Monday, February 22, 2010

Ironman Malaysia - Strategy and Goals

Having done my research there 18 competitors in my age-group that have done better Ironman times than me, 6 of them under 10 hours and 4 of them under 9 1/2 hours - a few people have said that means nothing when it comes to the heat of Malaysia but sadly for me one of the most affected and least able to deal with heat over a long course race is yours truly.

I also have Ironman China two weeks later and the intent was always to treat IMMY as a last long training weekend and a warm up and then nail China. If in the process the weather at IMMY was strangely cool (i.e. raining all day) and I was on to the run within 6hrs then I might try to get a result in Malaysia.

The danger of course is trying to nail IMMY and failing only then to be wiped out for China (the most likely scenario still). So we shall see, I suspect that it will be a 40C scorcher in Malaysia, I'll have a good swim and bike but will cook on the first kilometre of the run and sense/reality/dehydration will prevail and hopefully I'll back off.

However I still need to think about a race strategy and set some goals to help navigate through what will be a tough day whatever. Clearly I will be hard pressed to be competitive in Langkawi as the weather forecast is "Brilliant Sunshine" and since there's no shade on the course we're talking about 40C & 90% humidity. So the goals are: -

1) Swim - PB (Very realistic)
2) Swim - Sub 1hr10 (Realistic)
3) Swim - Sub 1hr05 (Unlikely but possible)
4) T1 - 2min30
5) Bike - PB (Very realistic but will depend on course to some degree)
6) Bike - Sub 5hr (Realistic but will depend on course to some degree)
7) Bike - ~4hr50 (Realistic but will depend on course to some degree)
8) Bike - Sub 4hr50 (Unlikely but possible)
9) T2 - 2min30
10) Run - Back off and smell the roses - jog/walk save myself for China (Most realistic)

Unless I feel amazing then: -
11) Run - PB (If I'm going for it then this is a given)
12) Run - Sub 4hr (If I'm going for it then this should be a given).
13) Run - ~3hr45 (Realistic)
14) Run - Sub 3hr40 (A big ask, weather will dictate)
15) Run - ~3hr30 (Unlikely but possible if weather not too hot i.e. it rains [hahahaha])

Ben recently told me something very useful in the mental preparation of a race (he's a marathon runner, a very good one, albeit soon to buy a tri bike): -

"It doesn't matter how many marathons I've done, or well prepared I am, or how well training has gone, I always tell myself that this is going to be the hardest thing I've ever done".

Simon says: - I think that this is the greatest mental preparation anyone can have for a race (other than knowing you're the fittest you've ever been of course). I've had some pretty ugly Ironmans where finishing was a miracle in itself, the misery was indescribable and so bad that my commitment to never doing another Ironman was resolute - So if I can tell myself that this is going to be harder than that but at the same time I'm swimming/biking/running well, then I should be able to dig a little deeper, push a little harder and go a little faster.

And...One of the beauties of getting faster is that the misery doesn't go on for quite so many hours!

(The photo above is the iconic picture of Julie Moss crawling to the finish line in 1982 at Hawaii - it can always get worse but that doesn't mean stop).


yipwt said...

With the amount of training you had, I think you'll be bloody fast through the course.

Lets hope some rain will come...:)

Brybrarobry said...

Love the post and how you broke everything down. 40 C. Wow!!!! I didn't realize it was that hot. That's crazy hot. I'm also shocked at the depth of the competition in your age group.

Good luck, I'll be tracking you and cheering you on from Canada.

Anonymous said...

Good luck.

sure u can get good results.


jantel said...

Hey Simon,
We met at PutraJaya pre-race in Transition. I unfortunately decided to taste some asphalt before T2 ,ending my day with a broken collar-bone and torn trapezius.
Anyway , stumbled across your entertaining blog recently and decided to wish you good luck in "the furnace" :)
I raced there in 07 and 08 and am well aware of the intense heat and humidity. Needless to say , it seems you have really stepped it up in the past 18 months and your results recently clearly reflect this. Appears you have really disciplined yourself to cover all of the bases and are prepared to lay it all down , backed up by some tremendous endurance and speed.
Look forward to seeing the results on the weekend !
Wishing you the best of luck mate and hoping you can race to your potential !


Simon said...

Thanks Terry, I trust you are all healed and racing again? Drop me your email and stay in touch.

As you will probably already know IMMY went pretty well for me - 20th overall, 9th Amateur but only 5th in my age-group so I have it all to do in China in what looks like a very very tough field (AGAIN). I'll do a write up of Langkawi soon. Ciao.