25 November 2017

Ironman Arizona Race Report 2017 (part 2)

Feel free not to read!
When you finish a race you have certain views/impressions of how it went. If you take another serious look a few days later, after you’ve been able to reflect on it, tell people about it, and even talk to other racers or at least read their reports, you can sometimes gain a different, more valuable perspective. Your understanding of things may change or you may remember something important that was lost in the afterhours, or aftermath, of your race. Here’s mine – some new, some the same.

·      Get a bike fit. I was uncomfortable a lot during the ride. I’ve had some bike issues over the months and I think things were out of adjustment. My back hurt enough that I was out of aero position for at least ½ of the ride. Usually it’s aero 95%. Sit bones also hurt, which is unusual for me after doing this for 10 years.
·      Solve/prevent the back issue with whatever manipulations, strength training, and consistent work is required.
·      Strengthen the hip abductors and adductors with functional movements.
·      Strengthen neck and upper back to maintain longer aero position. (More planks and other movements on the Swiss Ball.) Improve flexibility. (Wall Angels; https://www.active.com/fitness/articles/4-exercises-to-improve-your-aero-position)
·      Seek ways to UNcomplicate things during the race. I generally do that but things evolve and change from year to year.
·      Follow thru on my transition plan. I neglected to read my ‘cue card’ and so I left some nutrition behind and didn’t apply chafe-preventing chamois crème.
·      Rehearse transitions with everything I’ll be using.
·      Get back to the NON-STOP long rides.
·      “Harden Up” - add even more and/or longer ‘race intensity’ efforts during final 8 weeks of training, especially during latter parts of long rides and runs. It’s better preparation for race day, physically AND mentally.
·      Return to some shorter, higher intensity, rides and runs in the early season
·      Recommit to consistent strength training.
·      Add in some rowing machine work to switch things up during the offseason.
·      Work hard on swim stroke technique, especially during the early part of year. I am a slower swimmer these days and part of that could be technique related.
·      Tell my support crew and friends what I think I want them to say to me on the run. “Looking good” from a stranger is fine but not from a close supporter. Do you want to know times, splits, numbers, current place, etc.? Are there things they can remind me of that I forget, like form or technique cues, or goal for the next mile, or nutrition status? Give them my phrases or my “Why” that I need to be reminded of. Tell them to remind me!
·      Have a checklist for exactly what to do once I arrive in transition on race morning.
·      Use the “paper bag under the race top” trick if weather is cold to start the bike.

·      Interact with random spectators and thank volunteers – be grateful.
  So I've signed up for TWO Ironman races in 2018: Ironman Chattanooga on September 30 and Ironman Arizona 6 weeks later and to do them as part of Team Challenge. Would you consider donating to help find cures for Crohn's and ulcerative colitis? http://online.ccfa.org/goto/skipslade
      Chattanooga will be my "A" race but I'm hoping to hold onto fitness and be able to have a good race in Arizona on minimal training. It will be a new and interesting challenge.

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