IM 70.3 Timberman
Really looking forward to heading back to defend my title at Timberman 70.3 next week. It’s been a happy hunting ground for me the past 3 years with a win and two second placings. I think the course and conditions suit me well, but I’ll have my work cut out this year with a great lineup going by the start list. I’m using Timberman as part of my build for the 70.3 World Champs a few weeks later so I’ll definitely be turning up in good shape and ready go.
Were you happy with how Vineman went? Or, do you have some things you want to do better (meaning, win)?
I always want to win when I enter a race but Sam had an awesome performance at Vineman and he really earned that win. I wasn’t happy with my finish (4th) as I made some poor tactical decisions on the bike and then ran well below my ability. Winning aside I hope to ride smart and run well at Timberman.
If you are running down the chute with Potts will you pull a cheeky move and try to squeeze him out like Potts did to Lagerstrom at Alcatraz? It seems the sprint finish is Potts’ weakness this year–pipped twice at the line.
I don’t know if I want to get into a sprint finish with Potts this weekend. Statistically speaking he has to be due to win one of those right now!
With a lot of athletes looking forward to Kona and probably in the middle of big training blocks do you think you can capitalize and beat them?
I expect there will be athletes in various stages of build towards Kona and other races but I will never underestimate anyone, if they have qualified for Kona they are good at both Half and full ironman man. Top athletes in Ironman build still go awesome over the 70.3 distance, I can think of many examples this year; Cam Brown at Auckland 70.3 in his build for Taupo, Callum at Boulder 70.3 and Potts is amazing across all distances. It is an exciting bunch of athletes so I am looking forward to seeing how I compare at Timberman.
Have you finalized what is next on the schedule? Some more North American races and possibly an Ironman or will you be heading back to the Southern Hemisphere for summer?
No I am not sure yet I am very tempted to race Ironman Chattanooga but it will be the end of this part of the season and I have raced 10 half Ironmans this year so If the motivation to do the very long training required is not there I will probably just race Silverman 70.3 and then head home. I will do Timberman, start the build for an ironman and then decide by the end of August. Other than that I am very much targeting Taupo 70.3 and our national Champs Tauranga half Ironman.
Is this just another stop along the way to the Kona build?
Timberman has been on my radar since the beginning of the year. It’s an awesome venue and great race. I’m building toward the October with this race as part of that.
Are you planning any other workouts after the race that day?
Ah, yes. A fun 40-min run post!
Is there anything in particular you are looking to come away with after this race?
A smile on the face and excitement for a bit of rest days post! I’m in the middle of a big block of training.
This race has its fair share of kona qualifiers, are you looking to see how you stack up at this stage in the season?
I’m there to race a solid race – no matter who is on the start line. Start lists don’t mean much to me and I”m actually not sure who will be there.
IM Mount Tremblant
Mostly I feel like people give a bunch of BS here, which I will try not to do. I’ve got some mixed emotions. On the one hand, I feel like for the first time since I raced IMNYC in 2012 that I’m really ready to race, with no “buts” or “if only” in the back of my mind. My training has been great. I am honestly in the best shape of my career for an Ironman. But I also don’t know what that really means anymore. Used to be, I could map that pretty well. I knew that if I could do X in training, then I knew pretty much as long as I had a “good” race I would likely contend for the win. And a great race would almost certainly guarantee it.
After three years of ups and downs and some races where I think I simultaneously underperformed and overperformed (in different ways), I don’t really have that anymore. I feel like I could have a great race and still not win. I do draw some confidence from the fact that a lot of my old times would still rank pretty high. Some would even still win. But others wouldn’t. So it’s hard to know.
Has the sport left me behind? Or have I just been in a rough spot? Or both?
I will say that I know have to face the challenge of the very real burden this puts on my family. It’s no longer, “oh, there’ll be another race.” Each chance at an Ironman is precious. So I need to make it count. Both on race day and in training. And I have made it count in training. But for sure there are doubts about “is it worth it?” Especially without a win. Both financially and emotionally.
I feel ready to have a great race. What does that mean? I’m not sure anymore. But I do believe it’s still pretty damn good.
IM Switzerland looked like a good race up until the last part of the run (according to you on Twitter a kaboom went off). Have you changed anything leading into IMMT?
Switzerland was my “pop-chips” ironman. My season has been focused on two main goals the first being the ITU world championships in June and second being the Kona world championships. After winning ITU worlds, Sutto and I decided we would race Mt Tremblant but that would leave me in a difficult spot if anything went wrong. So we decided to validate at Switzerland. I trained hard until two days before Switzerland including long ride Tuesday, long run Wednesday, and double bikes on Thursday. But that being said, even though I wasn’t rested I raced hard in Switzerland and got beaten by the better athlete on the day. For Mt Tremblant, I fly on Wednesday so at least I’ll get a few more easy training days before the race.
Is IMMT a build into Kona training for you? Will you head back to Europe to prepare for Kona or stay stateside?
I will definitely do my best in Mt Tremblant but the main goal is success in Kona. Our training is built around peaking in October. After Mt Tremblant, I’ll be home for a few weeks then head to South Korea in September for a heat camp to acclimate and prepare for Kona.
Since returning to Sutto have you found your confidence and love for the sport reinvigorated?
I really enjoyed the atmosphere with Siri and was winning in my training sessions. But in my opinion, my racing sucked. With Sutto, we have changed the training mix around adding significant more volume and strength while removing some of the anaerobic work. It hasn’t been overnight but slowly my racing performances are coming back. I love competing and racing well is what keeps me motivated to continue in the sport.
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