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Busso 70.3 2017 May

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Busso race report

 Training had gone pretty well, typical low volume for me 8 – 10 hours, running had been going good and that’s my main weakness. I’d taken my OD run time down from 47 to 43, so was looking forward to the run. I hadn’t biked enough and an ongoing shoulder injury had limited my swim training, but I was reasonably optimistic of getting my goal time of high 4.30s. I knew a few things had to fall my way and I couldn’t have any mistakes. I got down on the Friday and booked myself in to my now regular motel – the Amaroo! $100/night, it does the job and beats sleeping in my swag! Saturday morning had a quick swim with the squad, then coffee at the Fat Duck with the other 2000 competitors.

 In the arvo I did the 1km open water race, which I like to do to see how I’m travelling in the swim and get a chance to swim part of the course, nice and flat and I jumped on the toes of one of the top up and coming juniors - Rahul Jegatheva (remember that name!), he was sitting comfortably on 1.10 pace and I was virtually sprinting trying to hang on, I lasted all of 100m! Ended up 13/100 and 2nd in my AG (35+). So reasonably happy considering my lack of swim training. Did a light run in the afternoon, then pasta dinner by myself and in bed by 7.50! Woke just before my alarm at 5am so had a good solid sleep.  Checked the temperature, as I was a bit worried about the cold, a few years ago it was 4 degrees and a bit of a nightmare on the bike. A few people, including a pro, had to pull out because of hypothermia. No dramas though, it was a balmy 15 degrees. Chowed down my usual pre-race brekkie of bananas and waffles and headed to transition.

 I’m usually one of the first in transition, I like to get it done and dusted and relax, got there, did the tyres etc then realised I’d forgotten my socks, previously I’d get in a flap about this, but I had plenty of time and I’m slowly started to not worry about the small things that can go wrong. Dropped socks off then headed to the beach. Had a warmup swim and it was cold, I was wearing a sleeveless and stood on the beach shivering, I’ll be looking at going back to full length for next season. Maybe using the sleeveless for sprints only. 

 Swim
 

Conditions were perfect, windless, no swell and typical crystal clear water.  I was in a large wave of 250+ and knew I had to get a good start to make sure I didn’t get caught up with the masses. I had a beady eye on a couple of gun swimmers in my wave with the goal to jump on their toes ASAP, but unfortunately lost them in the start. I ended up tucked behind a group who moved at a decent pace for about 200m then slowed right down. I was drafting off them, thinking it felt too slow, but then sometimes drafting can be deceiving, you’re going quicker than you think you are. I moved out of the draft zone to check and realised that we were indeed going at a snail’s pace and I could see the lead pack of around 8 or 9 about 100m away. So I had to pretty much swim around the group I was with and started working my way towards the lead group. But after 400m of virtually sprinting I realised I wasn’t making a heap of ground on them so settled down to a more comfortable pace and accepted I was just going to have to swim alone, which I did until I caught the previous wave, then it was dodge and weave for the last 300m. I’d swam well though and felt good, so was a bit disappointed when I saw 29 on my watch. But again, don’t sweat the small stuff. Two years previously I’d trained hard for the swim and was expecting 26/27 so was gutted when I saw 30mins and this bothered me the entire race. That swim turned out to be long 2.2km as did this swim,  most people reporting 2 – 2.1km.

29mins

 

T1

 Uneventful, I put on my Fizik K1 bike shoes in transition as they are a PITA to get my feet into on the bike because of the design of the straps. I’m getting different shoes for next season. That said I do see a lot of people pissing around trying to get their feet in after mounting their bike, so something to consider.

 Bike

Great riding conditions, a slight headwind on the way out for the first 10kms before we turned right and into the forest section where you are largely protected from the wind. I was pretty much by myself for large portions of the ride as I was in the 2nd wave. I was pleasantly surprised to see the first penalty box that I rode past chockas! It’s usually empty. About 5 mins after that I got passed by a long train of about 7 or 8 guys, followed by a TO who promptly pinged them and broke up the train. I didn’t see much drafting after that.  

I was sitting on about 36km/hr on the way out and as we turned around, got the benefit of the slight tailwind and was sitting on around 38/39. Some of the faster sections I was able to sit on 42/43km/hr, feeling pretty good until I got overtaken by Matt Ilingworth who would have been pushing high 40s! The wind picked up as I turned for the 2nd lap, but managed to maintain a similar average. Aim was for around 2.26, 2.27, and came in on 2.25, happy with that. This was to be my last race with Shirley (2015 P2) as I was selling her so wanted to end on a good note, she did good!

 2.25

 T2

I felt pretty good coming into T2 and was looking forward to the run. My run training had gone well leading up to Busso and I was hoping for a decent run split. The aim was to come into T2 around the 3 hour mark and hopefully run mid 1.30s. Time was 2.59 as I hopped off the bike, so all was going well, socks on, shoes on, sunnies on and smashed a gel then off I went. 

Run

I was wearing my Asics Hyperspeed racing flats, which I was in two minds about, they’re great to run in, very lightweight (180gm) but I’d only run sprints and ODs in them and I was sore afterwards, so it was a bit of a gamble, especially since I had tore both calves in dec and jan. But they went really well in the end, so these will be my new 70.3 shoes, replacing my Asics Noosas which are 100gm heavier. Plan for the run was to stick to 4.2x to 4.30 pace for the first lap, bank a bit of time, ease back for the 2nd lap and bring it home the third lap. Probably not an ideal strategy and I need to work on my run execution, psychologically I like to bank a bit of time, so I can ease back mid-way through the race, but I probably need to start slower. I usually feel great the first few kms and will chat and joke with people, a good indication I’d paced the bike well, but there was no merriment this time!

 

I felt OK, sticking to 4.30 pace, but it wasn’t as easy as I was expecting. I’d been running 4.15 – 4.20 off the bike on long bricks 10km – 14km, so thought 4.30 was easily manageable. Got through the first lap on target, but knew it was only a matter of time before I slowed. I then started feeling hot and sick the second lap. It was only 28C, but it felt hotter, I smashed another gel, almost chucked and tried to get fluids down me at the aid station. 15 – 18km were my slowest, plodding along, I managed to pick it up the last 3km, but still it was slow stuff, 4.40s and inexplicably I stopped and walked for 10s with 2km to go…  gotta work on that resilience!

In hindsight I was being wildly optimistic as to how fast I could run, most of the guys who did run low 1.30s are a lot quicker than me. So will continue to work on my running over winter and I now have more of an idea of how fast I need to be running in training and road races to achieve my 70.3 run times i.e running a 41min 10km is not going to get me a 1.32 70.3 run time.

1.40 

So I was 14s off my target time of 4.39.59, I’m again disappointed with my run execution and tendency to walk aid stations, losing quite a bit of time, but overall happy with time and more importantly placing. Dropped 8 mins from the previous year and overall placing went up from 342 to 136. For winter and next season the plan is to rejoin the same squad and work hard on my running. I’m not going to go anywhere until that gets addressed. Part of the problem has been most of my running has been low volume plus high intensity which has led to a lot of injuries. Late in the season as I recovered from both calves being torn, I started running with the 80/20 philosophy, i.e 80% easy, 20% hard with higher volume. I saw some good results very early on so will continue with this and see how I go. I could also do with losing a couple of kgs. Sitting on around 74kg, would like to get down to 70kg, which should help with the running.

Overall time - 4.40

 

 

 

 Some race pics 

 

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Edited by zed
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Noice report Zed - it reads really well balanced. Another positive learning experience and banking the underlying fitness. 

Congrats

FM

Edited by Flanman

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Hey Zed, a belated congrats on this - great race. I should have read this more closely earlier - it seems as though you and I are very similar in terms of where we are at and what we need to focus on, ie improved run time. 

I think you're probably slightly ahead of me in terms of ability and targets - I think if I achieved what you did at Sunny Coast this year I'll be a happy man. As you might have gathered from my race report, Hawaii 70.3 was a difficult race to draw any meaningful conclusions from as it's a particularly hard course. 

Re your comment on standalone running times, my standalone marathon pace seems to be a reasonable proxy for my 70.3 run pace, if that's any help to you. I'm doing Brisbane marathon in a couple of months to get a gauge on how I'm tracking.

I know Matty (coach) has me on the right track with my running, so look forward to seeing some improvement there hopefully. 

Cheers. 

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Cheers Womabt. I think for me the key is volume. I've typically never done much more than 30/40km a week a lot of it rasonably high intensity, 400m intervals, not much longer than 10/12km, and that would be at race pace, but I only started seeing results this year when I upped the volume and dropped the intensity. So that's my aim over winter. If I can maintain my fitness over winter I'll come over for sunny coast 70.3 as my folks live in Noosa, so might see you over there ?

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Cool, that's where my parents live too (I grew up there but live in Bris).

Matty keeps hammering into me that low intensity high volume is the way to go, so I think you're on the right track. 

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