Big Day Out.
We’ve done these for every Ironman since 2013. 1hr swim, 90min rest, 5 hour ride, 90min rest, 2 hour run. All at race pace and race nutrition/gear.
Up at 6AM, ate banana, sugar free redbull, and maple flavored bagel.
The 25m saltwater/heated lap pool at Rancho Sahuarita, Arizona only 90sec from our house opened at 7AM but we opted for an 8AM start after watching Bachelor in Paradise season finale last night. 😊 haha.
I’ve been using pull buoy pretty much exclusively all season long. We haven’t done a heck of a lot of quality but typically will do 3x1K using Fins, Pull, then Paddle/Pull inspired from Aussie Rob Johnston. I’ve also been doing my 1K tests using pull since this is close to race day using a wetsuit. In a 25m salt water pool, it’s pretty damn close to race situation.
Fiona and I started together and I took off. I counted a stroke count of 40 inspired by Aussie and former Pro Triathlete Sean Foster of Melbourne Triathlon Club and then continued to go. I looked at my watch while flip turning to make sure I had the right count and went 15:27, 15:40, 15:52 for the 1K Splits. I also went 29:32 for the 70.3 Distance and 59:43 for the IRONMAN 2.4 mile swim. I think my form and effort were consistent but wasn’t happy dropping 39 seconds on the second half; I will have to work on that.
But, this is my fastest 25M pool swim ever and 3rd fastest Overall. My first was a 55min swim at IRONMAN Australia (looking forward to getting back in 2019!), and my 2nd was in a 50m pool with a wetsuit where I covered 4,000meters in 1hour flat on Big Day Out in the lead up to the 2016 IRONMAN Cairns. (I went 1:01:06 on race day in a bit of chop).
90min after the 3.8KM sub 1 hour swim Fiona and I were on the bike. My plan was to hold between 75% and 78% IF (which is held by top A/G Kona Qualifiers). With FTP of 341 this equated to 256 to 266. On Zwift, we did the Volcano Circuit 25X to get the badge I’ve been waiting for. Then, 2X up Volcano Climb, up to the lake, then back down to flatter land. The purpose of this was to stay close to the IRONMAN Arizona course which has 2,577’ of elevation ascend. I had all my nutrition laid out, Kona video’s in the DVD player and Coach Sydney cheering us on.
I consumed what the average male should consume in a day in terms of calories (1,970calories). It was going to be all Gatorade based inspired by Lionel Sanders recent YouTube video but around the 3 hour mark I was starting to struggle. I had ARO 15min in with 200mg of caffeine, then started with Gatorade every 10min but I wasn’t consuming enough on this interval so I increased cadence it to drink a giant schwig every 5min so that I could finish a bottle every 30min. I went through 2 or 3 bottles and then a bottle of water. I was also eating 3 Clif Shot Bloks every 30min, a banana at the 1hour mark, then half a clif bar at 2hr and 2hr30min. But, I was starting to lose focus and really needed Coke. So I grabbed one. It wasn’t enough and had another 30min later, then again. My power and effort started to come back and I was feeling better even fending off a slight cramp I felt at 2hr. (I had no salt tablets today). In total, the 1,970 calories was adequate and had 400+mg of caffeine which is about 4 coffees (that I don’t drink), or 2 Monsters (which I love). I will need to use special needs as most races don’t have Coke till the run. I’ll take 2 bottles and fill them half way and then freeze them into blocks since I’ve had many bad experiences trying this before! I lost only 2 pounds so I was still pretty hydrated.
As I said, I had a plan and didn’t know what to expect. We ran the Sandia Crest Marathon only 7 days ago and it beat me up worse than any race I’ve ever done before. I couldn’t even push off the wall while swimming 2 days later. So I just hunkered down and tried to do my best. I got in the groove and was sitting on 266NP. 40min in my Garmin 520 Edge went haywire so I only had Zwift pulling up my Quarq Power Meter. Then, I turned on my Garmin 920XT to start lapping and see cumulative effort. My watch said 256/257NP for the last 4hr8min, 75%IF, 232TSS. Adding in the first part lost and it was right around 272TSS. Zwift showed me at 261avg power and 258NP because I didn’t stop it during my breaks which totaled 10minutes.
Last year at IRONMAN Arizona I went 4:50:22. Holding 235avg/247NP and 70.5% IF. Todays ride is the most powerful endurance ride I’ve ever held. The next best ride after this is 2016 IRONMAN Cairns where I rode 4:59 on 255avg/258NP in my way to a Kona Qualifier. On another positive note, Lionel Sanders told me that inside training is approximately 10-20watts lower than outside.
So with 8 weeks to go, I think I’m definitely heading in the right direction with my bike and will continue to train almost exclusively inside on ZWIFT and the KICKR. I will probably approach the same pacing strategy since I seemed to not fall off in the final hour. The key will be Cokes and of course another 8 weeks of training.
Fiona has been sick for 2-3 days with stomach issues. She said she couldn’t run. And my soleus is still messed up a week later. We are going to do the 2 hour run inside on the treadmill tomorrow morning. I’ll look to mimic the run by holding 7:45/mile and walking 15s every 1mile (aid station) to drink enough water since I lose between 2-5 pounds of fluids per hour.
Next week we will be competing in a half iron distance race at Lake Mead outside of Las Vegas, Nevada with Fiona’s sister Jennifer coming all the way from Melbourne, Australia (She’ll do the Olympic). Stay Tuned!!!