The picture today is of our EverydayTraining athletes out here in Lanzarote ready to race. It’s very exciting not only racing here myself but also having a couple of guys I coach out racing as well.
The work has been done now with only a few light sessions to go and now more time is spent visualising the race together with just relaxing and not thinking about the race. The only training left to do is a short run this afternoon, a swim and ride tomorrow and that will probably be it. I rode yesterday and felt really fresh and strong. It was confidence building. Running still is just difficult to sense. It feels better than New Zealand but still just not quite there.
A big focus this race is going to be on fueling. I will be fueling more than I normally do and will make a bigger effort on the bike to fuel. The feeling is I ‘bonked’ at New Zealand and want to try and avoid that. I spent a lot of time thinking back over previous races and the penny dropped about the one time I’ve run under 3:10. In that race I was very conservative on the bike early on and at 80 miles felt able to pick it up a notch. That is what I will aim for here – early on being conservative on the bike, getting fueled and then see how I feel later. This will take serious self control on my part if I start getting lots of people go by. That said, I’m trying to trust my bike form to give me a pretty decent split without busting a gut. On the run I feel sub 3:40 will be a big step in the right direction and sub 3:30 would have me over the moon.
I’m realising now how much I want to go to Hawaii. That is the target though in my head I’ve reconciled not going and know what my plans will be if I don’t qualify. The number of slots has reduced this year and I’m estimating 7 in my age group. Based on last year that means I really need to be under 10:07 hours to be in with a shout. Realistically what could my time be:
Swim: 56 T1:5 Bike: 5:35 T2:4 Run: 3:30 Total: 10:10
As I’ve said before I reckon it’s touch and go for a slot.
The other factor I think I’m getting right this time is my weight. My first year of Ironman saw me race at 157lbs and 158lbs – both were excellent races. My next three races saw me at 165lbs and for all three I raced well. Since then I’ve been 170 or over whenever I’ve raced (bar Kona last year – 168) and on the whole have not raced great – only twice having what I viewed as good races, both to qualify. I added weight to my Ironman Times sheet and it was an eye opener. Once again the facts being a little different from the memory of the facts.. I was at 170lbs at the weekend and can see I’m getting a little leaner so am happy it’s heading in the right direction. 5lbs lighter than at IM New Zealand and 8lbs lighter than when I went 3:18 at Taunton Marathon 6 weeks ago.
It doesn’t matter whether there is a physical benefit or not. I believe there is and thus feeling lean and prepared puts me in a better frame of mind. From now I’m trying to keep my nerves under control as I don’t want to feel as nervous as I did before New Zealand.