Training/Technical Thoughts about Redman 70.3

Time to reflect on the technical side of the race.  As a first-time 70.3 racer and 2nd year triathlete, I don't expect to be finishing super-duper fast, but I do expect to see improvement from race-to-race.  So the goal is to look at what I did right and where I can improve for next time.

Oh, yeah... next time.  :)
Memorial Herman Ironman 70.3 Texas - April 10, 2011

And, if anyone wants to join me for the weekend of craziness, but not the distance, they have a sprint too!

Back to business...

Pre-race nutrition
Got so busy during the day with the added drive around the bike course and taking Denise to the LBS for water bottle cages time and opportunities to eat just got away from me -- I did hydrate though!  Quite honestly Friday was a nutrition fail for me and I hate to admit it because that's the one thing I had total control of.  By the time we had dinner Friday night I felt nauseous and like I had low blood-sugar (which I haven't felt in over 3 years!)  I ate 3 bites of pasta, 3 bites of chicken.  I was done.  My stomach was just a mess. 

Breakfast race morning was okay. Over a period of time I got in 20 oz of g'ade, 2 power bars, 1 banana and half of my Ezekiel English muffin with almond butter, leaving behind 1 banana and the rest of the muffin.  No surprise here that I couldn't eat everything, but I have figured out that the Power Bars definitely leave me feeling better while racing, so I made a point of getting those in. 

The Swim:
The swim was good.  I think my plan of attack was fine, but unexpected happened (with my zipper cord) and it impacted the execution. I definitely could have pushed harder on my 1000m stretch, but since I had to deal with what was happening at the moment, it made it a challenge since every so many strokes I was having to relocate the strap.  Looks like my average heart rate for my swim was 126 with a max of 137 (seems a little low?). Next time need to secure zipper cord appropriately, but other than that it was a good swim.  I'm continuing to show improvement on the swim, so that makes me happy!  Pace was 2:22/100m for 1.2 miles.  at the 1 mi swim at Silverlake, with a wetsuit my pace was 2:44/100m.

The Bike:
When I left on the bike I was riding at 155 HR and it took a few minutes to come down (I think it was just excitement), but I got it in check and was able to manage it until the climbs.  I really did try to ride smart because I was worried about the run later.  I wanted to keep my HR between 145-150.  My Average HR was 151 with a max of 168.  I did make 1 quick stop to pee, but it was super-fast.  Honestly I didn't worry much about "rolling hills" because I thought spin would have been enough simulation.  My nutrition on the bike went great!  My hand-up plan was perfect and I had no problems.  At first I thought I wouldn't have changed a thing on the bike, but maybe I could have pushed it more? I mean, if I'm going have a crappy run anyway, why save it?  Ugh!  I was just afraid I wouldn't have anything left for the run though.  Maybe more longer runs after my long bikes, would give me a better indication of how to manage my heart rate, showing me how far I can push it on the bike.

The run:
Was tough.  The first 3 or so miles were hard on my already tired legs, but they did start feeling better -- I felt that same way at Lonestar.  Low heart rate of 139 for even jut 2 minutes left me feeling dizzy and light-headed.  I'm happy I was able to roll with it and figure out what to do to keep moving forward, but really disappointed overall.  I know my nutrition probably played a hand in feeling so crappy, but it seemed even though I was taking in fluid nothing was really doing anything for me.... so why carry it? That's why I dumped it with Darren at mile 6-ish  It just made me frustrated.  I kept my gel thinking that needing to get to the next aid station in 15, or so, minutes would be my focus.  The last couple miles, after I addressed my GI issues, I felt better and I actually felt more comfortable running than I did walking!  I honestly thought I'd be able to run more of it and then regretted not doing more on the bike.  Average HR was 141 with max of 166 (at the very end!).  I was hoping for a 15:30 pace, given we were having cooler weather.  My nutrition on the run needs refining.  Maybe 8 hours of g'ade and Nuun aren't going to work for me? I either need to finish faster or find nutrition that works for me on the run.  I also think that doing some longer runs after long bikes would give me opportunity to try different things. 

What I need to do:
  • Nail down the proper nutrition for the long day.  Nutrition is fine pre-race/swim and bike, but can't seem to continue it on the run.
  • Train more on hills, if there are going to be hills.
  • Try to more accurately determine HR zones so I'm confident I am working where I need to be. 
  • Do more longer runs after longer bikes
  • If I decide for sure on Lonestar, I want to train on the course, in the wind, frequently.
I'm a little nervous about signing up for another 70.3 because who wants to sign up for an event if they can't make the cut off? We'll see how marathon training goes.  Hopefully the Anemia issues will be resolved soon and the cooler weather will help too!

I'm not knit-picking on myself, I'm still glad I finished.  :)


  1. You did great! Thanks for posting this. It gives me a lot to think about for my own 70.3.

    I've only done one teensy tri, but I've done lots of endurance running. When someone bonks at mile 20 of a marathon, it's often because they didn't eat early in the run. If you're a little lean on your eating in miles 8-15, then it'll show up in miles 18-26.2. Maybe something similar happened to you. Maybe you're eating enough to sustain the bike ride, but not enough to prepare for the run?

    When someone gets the bonks, we give them 2 gels - only one with caffeine (if they use caffeine). The quick infusion of electrolytes and carbs usually will break the bonk.

    You did an amazing thing and you're still focused on improving. That's great stuff!

  2. Of course you should register!! You have thought about your performance and what needs to be done to improve (in training and on race day).

    You WILL improve and you WILL be stronger! You now know what to expect and not having to travel will help as well.

    You did an awesome job but you can only improve from'll never know unless you try!

    Go get 'em!!!


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