Just some notes and observations from a first-time Ironman finisher that
may or may not interest you. Hopefully it will be of some help to first-
timers doing IMC or Hawaii or the Floridian this year...
Swim: Even though I come from a swimming background, I was a little nervous
about the swim. I thought, wow, ~4000m swim is a long way, I don't know if
I can do that. Well, sure, it's a long way, but it really did not seem so
bad. None of my workouts in the past 2 months have been over 4000m, and I
haven't done a continuous swim that long in years.
Never NEVER wear the sweedish-style goggles for an Ironman swim. These are
the goggles with no foam padding at all. I have always worn them even going
back 9 years to my high school swimming career. However, in a race this long
they were really giving me a headache. An when I finally took them off, I
was cross-eyed for 10 sec or so. I guess they may have just been too tight,
but I won't wear them again for a long race.
Bike: Again, it did not seem so far. I kind of just got in a rhythm and kept
going. I have NEVER done a ride this long this fast in training. I usually
train solo, and the quickest I had done was 100 miles in 5:50. Most of my
riding has been long easy spins, with maybe once a week intervals (about
20-45 min really hard in the session).
Run: The run seemed really far :). I think the main problem I had was that
I had never been on my feet for that long (4:30) much less tried to run
for that long. This is something to prepare for, because the pain was
equall parts muscle fatigue and joint stiffness/ tiredness.
Eating: Thanks to some people's advice in this newsgroup (esp. Matt Mahoney),
earlier this year I began to eat real food on the bike. Real as in bring a
deli sandwich or something. 11 hours is a long time to eat only PowerBars
and Gatorade even if you're only sitting on a couch.
Here's what I ate during the race:
Bike: 1 PowerBar, 1/2 banana, 1 peanut butter & jelly sandwich, 14 fig
newtons, 5 bottles Gatorade (2 with Carbo Concentrate added), 1 bottle
Pro Optibol, and 3 bottles water. About 1400 cal.
Run: 6 leppins, 32 oz Gatorade, 80 oz water (?), some peaches and 2
"E-L Fudge" cookies. About 900 cal, and probably not enough. Ideally, I
would have had Gatorade at every aid station, instead of only 4 or 5, and
ate more leppins.
So total of 3300 cal during the race, with maybe 350 before. Oh yeah, and
pretty much an entire XL pizza (Round Table if you're interested)
What to wear: I wore normal bike shorts under my wetsuit. This was no
problem, as they dried out quickly. I also spent the time to put on a
full jersey to keep the sun off my shoulders on the bike. I also spent
the extra time changing into my usuall run-training outfit (tank-top
singlet and Insport shorts to prevent chaffing). Finally, I wasn't out
to break any records, so I kept sunscreen in the bike->run transition
and made good use of it on my first couple minutes of walking.
If anyone has any questions, feel free to mail me. The race is pretty
fresh in my mind and I'd be glad to dispense advice.