Kona '16 Analysis Part 1

After St. George 70.3 I made the decision to do the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Australia. It was going to be a very long trip, and to do well was going to require me to get in the best shape I have ever been in. For that reason, I decided to focus 100% of my energy on that race. By 100% I mean forget that Kona even exists until after the race. Doing this allowed me to cut out all of the long workouts that might add unnecessary fatigue, and take away from my ability to push the upper limits. Looking back in the training diary over the last 10 months, it appears that I rarely biked longer than 2 hours, or ran further than 20 kilometers. The more I think about it, the more I am amazed I was even able to do what I did this year in Kona. Here are my 10 longest bike rides in the last 6 months:

September 25th: 4 hours at 255w

September 14th: 2 hours 35 minutes at 261w

July 27th: 4 hours 2 minutes at 274w

July 5th: 3 hours 2 minutes at 286w

June 18th: 2 hours 31 minutes at 265w

June 8th: 3 hours at 263w

May 29th: 3 hours at 256w

April 27th: 2 hours 30 minutes at 246w

April 20th: 2 hours 20 minutes at 238w

March 19th: 3 hours at 244w

In Kona I pushed 299w (306w NP) for 4 hours and 26 minutes. It is actually the longest bike ride I have done since Ironman Arizona in November 2015. The more I think about it, the more I am amazed that I was able to hold that power for that long! I will say to those who might think I over biked this year, and who think that is why I ran so poorly: I didn’t really bike very much harder this year than last year. Last year in Kona I averaged 293w NP, whereas this year I averaged 306w NP. Last year I ran 2:54 on a much tougher day (the fastest run split last year was 2:49, whereas this year it was 2:39) and this year I ran 3:17. In all honesty, I would say even if I pushed 100w for the bike ride, I still would have run very poorly.

Now let’s have a look at the run training. My 10 longest runs in the last six months were:

August 19th: 24km at 3:45/km

August 3rd: 22.5km at 3:45/km

July 24th: 24km at 3:43/km

July 3rd: 24km at 4:00/km

June 15th: 22.1km at 3:46/km

June 6th: 24.1km at 3:57/km

June 5th: 22.1km at 3:50/km

May 27th: 24.1km at 3:58/km

April 24th: 24.1km at 3:43/km

March 17th: 30.2km at 3:57/km

Looking back on this training, I’m not quite sure how I expected to run a flat out marathon with any degree of competence, let alone a marathon after a 180km bike ride! My 3 hour 17 minute marathon makes total sense now: I had asked my legs to do something far greater on the bike than I had done in many months past, which it did…and then I asked it to do the same thing again on the marathon…which it did not. And I don’t blame it!

Following suit from last year, I will do one more post in the coming days with more lessons and my recommendations for future improvement.