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Ironman Western Australia 2007


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The Lead Up

 

After Port IM 2007, I was exchanging emails of fairly pointless fluff with my coach, Allan Pitman. The reply eventually came on the end of one 'Enter IMWA this week'. Straight to the point as usual he was. As I had just completed my second Ironman in a time I was over the moon with, I had no shortage of enthusiasm and in true triathlete fashion, dragged the chain for a couple of months before actually entering :lol: Infact, I only managed to enter a couple of weeks before cut off in the end as it slipped my mind totally as with the new validation process to Ironman Australia, I had already entered that race and the other nearly slipped my mind.

 

After Port, I decided to get somewhat serious with my training. My goal was not to miss any sessions that were programmed in my weekly allocations no matter what. Often I read that consistency is the key. A staple week with key sessions at various times of the year must repeat over and over and over. The engine has to be built slowly. In this, there are no short cuts, it is just time in the saddle, in the pool and on the road. To coin a phrase from Allan, 'You know what you want, it is time to place the order'. Good advice.

 

Out on a Wednesday ride very early in the Queensland winter with Al, we were discussing various people and their training and just how much they can take. Al said to me tha if there is any time to test myself and see just how much I can hack, now is the time. I took this to mean 'Go ride lots and lots'. probably not the true intent but I have come to learn that nothing is said for no reason. I put in quite a few hours over the winter. I had place the order and to make it appear, it was only going to happen if I made it happen. 3am wake ups and 4-5 hours in the pouring rain in low single digit temperatures all by my lonesome up mountains seemed to be a regular part of my winter. Trail runs on the way home from night shift and swims in the pool with the broken heating complemented these rides nicely.

 

Eventually, my program proper began and I was determined to miss nothing. I moved things around when required and while occasionally some sessions were put back to back that should not have but I really felt I had to keep the head of steam up. Once you miss one, then two.... then three, it becomes too easy to miss more. In all of my training since April, I missed one and only one scheduled session and that was the infamous day that Allan came a buster on Mt Mee. I was to do it solo the day before but the rain was just too heavy to make an attempt so I had to skip and shorten it the next day before working an afternoon shift.

 

The only description for my preparation is 'Flawless'. I stayed healthy all year. I got at least 6 hours of sleep every night and usually 7-8. Nearly all of my training was done while the family was at work/kindy or asleep. I really must take this time to recommend a multi vitamin to people. Swisse Mens Multi. I have been on it for 2 years now and my health has been outstanding. Try it.

 

Race Time

 

Straight to the nitty gritty.

 

Last year I did 1:12 swim, 6:27 bike and 6:12 'run' for 13:51 total. In my mind I was thinking sub 10. I had done some time trials that had me looking at 65 minute swim, 4:50ish bike and 3:40-4:00 run off that bike. My plan was to get to the run as close to 6 hours race time as possible and take it from there.

 

Race Day

 

The days before race day were wild and windy. Things were looking very very dire as far as conditions were concerned. I was not worried about the bike and run as for every head wind, there is a tail wind and running in the wind does not phase me. The worry was the Busso chop. The swim is around the Jetty that extends nearly 2km straight out to sea. On a calm day, the swell is 2-3 feet out there and when it is 2-3 feet at the beach, I would hate to see what it is like out there. Thankfully come race morning, the wind swung around and it was silky smooth. Still a bit of wind for the bike and run but at least the swim was calm.

 

Swim

 

Last year 1:12. Plan 1:05.

 

I did a bit of work on my catch with Trent Patten from the Commercial Swim club in Brisbane over a few sessions that I attended with him. It transformed my speed and I went from being a toe chaser to leading my lane over night to the point that I would lap everybody in 400m or longer sets. It really is amazing what the same thing explained a different way can open up to you.

 

This year I was quite chuffed to get a White swim Cap (2 of 4) in my bag. Last two times I got yellow (4 of 4) but my expected time got me it. At the start, I lined up right at the front of the white caps and just spilling into the blue caps (1 of 4). A strategy I had worked on after suggestion was to take confidence from before the race starts and exude it to the point that my competitors would feel it. It worked at the last Half Ironman I did and it worked again there. I turned around and looked at all the white caps behind me and sent them the message to stay the hell out of my way. They complied.

 

Boom goes the cannon and out to the end of the Jetty we swim. I felt pretty good. For the last two years I have swum in a suit custom made for me but not really a triathlon specific swimming wetty. I managed to effectively rob a guy when I bought his second hand as it was too big for him for well below half price after minimal use. A Blue Seventy Helix. Oh My God. This thing is just amazing. So comfortable and flexible. I highly recommend them to anyone thinking of getting one.

 

After making the turn 2km out to sea, you have two choices. You can swim via the Jetty which has a dog leg or try your hand and straight line to the final turning buoy about 1600m away with the sun behind. This year there was a bit of cloud cover so building on the shore could be seen. As I had walked out the Jetty before, i knew that the straight line was swimming straight at the water slide and the buoy would show itself as I approached. I don't think too many people shared my confidence in this course but sure enough, a while later I found myself about 2m off course and 50m short of the buoy. Success.

 

Hang a left at the buoy and swim another 200m or so and we are on shore. I looked at the race clock and saw 59 minutes. Huh? 59? I don't think so. That is just too fast. i can't swim that fast... apparently. Well apparently not. Immediately, i thought to myself that this time was free transitions for the day so don't waste it. I really hustled in and out onto the bike and started drinking immediately.

 

Bike

 

Last year 6:27. Plan 5:00.

 

My bike plan was very very simple. Ride a heart rate of 155 BPM which is about 4 beats above the top of zone 2 and also the same amount above my Maffetone heart rate. I do not use a bike computer as that just confuses things. I use a heart rate monitor that shows heart rate and nothing else and ride my cadence by feel.

 

On top of the heart rate, my plan was to ride 50 pedal strokes two gears harder than what ever I was in at the end of each aid station standing out of the seat to give the muscles s break and stretch some things out. Busso is just a brutal bike course for those too inflexible or too over zealous with bike set up. I have tinkered extensively with position and now have what I declare to be a perfect set up as I managed to ride strongly and comfortably all the way home.

 

bike9.jpg

 

It was quite an experience to be towards the front of the field in Ironman for the first time. The guys around me knew how to play properly for the most part and apart from one or two exceptions, I had no problems at all. I rode through many people on the first lap and at the start of the second, found myself all alone. I rode probably 50% of the day with no one in sight in front or behind. Towards the middle of the third lap I started picking up a few guys who were fading and ended up towing a group back into town from the special needs. As I was getting cranky from my time in the saddle and a bit tense thinking about the run, I let it get to me and was worrying more about the peloton than the job at hand. I allowed my heart rate to drop down to 150 for quite a while back into the wind and cost myself a few minutes.

 

Into T2 I rolled at 6:02 race time and an official 5:02 bike leg (including T1). Right smack bang on schedule.

 

Run

 

Last year 6:12. Plan 3:40.

 

I ran the Gold Coast Marathon this year with the sole purpose of setting a time that I was going to equal at Busso. 3:38 was the answer. I decided to round it up to a nice 3:40.

 

At Coomera this year, there was a handful of club mates that all went around the same time and all bar one were fronting up at Busso. From experience I could not run with these guys and solely for bragging rights and pacing off them, I knew I had to put 15-20 minutes into them on the bike. With my planned run split they had to run 3:20s or so to catch me so I was pretty happy I was well placed. Two of them got me but I was glad I set that little goal as it helped me to keep pushing the pace that extra 5% that I could easily have slacked off if I was running totally as an individual.

 

My run plan was as simple as the bike plan. 160 BPM and hold it. In reality, It started slipping to 155 after 30 or so kms and down to low 150s the last half hour. During the bike and the run, I could not get a little phrase I heard from Mitch Anderson. 'Make hay while the sun shines'. I did it on the bike while I was fresh on the second lap and I was doing it on the run. I switched my watch into a mode where I could see the time and started getting km splits. I was holding pretty much 5 min kays which had me looking good for 3:40. Through the half marathon in 1:48 and I was quite pleased. Make hay while the sun shines. For every 5 min kay I was to run, I could run a 7 minute kay and get home well under 10 hours. Do it now and make the feared unknown not matter.

 

At the 34km mark I started to cramp. Nothing serious but the tension was there. I had not taken in a great deal except water and 8 Endura gels as well as the odd bit of salt since 160kms into the bike. I think in future, I will need to get some more electrolyte into me early. The cola really killed me. Every time I took one on, I felt like I put a piano onto my back. Never again will I try that in a race. From discussion Cola works for some and ruins others and it appears I am in the latter category.

 

 

run9.jpg

 

Two kays from home and I started to do something I have only done twice in the last 20 years. Cry. I really don't know if it was relief, soreness and fatigue, happiness or what. The only other times were when I told my father he was going to be a grand father and when I held my Son Hugh for the first time. Now here I am out playing swim bike run and blubbering like no one's business. The mind works in strange ways as all I drew from it at the time is it made my heart rate go up 10 BPM and ruined my breathing pattern. Aaaaah triathletes and over analysing things.

 

The Chute

 

Last year I don't remember. Plan Remember.

 

Oh I remember this one and remember it well. I ran all the way to the start of the blue carpet and stopped. I looked up at the clock and saw 9:45 race time. I raised both arms in triumph and the crowd went nuts. What a rush. I have never ever experienced anything like that before. I had the chute all to myself and for once it was early enough to be packed. I turned and faced back down from where I came, took a deep bow and turned finally for the line. i raised my left hand and held up 4 fingers to signify the number of hours I had taken back from last year and made a letter C, the first letter of my Wife's name with the other and crossed the line.

 

 

fin9.jpg

 

Final score

 

Last year 13:51

This year 9:46

 

Hell Yes.

 

Where next? Well it is a 7 year plan so wait and see. I don't even know where this will wind its way but I have been having the ride of my life.

 

(I will update with pics when they are up on the site. Also cross posted elsewhere so apologies if you read those sites as well)

Edited by Plazbot
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Plaz,

 

Fantasic race report and a fantasic achievement.

 

It is a great read and I believe as time goes by, I will be re-reading it.

It would have been so easy to give training a miss, but you right, you miss one, you miss two etc..

You set yourself a goal and boy, did you prepare yourself for it.

One day I would like to meet you and shake your hand - well done!

 

fezza :lol:

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Great read Plazzie- you're an inspiration and I feel privilaged to have been able to have shared the journey with you through Trannies.

 

You are a great example of how some-one can grab life with both hands and make the most of it- enjoying the ride and where it will take you!

 

\Sunconure :lol:

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Well done.

 

Interesting about your strategy with the Gold Coast Marathon. So that was purely to test yourself at race pace?

 

339281[/snapback]

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah. I wanted to get splits at various heart rates when fatigued. Of course IM bike is more fatiguing than a marathon but the end result was only 7 minutes out.

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Really well done Plaz. That is the most amazing story, I actually saw your race unfold, once I worked out who you were, and I still find it incredible. I am just sorry I didn't come up and introduce myself, perhaps next time.

 

Your award (I hope I am not giving the game away) at the awards ceremony was well and truely deserved.

 

A terriffic reward for effort, again really well done. You should be very proud. :lol:

Edited by Hymie
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The Chute

 

I turned and faced back down from where I came, took a deep bow and turned finally for the line. i raised my left hand and held up 4 fingers to signify the number of hours I had taken back from last year and made a letter C, the first letter of my Wife's name with the other and crossed the line.

 

 

 

339266[/snapback]

 

 

 

 

I would have been FULLY pissed if you had made an "AP" with your hands instead of a "C" :lol::lol:

Edited by Little Poppet
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Your award (I hope I am not giving the game away) at the awards ceremony was well and truely deserved.

 

 

 

 

Thanks mate. Not giving anything away at all. I have actually tried to find out exactly why I got the award as I was somewhat under the weather at that stage :lol:

 

When you gave me 'the message' you were actually sitting exactly where my wife was last year. You would be surprised just how much you helped me out there. I appreciate it.

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Your award (I hope I am not giving the game away) at the awards ceremony was well and truely deserved.

 

 

 

 

Thanks mate. Not giving anything away at all. I have actually tried to find out exactly why I got the award as I was somewhat under the weather at that stage :lol:

 

When you gave me 'the message' you were actually sitting exactly where my wife was last year. You would be surprised just how much you helped me out there. I appreciate it.

 

339297[/snapback]

 

 

 

 

It was the "unf**kenbeliveableaward" or "We've seen it, and we still can't believe it award"

 

Only too happy to help :lol:

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I'm too emotional to write. Your an absolute inspiration Plaz.

 

I hope you don't mind if I post this report on other sites. People are speaking about you.

 

Well done.

 

I'm aiming high because of you.

 

 

fluro

P.S Looking foward to toeing the line with you 1 day.

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I turned around and looked at all the white caps behind me and sent them the message to stay the hell out of my way. They complied.

 

I wouldn't swim next to someone who is 6 ft 5 either.

 

Congratulations Plaz on an amazing result.

Your report is one of the best I have ever read.

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What, and no-one suspects drugs? :lol::lol:

 

Seriously Plaz, I haven't been around long enough to know your full story but when time permits I'm going to read up on your past. If it's half of what people are suggesting, then you are 'tha man'. If reading your report doesn't inspire people to aspire to an IM, nothing ever will.

 

be proud man, you deserve it.

 

/t

Edited by trinube
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I managed to effectively rob a guy when I bought his second hand as it was too big for him for well below half price after minimal use. A Blue Seventy Helix. Oh My God. This thing is just amazing. So comfortable and flexible. I highly recommend them to anyone thinking of getting one.

 

 

339266[/snapback]

 

 

 

 

Glad to be of service my elongated brother.... :lol:

 

I said after GCHIM I sensed the dark side in you... now I see your journey is complete..... PlazVader.... :lol:

 

155476.jpg

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I said after GCHIM I sensed the dark side in you... now I see your journey is complete..... PlazVader.... 

 

 

The journey is only beginning :D

 

 

Oh no no, not give up. My goal is to race Hawaii by the time I am 40. I am 33 right now.

 

 

It's OK to reach goals before the set date :lol:

 

 

Awesome and inspiring race report mate

 

 

 

Good horses, make good trainers :lol:

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Sweet stuff Plaz, great read - sounds like you had the perfect prep, no injuries etc? I sympathise re riding in the rain/sub 10 deg temps but I can't match you for the 3am waking bit :lol:

 

How did you go with the Subzero? My wife came out on hers with me this morning - joggers, no toeclips, I still had to hammer to stick with her up the hills. She's gonna smack the local sprint races once she can ride with toeclips/clipless half our bike course is uphill :lol:

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Absolutely inspirational!

I knew you were planning a big improvement and I spent the day dipping into the results to see how you were faring. You and your family deserve to be feeling very proud right now.

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Where next? Well it is a 7 year plan so wait and see. I don't even know where this will wind its way but I have been having the ride of my life.

 

339266[/snapback]

 

 

 

 

So, beside qualifying for Kona, what's in the 7 year plan? And are you giving triathlon away after the 7 years?

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So, beside qualifying for Kona, what's in the 7 year plan? And are you giving triathlon away after the 7 years? 

 

 

 

It takes seven years to completely develop an aerobic animal :lol:

 

He has lots of development ahead of him :lol:

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Hey TJ I actually though of you out there on the last lap when running through the car park where we met last year in the race. That was a bloody long hard day.

 

I swear it hurts much more to go slower. Think about it, I raced the same HR plan both years and I did it for 4 extra hours in 2006. Anyone who thinks the MOP/BOP guys are bludging is kidding themselves. Having been there I get the shits at people saying these dudes need to try harder.

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So, beside qualifying for Kona, what's in the 7 year plan? And are you giving triathlon away after the 7 years? 

 

 

 

It takes seven years to completely develop an aerobic animal :lol:

 

He has lots of development ahead of him :lol:

 

339772[/snapback]

 

 

 

 

So, the 7 year plan is to win his age group at Port?

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So, beside qualifying for Kona, what's in the 7 year plan? And are you giving triathlon away after the 7 years? 

  

 

 

It takes seven years to completely develop an aerobic animal :D

 

He has lots of development ahead of him :D

 

339772[/snapback]

 

 

 

 

So it takes (on average I suppose) 7 years to build max endurance ... I wonder where the 7 year itch fits in :lol::lol:

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The only description for my preparation is 'Flawless'. I stayed healthy all year. I got at least 6 hours of sleep every night and usually 7-8. Nearly all of my training was done while the family was at work/kindy or asleep. I really must take this time to recommend a multi vitamin to people. Swisse Mens Multi. I have been on it for 2 years now and my health has been outstanding. Try it.

 

I take it flawless included no injuries as well Plaz?

 

Was regular massage or physio part of the prep?

 

Enjoyed the read and watching your performance. Thanks.

 

Have to admit was hurting in an effort today and this commentary rang through my thoughts. Have to admit you have inspired me.

 

CQ

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Couple of niggles here and there. I got patella tendonitis after my ski trip. Ice made it go away after I finally realised what was wrong. Also, I had a little clicking in my ankle after my last long run. It did not hurt as such but I knew it was there. What ever the problem was I must have put it back into place during the race because I am totally cured. To be honest though I think it was achillies related from old cleats which I replaced. I have a hand massager that I use every long session on my major muscles and hip flexors as well as ITBs. I did the ice bath thing a few times as well that seems to work. The real key is Opti straight after sessions. Also, I am a fan of active recovery. Even on rest days I will get something done but very very easy. Something like 6x100s kick board and fins or 45 minutes very very slow riding.

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