blog banner

blog banner

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ironman Race Plan

I've been mulling over a race strategy for months now, going through it in my mind. With two weeks to go, it's time to commit to it!

Overall theme: Pace to finish. It's a race, but the first race I need make sure I can win is against the clock counting down 17 hours. Anything else is gravy.


Goal: exit the water feeling fresh
  • Start away from the craziness - outside and behind most of the field
  • Find an easy pace, focus on being smooth and relaxed
  • Breathe to one side, get plenty of air
Going out too hard here could cost me a lot by the end of the day, going too easy won't cost me more than 10 minutes. It's important to keep calm and smooth. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Transition One

Goal: fast but calm

No running, catch my breath. Change quickly, lube up, sunscreen up, and go!


Goal: eat as much as I can tolerate and get off feeling like I could have gone faster
  • Eat 300 calories per hour
  • Target pace between 25-26km/h
  • Spin the climbs, conserve energy, be smooth
Pace - normally I'd go by feel, but I'm hesitant to do that after my experience at the Toronto Marathon last year. Tapering makes you feel amazing, and a pace that feels good at the first kilometer may be a disaster by the last one. So I've chosen a target average speed is a relatively easy 25-26km/h. This should let me leave the bike with something in the tank for the run.

Hitting that average will be tricky... there are two big climbs on the course, each followed by long descents. How high does my average have to be before the climb? At the top? I don't know. I'm looking at the 100k mark as being a good indicator, though, since it's at about the elevation of the start. If I'm below 25km/h I will know that I have to pick it up a little, if it's above 26km/h I'll know to back off a little.

Transition Two

Goal: fast but calm

Change and go, not much more to say!


Goal: get to the finish before 17h00 is up
  • Walk breaks from the start (5 and 1's)
  • Stay slow - 7:00/km or slower
I have been using walk breaks in training, 10 minutes of running followed by 1 minute of fast walking. In the race I will start with 5 and 1, and hopefully hold it through to the end. I've never done anything for over 13 hours, so I don't know what to expect.

Stay smooth, stay slow, and concentrate on finishing before 17:00 is up. Don't risk the finish for a faster run time, stay on plan.

That's it! To the finish! :)


Anonymous said...

GOOD LUCK!! Don't forget fluids!

Jon P said...

ananas - thank-you! :) I should have mentioned my 300 calories will be mostly Gatorade, and the odd gel to round things out.

logically driven said...

was wondering about the 300 calories per hour... were you thinking 32 oz of Gatorade (or Mountain Berry Blue Powerade, my fav) which is 200 cal, and a gel at about 100 cal every hour? Asking out of personal curiosity...

Turbo Photographs said...

Sounds like a great plan! Good luck - looking forward to your race report!

cdnhollywood said...

Looks good to me (not that I've done an IM). Now the hard part - keep that adrenaline in check and stick to the plan! Great stuff.

Jon P said...

logically_driven: I'm not sure exactly what they're handing out on the course as for size of bottle, but that's basically the plan. A gel and 200 calories from Gatorade an hour.

Everyone: thanks! :) Can't wait to write the race report... hopefully it's about how well everything went, but even if not this will be an experience...

E said...

Looks like a solid plan. Good luck!

logically driven said...

Thanks.. good luck!