2017 Ironman Louisville Race Report

2017 Ironman Louisville Race Report

Been a while since I’ve done one of these because I’ve been doing the weekly videos instead.  I decided I’d do a race report that is a little more on the technical side.

Pre Race

My prep leading into Ironman Louisville was amazing.  As I eluded to in one of my videos, I did the best ever 4 week block on training in my life.  I got to Louisville Wednesday night, and Thursday I did a short brick workout.  I didn’t have a ton of pop in my legs, but the effort was coming easy.

Saturday I tried to do the practice swim, but there was a Breast Cancer walk going on in Louisville and I wasn’t able to get to the swim in time.  Not a big deal, but I would have liked to of gotten in the water before the race.

Race morning I was up just after 4.  I had a bagel with Cookie Butter and worked on some Gatorade.  I got to the race site around 5:45, pumped my tired, set up my nutrition, and was ready to go around 6:15.  I ended up eating a second bagel with Cooke Butter because I was a little hungry, and then had a donut (now a pre-race ritual) about 45 minutes before the start.

Swim

The swim start was a bit of a mess.  We were suppose to get into the water at 7:20, but they did the national anthem at 7:20, so it was closer to 7:22.  The race started at 7:23!  It was still pitch black out, and for the first few hundred meters I could feel a lot of contact but I couldn’t see anyone.  At this point I just tried to find space.

The swim is about 1.3k up stream, and then 2.5k downstream in the Ohio River.  This should have been a quick swim for me but it wasn’t.  I didn’t feel like I got into a good groove until about 2/3 of the way through and I got the sense I was well behind.  Also, my right hip flexor was bothering me in the swim.  Fortunately it didn’t persist throughout the day.  I did manage to find Matt Shanks, and we swam together for a lot of it.

Swim – 58:01 (28 of 37)

T1

Rolling through T2 I wasn’t surprised to see most of the bikes in the pro rack gone.  It was time to put my head down and go to work.

T1 – 3:20

Bike

I focused on just racing my own race.  Not chasing, not getting caught up in anyone else’s race, just being steady.  The Louisville course is a lollipop.  You have an out, do two loops, and come back.  The out and first loop were great.  I was riding well, on top of my nutrition, and feeling strong.  The course is always undulating and I could just focus on my power.  I was surprised at how spread out everyone seemed to be.  At Mont Tremblant the field was half the size, but it seemed like everyone was together moving forward/backwards in the field.  Here I was alone most of the time, and when I caught anyone they always seemed to be along two.

The second loop of the bike wasn’t nearly as fun.  The roads were really crowded with AGers starting their first loop.  Most of the race takes place on narrow 1 lane roads with rumble strips on both sides, so there was a ton of congestion.  Also, the roads were open to traffic, so cars were getting stuck or moving very slowly along these roads.  There was never a time on the second loop that I wasn’t passing other athletes, and it made for some very tense moments.

Early on in the second loop I had a minor mechanical problem.  I dropped my chain when I was going down a hill.  I was able to get it back on while still riding, but it was stuck in the small ring and was making a horrible clicking sound.  After 4-5k of fiddling with the derailleur as I rode it finally ‘fixed’ itself.  I’m not sure what the problem was or how it was fixed, but I was glad to keep moving.

The final 50k of the bike was into a pretty stiff headwind.  Around this time (3:30 into the bike) my power, and energy level, began to drop.  It was had to stay focused, and there were a couple strong gusts that were pretty demoralizing.  I didn’t fight it and let my power drop, hoping I’d gain a second wind.  The final 33k of the bike was the ‘back’ section, so I was relieved to have made it through the second loop.  I managed to catch 2 guys in the final 33k who I’m sure were feeling just as demoralized by the wind as I was.  I went through spurts where I held good power, and other times where it wasn’t go great.  I was happy to get back into Louisville and I was ready to get off my bike.

The goal for the bike was for me to hold a steady 245 watts.  I managed this throughout the first 3:30, but I had long segments in the last hour that were closer to 200-220W.

One big change for me nutritionally on the bike was taking salt pills.  I took one every 30 minutes.  This was in addition to about 1L of Gatorade Endurance per hour, and a 1/2 waffle every 15 minutes.  I stopped eating waffles at 3:30 and meant to take 2 gels in the final hour on the bike, but only took 1 (around 4:25) because my stomach was pretty full.

Bike – 4:37:20 (19 of 37), 239AP, 244NP STRAVA

T2

I was a little slow in T2.  i had trouble getting my shirt on.

T2 – 3:28

Run

This run would be made a heck of a lot easier by the fact that I was so far out of the places (top 6).  Right from my first step I focused on keeping my pace under control, my cadence high, and ensuring I got in proper nutrition.

I was a little stiff in the first mile, but quickly got into a rhythm.  Louisville is essentially 2 very long, straight out and backs.  It was starting to really heat up so in addition to Coke at aid stations I was also getting ice to put down my shorts.  I was taking salt on the run too, I took either 3 or 4 salt pills throughout the run.

The weather throughout the run was wild.  When I started running it was heating up, and got hot.  And then when I got to about 12k it suddenly got really cold and the wind picked up significantly.  Tents flew across the course, barricades came down, and a lot of trees lost their leaves.  The rain moved in as well, but it was only light, and didn’t last more than 30 minutes.  The temperature was significantly cooler for the rest of the run.

I crossed halfway in 1:32 and although my pace was slowing I was optimistic about a 3:05 marathon.  I got a boost seeing Steph and Robert, my homestay, out on the course cheering when I finished my first lap.  It wasn’t until about 28k or so when things started to get tough out there.  It seemed to take forever to get to the far turnaround, but I was happy to be running for home.  I did my best to stay in the moment and tick off kilometers.  I felt like I picked it up the final 5k, my splits say otherwise, but I did my best to finish strong.

Run – 3:07:35 (13 of 37) STRAVA

Overall – 8:49:54

Overall

All-in-all I was happy with this race.  It was really satisfying to learn from my mistakes at Ironman Mont Tremblant, and apply what I learned.  I felt better throughout the majority of the race, as well as after the race, than I’ve felt in any previous Ironman.  Going into the race I wasn’t chasing sub-9, but I’m glad that I got it.  It’s time for an offseason to recharge my batteries after a heck of a lot of racing in 2017.

I want to say a big thank you to everyone that supported me.  This includes my sponsors: Dare2Tri, Skechers Performance Canada, and Velofix Toronto.  Also, all the incredible homestays I’ve had throughout the season.  And everybody that has sent me messages of support, watched my videos, or given me advice/feedback throughout the year.  I’m really optimistic about what 2018 can have in store.

VLOG 34 – Ironman Lake Placid Race Recap

VLOG 34 – Ironman Lake Placid Race Recap

On Sunday I raced my first professional Ironman, Ironman Lake Placid. This is a race I’ve been wanting to do for a couple years. I’ve been to the area to train for the past 3 years and really enjoy it there. Race day turned out to be a very good day for me, I was happy with my splits across the board.

Swim: 59:57
Bike: 4:55:44
Run: 3:07:19
Overall: 9:07:54

Results: http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman/lake-placid/results.aspx#axzz4nZP2ZSw9

Supporters: Dare2Tri, Skechers Performance, Velofix Toronto

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danieljclarke/
Blog (and race reports): http://ifnotyouthenwho.ca/
Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/7329576
Email: daniel@krokadero.com

Music by: Bear Twists, “Under The Sun”, and Otis McDonals, “Behind
Closed Doors”.

VLOG 33 – Friday at Ironman Lake Placid

VLOG 33 – Friday at Ironman Lake Placid

Friday was a busy day in Lake Placid. I swam, went for a little spin, checked in, attended the pro meeting, stopped by the Bacon Meet N Greet, walked around the expo, and got to volunteer at the IronKids race. The plan was to get a lot done so that Saturday could be all about putting up my feet ahead of Sundays race.

Supporters: Dare2Tri, Skechers Performance, Velofix Toronto

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danieljclarke/
Blog (and race reports): http://ifnotyouthenwho.ca/
Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/7329576
Email: daniel@krokadero.com

Thanks to Shawn Mcleish, Lisa Goetz, and MultiSport Canada for the footage.

Music by: Bear Twists, “Under The Sun”, and Otis McDonals, “Behind
Closed Doors”.

IM Lake Placid 3 & 2 Weeks Out

IM Lake Placid 3 & 2 Weeks Out

It’s time for the final training push in week 3, and then hit the taper in week 2.

3 Weeks Out

It’s time to get in the final couple key sessions before I shut things down to taper.  My focus for the week is:

  • Big swim week, I want to get in at least 20k
  • Long, quality bike trainer workout (4-hours)
  • Long-ish brick on the weekend

Here’s how the week went:

Big Swim Week – 20,317m

  • I swam 8 times this week for 20,317m
  • I got in an Oper Water Swim at Cherry beach – it was great to get outside
  • 2 swims of at least 4,000m and Saturday I totalled 7,000m

4-hour Trainer Ride (6×20, 60)

  • I fell flat on this workout.  Early on I felt alright, but my 5th and 6th intervals the perceived effort really increased.  I decided to pull the plug 20-minutes into my 60-minute interval.
  • I think the cumulative fatigue was just built up in my legs.  I could have muscled through a little longer, but I didn’t want to risk digging myself into a hole of fatigue

Saturday 2200m swim, 6x20min trainer ride, 20k run

  • My brick became more of a triathlon
  • I had a good swim/bike, but out on the run it was really warm and I didn’t bring any fluid so I was hurting
  • Overall happy with this session, which is my last long one before Placid

Summary

  • Another good week, I hit 2 of my 3 main objectives
  • Although I would have liked to have hit my 4-hour trainer ride, I’m not overly concerned about it
  • I was feeling really good in the pool, when I get in 14,000m+ in the pool in a week I seem to feel the water a lot better

2 Week Out – Taper Time

It’s taper time.  The heavy lifting is complete and it’s time to let the body absorb all the training while trying to keep fitness levels at their peak.  My focus would be:

  • 1 day completely off
  • Keep up swim volume – at least 14,000m
  • Gravenhurst Olympic Tri

Here’s how the week went:

1 Day Off

  • I rarely take a day completely off.  I have plenty of active recovery days, but rarely do I have nothing days.
  • I took Monday off.  It’s not something that’s a mental struggle for me like it can be for some, it’s just not something I normally do

14,600m Swimming

  • I was able to keep up my swim volume
  • It wasn’t a huge week like like week, but I feel good when I can get in at least 14,000m and I accomplished that
  • My only open water swim was at the Gravenhurst Olympic, and I felt really strong in the water and came out 3rd

Gravenhurst Olympic Triathlon (Bike File, Run File)

  • I had some questions as to why I would race this race.  My training motivation often nose-dives during taper, and I wanted to make sure I had some good intensity.  I planned on keeping my pace on the run under control so I didn’t trash my legs.  If this race wasn’t happening I would have done a similar workout 8 days before the race, it likely just would have been a little longer at slightly lower intensity
  • I felt strong across swim, bike, and run
  • I had a good day, and didn’t have to completely empty the tank, which again will help recover quickly

Summary

  • Great week of taper – I got in some quality rest, got good swim milage, and felt great in Gravenhurst
VLOG 31 – IMLP TRAINING COMPLETE, IT’S TAPER TIME

VLOG 31 – IMLP TRAINING COMPLETE, IT’S TAPER TIME

The training for Ironman Lake Placid is complete. Over the past 14 weeks I’ve put in 260 hours, totalling 170,873m swimming, 137-hours on the bike, and 790k running. I’m going to be racing the Skechers
Multisport Canada Gravenhurst Olympic Triathlon as part of my taper
this weekend. In the past I’ve felt I’ve got a little stale in the lead-up to a race, so going Gravenhurst will help keep some speed in
my legs.

Supporters: Dare2Tri, Skechers Performance, Velofix Toronto

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danieljclarke/
Blog (and race reports): http://ifnotyouthenwho.ca/
Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/7329576
Email: daniel@krokadero.com

Music by: Bear Twists, “Under The Sun”, and Otis McDonals, “Behind Closed Doors”.

IM Lake Placid 5 & 4 Weeks Out

IM Lake Placid 5 & 4 Weeks Out

Over the last couple weeks my focus has been recovering from my big training block in Lake Placid, and then getting in some long quality rides.

5 Weeks Out

After putting in a big block in Lake Placid priority number one was absorbing all that training and recovering. I only had one key workout:

  • A good race at the MultiSport Canada Long Course Triathlon

Here’s how the week went:

Recovery – Monday to Wednesday I really took it easy.

  • Monday was off, Tuesday I did a 30-minutes swim and 30-minute run, and Wednesday a 30-minute swim.
  • When I tried to get some quality going Thursday I felt flat and tired and kept the rest of the work easy.

Welland LC Triathlon (BIKE file, RUN file, Results)

  • I was happy with the race as a whole
  • I felt like I had a strong swim, but then had no power on the bike.  I was able to close out the race with a surprisingly strong run
  • This race was a good reminder to keep persevering, even when a race isn’t going as planned (really low power on the bike, but then a great run)

Summary

  • I’d say this was a good week.  My training was pretty light, but absorbing the training from last week was really important.
  • I was happy to get another race under my belt.  There’s no substitute for actually getting out there and racing.  My bike wasn’t where I wanted it to be, but otherwise it was a really great race for me.

4 Weeks Out

This week is all about the bike.  Before this week I had done 180k twice (both in Lake Placid), one 4.5-hour trainer ride, and one other ride over 4-hours.  It’s getting to crunch time, and I not only need to get some big rides in my legs, I need some quality big rides in my legs.  A secondary goal for this week was to get in 18-20k in the water.  I had 3 key workouts, plus my swim goal:

  • 4-hour trainer ride
  • 4.5-hour trainer ride
  • 5-hour ride outside
  • 18-20k in the pool

Here’s how the week went:

Tuesday – 4 Hour Trainer Ride: 6×20, 1×60 (Strava)

  • Ride went really well, this was a big confidence booster
  • I wanted to hold between 245-250W for my intervals but I was closer to 255W
  • The 60-minute interval at the end was more of a mental struggle than a physical struggle

Thursday – 4.5 Hour Trainer Ride: 6×23, 1×70 (Strava)

  • The slightly longer intervals presented a mental challenge, but I hit all my watts and I felt like a did a good job with this workout

Saturday – 5 Hour Outdoor Ride: 6x16k, 1x45k (Strava)

  • My first quality long ride outdoors of the year!
  • I did an 8k out and back over and over for this workout.  It was shaped like a valley so I got to work on holding power at high and low speed
  • This was my best, and most important workout yet

18-20k in the pool

  • Only managed 12k
  • I was in good shape to meet my goal until Saturday.  I came down with a bit of a cold and decided to stay out of the water and get a little extra rest

Summary

  • I finally feel ready to take on an Ironman this year
  • I still have more work to do, but it’s great to have finally done some long and quality work on the bike
  • On all 3 rides I focused on getting good fuel in throughout the ride, and didn’t have any stomach problems
  • I came down with a bit of a cold Saturday, which could have been brought on by all the cumulative fatigue of my workouts.  I need to be careful with this in the final stretch