Rishi's blog

IM70.3 (DIT-2018) Race Report

Race information

Goals

Goal Description Completed?
A Finish Yes
B Sub 7:30hr Yes
C Get Nutrition Right Yes

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Pre Race

This was my 3rd Half Ironman distance. I’ve raced this route last year, so I knew what to expect from the route and logistics (parking, transition zones etc)

BIB Collection was planned for 16th and 17th Feb. I wanted to keep 17th Feb completely free, so collected the BIB on 16th evening itself.

Saturday afternoon was spent organizing my race kit. I opened my phone, launched google tasks app where I’ve saved my Ironman Checklist. I organized stuff into 4 piles, as per the race transition - Pre-Swim stuff, T1 (Swim->Bike transition), T2 (Bike->Run), and post-event change of clothes. Once done, I packed everything in the car. I didn’t leave any packing for the morning. This gives me a peace of mind. Mentally settled, I went to bed around 10:30 PM.

Sunday, 18th Feb, was the event day. This year start was at 5 am, an hour earlier than last year.

I got up at 3:15 am. Got ready, had water and banana, and left for the venue. Reaching Venue, I went directly to the transition area and laid down the stuff. The weather was nice. I knew it will get hot by the time run will start.

Race Strategy

For the last few months, Office work had been very hectic, and I didn’t get much time to train. This was my most under-prepared race.
To give an idea of under-training - From Oct to Feb, I got only 3 swimming sessions, and 6-7 bike rides. Running was the only aspect on which I’ve worked.

I decided to play conservative, and re-use goals from last year - 60 min swim, 3:30 hr Bike, 2:30 hr Run, and 10 min of each transition.

Swim [1.9km - 59min]

The swim was in SPM Indoor pool, 38 laps of the 50mts pool. I was assigned Pool2, Lane1 - sharing with 4 other athletes.

The swim started at 5 am, my name was called out at 5:05 am. I ran to the pool, saw 2 other athletes jumping in the pool. I paused for 30 seconds, let some distance come between me and other two, and slowly started to swim. Water temperature was nice, the pool was familiar. I tried bilateral breathing but didn’t feel relaxed with it, so decided to stick to right side breathing. I slowly picked the pace, overtook each athlete one by one. The swim was easy, nothing remarkable - I swam comfortably, and didn’t push much (none in fact). I finished it in an hour and came out of the pool at 6:05 am.

Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/1413762389

T1 [7 min]

Last year, my exit from the pool was a clumsy effort. This year, thankfully it was smooth. I quickly came out, ran to the transition area. The floor was wet, and I almost slipped.

I had my clothes lined up. I grabbed the towel, quickly dried myself, wore cycling shorts, tee, jacket, and socks. As with all my previous events, I was going to cycle in sandals. In my past races, I’ve realized that as the time is limited, rinsing head quickly doesn’t dry it completely, and the combination of damp hair and morning wind on the bike would make me sneeze. So this time I chose to wear my wool buff as the head scarf. A good decision!! We live and learn!

I took about 7" in this transition. Little better than last time.

Cycle [90km - 3:36hours]

For cycling, it was 10 loops of 9.4km each. There was a timing mat to count all the loops. But everyone was responsible to keep a mental count of the loop - it is not so easy when the mind is getting foggy due to tiredness. This time there was no u-turn in the route, which was supposed to help with the speed.

It was still dark when I started to cycle (around 6:20 am). The weather was comfortable. Immediately after the loop start, there was a steep incline of 250mts - brutal, brutal!! Legs slowly opened up, and I maintained a steady pace of 25kmph.

When I was in the 3rd loop, a funny incident happened. I was on that incline leg, huffing and puffing through my way. Suddenly a group of cyclist overtook me, and then few more did that. They all looked so fresh. I was taken aback for a minute - I knew I was under-trained for the cycling, but not this bad that people would overtake me left, right and center. Then I saw their event tag and realized they were Olympics event participants, and have started bike leg just now! I grinned at myself on my internal panic and cycled on.

During all this, I was constantly on the lookout for Anubhav. Anubhav and I have been practicing together. He is still working on his swim, and a very strong cyclist and runner. He caught up with me during the 5th loop (He was 10’ behind in the swim leg). We both took our first break at 50km mark. I had an energy drink, banana and started to pedal again. Last 4 loops were a struggle, lack of practice was showing. Though I was trying to push hard, I couldn’t generate much power.

I finished my cycle close to 9:50 AM. When I was entering the stadium towards T2, I saw Anubhav in his running gear, about to start the run. I mentally calculated, he was about 5’ ahead now.

My total bike time was 3:38, 10" more than my last time. I was disappointed, but I pushed if off from my mind - this was not the time to analyze. I had to focus on the run segment.

Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/1412990584

T2 [#6 min]

This was a simple transition - remove gloves, sandals, helmet, wear running shoes, iPhone armband, eat a banana, and off I went. It was calm, and yet efficient.

Run [#21.1km - 2:36hours]

In the past months, my main effort has gone in running. I’ve been training with MAF method, which emphasis on the long slow run, close to your aerobic max heart rate. This not only increases the aerobic capacity but also adapts your body to burn fat as the preferred fuel. I’ve lost a lot of inches from tummy, without even trying And I was getting faster, so I knew this was working. My aerobic threshold is 141bpm. For this race, I’ve set the target of running <160bpm for the first 10km, <165bpm for next 5, and all out for the remaining 5km.

It was close to 10 am when I started to run. Legs were stiff in the first 3km, but then I expected this from the past experience. After 3km, legs opened up nicely. Run was good, consistent run, with less walking breaks. Luckily, I could execute it almost as planned - I ran good, felt comfortable, and was able to increase my pace during the last 5km.

I finished run leg in 2 hours 36min, which is 20 minutes improvement over my run from the last year. I was happy!

Finally, 3rd Half Ironman was done! Last one before I go for Full Ironman, on 3rd June Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/1413129449/

Overall time: 7hours 26 min.

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