Lessons Learned From 70.3 Ironman California

[caption id="attachment_1671" align="alignleft" width="223" caption="This guy will not pass me."][/caption] I wrote my race report and posted it earlier this week, but it has taken me some time to come down from the highs and lows and truly evaluate my performance. I am my harshest critic and so I have a tendency to not appreciate the ability and talent and performance.  It was with this  theory that I have decided to sit back for a week and try to understand what I did right and what I did wrong.  Wrong may not be the best way to phrase this so let's say what I can improve upon. I believe that self-reflection is the best way to understand where you started and where you finished.  It also gives you time to be truly free of the emotion and to put together a game plan for the next training session and plan the next race accordingly. PRE-RACE NUTRITION / HYDRATION: I believe that my nutrition was  spot on heading into the race.  I ate properly and did not change anything other than adding a 1/2 sandwich of almond butter and jelly the night before.  I was nervous and my favorite sandwich helped ease my nerves and get me to sleep fairly easily.  The morning of the race I ate the same type of breakfast I had been eating prior to long rides on the weekend and at the same time interval before the start so that my body was prepared to process the carbs to give me energy when the starting whistle went off. My hydration could use help.  Coach had given me a hydration plan and being lazy or excited I did not print it out and neglected getting in the carb solution she prescribed on the day of the flight or on race morning.  Getting that hydration in may have helped me on the run and that will be one item that I truly focus on when I head to the next 70.3 event. I did my best in San Diego to avoid eating or actually over-eating due to the excitement on Friday (the day before the race) but I know I ate a few things that I normally would not eat.  This included a vegan pumpkin cookie.  Yes, I would eat that but not the day before the race.  This might be nit-picky but I need to focus my consumption of calories to avoid any issues during the race. SWIM I put my goal time at 40 minutes based on my training and wound up swimming 40 minutes and 37 seconds.  I am very proud of this as swimming was the one discipline that I was terrible at.  It was also the reason I wound up hiring a coach. As my swim improved so did my confidence but the swim did not truly improve until I started swimming with Greg Larsen (Twitter: @tri2live)  I think the issue of swimming on my own is that while competitive with myself when there is a carrot to chase and push me I perform better.  The next step in improving my swim is to join a master's swim class.  This will help me exponentially I believe. I also need to know that I have to push myself in the water and have the confidence that if I exhaust myself that I exhaust myself.  I do this on the run and always complete the run, so I need to apply this theory to the swim.  Swim hard and my body will automatically slow down as I get tired. BIKE Again I hit my goal time.  I was looking at 3 hours on the bike and wound up riding 3 hours and 6 minutes.  I averaged 18 mph which is what my training had me at.  The bike being the longest component of any triathlon is where I can make up the most time I believe.  Going from 18 mph to 19 mph or 20 mph is a significant increase and will help my times tremendously. [caption id="attachment_1673" align="alignright" width="250" caption="The medal was nice, but this was the reward for racing."][/caption] Putting in an effort to produce a 19 mph bike speed would save me 9 minutes.  A 20 mph bike speed would save me 18 minutes.  I know this is a big leap but I also know that there are ways to improve that involve both training and equipment. In my training I have to embrace the trainer in those times when getting outside is not possible.  If I need to get on the spin bike at the gym I need to crank up the tension and know that it is going to hurt and that my speed may be affected but it will help my endurance and leg strength.  I have to be more cognizant of the time on the trainer as that will help me the most I believe.  Now, the trainer is no substitute for riding outside and when I do get outside I need to make sure that my routes are varied and include hill climbing.  Just like running doing hill repeats will help my overall speed. As for equipment there is the opportunity to buy an aero helmet as that will be the cheapest way to gain speed.  I borrowed 404s for this race and if I can continue to do so I will.  If I need to rent the wheels for a race I will do that until I can afford to buy my own set. RUN [caption id="attachment_1675" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Heading down the finisher's shoot"][/caption] My goal time was 1:40 and I ran a 1:48.  I am very hard on myself for this time and I don't know why.  A 1:48 half-marathon back in November would have been a PR.  Today I am disappointed with it.  I felt like I struggled in the last half of this run and I have pinpointed it to the fact that I was not properly hydrated from the bike. On the bike I consumed 660 calories through PowerBars but I only drank about 5-10 ounces of hydration in the form of Accelerade.  This needs to be increased as I had salt caked on my legs when I finished.  There is sodium in Accelerade that would have helped keep me hydrated and fresher for the second half of the run. With my training I believe that the run is my strength.  I give it my all each and every time I run and don't hold back.  Sometimes to my detriment I'm sure but I love running and I love finding that next gear. Dialing in the hydration on the bike I believe will help me the most on the run. POST RACE [caption id="attachment_1676" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Look at all the liquid in the SpeedFil"][/caption] Immediately after the race in the athletes tent I grabbed everything in sight.  Not a great way to recover.  I should have stuck to some oatmeal peanut butter cookies (of which I am perfecting a recipe now so that I am prepared for Austion 70.3.)  I believe that the nutrition in a couple of oatmeal peanut butter cookies combined with HoneyMilk will help me recover within those first 30 mintues. After those 30 minutes are up and I head out to a restaurant I won't be as hungry and won't consume an entire pizza, although I will have pizza.  That is my food for recovery. Learning from this experience I will be able to control my caloric intake on the Sunday and Monday after the race.  This past week I have eaten as if it were my last meal before a 50 year prison sentence.  There hasn't been a cookie or extra serving that has slipped past me.  It took me two days to get back to my very controlled caloric intake and I feel so much better now than on Sunday or Monday.   I know there will be those who say that I am crazy for evaluating my performance this way, but I believe that I have made a lifestyle commitment with triathlon and I want to continually improve.  Improvement may come in the form of a few seconds but it is improvement.  I believe in being better the next day than in the current day so that I am always moving forward.  This type of evaluation will help me do that. In case you want to know I finished 147 out of 434 M35-39 racers.  On the swim I was 213 and finished 147th so that shows that I improved with each leg and that I am the proudest of.  As other racers were getting weak I was getting stronger.  That I will hang my hat on and know that all of my endurance training paid off and now it is about focusing on speed, which will come with hard work and determination (two areas I am not lacking in.)  

Jason Bahamundi

2476 38 Lewisville TX USA Marketing
40:37 3:06:37 1:48:41 5:42:17 836 147
TOTAL SWIM 1.2 mi. (40:37) 2:08/100m 1289 213
BIKE SPLIT 1: 24.45 mi 24.45 mi (1:11:22) 20.56 mph
BIKE SPLIT 2: 56 mi 31.55 mi (1:55:15) 16.43 mph
TOTAL BIKE 56 mi. (3:06:37) 18.00 mph
RUN SPLIT 1: 3.275 mi 3.275 mi (26:20) 8:02/mi
RUN SPLIT 2: 6.55 mi 3.275 mi (25:06) 7:39/mi
RUN SPLIT 3: 9.825 mi 3.275 mi (27:45) 8:28/mi
RUN SPLIT 4: 13.1 mi 3.275 mi. (29:30) 9:00/mi
TOTAL RUN 13.1 mi. (1:48:41) 8:17/mi 836   147
T2: BIKE-TO-RUN 1:39
Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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