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Tremblant 5150

Race: Tremblant 5150 (1500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run)
Date: June 24, 2017
Result: 2:45:54, 14/142 (M50-59)

Key Take-Aways

More attention needed on open water swims and bike output power. My run off the bike felt great!

A barefoot run from the beach to T1 on asphalt and small stones? Really? Do I need to add barefoot running to my next Tremblant workup? Will there even be a next Tremblant?

First time inside the top 10% at an Ironman event. I can’t wait to see where I am by the end of the year.

Did a good job of keeping it real. I approached this as more of a hard training day than a race. No major post-race consequences.

Overall, I liked the 5150 better than last year’s 70.3. Not as much wear and tear to recover from, and much cooler conditions.

The Swim

The forecast morning air temperature of 17C and a water temperature of 19C (67F) troubled my sleep. I have come to realize that being cold before a race is one of my greatest race day worries. A quick dip and “warm up” swim before the self-seeded start eased my fears. The wet suit kept me just warm enough.

I seeded with the 29 to 31 minute swimmers. My recent 1500m trial swims were 31:30 in the pool and 32:15 open water. Race day should be better. Right? Wrong!

Numb nuts once again did not push enough buttons on his Garmin to get the tri swim mode started. As a consequence he exited the water without any idea of his swim time. He thought it was probably pretty good. At least two legs of the three-legged U course were arrow straight thanks to a lot of company. However, the last leg got a little crooked. A bit more work on sighting in choppy waters is required.

A lot of body contact both received and given. The choppy waters did not help matters, and it all added up to a chilly 34 minutes. 2:18/100m pace makes this my slowest OWS ever, and with all the work I’ve put in, this should have been my coming out party. Back to the pool!

T1

8:36?

I stopped in front of some volunteers after I left the water and they pointed me onward. What? No wet suit strippers for the 5150? Ok, I’d rather leave it on anyway until I got to my bike cause it was c-c-cold! I had planned this strategy already.

It’s about a 500 to 600 m run from the beach to T1 proper. Last year (in the 70.3) the road was lined with red carpet. This year, it was small stones on top of bare asphalt. My bare feet were not nearly tough enough! Too painful to run, I had to walk and cuss my way over to my bike. Halfway there, a panicked volunteer urgently swept away the stones. Really poor attention to detail here – just not up to Ironman standards in my opinion.

I must have danced around my bike for three minutes trying to get my wet suit off, first getting it stuck on my Garmin wrist band, then on my timing chip. Memories of Barrelman all over again! If my intentions were for an AG podium, I just tossed it away right there.

8:36?

The Bike

Some 70k into the Tremblant 70.3 bike route, you are faced with a 10k out and 10k back section that is climb after climb. In the 5150, you get to do this cruel trick twice!

My training has been run focussed. I did not expect much with little power specific bike training (translation: suck at hills). I hoped to average 32 kmh (about 1:15:00) and so it would be. Going down was a blast! Top speed of 70.1 kmh. Going up was a grind. Max power of 674 watts. A lot more bike traffic on the second loop killed the speed. But an average HR of 132 bpm is miles below my lactic threshold. So much more left in the tank.

Even with this cruiser, my bike time was 10th in my AG group.

Well that’s how I’ll write it. Really not much more could be had going uphill without setting fire to my quads, and the downhill had safety concerns with all the bike traffic.

T2

I thought I did better getting in and out compared to previous races. However. I was still about 1:30 off the better men in my age group, and only 0:30 better than my 70.3 T2 last year.

It all adds it up, doesn’t it?

The Run

I could have thrown my body, legs and whatever else onto a rusty pike for a 40 minute run to chance an AG place. I am a glad I did not. Four minutes better would not have mattered.

I hit the first km in a surprise 4:26 and held steady pace over some challenging rollers for 44:34. Second best run in my AG and relatively comfortable at that. I’ll take it!

But until I get my swim, bike and transition times in better shape, there is no point opening up the hurt locker on the run.

Trimming the Fat

Sitting in my office, finding 15 minutes seems pretty easy: 4 minute better swim, 4 minute better transition, 5 minute better bike, 4 minute faster 10k. Et voila! 2:45 is now 2:28 and I’m standing on the podium. So much training to do, and that part won’t be so easy. To be continued…

Author

Born and raised in Hamilton & Stoney Creek. Ran X-Country in high school, but not really special at it - a middle of the pack finisher. But then again, really didn't know how to train. Didn't run after Gr 12 due to nasty shin splints. Really never ran in proper shoes back then. Didn't try to run again until age 30. Then tried. And tried. And tried. Shin splints every time. Finally got it going for good at 38 in proper shoes and I have vowed never, ever, to stop running again.

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