One of my coaching clients has just completed the Lakesman full distance triathlon (http://thelakesman.com/) . He is also an Age Group winner at the Outlaw Triathlon (https://www.outlawtriathlon.com/ ) and sent me this little list of notes, ideas and tips in his post race analysis which he kindly allowed me to share ….
So if you are going to listen to anyone, he is well worth listening to! ….
a) If you are going to ride a TT bike on the day, then TRAIN ON IT! After X hours on the tri bars my neck aches more than anything else in my body forcing me to come out of a tuck position and thereby slowing speed. For me, the choice of bike to train on and bike to race on made little difference. Therefore TRAIN YOUR NECK AS WELL AS OTHER PARTS OF THE BODY.
b) In cold water my hands become like claws and not paddles, so probably ought to train with hands in that form and try and improve my catch and pull. After all if a para-olympian can swim faster than I without hands or fingers, then I must be missing a trick here. Focusing on form and efficiency rather than pace, especially around the swim is so important.
d) Say hello & thank you to marshalls, it makes them feel appreciated and takes your mind off how tired you are.
e) On a multi-lap marathon course, which most are at IM, then break it down into one lap at a time, this way I find an IM marathon passes much quicker than on a regular marathon course.
f) You never go out and train for 8-12 hours so nutrition is hit and miss, but having had the B race before the A race has made me realise Bagels on the bike are great, they don’t fall apart and aren’t sweet and sticky like gels etc, on the run I found after some trial and error on lap 1 that alternating water and Iso at the aid stations and eating either the crisps, or the mini-cheddar biscuits on offer worked for me, and then touched nothing else for the whole run. In 2017 at IM Copenhagen there was nothing savoury on offer, at the aid stations to thoroughly check what will be available and if necessary carry some with you. I run in a cycle top for that reason, so I an carry a couple of crisp packets or hoola hoops if necessary (remember to put them in your Run bag beforehand)
g) It’s amazing how the thought of proper food and a hot drink at the finish line can keep you going in the last 1/4 of the run.
h) I consumed roughly 50% of one energy bar during the whole event, entirely personal consideration of course, but I find proper food works best for me, so don’t assume energy bars and gels are the way forward.
i) Make sure your watch battery will last 12+ hours; mine gave up at km 160 on the bike. I have since read the manual and find I can put it in a low power mode for long distance races which updates the GPS less regularly. By that point, it didn’t make much difference, but then my only way or knowing my elapsed time was by looking at a church clock once per lap. This also highlights the importance of knowing yourself and your pace without gadgets.
j) Give yourself a treat at each aid point on the run and walk through them, thereby breaking the run down into manageable section to keep going in-between, and then the distance soon passes and you can keep going. Of course if you can keep running through them all the better.