Ironman 70.3 Mallorca 2014

Training

Before I go into details about this race, let me remind you – that 4 years ago I did a marathon in Bremen – but had not trained properly, barely finished it (just below 5h) and was so exhausted I slept for 2 days in a hotel afterwards. And did not run at all for at least 6 months after so much suffering.

So when I started training for Ironman 70.3 – I was aware it will be much harder than a marathon, and I need to be serious about preparing. This time I trained for 10 months, sometimes up to 10 times per week (3 run, 3 bike, 3 swim, 1 strength) and did a bike training camp in Mallorca in April.

My goal was to beat the average finish time – for an average Ironman 70.3 race it is about 6 hours, but the average time for Mallorca race in 2013 was 5h39min according to RunTri analysis. Taking into account that the weather can get very hot and bike route is not an easy one with a 850m climb, my guess is that competition in Mallorca is tougher than in other races.

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Swim

Each age group had their own start time, but with so many participants we still had quite a large group. When I started, I tried to be more on the left side, but few times I managed to swim in the centre. Got in contact with others as well, but nothing serious – did not swim over anyone and no one swam over me. In the beginning there were also some moments when it was hard to pass others, but after some 500m everyone was spread out enough that it was no longer an issue.

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My main challenge was to swim straight – and somehow it seemed to be hard to do that, had a feeling – that couple of times I was swimming from one side to the other one. Tried to keep a speed where I felt comfortable and would not get exhausted already in the beginning, and the result was quite good:

Distance Split Time Race Time Pace Division Rank Overall Rank
1.9 km 00:33:20 00:33:20 01:43/100m 129 1413

Screenshot 2014-09-07 12.25.55

Bike

Transition from swim to bike was very long – 500m or more, mainly because of the huge amount of race participants. When I changed clothes, I noticed that some other guys had their cycle jerseys already on under their swimsuits – that seemed a good idea and might have saved me some 30-60sec.

When I started to bike, I was surprised about high heart rate – in first 15km it was around 160. When I train, my heart rate is usually around 140, so I did not expect to see it above 145-150. I guess that the swimming part had a good influence on this.

After 10km I lost one of my drinking bottles – but there were enough drinking stations with Iso and water, so it was not a big issue. When I got to the first big climb, it was getting quite hot and I did not want to risk too much, so I followed my heart rate so it would be around 155.

I lost some time when getting up the mountain, but probably gained a bit when going down – I already had cycled there couple of times while training, so I did not need to be too careful as those who were there first time. In some parts the speed was up to 60km/h, so it was fun, but scary when you need to make sharp turns. There were some incidents as well – it seemed that someone had not got around 180° turn and fell over – there was an ambulance and some guys throwing ropes. Also read later – that one guy crashed because he tried to avoid hitting a goat.

After passing the mountains the rest of bike route was relatively easy and I finished it faster as I planned, but as cycling is my weakest discipline, it can be improved a lot.

Distance Split Time Race Time Pace Division Rank Overall Rank
90.1 km 03:07:13 03:46:39 28.88 kph 163 1872

Screenshot 2014-09-07 12.20.41

Run

After 1.9km swim and 90km on bike the running part was really challenging – it was +32°C and most of the run was in direct sun. I started with 12km/h (5:00min/km), but could not hold such a pace, after 2-3km my heart rate went up to 160, and I had to slow down if I did not want to pass out. I tried running slower, hold the heart rate at about 155, and then I felt quite ok, but the speed was getting slower with each km.

After 8-9km I started to question if I can run till the end. I used each drinking station – drank a lot, spilled water on me, but it helped only for brief moments. My stomach felt a bit strange after all the sport drinks and gels, but took another gel after 10km – and it seemed to help. When I reached 14km and had one more lap – I started feeling better and could run without watching my heart rate all the time. At 16km took another gel and was able to run till the finish with no more issues.

I planned to do the run at about 1h45min, so I failed it, but considering – that I had not run for last 3 weeks leading up to the race because of a small injury, the result was not bad.

Distance Split Time Race Time Pace Division Rank Overall Rank
21.1 km 01:54:02 05:44:25 05:24/km 146 1615

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Results

Rank: 146
Overall Rank: 1615 (from 3800)
Swim: 33:20
Bike: 3:07:13
Run: 1:54:02
Overall: 5:44:25

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Beer challenge

After finishing the Ironman 70.3 I drank a beer and challenged my friends – Eriks Klotins and Guntis Smaukstelis to do the same:

Eriks Klotins already finished his first Ironman 70.3 in Valga, let’s see if Guntis can do this as well 🙂

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