Race morning I was ready to race legs felt good and felt that I had a solid performance in me. I didn't have the best sleep the night before thanks to a bit of pre race nerves but I wasn’t feeling the effects of it. The start rolled around and the bang off straight up the first climb. Started out on the first lap just a fraction to quickly by about 2-5sec/km. Then came a pretty big mistake. The plan was to take on 200-300ml of my own sports drink at the end of lap one trying to get a quick start on my nutrition. Straight away the stomach was not liking that idea and around the top of the climb on lap 2 the sports drink was no more. Took it easy back down to T1 and started to recover.
Out on the bike legs felt good straight away, power under control and passing people with easy. I played it what I thought safe with nutrition and waited till about 40min on the bike to start taking on cals. My stomach didn't like that idea at all and continued to dislike cals of any form until around 30km to go on the bike. I stat up on the bike on lap 2 hoping lower power and not riding aero would help but I was out of luck. The food came a little to late for me and started to bonk with 20km to go. Lucky I was getting cals down at that stage but those last 20km were painful.
Got to the start of the second run and all I can say is ouch! I pretty much spent the first 22.5km of the 30km run walking the climbs and jogging the rest from aid station to aid station as thats all my body could manage. Even walking the climbs I had to focus hard mentally on moving forward and straight. I took on 2 cups of water, 1 of coke at every aid station and a gel and every second. At the final turn around I finally seemed to get just enough sugar into my system again to manage a faster pace on the flat and the descents and a faster walk on the climbs. Then I hit the final downhill where my quads just went no more. I forced my way down that final climb the best i could to finish in just under 9hrs. I finished 3rd in my category thanks to 2 other athletes not showing up. I’ll take a bronze at a world title race although I feel my real position is 7th as thats the position I finished in my age group based off times. To long to explain in detail but each age group had 2 categories.
Now what I’ve learned from the race:
- Do not take on nutrition n during the first run, the amount you gain is way outweighed by the amount you could potentially lose
- On the second run, even the pros are walking. I saw a number of pros outside the top 7 on the male side walking on the final run and still putting in competitive run times.
- TT bike kills a road bike. The easy at which I could pass people on road bikes on the flat descents was unexpected even for me for how little power I was putting out.
- The heavier you are the more perfect day you need to go as fast as you potential.
- Do not ware racing flats unless you light. The rocky surface will bruise your feet if there isn’t enough cushioning in them. I would usually ware racing flats.
Planning for next session is already happening, another big challenge planned and hope to come back to Zofingen stronger, smarter, lighter and faster.