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Monday, November 10, 2008

Lessons Learnt from Ironman Nice

Its now been a 4 months since Ironman Nice, which has given me time to reflect on things that I have learnt from this event. They are split into negative and positive things and are roughly ordered on the timeline of the event.

Negative Things Learnt
  1. Sea swim - should have practised more than the once a couple of days beforehand.
  2. Swim sighting - should have learnt the direction of the 2 lap course which would have been helped by better sighting while swimming.
  3. Cycle computer in the really hot heat - buggered it up (it did not work).
  4. Wetsuit chaffing - should have tried lubrication on the neckline especially in the salt water, ouch.
  5. Sun lotion - I should have applied more than normally would. Sun burn on top wet suit chaffing, that was pleasant.
  6. More cycling required - my longest ride should have done more than 70 miles.
  7. Hill cycling - more cycling in the hills would be beneficial, although I did do my longest ride up in yorkshire dales.
  8. It is a long run from swim exit to transition and then the bike mount. More practice running in wetsuit to T1 after a swim would help.
  9. Long time in T1 and T2 - I did take my time (10 minutes+) in transition but I did get all the things I wanted for the next stage.
  10. The food/drink on the cycle - I should have stuck to my nutrition plan on the bike so it would not affect me on the run.
  11. Run of a long cycle - I should have done more runs of a long bike ride.
  12. Run in the heat - this would have been hard in England this year, apart from gyms which seem to be always hot.
  13. Cycle descent - I need to get more confident in the cycle descents, althougth the road surface was not great in places.
  14. Marshals on the last 1km of the cycle did not control the people crossing - I nearly hit people at two crossing who walked across without looking!!!
  15. 4 lap run (to airport and back) - Supported all the way although watching those on the beach having ice cream :-( was not good, also was fed up of seeing the airport when I left.

Positive Things Learnt
  1. Bike delivery and collection - it was delivered to my hotel in one piece and taken away as I left the transition after the race.
  2. Air Coniditioning in the trams and hotel room - this was priceless as it was already hot by 8am!!
  3. Stay relaxed before event - too late to worry about the amount of training done or not.
  4. Use same restaurant for evening meal - I did not want to try anything new before the race.
  5. Keep drinking during the day - I kept drinking throughout the day especially as it was about 1 mile work to the hotel.
  6. Try to keep of feet in the last few days - took a bus tour the day before the race, did not sun bathe as I did not want to get sun burnt and/or dehydrated.
  7. Acclimatise - I was there a few days earlier than the race which got my used to the heat a bit with just walking around.
  8. Extra tri suit in T2 plus change of socks - I had these prepared as the combination of salt water and sweating in the heat and sun burn was not a good combination. It also made me felt a bit freshier for the start of the run.
  9. Extra sun lotion in T2 - although when the person put on my wetsuit and sunburnt neck it was not pleasant.
  10. Support on the course - there was support on a good section of the bike even in the hills and all the way on the run. It was also good to see other team members on the run as it gave both you a bit of a lift.
  11. Blood pressure normal after 12 hours - due to the nutrition on the bike and running for one lap and walking the next I went to first aid station to an upset stomach. Before they would give me any paracetmol they took my blood pressure which was normal despite being in the heat and 12 hours in to an ironman.
  12. Tuc biscuits on the run - I would not have assoicated them with running before but they are salty and something different then the gels, bars, energe (sports drinks) and bannans, they tasted so nice.
  13. Aid stations every mile on the run - I did not need any of my gels that I had on my tri belt.
  14. Struggling on the run made the last turn round with just another time to walk back before the 16 cut off but found energy to jog most of it.
  15. The food/drink afterwards was good to have something not full of sugar (missed some of the big firework display they had).

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