First off, I must give a huge thanks to everyone for all the love before, during and after the race. I suffered hardcore out there on the Queen K, and it was your energy that got me through it. Secondly, I need to give a big congratulations to Patrick Lange. He executed a textbook race from start to finish: Swam front pack. Rode within himself on the bike. Then used that to unleash a massive run. When he pulled up next to me, I felt like a prisoner of my own body. My mind screamed “Go!!” but my legs had nothing left. Every year I do a bit of an analysis after Kona. Sebastien Kienle said to me in a car ride during the Island House race last year, “Read your blog posts after Kona 2015, then read your blog posts after Kona 2016. Find the middle of the two, and that is how you properly prepare for an Ironman.” For the most part, that is exactly what I did differently this year, at least for the bike and run training.
The biggest advice I can offer anyone training for Ironman is this: I see athletes spending too much time at and around race pace. I think your time is better spent significantly above and below race pace. I averaged 305w AP / 313w NP for the ride in Kona. That was the only time the entire year that I spent time at that wattage. Secondly, as hard as you train, you must recover equally as hard. I see too many athletes over training. They are not giving themselves enough recovery, making training dreadful, and not training as hard as they could if they were better rested. Third, you must cultivate a true love of training and racing. I see too many athletes look at training as if it is a chore, or the whole triathlon lifestyle as if it is some sort of sacrifice. I started my “Kona block” on July 1st. I started my taper on October 8th. I had no desire to taper, it was just a necessary evil of racing. I loved every minute of every one of those blocks, and would have been content with just continuing training. But, I was preparing for a test, and at some point you have to take the test.
If you didn’t catch the race, I hope you will go back and watch it, because it was a great battle. There is no need for me to write a blog post about my experience during the race, because the entire thing was caught on camera. I think the pain and suffering that went into that race is pretty clear. This year I thought I would take a slightly different approach and present the raw numbers behind my Kona performance. As for the future, I see lots of room for improvement in all three disciplines. I’m not sure if there is anything more motivating than being passed at mile 23 of the run at the Ironman World Championship. I am more motivated than ever to get back to work. If you need me, I will be down stairs in the training room.
I started preparing for this season, with the end goal being Kona, on December 6th 2016. That is 312 days in total. Here are the numbers starting from that date and ending the day before the race:
Total swim distance: 862244m
Total swim time: 261 hours and 5 minutes
Average daily swim distance: 2764m
Highest daily swim mileage: 5700m
Total run distance: 2960km
Total run time: 190 hours and 7 minutes
Average weekly run distance: 65.8km
Highest weekly run mileage: 118km
Highest daily run mileage: 41km
Total bike time: 285 hours and 25 minutes
Average weekly bike time: 6 hours and 26 minutes
Average daily bike time: 54 minutes
Longest daily bike duration: 5 hours and 2 minutes
Average weekly training duration: 16 hours and 27 minutes
Highest weekly training duration: 25 hours and 58 minutes
Total number of complete off days: 37
And then my favourite graph of all. Daily CTL score (the blue line), starting from July 1st (the official beginning of the “Kona Block”) and going to the beginning of my taper right before Kona (note: highest daily CTL average was 182, achieved the last day of training before the taper i.e. October 7) :