Well here it is, my 3rd Ironman this year! Thats right 3 Ironman races in 2017, I must be crazy! Turning 40 triggered a mini mid-life crisis in my and this is how I dealt with it! So let’s do a quick review of the course, my training and how I got to Ironman Western Australia in 2017. I am not travelling with any family, but with my training partner Ian, we are almost like a tri-couple (or so our wives believe) we spend that much time together. It will be a very different experience racing without anyone on the sidelines to cheer us on specifically, hopefully the Busselton people get behind the event and are loud and make us all feel very welcome and encourage during the race!
My schedule is simple enough, generally as follows:
- Fly out Wednesday evening, landing in Perth at an ungodly hour of the morning. We will drive straight to Busselton, checking straight into our hotel and grabbing a few hours sleep.
- Thursday will be all about setting up the bike, gear checking and registering for the race. Maybe a little race course reconnaissance (in the car).
- Friday will be very relaxed, maybe a swim and gentle job checking the course and event precinct. I will set up the transition bags, which for those that don’t know, we don’t do transition at your bike (like normal triathlons) we head into a big tent and are able to get changed.
- Saturday will probably start with a parkrun, then off to drop the transition bags to the respective tents and rack the bike.
- Sunday is all about the race, nothing more nothing less! The age group wave (mass start) is at 7am Western Australia time (so remember to make the adjustment as necessary for where you live)
- Monday RECOVERY! I love watching the Kona roll down ceremony, so will hobble along to see that, the emotion of people qualifying for Kona is a big factor of why I keep coming back to Ironman (maybe 1 day I’ll get called up)!
- Tuesday RECOVERY and a return flight to Brisbane!
If you’re looking for more specific information about the weekend here is the official Event Schedule here. Giving you plenty of insight into my weekend.
Now lets move onto a course review:
The swim is an epic single lap swim around the famous Busselton Jetty! It’s a daunting prospect swimming 1.8km straight out into the ocean, beside a jetty! I’m holding onto the simple fact that I am not alone and there will be close to 2000 other crazy athletes swimming with me, and the photos make this look pretty special! Under the hour is my goal, having only been there once before I hope I can replicate this and set my day up early with a solid swim!
The bike course is a 2 lap course, which look pretty technical on the map, but feedback I have had from others that have raced here is the opposite. It’s a flat and fast course (450m), approximately half the vertical elevation gain of Ironman Cairns. My simple goals are to hole 210 watts, heart rate around 144 and hopefully come in around 5 hours and 10 minutes!
The run is a 4 lap course approximately 10.6km each lap. Again the feedback I have is this is a flat and fast run course. Very similar to my beloved Cairns! All along the foreshore. My run goal is to again set it up out of transition with a nice steady pace of 5min/km and see how long I can hold on.
Overall I’m targeting as close to 10 hours as possible! I’ve never been one to make bold predictions for fear of failure, but in this instance I’m willing to give it a go! I’m trying to be brave and will try to use this during the race, while being mindful that the best laid plans need to change. I can guarantee you one thing, I will give 100% of myself on the day, whatever that may be! If it happen to be those targets noted above fantastic, if not, well, I’ll move forward and find another way to achieve them!There is always 1 element I cannot control and it is also one I very rarely stress about and that is weather. Busselton is renowned for being windy and hot, a dry heat that we don’t experience here in Brisbane. I have done what I can in the way of training in windy conditions, never shying away from a ride in tough windy conditions over the past couple of months.
My nutrition plan is based around the on-course available nutrition, which I have trialed and used extensively in training. Winners gels, bars and Endura electrolyte replacement fluid. roughly something every 30 minutes and fluid every 15 minutes. Its simple and no-nonsense approach.
I remember a coach recently put on social media a simple rule for his athletes to follow “don’t do anything stupid” which summarises my approach very eloquently. I frequently ask myself, is there anything I could be doing right now to ensure my success into the future. Now obviously on race day that future only extends to the finish line, but it remains a very common thought during the race and a go to mantra when I’m hurting!
My training has me well prepared, I have not achieved the 6 monthly volumes I did before Cairns, but I am happy with the base I have generated in 2017 and where I have progress to during this period! There is always self-doubt and reason to question your training, but in reality they serve no purpose, all I need to do now is trust the plan, trust the process and execute my race plan. Swimming 105km, cycling 4,314km and running 459km in 6 months is nothing to be sneezed at. That’s a total of 240 hours banked in preparation for this single day event! That’s right on my 10 hours per week goal. I am a 10 hour per week Ironman!
As you can also see in the above summary of training I am inching closer to my annual goals on the bike, but will fall short on the run. C’est la vie, injuries have hampered the running this year and will result in a review and re-program for 2018. This is it for 2017 and truth be told it cannot come around quick enough, I just want this race to be over. I’m looking forward to a relaxed Christmas break and planning the way forward with my family into 2018. Stay tuned on the social media channels for updates.
I am traveling without my family this weekend, so there won’t be any updates during the race, but the tracker will be live on Sunday morning and some ways to follow my progress are as follows. I’m athlete number 980!
Ironman Live is a website that on sunday morning will activate and you can track my progress by name or athlete number.
There is also a phone app that has athlete tracking and updates available at the following link. The app lets you search by athlete name or club.
If you ever have any questions please reach out, I’m only a message away.
If you’re not active at the moment & need some inspiration, follow me on Strava, Instagram and like my facebook page and let’s get back out there swim, bike or running. Make sure you subscribe so you never miss a blog post from me! The biggest regret we can have in life is to not TRI!
Till next time build consistency, keep smiling and live to Tri!