Saturday, 19 November 2011

Florida Aftermath

So it's over a week since race day and I'm back home in the land of jet lag and currently with a huge dose of the post Ironman CBA's. I've no idea if there will be any training at all between now and Sunday's Cornish Marathon (not that it matters).
Florida Finish Line Video
I'm also in a bit of a mental mush so far as the race day performances went. There is no denying it was a tough day, the new course is definitely harder than the old one, it was certainly the windiest of the 5 races I've done there too. Yet you see Ronnie Schildknecht putting in the fastest ever time on North American soil (7:59:42) and I have to wonder if it was as tough as it felt, or if he just had the most amazing day out there. I can't work out if I swam/biked very well on a rough day or if the field was just poor.
Ironman Florida Splits
In 2009 I finished 91st overall (including Pro's) and 8th in the 40-44 Age Group with 9:39, but the swim was real rough that day and everybody was around 5mins down out of the water. This year I was 4mins quicker in the swim, 4mins slower overall yet I finished 30 places higher up the field and 4th in 40-44. Any other year I would need 9:30 to qualify, this year 9:48 got you to Hawaii. Maybe I should just ignore Ronnie's record breaking performance (and Jessica Jacobs new womens record) and write it off as a freak. Concentrate more on my improved positional performance and the fact that as a 'race' it was oh so good - until the run. After all, if I look at 10th position in all of the bigger Age Groups their times are 30mins slower, I should take that as a good thing I guess.
Be here before you know it
There are many lessons I need to learn from the day, especially now that I'm heading back to Kona. The first time there was all about the experience, it's the ONLY big race I've ever wanted to do and I was there, crossing the Finish Line was enough. This time I want to put in a decent performance though, it WILL BE my last Ironman (unless we win the lottery) so I want it to go well.
Can this cope with another TransAtlantic journey?
So, what did I learn?

Swim - I'm pretty good and my once a week swim sessions are plenty. I swim great in my wetsuit but need to practice getting out of it more (not an issue in Kona). My navigation still sucks and I should pay more attention to checking out the course and my sighting points in advance, especially if I'm going to find myself near the front.

Bike - I need to believe in myself more, for all my strength and power weaknesses I still seem to chug along at a fair old rate. Those weaknesses still need a HUGE improvement though. I really need to learn how to pee on the move and to get more comfortable spending hours in the Tri-bars (I moved about far too much). I really need to strengthen my quads! Maybe plenty of squats in the new year!! Who knows what I could do if I'd got the bike strength to get my HR over 125bpm.

Run - I've got to do more brick sessions and longer runs. My general run fitness and form ticks over quite nicely but there are huge area's of both that can be improved, especially my running ability after a long bike ride. I may also need to look at investing in a two piece Trisuit, those trisuits can be annoying when you've 'got to go'.
Time to chill. Mine's a pint
It's all pretty standard stuff and points that almost anybody could have told me long before this race, but Kona has got me thinking a little more seriously about things. I know I'm not going to 'compete' there but I want to do a lot more than 'complete' this year and I'll want to go significantly faster than I did in 2010.
Cracking pic taken by @MattyO_83
In the near future I've no idea what will happen. I'm very tempted to look at getting coached for the first time ever. Just finding the right coach for me would be a whole heap of hassle though - and then there's the cost. I fully expect that by the New Year when I'm thinking more seriously about things I'll be a little more casual and will probably just carry on as normal. Who knows.

1 comment:

SSB said...

Congrats on a great race!