Ironman70.3 Goa - Oct 19 - Race Report

Race information

  • What? Ironman 70.3 Goa
  • When? October 20, 2019
  • How far? 113km (1.9km swim, 90k cycle, 21.1k run)
  • Website? https://www.ironman.com/im703-goa

Goals

Goal Description Completed?
A Sub 6:15hr No
B Strong Bike Yes
C Get Nutrition Right YES

Race Preparation

Goa 70.3 was just 2 months after my Full IM in Copenhagen (Aug ‘19) . IM CPH was a disappointing race, as I was not too happy with my performance in the bike section.

So for the next two months, I decided to focus primarily on nailing the bike leg. My limitation in CPH was unable to hold the aero position. So, I made some adjustments in the bike - replaced aero bars with newer, more comfortable aero bars and got more hands on experience. Soon I saw improvements with my speed averaging to 30+ average on a few rides. Coming to the race, I was feeling strong for the bike and I was confident of getting a good time on the bike.

My strategy for goa was to complete the swim in ~45min, then 3:15 for the bike, 2:15 for the run. 6:30 was my goal, with 6:15 being an ambitious goal.

My nutrition strategy was ~150 calories per hour and proper electrolytes. As I’m fairly fat adapted, I only needed to top up muscle glycogen to keep my blood sugar up while racing. As this was not my A race, I could afford to experiment and see body’s response. During the training too, I was doing well for 3 hour workout with just pre-workout coffee and electrolytes during the workout.

Pre-Race Days

This Goa 70.3 race was a special race for many reasons. This is the first ever Ironman event being hosted out of India. Triathlon is a very fast growing sport in India. 96% of the participants were Indians, and whooping 84% were FIRST TIMERS!!!

There were nervous jitters all around, particularly on the swim aspects. Swimming is not a very common sport in India.
P.S: I also learnt swimming AFTER I signed up for my first half ironman.

Two days before the race, I went for a practice swim with Anubhav and Rohin. The water was choppy but I had a good relaxed time in the sea. This is the first time I didn’t panic in the sea. I don’t know what was the difference was, nevertheless I had a good swim.

Rad Gang doing swim session

It was fun to go to expo and catch up with many triathletes friends.

At the expo entry
Finding the name
Radstrong Briefing session
Rahul - Always smiling
Rad Gang!

Swim [1.9km]

The Race Day was finally here. Getting up at 4am, I had a light breakfast - 4 Scrambled Eggs and Coffee with Butter.

After reaching the race venue, I filled air in the bike, fixed water bottles, mounted Garmin Edge and laid down stuff for two transitions T1 and T2.

Soon it was announced that start was delayed by 30”. I used that time to click selfies with friends - best way to distract and not think about the race.

Me with my trusted bike
Bhavesh - The stylish one
Maitreyi - Solid Runner
Anubhav - my IM Partner
Rad Boys
T1 - Lot of Nervous Energy Around

The swim was a self-seeded start swim, with 4 athletes released to get in the water every 6 seconds. It was a 2 loop swim. The water at the start was not too deep, with 100m of walk before one could swim.

I self-seeded myself in 40-45min group. About 2 min after the first athlete entered the water, I entered the water.

First loop was easy. The sea was very choppy wth strong waves. I stayed close to the ropes, so less sighting to be done.

Towards the end of loop, water became very shallow. Everyone had to stop and walk almost 150m. This was a huge waste of time.

First loop was done in 26min.

Second loop was almost identical - choppy water, with walking towards the end.

Total Time: 52min Total Swim done: 2200m Strava Link

Nutrition: Nothing

T1

It was a 500m walk from swim exit to the T1. I quickly reached T1, wore tri top, shoes and left for road. A volunteer pointed out that I’ve forgotten to wear helmet. I had to rush back and get helmet. I was laughing at my haste :)

Total Time: 7min

Cycle [90km]

The bike course was 3 loops of 30km each. Each loop has two steep elevations, with one being a 10% gradient.

My ride started easy. But immediately, I faced a technical snag. I realized my aero bars were undone and were completely loose. This was a surprise, as just a day before I did route recee, and checked everything including aero bars. I still do not know how come they were undone. My guess was someone fiddled with them while the bike was parked overnight. Anyways, I had no time or thoughts to waste on that matter and gathered my mind to focus in rectifying the bars and moving on with the race.

I did first loop while hanging on the drop bar. My bottle fell off during the ride. Not a good start to my ambitious bike leg.

After the first loop, I stopped bike at an aid station and shouted for Allen Key number 4. The mechanic came running, and quickly fixed it.

Intense look. See the aero bars
Climbing the badass incline

First 30km came in 62min. Second in 65min, and third took 62min. It was overall a very consistent effort on the bike. I finished with overall average of 28.4kmph, which is not bad for the course and wasted time due to aero bar issue.

Total Time: 3hr 9min

Strava Link Nutrition: Gel every hour. Precision Hydration Salt capsule every hour.

T2

I was feeling good on finishing the bike ride. I quickly changed in my Vibrams and went off.

Total Time: 5.5min

Nutrition: Nothing

Run [21.1km]

The sun was out in the complete glory by the time I started running. Running was a 7km loop, so had to be done 3 loops.

I was a bit stiff in the first 500m, but then legs opened up and I could maintain easy pace of 6:30min/km. First 7km was done in 46.5min. Starting second loop, I started to fatigue a bit. I took my first gel here and salt capsules. At the first loop end, I met another Radstrong friend and we decided to run together.

Second 7km was done again in 46min. During this time, fatigue was settling. I was dosing myself with water and ice at every aid station. The volunteer crowd was really good. They were cheering us at every sight. When you are tired, then any motivation is most welcome.

Third loop, while tough, was mentally less daunting. With every passing km, it was one km close to the end.

Final loop was done in 48min, with last km done at pace of 5:30. It was done!!

End time: 2hr 19min

Strava Link : https://www.strava.com/activities/2802529248

Nutrition: 2 gels + coke every aid station

Total Time: 6 hr 35min

Post Race

It was a good race. Swim was a bit of disappointment, but I executed bike and run well. It was a hot day and tough route and I’m glad of overall performance.

Later, I discovered that I got 19th position in my Age Group, missed World Championship Qualification by 5min. I’m now determined to go back next year and nail it.

Happy with bike and the nutrition. I had only 5 gels and lot of salt caps, and nowhere I went low on the energy.

BC Tri Gang
Parul - The Soul Runner
Poonam - What an energy cheering us all! This lady was relentless.
Deepak - The Man who bought IM to India
Mandatory Finish Line Pic

Till next race, then!

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