Preparation and Strategy

It is vital to prepare for the unexpected events of an Ironman especially due to the extensive distances and time spent on the race course. The difference in having an ordinary swim compares little to endless mechanical’s on the bike or walking for km’s in the run. In this instance your previous goal times may begin to blow out and it is therefore very important to know your capabilities and race strategies.

Something which can often be overlooked is planning for numerous strategies for race day to deal with mishaps. Planning and reviewing your equipment for race day will help eliminate this but your preparation and strategy should also stem to your hydration and nutrition, sleep, comfortable garb and ensuring you visualise a positive race.

These following examples are only a hand full of the possibilities that can go wrong on race day that can mostly be prevented by the preparation you put in leading up to your next Ironman event.

Common Occurring Issues during an Ironman

Go over your race plans A, B, and C; think out scenarios for the things that could go wrong – and chances are that some probably will. If you are lucky enough to get through your race without any issues, then you had the perfect day.

We recommend speaking to your Tri-Alliance coach and together devising a race strategy for your half or full distance Ironman race.

If you find yourself getting thrown around and swum over the top of in the swim leg – find your own space free of other to regain your composure.

Worse still, if you start to swallow water and begin to panic – roll over on your back, regain your composure and breath and continue on and your heart rate will settle.

Preparation during T1 is incredibly important. Ensure your T1 bag always has water, special needs nutrition, lubricants, sunscreen, bandaids and any spares for your bike.  You will always get anything you don’t use back after the race.

Added to this, you’re hoping onto a bike for either 90km or 180km ride, so comfort is everything. This relates to clothing, sunglasses, sufficient hydration and nutrition, sox and shoes.

On the bike leg, if you get a flat – there are a number of options. You can change it, use an inflatable repair kit or pull out of the race – the latter of which we don’t want you to have to choose!

Have a good understanding of your bike, know how to change a tyre, single or clincher! If you don’t know how to do this, speak to a coach or head on down to our friends at Giant South Yarra who will gladly teach you how this is done. Remember you are out there by yourself, and regulation states you cannot accept outside help.

As coaches, we’re amazed how many athletes in long course races experience their chains falling off, and won’t re-rail. Whether this has happened to you before the race during training or a leisurely ride – you must get your bike serviced prior to your ironman event.

During the run leg, it can be a common among athletes to begin to cramp. You have three options; reach for nutrition, stop and stretch or try and walk until you feel comfortable moving back into a jog. If you don’t have nutrition, you have not prepared correctly; you may have to tough it out until the next nutrition and hydration stop.

The same can be said for blisters. Whilst blisters may present themselves during the race, control what you can by ensuring you have worn-in joggers, are wearing comfortable, breathable sox – applying lubrication and bandaids during transition if need be.

T1 Bag

  • Cycle shoes
  • Helmet
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Lubricant
  • Bandaids
  • Extra clothing to cycle if required
  • Nutrition of choice
  • Personal needs if required

Special Needs Ride

  • 2 x fluids of choice
  • High electrolytes and salts.
  • Body Glide/Vaseline
  • Sunscreen
  • Salt tabs
  • Medicine bag

T2 Bag

  • Runners
  • Hat
  • 2nd Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Lubricant
  • Bandaids
  • Extra clothing to run if required
  • Nutrition of choice
  • Personal needs if required

Special Needs Run

  • 2 x fluids of choice
  • High electrolytes and salts.
  • Body Glide/Vaseline
  • Sunscreen
  • Salt tabs
  • Medicine bag
  • Gels/Nutrition

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