marathon... I need to spend the vast majority of the 180k ride feeling comfortable.


How far they are making me go: 42.2k (full marathon)
How long they give me to do it: 6h30 (likely much more)
The Pace: 9:00/km

Based on my actual goals, I should start the run with 8 hours in my pocket, not 6, but let's assume the worst.

Today I did a test: how fast can I walk a kilometer? I wanted to know if the worst case happened, could I get to the finish in time.

The answer: YES. I walked a kilometer at 8:20/km pace. I was walking pretty briskly, but if I can't even walk fast then I don't deserve to be called an Ironman!

Am I Ready?


I know it will be hard. I know things beyond my control can turn my months of preparation into a DNF in a hurry - a lot of people who start don't finish, and I'm sure many of them were prepared.

But I am confident I can do this, and can't wait to tri.


E said...

I was just thinking the same thing.. 7 weeks is soo soon! Good luck on race day! I'll be off the back on the swim too, you won't be alone.

Boris T said...

Good luck in your last steps of the IMC prep. Looking forward to reading how it went.

Say I can't remember if you're using your current bike (non-tri) for the IMC or getting (have access to) a Tri bike?

Jon P said...

Yup, using my current bike, Trek 1200 with clip-on aero bars. I'm really happy with the set-up, it's been comfortable over long distances, so I'm good to go!

I don't mind it so much, and it's a hoot to blast by Cervelo-full-disk-wheels-and-aero-helmet-guy on it. :)

Boris T said...

lol, glad you enjoy that part.

Say I've been looking into the 1200 and it looks like it is the previous trek model that corresponds to the 1.2 that I have. Have you done anything else to it except for the earo bars to outfit it for tri use?

Jon P said...

Clip-on aero bars were the first, but then to get the right position I also needed the Profile Design fast-forward seat post (and I bought their Tri-stryke saddle). It's worked out well.

This is what it looks like:

And my post about bike fit (includes a great link):

Oh and I also got the rear seat double bottle holders so I can hold more liquid for those 4+ hour rides! :)

Boris T said...

Thanks for the links, I forgot about those posts.

Just out of curiosity sense you're running the IMC when do the registrations usually open? They seem to sell out very fast.

Jon P said...

Registration opens the day after the race. IMC sells out on-site, meaning if you're not actually there, you won't get in...

... except last year, for some reason, they had two extra sets of spots come open weeks later. I think it's because people registered but then didn't follow through. I was lucky enough to snag one.