Thanks Jason & Coach AJ. My practice race up in Michigan was a success with some good pre-race anxiety, start line adrenaline, some mental battles on the bike, and some hamstring cramps on the run. Lessons were learned and at the end of the day it was a 20 min PB at the 70.3 distance for me. Now that I’ve had a week to come down from the excitement, here’s my experience.
Start temp was high-50s with a 14mph wind out of the north, gusting at 25mph. Much colder than I’ve trained in during the summer.
Swim: I did an out and back swim (North to South) so my last half was into strong chop & winds. Since my swimming last limited this year, I took it easy and focused on long, smooth strokes. I felt good out of the water and my time was in the ballpark of what I did last year in my first 70.3.
Bike: Goal was high zone2 – mid zone3 heart rate. With the first hour into headwinds, I took it pretty conservatively and then built up my HR over the next 2 hours. I feel like I nailed this strategy and felt strong getting off the bike into the run. As far as nutrition goes, I took in 810 calories, 177 carbs, and 2300mg of sodium over the course of 2:51mins on the bike. (~270cal, 60 carbs, 770mg per hour). I drank UCAN superstarch & Maurten 160 in my bottles, ate peanut butter pretzel bites, and salt stick caps (1 per hour) on the bike.
Run: Goal HR was mid zone 3 and I ended up being a little high on this. After training with the run/walk strategy and a history of bonks/cramps in marathons, I decided to start with 10min run/1 min walk and then evaluate how i feel for the last 5 miles. I was right on target at mile 8 and then started to kick up the pace and skipped the next 2 walks, but in hindsight, I ramped it up too early. If i would’ve waited until mile 10 or 10.5, I probably wouldn’t ended better. Heres the bust: At mile 12, I saw i needed a sub-8 mile to break my stretch overall time goal, so I went full send and at mile 12.5 both hamstrings seized/cramped and I was in a stand still with the finish line in sight. I stretched/walked for a good min before getting it under control and jogging to the finish line. 37 seconds off my goal, but still a huge PB 🙂
Nutrition on the run was: 24oz water with 1500 mg sodium (Precision Hydration tabs mixed in) and 2 Maurten 100cal CAF gels every 40 mins.
Overall, it was a successful day and i feel like i had a strong bike and a strong run (even with the last mile cramps). I’ve built a really good base to continue with the sport. I think i still enjoy the training more than the race 🙂 Thanks to AJ for the race prep and putting together an awesome training program to follow. As I look back on the last 5 months, the training was about the only thing I could control in life (besides the swimming).