We are now under 48 hours until the start of Ironman Wisconsin! Today was a day I was planning on sleeping in then getting up whenever and heading to Madison. Well, looks like my body has gotten used to the 6:15 wake ups because I woke up at 6:45 this morning. I might have been able to get back to sleep but then I started thinking about the race and once that happened there was no way in hell I would be able to go back to sleep. That just means my afternoon nap will be that much better today!
Here is the final installment of my “race strategy”! The run, the death march, the crawl, whatever people call an Ironman run it is tough. For me it is a run. I feel that I am in great running shape and I showed that at Texas, even though I went out too fast, and have consistently showed in training that I have the run fitness. But the two most important things to a good run are a well paced bike leg and dialed in nutrition. Without these two things the run will turn into the death march or crawl, or at least a very painfully slow run. I have dialed my nutrition in over this season and have shown that I have been able to run after long bike rides during my “brick” workouts. The well paced bike should happen, as laid out in my “Bike strategy” post. I will gladly let people crush the bike then catch them on the run.
So the plan for the run is to start SLOW. At Texas I felt amazing starting the run and had the mindset where I might as well run a fairly fast pace until I had to slow down because that would bank some time. While it might have worked out to not totally kill my run it is not the best run strategy since in any marathon, let alone an Ironman marathon, does not start until mile 20 of the run. I will for sure have to tell myself to slow the hell down at the start and start ticking miles off one by one but I know that will benefit me over the whole 26.2 miles. My goal pace for this run is 7:45-8:00 min/mile depending on how I am feeling. So I will start out at that upper end of my goal then hopefully run faster towards the end. I am going to mentally break down the race into 6 mile segments, with the final 2.2 being the last segment. This helps my mind not think about the whole distance. I become focused on finishing each segment. The tough part of the race will be at the end of lap one when I run right by the finish line. This is always tough and I had to do it twice at Texas. Luckily the spectator support is supposed to be amazing on the whole course besides running through Camp Randall Stadium.
I am lucky enough to have my parents and my girlfriend coming to the race with me so they will be out supporting me the whole time. And my brother, who lives in Madison, will be there at some point. I cannot express how excited I am to do this race. My legs are starting to come around after my massage Tuesday. It still isn’t totally “real” to me that I will be out on the course for 10+ hours Sunday but I know once I get to check in today and see all the people and all the craziness in Madison it will hit me.