Ironman New Zealand Race Review

NZ08-Finish

I am very pleased with my Ironman New Zealand race. It felt like one of my better executed races with all disciplines evening paced and I felt strong throughout the run. Here are some of my initial thoughts on the race.

The picture is me seconds after crossing the line. I’ve no idea why I was looking like that. I was pleased with my time but no over the moon.

Pre Race

Felt very calm. Loads of visualization helped me stay focussed throughout the race. The groin problems I think probably helped and encouraged me to really focus on swim and bike and see what happened on the run. Improvements can still be made with my diet in the final weeks before a race. This time I managed on the whole to eat healthily but I still feel I overate and for sure I put on a fair bit of weight by the time I raced.

Swim

Starting to feel like I’m getting good at this now. Totally willing to get into the thick of it at the start. My attitude has changed as I feel confident that I can swim hard enough at the start to avoid trouble and then must aim to get into a strong pack. Looking at the splits the packs formed as follows. Lead swimming in in just over 45 minutes, 2nd in just under 46 minutes. Then pack of 6 pro’s finishing in between 47 and 47:30. Then pack of 20 or so (including me) finishing in 49-50. Pretty clear that the top age groupers formed up with the second set of pros. Since the pro’s started about 10m or so infront would be pretty difficult for Age groupers to get onto the front group. Swim is where it needs to be. Must aim for similar swims in future races.

T1

Quicker than expected. Nearly tripped over myself as entered the tent as I was running so fast.

Bike

Going out on the bike I was really focussed. Coming along lake terrace I think I may have even shouted “Come ON !! Hit it” out loud. I certainly thought it. I nailed the first lap. Second lap was tough as wind picked up but maintained my position. Nutrition wise I only ate half of what I had with me – just didn’t feel like eating it. Considering in germany of just going with the food available since this time I supplemented with bananas from the feeds stations and found them much more palatable.

T2

Very quick again. No messing about at all, ran smooth and was quicker than hoped for even after having to put skins on (physios advice to protect the groin) over wet legs.

Run

Groin may have helped. Held back on pace and ended up feeling comfortable throughout. Middle section of run was fastest. Feel given a more confident start to the run and proper final weeks of running this would be quite a few minutes quicker based on current training. Fills me with confidence for where I can get my running for the summer and for Kona.

Things to focus on in next race:

1. Bike nutrition. Need to be more formal testing what is palatable when at race pace.

2. Like to find 10 minutes on the bike. This is a dilemma. Seeing the guys go by me I feel I need to do more shorted harder sessions to get more umph. But if I compare to Lanzarote where I cycled better and look at the training before hand. For New Zealand I was doing more hard riding (Thursday mornings hard intervals plus harder steady riding at weekends) but I did no over-distance riding (ahead of Lanzarote I did lots of over distance riding).

3. Feeling confident about going a lot faster on the run. Want to try and get some more long run weeks in but also get some focussed speedwork. Think for next race, provided preparations have gone well, will look to  set off a little harder on the run.

4. Swim – continue with 3 club coached sessions. Supplement with another session once in a while. Work on surging during steady state swimming to mimic bridging gaps and covering surges in the group.

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