When I finished the last blog post I said I would write a bit more about the Ironman before moving on. It's been a few weeks and I wasn't sure if it would still really be relevant but sometimes with distance and time after an event and performance our thoughts and reflections are clearer.
I have looked back at my training, build up and prep and had time to consolidate what I did on the day and how it went. With an Ironman there are so many unknowns and even with all the training it still comes down to the day.
My build up I think was the best I could have done, the bike was the main focus and I'm still surprised with how well I rode on the day. This came down to some really specific workouts but also just solid TT time in the saddle and being confident in pushing for the hours. Also doing some long rides over 200kms meant the ride actually felt quite short and fast so mentally it was easier. For sure I think I could be more "aero" on the bike and work on my position and set up but right now that's not something I can afford to invest in.
I did wonder if I missed a good solid final 30km build run or so but to be honest I was so fatigued a couple of weeks before the race I didn't have time to fit this in. Looking at the race I am a bit frustrated with my run, 20-30kms the pace just dropped, my stomach hurt and I couldn't push what I wanted. I do feel I am yet to run my marathon potential in an IM. I'm unsure if its nutrition, harder training sessions or similar. However the only way I can replicate the feel would be to do 42km runs off a 5hr bike.. I plan to go away and look at this as I truly do feel I could run a marathon around 3:50-55 per km all going well.
My swim I was super happy with, I actually always swim better open water than in a pool and I couldn't believe how comfortable I felt in the swim. I was doing a lot of open water in the build up and a lot of wetsuit swimming which I really feel helped. Over all the races and distances I have done I do think the 3.8kms is my favourite to swim, you aren't trying or going full gas but its a smooth tempo rhythm.
The race and performance has given me a lot of confidence, after last years Ironman (my first) I did think I was solid over this distance so to have more evidence is a great feeling. I'm still far from my full potential over the distance which is really exciting. I. believe I know how to do an IM build up, race on the day and get the most from myself. For sure there is more I could do and race better but in a way im exactly where I want to be. I now have some quite big ambitions and certainly want to look at this distance and racing more seriously.
Final point - Kona. I have dreamt a long time of racing and going to Kona. Being on the island with the best athletes in the World racing on such a brutal course. I qualified at Thun and as customary was offered my slot and to pay there and then to head off this October. However I turned this down, quite simply I couldn't afford it and thus the issue with Kona and Ironman.
I don't even know the entry fee but I assume upwards of 600-800 dollars and they want you to pay the same day as you have just finished an already expensive ironman? The other issues is this years race athletes have rolled over from 2020/21 so the island is completely at capacity accommodation wise. I think to go for the week would cost in excess of £10k, it's just insane. I didn't race Switzerland to try and go but I find it hard to turn it down and how un accessible its becoming. Is it a World champs or just people who can afford it? Are the best athletes really there? It's funny I was 3rd overall and won my AG by a long way and you just get a trophy. Wouldn't it be great to get a free IM entry? Discounted entry to a race of choice or better yet a free slot to Worlds?! Anyway just some thoughts to close out this post, I'd have loved to race the Worlds and hopefully another year but the issues won't go away overnight.