2023 Ironman 70.3 – North Carolina

A small improvement from 2022 and a (13.1 – Half Marathon) Run PR which I am pretty happy about.

Race Notes

Race Morning4:45AM StartBreakfast was Oats and Half BagelSmall coffee+- 500ml of Water with NuunsDrop off at T1 around 5:30amShould have arrived 20 mins earlier, got on the bus around 6:15am which felt a little rushedStood around at Swim start, ate gel.
Swim~ 0:27:000:33:35 (7:12AM) – 59th in 40 – 44 🙁
Planning to swim around 1:25 “pool” pace – 80%Probably going to be wetsuit legal (not guaranteed)Hydration/Nutrition15 min before Swim Start:GelHopped in the water, pushed a couple hundred yards to get going and felt good, but after 300 – 400 yards already started having tired/sore traps. Not sure why, I felt my technique was good, sighting was no problem. Just not sure why my arms/upper body were tired. Didnt feel this the day before at the warm up swim (I didnt push the warm up swim at all). No leaking goggles for the first race ever! Yes!Took a while to get in the water from the timing mat? +- 2 mins, does that count?Maybe I need to warm up my arms/traps before the swim – maybe use a band? Need to try this in some work outs. Maybe I didn’t put my wetsuit on properly? Usually I pull up my sleeves a lot, maybe I got distracted and didn’t do this?
T1~ 0:05:004:44
Went OK, got a thorn in my foot on the grass, was hoping it would dislodge, but had to stop and take it out. Decided to wear arm sleeves to keep me warm. Took a couple seconds to put them on, but think it was worth it being chilly. Elastics on shoes worked fine, but took a second or two to get my feet in and locked down.
Bike~ 02:16:0002:24:06
Ride @ ~ 245WHydration/NutritionHour 0 – 1:15 of bike:1 x 950ml bottle120g of carbs1000mg SodiumHour 1:15 – 2:30 of bike:1 x 950ml bottle110g of carbs1000mg SodiumBackup:Water from courseSodium from salt chews on bike (20 chews = 1000mg!)Take in Sodium Gel 20 mins before end of bikeAvg Power – 214WNormalized – 224WCDA – 0.2817FYI: 2022 – 0:02:26 – Avg – 202, Norm – 211W, CDA – 0.246Drank around 850ml Liquid + 750mg SodiumDidnt even touch my 2nd bottle, temps were cool and was not sweating much, I didnt get a single drop of sweat in my helmet visor. So this might have been enough. Also didnt feel thirsty.Did not like the Precision Hydration Sodium packs on this day.Consumed +- 220g of Carbs from Aero bottle which had around 100mg SodiumSince I was not pushing the targeted power, I think this was OKDecided not to take a gel toward the end, felt I had enough from my carb bottleUsed bottle with water in chestChallenge 1: In terms of power, was using the 240 – 245W as a target on the bike, but after around 30 minutes started getting some muscle stiffness/pain/cramping in only my left VMO? (Oblique?) in my prepping a couple days before, I noticed I had a loose cleat, adjusted it slightly and tightned them down and almost instantly knew this was the cause. I just managed the effort, and again didnt really ride to my full target power as much as a wanted to.Challenge 2: Sorry if this is TMI!!! Around Mile 30 was getting uncomfortable needing to take a bio break, and spent at least 20 mins trying to go at any downhill opportunity but its such a flat course, that didnt really happen, eventually got it down and felt great again! I think next time if it is a flat course I might just actually use a port a jon, I think I lost a lot of time free wheeling and it may have been quicker to actually just stop. It took a long time to catch back up to the folks I was riding around (Mike Roberts was one of them). Coasting was 6 minutes. Probably more than half was for this process. So maybe stopping would have been quicker.Need new sodium source, nuun maybe? Might be easier to burp🙂Why is my cadence high? Is there a discrepancy between my trainer and bike?I feel like I can hit the needed Watts at a higher cadence. It does come with a higher HR, but I perceive it as slightly easier.Maybe I need to focus on strength this off-season.
T2~ 0:02:000:02:40
Was a little slow on the uphill dismountWas a little slow putting on my hat, glasses and run beltWindy so some of my stuff blew around and needed to put it into the bags.
Run~ 01:29:0001:28:24
6:30 -> 6:50 PaceHydration/NutritionWater every stationGel from run bottle – 1 big sip every 3 or so miles = 25g CHO + 125mg Sodium – Need to drink at least 125ml waterBackup: Salt Tabs in Suit = 50mg Sodium – Take 2 every 3 miles + 1 Gel + at least 100ml waterHad water from most aid stationsdrank gel from flask every 2 or so milesProbably had around 60g of carbs, 250mg sodium+ 3 sodium chews = 150mg
Probably the best part of this race for me. Finally hit a target/goal which I was aiming for.Just tried to stick around 6:50 avg min/mile paceMy oblique was a little tight from the ride as mentioned
Total Time~ 04:23:0004:33:28
Overall, was happy with the outcome. Didnt hit my goal time again, and it seems like the biggest contributor to that was my swim ( + 4 or 5 mins) and my bike ( + 6 – 8 mins).  5th place in my AG and my goal was to try to get 3rd, that would have required another 8 mins and much closer to my goal time.A good thing: I decided to ride to power, and run to pace and effort vs worrying about my HR. First race I have done this after some feedback from you after Texas. I think this took me to a new level of trust in my fitness which is a small but important win going forward.I did get a roll down slot to NZ which was my one of my goals for this race, although I was 4 seconds in front of 6th! so got lucky 🙂