Well Challenge Barcelona half-iron distance race has come and gone. I can’t believe it is over a week ago already. Life has just been so hectic… Anyway here is a brief race report. I will try and gather some stats and put them in another post.
In short – I a had a great day.
Swim went well in the choppy sea. Battled to navigate as I could not see the buoys for the turns so I suspect I zig-zagged quite a bit. I was sighting against a building in the distance. On the return journey I must have picked a bad building since I ended up some 50/75m off course once I could actually see the last turn buoy so had to swim further out to make the turn. Oh well.. such is life. Apart from that I felt OK in the swim even though the wetsuit didn’t feel 100% on the shoulders when we set off. I just couldn’t get it comfortable before the swim. Was in the last swim wave with the slow swimmers (I think there was a mistake with many of the swimmers and their waves) which meant I was soon overtaking people from the previous waves.
T1 wasn’t too bad – apart from some idiot “borrowing” my T bag so I spent 30-60 panicky seconds looking for my bag. Eventually he returned with it and I set off.
Bike went well. So much drafting on the go. I suspect I ended up doing a bit of drafting at times in the narrow bits of course while trying to find a gap to overtake. (starting in the last “slow” wave meant I was picking off people along the way). Made an effort to try keep a constant power on the bike but ended up doing a few big spurt efforts to overtake or get away from drafting groups. Not a totally consistent power but not bad. The hill up to Dosrius was less steep than I was expecting. The last 15-30km of the return leg of the bike was a bit tough going as I had a head wind. Spent most of the day on the aero bars so ended up with a bit of a stiff neck. Was glad to be at the end of the bike leg though as I think I paced the bike almost spot on for the 91km.
T2 – not to bad. Met up with one of the girls in the group and said I’d run with her as she was also going for a sub-2h run. Set off not to bad at around 5:30/km which slowed to 5:45 and then stayed around 6min/km. She was having a shocker of a day with a sore tummy so couldn’t keep up a quicker pace. Since I was feeling OK and we were on for around 2hrs I stayed with her to keep her going. I felt good and think I could have done just under 2hours had I maintained a 5:40 pace. My stomach was as good as can be expected so was happy with the run. Slightly disappointed I didn’t actually do under 2hr but had a super run with her so it’s swings and round abouts – it’s not always all about the time after all – gotta have fun days too. The run was stinking hot and I probably didn’t take in enough fluids.
Bike nutrition may have been slightly low. I probably only had 3 bottles (2.5 energy drink and .5 water) (around 1.8l) rather than closer to 3l (3 energy drink and 1.5 water). I had 2.75 (yeah I didn’t finish one) gels too. So call it 3 bottles of nutrition and some additional water. So roughly 2.5*250Cal + 2.75*110Cal = 995Cal on the bike rather than a planned 1100Cal. On the run I had water, poweraide (or whatever it was) and then coke at the last two aid stations. I didn’t pee once during the race so should probably up the fluid a bit on the bike to my planned levels.
My plan for IM will be to have more fluids on the bike (600ml bottle energy drink and 150-300ml water an hour ) and 2gel/hr for the first 3hr and then 1gel/hr for the 2nd 3hr.
All in all I felt good about the race!