The night before the event I am always fairly sombre - I know I
have a lot of pain in store for me.
We wake up to dark clouds and a forecast that showed it may be
cooler than we first thought
At the start of the swim the inevitable announcement was that
wetsuits were barred; a veritable groan from the crowd.
A quick kiss of wife and Matthew and off I went. The swim itself
was unremarkable; just very slow. I used to be able to swim an
Ironman leg (3.8km) in 63-65 mins. Now I was out the water in 79
mins. So 15 mins allowed and a lot more work. It also means you are
on the bike leg with slower athletes; it takes a long time to work
through the field.
I had my usual faff in Transition and was then off on the
I love an IM bike leg - its 5 hrs of getting your head down and
just riding. I have been training with a power meter all year and
was planning to ride at a normalized power of 240 watts. However
literally 4 days before the event my powemeter went on the blink;
it would' drift' over time - so the numbers were not accurate
An inaccurate PM is worse than no PM at all (because you can end up
basing your effort on false readings). So I actually blanked out
the Watts numbers on my head unit and just rode to speed and HR
It was a two lap course; the roads were better than UK ones but
nowhere near as good as roads I have done in Germany.
Because I was annoyed at the swim I wanted to salvage some pride
and do a decent bike leg; so was aiming for 4hrs 50 or so. Was
pleased when the first lap came up in 2.23.
Second lap was more of the same, but the winds were picking up and
the sun was getting warmer and warmer. My head unit showed 32c and
it was only 11am!
I ended up doing the second lap in 2.23 as well; which I think
is really interesting. In this day and age of endless technology,
good old perceived exertion is still incredibly accurate.
I was weirdly looking forward to the run. I have done four Half
Ironman races this summer and I found I got stronger the longer
they went on. They have only been small UK events but I have
finished in the Top ten overall everytime so felt in decent
I knew this would hurt but my previous IM marathon times have
ranged from 3.17 to 3.29 so I felt this was not an unknown.
However after the very first km I knew this was going to be a long
day. It was so hot without shade and my HR had gone to 152 already
(despite it being an average of 135 on the bike)