There’s plenty to remember in the week leading up to race day, from preparing and packing your bike to making sure you have what you need for the run.
16+ hours is a long time to cater for everything your body needs: clothing, food, hydration and medication are my main priorities. Weather conditions normally play a big part in what I’ll be wearing on the bike and run leg as I need to keep warm so I can keep my breathing under control. Cairns will be a little different as the weather up there is warmer than other races I’ve competed in but I’ll still be packing warm gear just in case. I’m not overly enthused by the wind forecast for race day (25-29 kph) but there’s nothing I can do about it except by making the most of it when it’s behind me
My swim gear will include:
- Wetsuit, togs, swim cap, goggles and towel
- anti-chaffing cream
- energy gel
- medication (I put this up the sleeve of my wetsuit in case I need it during the swim).
My bike gear is made up of:
- bike (obviously!)
- helmet and sunglasses
- shoes, socks and other clothing
- puncture kit
Then, for the run I need:
- running shoes, clothing and cap
Nutrition planning for me is relatively simple in the days leading up to race day more carbohydrates less protein and plenty of hydration. On race day a lite breakfast an energy gel 10 minutes before race start and away I go. Out on the bike a combination of energy gels, electrolytes and bananas keep me going with a focus on either drinking or eating something every 15 minutes. I take the energy gels every 40-45 minutes which seems enough to keep me from feeling flat. The run leg is an all you can eat buffet for me fruit, lollies, sandwiches sometimes even chicken noodle soup. The aid stations for Melbourne Ironman had the most delicous water melon I’ve had in ages hopefully Cairns will be the same. At the end of the day everyone has their own nutrition plan and you generally figure it out in training what works for you.
I use tablets for pain relief and take three Bricanyl (terbutaline) inhalers – one for each leg. I won’t take all the Bricanyl in a normal race but I like to have excess just in case one gets misplaced. What is interesting is that two of my everyday inhalers are on Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) list of banned substances however Ironman informed me that it didn’t apply to age group athletes. I wonder how many Pro Athletes are aware of this ?
The most Bricanyl I’ve been through in a race is about 100 doses. The colder it is, the more I need it. While I’m well aware of the side effects of excess use of turbutaline (such as the shakes) it’s something I live with since it allows me race. I’ve found that once I’ve recovered from the race my inhaler use goes back to normal.
From Melbourne to Cairns – preparing the mind and body
It has been mentally challenging competing in two Ironman events this close together as it took me quite a while to recover from Melbourne Ironman.
With only a week to go, this last weekend has seen the last of the long training with an 85k ride on Saturday and a 15km run on Sunday. Saturday’s ride was awful as I felt quite fatigued and like I was coming down with something. Sunday’s run restored some faith as I was able to knock out 15k in just over 2 hours which is my normal pace these days.
Looking back at my training times before my first race I was able to run 16k in 2 hours, however I feel like I’m running more comfortably at my pace now. So for any of my fellow COPD athletes out there I’ve set the mark of 15k in 2 hours, I’d love someone to knock that off and brag to me about it!
Best wishes to all competitors for next Sunday particularly the Donate life crew from Cairns Hospital ,coach Toby Sommerville and the Bayside Multisports crew.