Posted by FLATOUT JIM in Ford Ironman Florida
I met a fellow athlete at Masters last night who is headed to Panama City Beach on Monday. He told me he ran across my blog, and searched out my report from 2006 Florida.
So it got me in a Ironman Florida kinda mood, and I decided to reflect a little, and think about race day, and as a result I came up with a short list of what I thought I did right, and what I would do different next time.
What I think I did right
1. Clean dry socks in my run special needs bag.
A good move and really made a difference, even though I still ended up with bad blisters. I also changed at the beginning of the run.
2. Solid Nutrition and hydration plan.
Every 15 minutes. ½ bottle sports drink, ½ bar with ½ bottle water, ½ bottle sports drink, gel with ½ bottle water. The only drawback was after 6.5 hours on the bike, I was sick of powerbars and Gatorade. See number 4 below.
3. Walk the aid stations.
Stop and hydrate. Worked very well. I managed 10 minute miles including the stop for the first 4 miles.
4. Solid food on the run for first 10k. Watered down Gatorade for the send 20k. Chicken Broth for the last 10k.
This goes hand in hand with the last item. Walking lets your Heart rate drop, and allows you to handle food better.
5. 10 minute miles until the blisters forced me to walk more than I wanted.
6. Enjoy the scenery.
Anyone matching my pace will be entering the park at about sunset on the first loop of the run. It is awesome.
7. Find some chick with a nice ass who is running about your pace, and stay behind her as long as you can.
Don’t try to be a macho man and waste energy by showing off and racing by her at the next aid station. You may use more energy than you can afford AND you may be disappointed by the view of the front. What can I say. I am a guy, and It’s Ironman. Everything goes.
What I’d do different
1. Ditch the speed laces.
Excessive movement inside my shoe was the number one cause of my blisters. I was thinking the elastic would help with foot swelling over the course of the run, but I miscalculated. Next time, I’ll tie em down.
2. Get a bike fit.
A little late for anyone doing this years race, but in the future, remember, you have to be comfortable. I like my position now on my Slice, as well as my profile air stryke tri saddle, but it would be worth at least having an experienced coach look at my position and see if there is room for improvement.
3. Wear a good pair of cycling shorts, take the time to change into them in the tent.
I saw guys strip right down to nothing and put on a pair of bib shorts. At Ironman Newfoundland 70.3 I tried slipping a pair of bike shorts over my tri shorts, but I think it would be better to have a high quality chamois next to my skin if I am going to be in the saddle for 5 to 7 hours.
4. Bring some of my own food.
Don’t underestimate the power of variety. Like I said above, after 7 hours of Gatorade and powerbars, you are ready to up-chuck. Some ideas, salted baked potato slices, bread or bagels, potatoe or corn chips, even a different flavour of Gatorade.
5. Make sure I have water and gels available for T1.
I forgot mine on race morning. I knew there would be lots on the course, but I was wrong to assume there would be lots at transition before the race. I couldn’t even get a bottle of water. I would have been better off going back to the hotel and getting what I had prepared.
6. Check chain, gears, and set computer in transition.
I didn’t. my chain came off in transition, and I had to fool around with resetting my computer. I have never made that mistake since.
To all heading to Panama City Beach, Good luck Wish I were going. Have fun.