2023 Ironman World Championships – Nice, France

This was a great opportunity and wonderful experience, I qualified through a roll down slot from Ironman Texas in April. From a results experience it was not exactly what I planned, but what I earned on the day.

Race Report

Race Strategy

Need to have melatonin night before.
Goal time: 1:05Planning to swim around 1:30 pool paceProbably going to be wetsuit legal (not guaranteed)Not wetsuit legal, used swim skin, worked well.Actual time: 1:07, was a good pace and felt smooth and manageable, but not crazy. Probably could have pushed a little harder but took a minute to settle in from the mass start, maybe at around 300 – 400m then found some open water and swam “normally”. I was able to focus on my technique and really enjoyed myself. Had a couple minor issues with my goggles letting salt water in. A couple guys passed me on the last leg and followed as long as I could. No HR data for some reason 🙁Goggles again … try more? vision was great. just not the water coming in. Need to push and swim harder. I dont need my arms for the bike or the run …Putting backup sodium tabs in tri suit  in zip lock at the start!!
Goal Time: 0:07Actual around 4 mins.Found bags easy and no issue besides my sodium tablets (backup for the bike and primary sodium source for the run) fell out of my trisuit. Only realized on the bike.No issue finding my bike or bags. Was smooth otherwise.I need a backup to the backup for a critical item like sodium. It’s the only thing I need which I cant get from off the course. Next time I need sodium tabs in my bike bag and run bag or directly on my bike.
Goal Time: 5:506 miles false flatMile 6 – 20.4 Climb – 2,000ft ClimbMile 25 – 37 Climb – 3,500ft ClimbMile 37 – 53 Up and down – 1,500ft ClimbingMile 76 – 83.5 Climb – 1,600ft ClimbFirst 20 miles in around 1:12:00 mins – Avg Power of 205WComplete 11.5 mile Climb in around 1:10 – Avg Power of 235WTop of Big Climb @ 2:33 = 37 milesMile 37 to mile 75 @ 1:58 = 38 milesStart of final climb = +- 4:25 – 4:40 … = 37 milesI didnt get to recon the bike course, so it was 100% unknown, which in some ways was nice. Looking back, there was nothing I really needed to know. The descent was tricky in a couple spots which forced me to maybe slow more than I needed, but riding or driving it would not have changed how I rode it. May have saved 2 – 3 mins max.There were really big groups on the bike especially the climbs, it was OK since we were not really in aero. The larger cassette was really useful on some of the steep sections near the start. I was able to maintain a good power output and not be in the red.Unfort. my best bike split numbers did not show up as expected on my Garmin, so I rode blind in terms of power targets for the climbs and just tried to ride around 80% on the steeper sections and less on the easy hills and flats. Overall my legs felt decent climbing and the power was manageable. I lost a bottle around mile 60 ish which wasnt perfect, but had backup sodium sources and just used course water.Stopping took around 1 – 2 mins for the supporters to find my bag.The descents were fun and I was cautious, there were quite a few crashes and ambulances/police flying past us. I passed a few people and a few people passed me, but overall I rather wanted to be safe than save a minute or two.Aero bike was key, there were a few riders which I was leap frogging with from the climbs and then I would pass them back on the flat faster sections. Would not change anything bike setup wise. Do need to move my saddle further back and maybe a touch higher, and maybe arms further forward to get some more space.I should have taped a power target sticker to the top tube in case my Garmin didnt work! The mile markers/aide station were helpful, but power was needed and I rode blind in terms of targets.I need to go to a concentrated sodium bottle and pickup water from the course. Much faster than stopping and less effort from a Power to Weight ratio  (seems like around  1.5 mins for stopping)
Goal Time: 0:06Easy transition from bike to run. Actual time around 4 mins.
Goal Time: 3:30Targeting an average pace of around 8:00 min/miles, hoping to start around 7:50 for lap 1, and most likely/expecting to positive split down to around 8:10.Run Pacing References:7:30 min/mi = 3:167:45 min/mi = 3:238:00 min/mi = 3:298:15 min/mi = 3:368:30 min/mi = 3:42Ran around 7:40 and that felt absolutely easy for the first 9 odd miles, easy HR of around 153, and within the span of (what felt like) 10 mins started bonking. I took in a sodium gel around mile 4 and drank water just about every mile. Around that 9 mile park, I didnt feel dehydrated or even like I was going to cramp, my HR was in the 135’s, just literally no energy to run. Walked alot and jogged a little to keep moving forward. One foot in front of the other. Didnt feel great and around mile 10 tried to started sipping red bull and tried nibbling on gels. I started feeling OK again around mile 16? I think and even though I was running slow, I knew I could at least limp my way in. Also started eating oranges for the first time ever which was a nice change on the pallate, I was at the “try anything” point.Jan Frodeno passed me on the run coming toward the finish (I still had a couple laps) and all the fans were going crazy so that was a nice positive experience. When I realized I had about 3 or so miles to go I put in a small dig to see how many people I could pass on my way to the line knowing I could empty the tank and still finish without needing to walk.Overall, the run course was tough, 4 laps, quite hot, out and back, the crowds were awesome, lots of water, everything was OK, so no excuses, just not a great run for me (again). For those first 9 miles I was convinced I was going to run a 7:40 – 7:50 without a shadow of a doubt😞 Man that ended quickly, I should know better that when you are feeling the best, something is coming! I just didnt expect it that quickly 🙂I need a better fueling plan for the run … Less more frequently seems like a better approach.100mg sodium every 3 miles + 3 (+- 30ml sips) cups of water every aid station?Or should have stuck with my own bottle with sodium as well.
Total Time~ 10:38Actual 11:10

Race Nutrition, Hydration

On course nutrition:Plan:Actual:
Carb load, sodium night before, and morning of race.Carb loaded leading up to race, carb specific from about 3 days out.
General plan was DIY gel mixed with sodium on Bike and Run, and Sodium Gels x 2 on Run in case.Used PF 300g Flow Gel because there was no decent pot to boil gel/water in at Airbnb, and not my own DIY gel, also separated Gel from Sodium per Precision hydration consultation. Used Salt Chews, but lost them😞
Swim – Planned 1:05, actual 1:07
Swim StartGel @ 7:10 before startTop up glycogen storesDone, took PF Gel and felt fine about 15mins before swim
Bike – planned time around ~ 5:50 Ride time, actual 6:07Target ~ 100g carbs , 700ml water & 1000mg Sodium p/h.1 x 500ml Aero bottle with 400g Carbs (+ 5000mg sodium) 1 x 700ml Water bottle for first 1 hour, rotate water from Aid station at Mile 15, 30, 45, 66, 78, 90, 103) Hour 0 – 1: 100g Gel Hour 1 – 2: 1 x Sodium Clif Chews (46g CHO) + 60g Gel Hour 2 – 1 x Sodium Clif Chews (46g CHO) + 50g Gel Hour 3 – 4: 1 x Sodium Clif Chews (46g CHO) + 50g Gel Hour 4 – 5: 90g Gel Hour 5 – 6: 70g Gel 1 SIS Sodium Gel 20 mins before end +- Mile 105. Drank +- 5 Bottles of Sodium from big bottles, stopped at Personal Needs station to switch, took +- 1 – 2 mins. Lost one sodium bottle which was nearly full from front cage. Need to add an elastic like the back ones!Drank water from course which worked well.Ate some sodium chews and 3 x caffeine chews but didnt taste great. Maybe skip?Drank remainder of Gel near end of ride consumed +- 450 – 500g Gel carbs and +- 100g of Chews. = around 550g – 600g of carbs for the ride. 97g p/h.
Run – 3:30 Run time, actual 3:47Target ~ 70g carbs, 500ml water & 1000mg Sodium p/hFelt great for the first 1 hour or so, then quickly felt like I was bonking. Didnt feel like eating and just almost instant loss of energy and legs. Took water / ice most? all? aid stations. Took first sodium SIS gel around 40 mins and then used Maurten.Sipped some Red Bull, seemed OK. Tried to use my backup TicTac container for Sodium but just messed everywhere in my trisuit 😞 Not good. Try base salt or salt chews next, or even capsules.Actual gel consumption, 2 x SIS Sodium gels, 2 x Maurten gels … = +- 100g!!! of carbs. Not nearly enough?Some sodium came from LMNT tictac containerWater from aid stations, didnt feel like I needed more water. Was concerned about drinking too much without adequate sodium.