If you read my last post, Finally The ChelanMan Half Ironman Story , then you know that I completed the event, but it wasn’t my greatest experience.
I guess I shouldn’t have been too upset, because this was only my 2nd triathlon. I just expect to do a good job every time.
I thought it would be a good idea to write a follow up post about what I learned, and how I’m going to change my approach for the next Ironman event.
So here we go!
The first issue was with the swim. Two things happened here…
First, I tried using ear plugs for the first time, and I wouldn’t advise trying anything for the first time during an event. This was a disaster!
Second, was not warmed up enough before the swim, and as a result, my body was not converting oxygen into energy properly at the start of the race.
For the next event I’m not going to use ear plugs. I tried using them because I get a little dizzy when I exit the water, but I’m coming to realize that’s not because of the water in my ears. Or maybe it is, but it’s not worth the disorientation of wearing ear plugs.
Also, I’m going to either go out much slower, or do about a 400 meter warm up before the race.
My next event is the Ironman Canada, and I think I’m going to just go out slower, and let my body warm up before starting to really crank up the swimming tempo.
You should also know that I have only been swimming in races for a year, so if you have more experience with swimming you might be able to go hard without as much warm up as I need.
The Third issue was, the back pain while on the bike. Because of the dynamic arrow position that a triathlon bike puts you in, your back is flexed the whole time. And that isn’t very comfortable, (especially since I have a good posture off the bike).
To combat the lower back pain, I’m going to implement an ibuprofen-loading sequence starting 2 days before the event and continuing through race day (before the start, and during the bike). I’m also going to be stretching my lower back for extended periods of time, every other day until the event, to get my back used to being in a flexed position, which I’m rarely in right now.
My forth and final issue during the ChelanMan Half Ironman was… stomach cramping (or emptying…) due to the many endurance gels that I consumed during the event.
I have no doubt that I needed the amount of nutrition that I consumed, but I need to figure out an alternative to gels. I NEVER consume sugar like that during my training, and in fact I never go long enough in my training with the CrossFit Endurance to ever need nutrition during training.
During my ultra marathons I alternate gel consumption with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and bananas (which works great), so for Ironman Canada I’m going to pack PB&J sandwiches into my transition bags. (I should also mention that I used mostly Hammer Perpetuem during my ride which worked well and I’ll do again for Ironman Canada.)
Every athlete’s body reacts a little bit differently, so I don’t know if you’re going to react the same way that I did in my Half Ironman event, but I hope that you can learn a bit from my experience and crush your races and training.
If you have questions, let me hear them. Type them below or email me at [email protected].
Now get outside and have fun by working hard! 🙂