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Cairns Race Report 2017

02/07/2017 | By

Cairns iron man

Some of you may know that I recently competed in the Half Iron Man race in Cairns. Located in beautiful Palm Cove, it was the perfect location and a great time of year to get away from Adelaide to get some warmth.

In the lead up to this race, I had been training on average of 15-20 hours per week. A big focus I was working on was keeping the heart rate low, mainly during the run. Being a sprinter, I had always known how to train in the red,
generally zone 5, definitely not the training zone for a 70.3 event, so trying to put the ego aside and training slower was a critical aspect of getting a good race result.

The last 2 weeks of training was more or less a taper, with the last week doing minimal easy sessions. By the time I was on the plane to Cairns on the Thursday, I was feeling pumped and ready to do this. The 3.5 hour flight was not bad at all considering I had a lot of work to do. I think travel time is always a great opportunity to get the things done you never got time for.

Arriving in Cairns airport, I collected my gear and headed for the nearest bus, and without thinking I bought a ticket for $49 and walked outside to wait. After thinking about it, I thought ‘What the fuck am I doing, I need a car to get around!” After TRYING to get my money back I headed to AVIS to pick up my 300C.

Arriving in Palm Cove I put my bike together and headed out for a 60 min easy session just to spin the legs out.

Walking down to the beach that arvo and seeing the high winds and big swells coming through, I was all of a sudden worried what the swim conditions would be like on race day.

The next day on the Friday morning at 7am, I put my wetsuit on and headed down to the beach for a 20 min open water swim. The wind and waves didn’t look as bad as the day before but it was still a bit daunting. I headed in and set off (I had been told no sharks, just crocodiles…) which was comforting…?

After about 5 mins swimming up wind, I found a rhythm and started to feel really comfortable, surprisingly, which gave me confidence that no matter what the conditions were on race day I would still have a good swim. It was good to see a few familiar Adelaide faces on the beach braving the same conditions.

Saturday was just an easy light 40 min spin with a 5 min run off the bike just to turn the legs over. Saturday night was very relaxed in the penthouse that I was staying in with my very own private spa upstairs (fucking amazing!). The night before a race is always doubting because you never know if you’re going to sleep or not, the mind has the race replaying over and over again of how you want it to be….

It took me a while to fall asleep but surprisingly I slept very well.

The morning started at 4:15am getting a good breakfast in and a good loosen up on my foam roller. Heading over to my bike in transition, the place was buzzing with awesome energy. Getting my bike ready to race was difficult with no lights. Once I set up and was happy that everything was good to go, I headed back to the room and got my tri suit on and Zone 3 wetsuit. I walked out the front of the hotel and made my way down to the start position for my warm up swim. It was only just after 6am so still really dark, and it was kinda freaky getting into the water and swimming in the pitch black dark, but it had to be done.

After about 15 min warming up I headed up to the start line for my start. I was starting in the fastest wave (sub 30 min). I wasn’t sure how I was going to go after doing a few TT in the pool getting around 31-33 min, but I was feeling fresh and had my Zone 3 wetsuit on. I was ready to rip it up! It was a rolling start to the line, and in the push to start I was getting squashed. As I went through the gate I had pure focus and a vision of how my race would go.

As I ran into the water and started thrashing my arms around I settled into a nice consistent rhythm with some nice pace. I felt amazing, there was a light swell pushing me into shore so sighting was essential to keep on the outside of the buoys and before I knew it I was turning left at the last buoy and heading into shore. As I exited the water I couldn’t believe I swam 2kms. It was all over so fast and in under 30mins with a 1:30/100M time and I wasn’t even puffing?

It was the longest run to my bike through transition I had ever done with 100′s of bikes racked. I finally found mine, stripped my wet suit off and started running with my bike. The pebbled pavers had an unusual feel on my feet (I thought this as I was so relaxed and ready to hit the bike course). I did my usual super bike mount, and as I took my first HARD pedal stroke my disc spigot had slipped and was rubbing on the brake (not the best start). I quickly jumped off and adjusted then I was off. I knew I needed to take it easy to stabilise my heart rate. Once I hit the main road I felt good and was flying keeping my HR down and holding a steady power around 270 WATTS. Around 10kms in I started passing so many riders and with the TA on the bike behind me for so long, I had no choice but to either pass or slow right down to avoid any drafting infringements. I decided to pass but I new my HR was starting to spike which is a bike problem at the start of a 70.3 (see graph below)

POWER FILE CAIRNS

The rest of the bike was amazing with perfect conditions, no wind, slightly overcast and about 23 degrees. Coming back past the starting position I still had 20k to go and couldn’t believe how fast the time went the last 5kms was a relief coming into transition. I knew the 21k run was going to hurt, jumping off the bike at 2:20hrs I was really happy with the time.

Now the real challenge had begun! Coming off the bike I felt amazingly strong and fast but sooner rather than later that would all change…

I started my run pace around 4:15-4:30mpk feeling great, and I thought I had this?
After 5kms I started slowing at 10kms and it really really started to hurt. I was running out of glycogen at 14kms. I started cramping in my hamstring BAD, REALLY BAD so that I couldn’t move. I stretched them out and tried to run again but AGAIN I cramped so bad and I really stretched this time and slowly started to run again stopping, at every aid station and consuming anything and EVEN COKE. My body was shutting down, finishing the run with a quick walk almost every km. I finally came across the line in a disappointing 5:10mins but managed to get it done.

I know I went wrong with the initial spike on the bike and really needed to start the run more around the 5min per km pace and speed up after the 10km mark.

This was a great learning curve for me as I haven’t been really experienced in the 70.3 distances but I’m determined to finish a sub 4:30 in November at the Murryman in Adelaide.
Thank you for reading my blog. I hope this has inspired you to make some serious changes to your health and fitness and motivated you to get out of your comfort zones.

OVER THE YEARS I’VE SET HUGE GOALS AND ACHIEVED THEM ALL, INCLUDING:

*GIVING UP DRINKING FOR OVER 13 YEARS
*STARTING A BUSINESS FROM SCRATCH WITH NO HELP
*RACING INTERNATIONAL TRIATHLONS
*COMPLETING A HALF IRON MAN
*PURCHASING MY FIRST HOME
*HAVING MY DREAM CAR

NOW I BELIEVE NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE, MY NEW BIG GOALS ARE:

*STARTING A NEW BUSINESS
*BECOMING A YOGA INSTRUCTOR
*COMPLETING A FULL IRON MAN IN UNDER 10HRS
*HAVING A RANGE ROVER
*GETTING MORE PROPERTY
*TRAVELLING THE WORLD PRESENTING MY KNOWLEDGE

If you would like to find out more about my BRAND NEW ONLINE COACHING please send me an email. I’d love to hear about what your goals are and how we can work together to achieve any goals you want to accomplish.

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