Monday 27 August 2012

Ironman Bolton. Too well managed?

Thanks to MrTOTKat, I have a template to create a rather good view of what happened at Bolton.  Two things stand out... my transitions really are abysmal and I managed my bike effort very very (perhaps too?) well. 

Overall Female F40-44
Swim 53.6% 49.3% 38.5%
T1 82.5% 82.1% 61.5%
Bike 88.2% 72.9% 61.5%
T2 89.0% 85.0% 84.6%
Run 64.9% 57.9% 42.3%
Finish 78.3% 68.6% 57.7%
(lower numbers are better)

In T1, I dropped quite a bit down the overall field.  And T2 wasn't a whole lot better, but the field was a lot more strung out by then so it was less noticeable.   I have no idea what the heck I was doing in T1 and T2, but I need to stop day-dreaming and think more like I do in sprint triathlons where my transitions are (comparatively to the rest of the field) very good.

Still, my slow-down in the bike leg was at a lesser rate than the top 20 athletes (look at the red trend line - comparisons are made with the top 20 athletes as it's assumed that they know what they're doing).
Not easy to see, but my rate of slow down is lower
And I started off very very much more slowly, 98.4% down the field (for bike times) at the first bike split, but pulling back up 10% of the field by the end of the bike and 13% of the women.  So though I took it easy on the bike, I went off steadily and picked up better than a chunk of the field.

(My age category is so small, the numbers aren't all that meaningful)

And my slow down in the run was appreciably less than the top 20 (again, the red trend line), the rest of the field, all women and my age category.  So much so that I made back a lot of places.  A well managed race?  Looks that way.  But maybe too conservative?

Really made up lots over the run.  Started gently 80% down the field at the first split, and then made up lots of places over the 26.2 miles to 65%.   And again, look at the red trend line.  I slow down less than the top 20 athletes over the 26.2 mile run course.

Started slow and, er, stayed there

Starting off slower than almost 80% of the field at the first run split, I pulled back up to 65% down the (run time) field by the end of it.  This time, the women did a bit better than the average in the field, probably having taken it a bit less hard on the bike earlier.  That said, I actually did better than more than half of my age category in the run.  Not bad for someone who's rubbish at running. :o)

I think I'd had enough in the last 2 miles
 If you compare the overall heart rate graph with the other graphs, you can see a slow downwards drift across the disciplines.  The large majority of the entire race is comfortably in Zone 1 (the coloured bands in the graph are a bit misleading below, blue and most of green is Zone 1) with a tiny foray into Zone 2 the first couple of times up Sheephouse Lane on the bike so I really could have put more into that.  You'd expect the HR in the run to be higher than in the bike, but that continues the downwards saunter.
(Usually in a triathlon, heart rate is higher on the run than in the bike, but this is long course.)

Overall, I think the bike leg was overly conservative, it sticks out in the results (if you ignore the transitions as they're just hilarious) as the weakest discipline in terms of time taken, and I could have gone faster/harder.  The run shows clearly that a well-managed bike leg (along with good nutrition and hydration) delivers good results in the run leg.  Overall, I could have gone harder in the run too.  The big positive I think I can take from this is that I can go quite a bit quicker if/when I learn a bit better where the limits may lie.  Not something I'll take into Wales; too risky for finishing The Challenge.

Maybe next year?

If I could take the same kind of improvements in Ironman as I've made across sprint triathlons over 7 races, I'd be very pleased indeed.  53% in the swim (from 58% to top 5%), 67% in the bike (from 71% to top 5%) and 51% in the run (from 78% to top 27%) and 65% overall (72% to top 7.5%) in my age category and from 84% to top 33% of the whole field.  Thing is, you just can't bang out the same number of long course races in a season as sprint or even Olympic distance races, so the learning curve is very much slower.

1 comment:

  1. "you just can't bang out the same number of long course races in a season as sprint or even Olympic distance races, so the learning curve is very much slower. "

    And there you have it in a nutshell. You're wise not to aim for any improvement this year. Ironman Galway and Ironman Wales are much too close together to go for that. Besides, you both did extremely well in your first full Ironman at Bolton.

    Who knows what next year will bring?