Ironman Mallorca 70.3 Race Report

Ironman Mallorca 70.3 Race Report

So i think that it would be good to start this race report by setting out what my race plan and targets were for Mallorca and then seeing how well i executed them. Having been in Mallorca a couple of weeks prior to the race i had a good feel for the race itself and felt that i should be able to get close to my race plan.

The plan: SWIM
The swim on paper looks an easy swim as its usually calm early in the morning and there is no real navigation to do as its simply an out and back.  I’m typically swimming about the 1:30/100m in training so the plan was to start towards the front of the race,  get on a set of feet and aim for 28mins or less.

The plan: BIKE
Having rode the course a few times i felt like i had a good understanding for what was ahead on race day.  During my visit a few weeks before the race i performed a few trial runs and tested a few power strategy’s.  Which was basically hit it hard (280Watts) to the bottom of the climb and then keep a a lid on it going up the hill @ 300Watts and then site back at about 260W for the run home.  I wanted to do this to know what it would feel like on race day and how much it would take out of me.  The second attempt i went  to the top 2mins faster which was due to knowing when and where to push on the climb.

I use Best Bike Split with my coach to look at estimating my time (https://www.bestbikesplit.com/public/64390) this showed that finishing with a 265 Watts Normalised Power i should come in about 2hrs 30mins.  Having rode the course a couple of times i knew that this was maybe a best case scenario and if it rained or was overly windy this time would be out the window.  I personally thought about the 1hr 35mins would be good.

This was my race prediction from Best Bike Split

The plan: RUN
My run plan was simple!  Not to kill myself too much on the bike and to go out steady on the first lap, see what i had for the second and empty the tank if i had anything left on the final lap.  Aim for a sub 1hr 30mis which was about 4:10 min/km. Sounds simple right?!  I knew that i could do this in training and all the training signal pointed in the right direction.. so i just had to see how it went on race day.

The Reality: SWIM
Having decided to wear my sleeveless suit for this race i was a little apprehensive to see how it would go.  I started in the sub 30min pen in around the middle with my training buddy Evan in the 30-35min pen behind me.  Mr Clive Kennedy-Burn (AG winner from last year) who i swim and train with in our local pool was still faffing with his bike so never made it to the front on time for me to swim with.  Last year i swam a 28mins which i was pleased with but i knew i had pushed it last year as i was not cycling afterwards due to injury.  The run into the sea takes a while as it fairly shallow and you don’t want to be swimming unless you want a mouth full of weeds!

The swim out to the turn point is straight and easy and was uneventful, i never get into a good rhythm until the second half of the swim so it was just about setting in and trying to swim straight.  There didn’t seem to be too many feet to try and swim on so i headed for the turn boy and kept my head down.  Once i had turned it was again just a method of keeping the head down and heading for the finish banner which you could see from the turn point.  This was useful as the sun was getting in the way.  My Garmin reported that i swam an extra 80 meters which is about a minuet and my official finish time was 28min 34:sec which i wasn’t over the moon about but i guess ill take that..

The Reality: THE BIKE
My sleeveless wetsuit certainly helped me with my 2:20 transition as it was easy to rip down and off, much easier than my other wetsuit.  I only saw one other person in transition mainly due to the fact that my bike was right next to the pro’s (Bib 149) and i was lucky to run all that way without my bike.  My helmet and race number were on my bike so it was helmet on, race number on and were off!  Now the last time i decided to try and keep my shoes on my bike and put them on whilst cycling ended in badly with another athlete knocking me off and breaking my pelvis.  Even though it wasn’t my fault as he was passing me on the wrong side i hadn’t tried this since then, so i’m not sure why i decided to do so this time.  After trying for what seemed like an eternity i finally gave up, stopped and put my left foot into my shoe… and put the hammer down! (Prob loosing about 20secs)

I knew the route out of Alcudia quiet will so made sure i was on the watts from the start.  The plan was 280W to 21km, which is about the start of the climb.  Unfortunately i got caught up in some early traffic just after the port of pollencia and had to sit up quiet a few times. The image below is of the section to the bottom of the climb.  As you can see i didn’t quiet hit my 280W as my NP as 271.

Next up was the climb to the top of the hill.  The plan was to settle into a steady power and get my head down.  I was aiming for about 300W which was a little over comfortable but it was early in the race and i knew that i had time to recover from this.  I didn’t quiet mange my power plan finishing with a NP of 283W for this segment but i’m happy with this.  I kept my heart rate average down to 149 as well which is comfortable.

Next was the tricky down hill section which i was looking forward to simply for the rest and the fact that i had disk breaks and knew that i could take a few more risks into the corners.  As it was i managed to keep some good speed down despite the corners and averaged 45kph.  Power was understandably lower at 192W which i think is not too bad for a steep downhill section.

So once down off the hill there is just over an hour to go so its a again a case of getting aero and maintaining the watts.  Unfortunately i got caught up in a group of riders that i couldn’t shake off and this cost me time.  Its difficult to say how much time but i remember having to sit up lots while they overtook and joined in the middle of the line, pushing everyone back.  What was also rather frustrating was when i decided to try and get in front of them all, pushing over 600W to do so i got carded for not overtaking fast enough. (or so i think so as the guy on the moped didnt speak any english when i asked him why)  I have three spikes in one section over 600W where each time i would push past them and try and loose them only for them to catch up and then sit in-front of me doing no work, dropping my watts to below 200!!  You cant quiet see this in the image below but you can in the file @ 1hr42, 1Hr47 and 1Hr55.

Having not had a green card before i was unsure where to go but just before the bike finish line there was a penalty tent and i sat out my 5mins there!  My official bike time was 2:39 so if you take off the 5mins i was around the 2:34 which is a little off from my predicted time of 2:29.  Where do i think that i lost the 5 mins?  Well for me i lost a little before the climb and most of it from 1hr35 to 1hr55 where i was caught up in some bad traffic.

So my final numbers were 265W Normalised Power which was 2W out, so spot on. Av Hr 146, Cadence 85 with a Intensity Factor of .86 which is about as high as it wants to be!  My aim for my next race is to be closer to 280W NP so i don’t have long to find 15W NP!

The Reality: RUN

So the plan for the run was to run a sub 1hr 30 mins.  My last race i ran a 1hr 33 and training had been going well with some good speed work since January.  To go under 1hr30 mins i needed to hold 4:10 min/km pace which im comfortable doing in training so i was aiming for this on the day.  I set off quiet comfortable and the fist 1Km ticked off at 4:02 min/km which when i saw this i backed off in fear of blowing up.  The problem was, when i backed off to about a 4:20 min/km and couldn’t pick it back up again!  Didn’t matter what i tried i just got stuck at that pace and never recovered.  Some people were blaming the heat but the heat had never really bothered me, even though i’m a heave sweater!  Did i push too hard on the bike?  Was it too hot for me?  Was i having an off day?  I’ve not quiet worked it out yet but i will have to take it and move on to the next race which being Edinburgh 70.3 will be cooler than Mallorca!

Conclusion

I guess i’m fairy happy with my race, would of liked to of swam under 28mins, im happy with my bike apart from the green card and disappointed with my run.  But those who know me know that an average race just spurs me on to train harder and ensure that my next race (Edinburgh 70.3 on 2nd July) ill try and smash my targets.  Onwards and upwards as they say!

Leave a Reply