Here is the STS Team JJ – Langkawi, Malasya Ironman 2016 race review.
Alarm clock sound, it’s 3:55 in the morning and it is race day.
After some days of adaptation/activation and having some fun in Malasya, we are heading to the hotel breakfast, we only hope today’s one it’s a bit lighter than the ones in past days. So it is and we get some sandwiches, fruits and juices and honey toast, great to start the day, as race will start in 3 hours also it’s more than enough.
We head to the race start on the organization bus and as soon as we get there we start setting all nutrition needed for the race in our bikes.
Race starts…we are set in 4 rows and 2 of this row jump every 3 seconds. I am next to my colleagues Roberto, Jose Manuel and Jose Maria. First athletes started one minute ago, so it’s not to crowd and you can swim very comfortable.
The only worries are the little jellyfishes, there are thousands and even if you can feel the stitches, my only hope is not to find a bigger one that makes me stop.
First swim round completed with a time of 00:32:39, which makes me hope to finish the swim part in 01:06:00, a very good rhythm…Finally my time is 1:07:59 which is still under my plans.
As soon as I get my bike I am planning my strategy, after my last trainings at home, while doing our triathlon training camps, my rhythm should be around 200-210w in average, but here is total different game, the heat and humidity, so a clever strategy is to go down a 10% on watts before the RUN part manages for you the rhythm you will pace until the end of the race, so I go for 180-190w.
Finally I realized I felt better and the heat was not so high at this time of the day and my average goes to 200w.
The first bike part near the Datai if full of steep slopes that makes you almost stop and sometimes think on using the smaller chain ring, which would happen in the second round…the pavement is really sticky and not very equal, so it makes it harder. Is a 10K round, so it’s easy to take references and see your progress.
On the flat part section of the track is where I feel comfortable and I start passing competitors, until a group of 4 pass me. I try to follow them but to avoid drafting I have to pass them over again, so I nice play of over takings take place and I decide to push during 2 or 3 minutes to 240-260W to leave them behind.
Finally two of them follow me, so my commitment to break the group is done. This two pass me over again and I let them go. Later on I would pass again one of them and the other one I will pass him in the RUN section, so it was a good decision to let them go…
During the whole bike section I don’t stop doing calculations and I see the first ones that are about 45 min ahead, so if I take into account the 20 min they got advantage on the Swim part, I am only 25 min behind in the Bike, so I am happy with this differences.
The heat and the sun are gradually going up and my Garmin says we are on 33 degrees, alert and moment to consider stopping in all provisioning points to get liquids as much as possible.
It was them go to have cold beverages every 20K.
Finally I get to the final of T2, it’s a big hangar with air conditioning, and so your body tells you to stop there and enjoy the freshness and forget about the marathon.
As son as you go out of the hangar, the heat hits you in the face but you find a refreshment point with water, ice and sponges. So I make use of it and cool me face, head and my cap. Again great organized and you could find a provisioning point every 1,5-2K that allows you to cool and get liquids.
I repeat the same process in every point, ice over my head, water, coke, some iso drink and again recharging my sponges, I know this means to lose 15 or 20 seconds but it’s important if I want to complete the marathon.
First round completed and the pass on the finish line is full of people, it’s a part with some zigzags and I don’t like it a lot, also some sand before entering the hangar again.
It’s my first IM where I am passing people instead of they passing me, which encourage me to keep pushing.
On the 21km I am on a 5m 10s average, I am feeling great and I know my marathon will not be like in Vitoria 4h 30m, just in this moment it’s where I decide to set my Garmin in watch modus and start enjoying and not looking at the time.
On the 27km a storm arrives and what I thought would be good for me, turns into negative, but the way of raining was prejudicial to me, there was a lot of puddles in the floor, so your shoes where getting heavier and heavier.
I have only 6 km to finish line and my pace is steady, last provisioning point and I keep my strategy of stopping to drink, although this time I do it shorter…I want it to finish.
My final timing on the marathon was 3h 50m, which it´s not a great time, but it’s good for me.
That gives me a final timing of 10h 28m 44s.
The post final line it’s great, lost of volunteers helping one of them sit next to me, brought me my finisher towel, a T-shirt and some Redbull and they where with me until they check everything was ok with me.
Wherever you are “my volunteer” thanks again as this job is so important and you see they put a lot of passion on it.
After this some cold bath and a massage, a great and powerful one…
There was a lot of pizza and pasta, so almost al the post race completed.
3h before the race: 2 egg and sandwich ham + banana + 125g biscuits.
1h before the race: 500ml of water and some serum, at small swallows.
During swim: small swallows of salty water and 1 glass of water at T1.
During Bike: 750ml bottle with a 75gr of Energy Amix + 500ml bottle with 12 Etixx Iso + bottle 4 Etixx iso gel + iso at provisioning + water at provisioning.
During Run: Coke and water at every provisioning point + 3 amix caffeine gels and 1Etixx iso gel, in the first 26km, rest of the marathon only coke and iso.
Swim: 3.950m 1h 07m 59s
Bike: 180,3km 5h 23m 30s / 185 watts avg. / 201w norm.
Run: 42,4km 3h 50m 20s / 5:27 min/km
Overall: 77/988 Age Group: 12/142
Thanks for reading and commenting!
Here is a video of our preparation and having some fun, the week before the race: