Holy cow– it worked! I followed a 10 hours per week training plan to get ready for IMSR. I did it as an experiment and a learning experience to make me a better coach. The goal wasn’t to PR, but I was hoping to be almost as fast as if I had done a “full” training plan. Mission accomplished!
For more about my build, read about about the first half of my training and the second half of my training + taper.
My goal was simple– qualify for Kona on 10 hours per week so I don’t look like an idiot for writing a bunch of articles about how I’m trying to do that with the conclusion being that I failed! I figured it would take a top 4 finish, so that was my goal. I felt a 9:30 should be safe and might even be good for a win, but I thought that even being a good bit slower than that would give me a good chance for 4th (I was wrong about that- our AG was much deeper with talent than I thought with 8 guys sub 9:35).
Race week was restful since I was still carrying a decent amount of fatigue from the final build. I snapped out of healing mode a couple days out and was feeling good. The major problem was that my psoas was a mess (I aggravated it at the end of my build) and I couldn’t run more than a few miles without it flaring up. I was just hoping that race week rest + race day adrenaline would get me through the race.
The night before I had my usual Micky D’s pre race dinner: quarter pounder with cheese, small cheeseburger, McChicken and large fries. Go ahead, laugh. 🙂 But for whatever reason it works for me– I have done this before 3 Ironman races and have 2 AG wins + a 3rd place. So now I’m basically stuck doing it for the rest of my life.
I have a similarly relatively heavy breakfast (breakfast potatoes, eggs, bacon). I’ll be doing all liquids (or blocs) for the rest of the race and I think my body will be happier with some real food to start the day.
Swim 1:00:07 (PR, 6th place in AG, PR)
My swim fitness wasn’t as strong as previous builds so I knew I had be humble and to swim smart. I wasn’t nearly fit enough to “brute force” myself to a good swim time so I had to be wiley. I seeded myself in the middle of the sub 1 hour group, which due to rampant time inflation by everyone is the right spot even though I figured I’d be closer to a 1:02.
I relaxed and got “pulled out” in the rolling start. The goal was to draft 100% of the time, which I more or less did. About half way through the first loop I found a great set of feet– exactly the right speed, sighting reasonably well, with a relaxed 2 beat kick that was easy to follow. He even had a yellow decal on the bottom of his wetsuit leg so I could find him when we hit bad traffic. I followed him for the rest of loop 1 and we got out of the first loop in 29:37.
In the 2nd loop I kept following the same guy– WHAT A STUD HE WAS! He was weaving between the slow swimmers on loop 1 like a champ and if anything it felt like he was picking up the pace. My attitude was to stay on his feet at all costs and I managed it even through some nasty traffic. If you were that guy, I owe you a beer!
I got out of the swim in just over an hour feeling good.
T1: 5:20 – I moved up to 4th.
A reasonably fast / smooth T1.
Bike 5:02- staying in 4th place.
Similar to the swim, I knew I had to adjust my riding somewhat based on the fact that I wasn’t overly fit.
The one key for me was to coast and back off at higher speeds (27+ mph). I racked up 50 minutes of time during the race at under 50% of FTP– so basically 50 minutes of recovery mixed into the ride. Based on the gap to the people around me while I was coasting, I lost little to no time, so it was well worth it.
Bike Part 1: First 25% of the race (until Chalk Hill). Plan was to “warm up” 209 NP.