IRONMAN 70.3 Coeur d’Alene
- Date: June 26th, 2022
- Distance: IRONMAN 70.3
- Location: Coeur d’Alene, ID
- Swim: 00:35:44
- T1: Swim-to-Bike: 00:04:02
- Bike: 2:44:40
- T2: Bike-to-Run: 00:02:37
- Run: 1:47:05
- Overall: 5:14:09
Division Rank: 29 | Gender Rank: 223 | Overal Rank: 267
Even though it was my slowest complete 70.3, IRONMAN 70.3 Coeur d’Alene was, in my opinion, my best race to date.
I was disappointed in my swim. It seems I have regressed since my 32-minute swim in Galveston despite putting up faster times in the pool. I thought I was swimming at race pace (~1:30-1:35/100 yd), however my pace quickly dropped off after the first 500 yards. I honestly did not swim that hard and found my mind drifting to T1 and the bike course. I should have pushed harder.
Additionally, I should have been alerted to my slower swimming due to the fact that my long course and open water paces were far slower than my short course paces. Short course swimming is easier and my focus on short, intense workouts did not give me the endurance I needed to swim sub-32, which was my intended goal.
The bike course was the hardest I’ve raced so far. Though the mountains are beautiful, they were punishing with 3,445 ft of climb over the 56 miles. Weighing 78 kg, I do not have the ideal body for climbing. Likewise, I did not execute the bike leg with the ideal technique or cadence to optimize the climbs. Proper gearing, cadence, and positioning on climbs are all foreign concepts to me and represent a gap in my knowledge base.
That being said, I was happy with my performance on the bike. I pushed 212W normalized (197W average), which was at my capacity. In contrast to Galveston, my legs felt fresh and strong, but they were pretty fatigued by the end.
I finally nailed down my pre-race nutrition. I had zero GI issues on the run, an issue that has dogged me my past two 70.3 races. Nonetheless, the bike left my legs extremely fatigued and my quads were on the verge of cramping the entire run. The first half of the half marathon was good and I held about 7:30 min/mi., which is slower than my PR pace, but acceptable for a 70.3. On the back half of the half marathon, the wheels started to come off and my pace slipped past 8:00 min/mi. The last 6 miles were a true struggle and by the last half mile I was limping.
I finished, but it was not a fast run, just pure grit. I am still happy with it though since I left everything out on that run and pushed through some serious pain.
I am extremely proud of my performance. I finally got to reach the point of pure pain and exhaustion, which was exhilarating. I am so thankful I was able to resolve my GI issues.
I did not go into the race in top form due to having COVID and starting a new job in June. To be honest, my training throughout June was lackluster at best, which is on me. Fitness is so important in the sport of triathlon and it only comes through countless hours of quality, consistent training.
My key takeaways from Sunday:
- I need to get back to long course swimming with long, hard sets. No more short course 100s. This was pure laziness on my part.
- It’s time to start developing my knowledge base as an athlete again. To this end, I am going to read Your Best Triathlon: Advanced Training for Serious Triathletes by Joe Friel, the sequel to The Triathlete’s Training Bible, which I read after IRONMAN 70.3 Des Moines one year ago.
- I need to expand my knowledge of cycling. I know little about cadence, gear ratios, and effective climbing and if I want to race St. George, I will need a better understanding of these concepts.
In the end, I crossed the line in Coeur d’Alene with no regrets. I gave it everything I had. I’ve come a long way, since my first race a year ago and I’m excited for my future in the sport.
Now time to get faster…