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 blogand searched out my report from 2006 Florida.
So it got me in a Ironman Florida kinda moodand I decided to reflect a littleand think about race dayand as a result I came up with a short list of what I thought I did rightand 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 differenceeven 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 drink½ bar with ½ bottle water½ bottle sports drinkgel with ½ bottle water. The only drawback was after 6.5 hours on the bikeI 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 dropand 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 paceand 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 guyand 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 runbut I miscalculated. Next timeI’ll tie em down.
2. Get a bike fit.
A little late for anyone doing this years racebut in the futurerememberyou have to be comfortable. I like my position now on my Sliceas well as my profile air stryke tri saddlebut 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 shortstake 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 shortsbut 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 aboveafter 7 hours of Gatorade and powerbarsyou are ready to up-chuck. Some ideassalted baked potato slicesbread or bagelspotatoe or corn chipseven 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 coursebut 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 chaingearsand set computer in transition.
I didn’t. my chain came off in transitionand I had to fool around with resetting my computer. I have never made that mistake since.
To all heading to Panama City BeachGood luck Wish I were going. Have fun.