I entered the taper week somewhat tired, felt like i was prone to injury everywhere. My shins hurt, left shoulder started to give me trouble and motivation was going down because of it all. I did not feel in shape. I think this was 90% in my head though and i was actually pretty ok. As the week continued and i started to eat food but more often and more snacks, i started to feel better. Skipped a few sprint/speed sets to save the shoulder and legs.
And on the Thursday before the race i took a 60min sports massage and it did wonders! I’m for sure going to go back to SPORTS MASSAGE WHEN FEELING STIFF/SOAR AGAIN. Never done a proper sports massage before so was really surprised of how much difference it made.
I took the Friday of from work, packed and did some final adjustments to my bike. We took the car to the venue (5hours) and was there in time for registration on Friday evening. Had a big pasta at the hotel and went to be early.
On the Saturday morning at bike checking I snapped a brake wire and had to in panic get help from the on-site mechanic. Luckily he also found a pin from the chain sticking out and it would most likely have snapped the chain a few km into the race unless he had fixed it. In the future i will ALWAYS DO A PROPER BIKE SERVICE BEFORE THE RACE at a bike shop, at home, so I’m 100% sure it is in mint condition and i don’t have to worry about that. Apparently when i do a service myself before the race i have to much going on in my head and its easy to miss stuff.
On Saturday lunch (13:30) i had a big Subways sub with turkey and ham, easy on the veggie and with chips and a coke. I could have sipped a sports drink during the day but the bike panic from earlier threw me of a bit. I had a water bottle with me later on and so hydration was fine.
On the way back to the hotel we went to the local super market and bought breakfast and salad from their buffet. I had some pasta, chicken and melon. Ate it at 18:30 together with sports drink and electrolyte tabs.
Wake-Up 5:45 and had breakfast.
Low residue, nervous stomach style.
100gr Rice Krispies
? gr Apple sauce (no sugar)
3*30gr Peanut butter
750ml Sports drink
Total about 800kcal
Left me feeling “full” but not weight down. Good pre-race breakfast!
07:00 Went down to the venue, checked all bags and did a dry run so i would find my bike etc. Felt good, not to nervous.
Changed to swimsuit at transition area tent, said hi to my parents who just arrived and headed over to the swim start. Again, did not feel to nervous, was more focused. Did not do a swim warmup, to bad area for warmup, a lot of people in it and i rather just stay and gets pumped up on land.
I entered the water in the 32min group. That was a mistake since most swimmers in the 30min group was more like 35min swimmers. So I ended up passing about 50-100 swimmers in the first 50% of the race. It made me feel pretty motivated and strong, i also dropped some nervous respect to the 7000€ bike owners in the pits who acted like they were Kienle all of them pre-race. I also swam faster than 32min so next time i will STAND IN A FASTER SWIM LANE and don’t be so humble. No one else is.
I held back on the swim, i did not was to blow everything there like i did in Gothenburg a couple of weeks earlier. So on swim exit i still felt ok and in control. Think i hit a nice level, right below threshold. Nothing to add on the transition, was quick on the bike.
I ate 3 gels/hour and also had some sports drink at the aid stations. Totally i had about 2,5liters of water but hard to tell since i took from aid stations. I packed to much water on the bike, next time on IM event i WONT CARRY TO MUCH WATER and fill up at aid stations instead. The front torpedo water system worked excellent and having the gels in the shirt pockets also worked great.
Muscular i felt good throughout the bike set. Pulse was also ok, I charged, paced myself with 5-6 other riders but did not push to hard, did not want to push to risk stomach upsets. Stayed below 155 in pulse.
That amazing feeling of entering the transition area and being almost alone. I will never forget that feeling, i almost stopped and wondered what i had done wrong. I was expecting chaos and 2000 other riders there but i was almost first on my entire rack. What a feeling.
Transition can go faster with better shoes/laces.
Once out on the run i felt drained of energy, i knew it would be really tough. Stomach felt fine and i was worried it would start making problems so i took it easy the first few km to see how things unfolded. Really tired, out of energy, at first aid station i got some sports drink and was amazed that my stomach took it. I was having problems keeping the pulse up, i was running around 145. At the half marathon a few months ago i was running at 160 so energy was really low. I decided to forget about the stomach and just fill up at every aid station. I had coke, energy drink and sports drink (one or the other) at every aid station. Hydration was fine, i started the run well hydrated from the bike so that was never a problem. I pushed as hard as i could in the end and managed a “ok” time but was so out of energy.
Taper week was good, i should worry to much though. Bike needs to be better prepped (perhaps a new bike next time!). Even though they all look like World Champions in the transition area i should not respect the competition to much, I’m strong and i beat most of them, i finished top 10%!
I could have pushed harder at the swim but at what cost, same with bike, i could have burned a little bit more but at what cost, muscle fatigue, cramping? In the end i burned all the energy i had so i think a different energy distribution would have resulted in about the same finish time. I think i did a well distributed race with low risk for stomach upsets etc. and with no big mistakes. And therefore there are no bigger things to change, its simply just more training, better fitness that counts here. Possibly fine-tune the energy intake but that takes more experience on the distance with load as well. For my first race i give myself an A+!