Here is the 2nd installment of my “Ironman Wisconsin Race Strategy”. This bike course is TOUGH. And what makes it even more tough is the fact that I live in an area with zero hills. I had the chance a few weeks ago to ride the course and I am very, very happy I was able to. I learned a lot about the course and kind of figured out how I wanted to go after the course.
The main objective of this bike is to ride within myself. That might sound easy and simple but in a race with a lot of hills and spectators that can get kind of tough. After the swim adrenaline is at an all time high and it takes a lot to just take a deep breath and ride my race. I am lucky that I have a power meter that tells me how hard I am working without all the added variables of heart rate. So main goal #1 is to ride at my wattage. For this distance, I am hoping to ride around 170-180 watts for my average power. My 2nd goal is to not power up hills or go way above my threshold power. That will be tough on a few of the hills because they are steep but I will be happy to let people pass me on those hills only to re-pass them on the way down or during the run. I put on a compact crank, 50×34, for this race and I am happy I did it. I am riding with an 11-25 rear cassette so I feel comfortable with my gearing.
My 3rd objective of this race is to climb the whole hill. Well duh! But what I really mean is some people start to rest when they get to the top of the hill but that costs valuable time, especially over this course since there are so many hills. So my plan is to get to the top of the hill the shift to my 50 and power down the hills until I run out of gears. Once I start to spin out at around 30-35 MPH I will coast and rest the legs a bit but I do not want to just coast the whole hill because, again, that loses time over the course of the race.
It is said that an Ironman doesn’t start until mile 80 of the bike. This is because so many people ride the course too hard at the start then fade at the end. This kind of happened to me in Texas so I want to make sure I take it easy for the first loop of the course then reassess how I feel. The biggest part about an Ironman is nutrition. I am lucky that I have a pretty strong stomach so I have yet to, knock on wood, have GI issues during a race. But I have a pretty dialed in nutrition plan for the race. I will have 2 bottles mixed with First Endurance EFS Fruit Punch (3 scoops per bottle) mixed with 2 ounces of Liquid Shot Vanilla. I will also have a flask with Kona Mocha Liquid Shot. To go along with the liquid calories I will have a few Bonk Breaker bars. I will pick up water at each aid station to put in my Torhans aero bottle up front. I might pick up a bottle or two of Ironman Perform as well depending on how I feel. Some might think this is crazy but I have to be specific and have everything planned out to make sure my body is fueled properly for a 10+ hour race. Oh and I will also have a can of Coke and some Peanut Butter M&Ms in my special needs bag for a little pick me up!
So there you have it. I probably left something out but that is the gist of my bike plan. I will probably write up my run strategy tomorrow but I am also going to have to pack up and clean my bike tomorrow since I am heading up to Madison Friday morning!