3rd tri for ironman
I started doing triathlon in 2012. Did my first 70.3 ironman in 2014, and attempted the full ironman 3 times now since 2016. Bad news is I DNF’d all 3 times, good news is I am improving. I have decided to post this up to note lessons learned.
Just for those uninitiated, a full ironman is a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle, and 42km run.
2016, i did my swim in 1hr 27mins, but on the bike I had 2 flat tires twice. First after 20km, and another at 35km. I was lucky on my first flat, that there was a mechanic nearby. My 2nd flat was unlucky as I had waited more than 15mins for the mechanic before I decided to fix and pump my own tire. I guess it was made worse as the 2nd flat wasnt that bad, but i rode the flat for a few kilometers at a slow pace. And I continued to ride slow due to the fear of riding fast might cause another flat, and I would be done for. It was also fortunate that I had prepared 2 tubes, based on my experience in training for 180km previously. But due to the delay, I hit the COT (cut off time) at 130km. Note that I did all this with my Urata 7×2 speed bike. After that I decided
- Get a new proper roadbike
- Replace all tubes and tires for an event
- Use “anti-puncture” tires, what was recommneded and available was continental all seasons.
Needless to say, i was bummed out at the farewell dinner and the weeks after that. Even did my own 42km run. Which just shows that I haven’t tired myself out for the event.
I signed for the event again, but I registered a bit late, as I was coming up with the budget for the event, so my training was not full on until then.
Just clarify the budget that i was looking at was roughly the following:
- New roadbike $1,400
- New tubes and tires befor event $80
- Proper bike case $400 (“cheapest” one I can get from aliexpress)
- Event registration $800
- Flight $350×2 (my wife was joining, unfortunately originally budgeted only $200×2 as that was a good deal we got last time, which was no longer available)
- Accomodation for 7 days $200. 1st day to arrive and settle, 2nd day to set up bike, 3rd day to check in, 4th day to check in bike and rest, 5th day
Although I have joined a few cycling and running events to keep the fitness. In training, I focused mostly on being able to do the distance, as I was fairly confident as long as I go above 22kmph in the cycle, I should be able to have time for the run. When I did my LSD rides it was common to have a flat, but I was prepared, it gave me a chance to practice changing tires. Unfortunately I didnt practice as many hills as I should have. And due to buying my new bike a bit late I didn’t spend enough time on it. Especially with the tribars.
When the time came, i did my 2nd ironman swim with the same time, but for the bike… The good news was I did not have any punctures at all, the bad news us on the first hill at about 10km, my legs started to cramp up. So I was struggling to keep up the pace, I maintaining 25kmph initially, but as i had to walk on the hills and stretch once in a while, my overall average went down to 20kmph. Fortunately after the last hill at out 160km my legs started to feel better again,and was then able to keep up with a few other cyclists who were late. At the last 5km mark, the officials reminded us of the cut off times, and it was then i felt a surge of energy that i could go above 25kmph, especially with other cyclist in front and behind me.
I reached the T2 just under the cut off time, as I left T2, i saw my wife greeting me. I was confident with 6.5 hours left I could make it. My legs were surprising able to keep pace 8. Every station i took advantage of the cold water which refreshed me everytime, and I was able to push myself again. I think I was happy as i had bypassed my previous limit from the bike to be able to do the run. On the way back finishing my 1st loop, the rain started again, and this was where I did a critical mistake, I wasn’t aware of a turn I was supposed to do, and in addition my 920xt garmin watch had died, as I didn’t change the settings to make it last 24 hours. It was on my 2nd lap I realized that I had missed that turn, as the route marshalls ushered me in, but as I passed the check point at the end of the turn, I asked the official there if i could do the turn twice to make up for the missed turn, but the officials didnt know, so to be fair I tried to make two loops, but as i reached the turn again, the cut off officials were there to inform that I had reach the cut off time there and then. Thankfully they allowed me the choice of walking down the finishing line or the bus, and I decided to walk that last few km.