Ironman Austria – race report

Overlong and unnecessarily detailed Race report

I’ve spent a few years doing harder hillier IMs so when the ship was sailing to Austria, I thought yay, time to get a sub 5 bike time. It’s a fast flat course, my previous best was 5:07 so game on…..

Then I decided to sabotage things by entering a stupid bike race across Europe. the planned 2 week roadtrip was converted into 2 weeks of training. The last 6 months have seen me riding lots, but back to back 250k rides at a weekend end up with you riding at a steady pace. Bike endurance is therefore fine, the problem was a lack of power and speed.

Moving jobs at work in February added to the training woes. To many missed lunchtime and evening sessions, resulted in an average of 2 swims a month (if I was lucky), 1 * 30min 5k run a week, and dropping a couple of weight sessions a week. Oh dear

I decided to bring my bike to Austria that I’ll be using for the tcr… A steel salsa roadbike with disk brakes and a dynamo hub. bike build
The planned 300k rides the week before the IM did not happen, but I got out for 80k, 170k, then a hilly 130k on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. So a 2 day taper was the plan.
Austria, and the far side of the bike course is lovely.

Swim I just wanted to get around as easily as possible saving as much energy as possible previous IM pb 1:06. Target 1:20-1:30
Bike. rode the wrong course on Tuesday, the correct on on Wednesday. Felt a little lethargic up the hills, but ok on the flats. No top end
Whoever said the bike course was flat lied. It rolls a lot. There are some nice very fast gentle downhills, but there are also plenty of little hills or rises all the way along. These are great if you have plenty of power to surge over them, but become a problem when you are tired, or down on power
Previous IM Pb 5:07, target – under 6 was the target, but with the aim of going steady so I can do a couple of long rides next week.

Run. Fuck. Anything under 6hrs, but doing no damage to my knee was the priority
Avoiding walking the whole thing as Barcelona hurt a lot and I said I would never walk another whole IM marathon
Previous IM pb 3:40 something
pb following knee issues 4:45
Last IM – walking Barcelona for 6:50 odd.
Target 5:30-6:00
I mentioned sub 13 something would be good

2 days before.
Went to the pasta party for the first time ever. It was rubbish. Shuffles opinion was ‘that was shit’ she doesn’t hold back does my missus

1 day before.
Could not find a traditional pre iron steak so ended up with campsite schnitzel instead, with probably a beer too many with raf and scuba

Ironman Day
Sherper’d for the missus. She was not too positive, having missed way too much bike training, but I got a ham and cheese roll down her for breakfast, up to transition to put stuff on the bikes, (gels and ham and cheese sandwiches) and then back to the tent for more tea and collecting the wettie

Chaos in the strandband with soo many spectators. Did a warmup then hung around for 20 mins, said goodbye to shuffles, and off I went

Had a new wet suite but it was fine. The matching goggles were not, so after them leaking for the first 5mins, I stopped and spent a minute adjusting the strap. The wave continued off ahead of me.
Started easy and just carried on. Nice and calm swim, around the turn (yay! I’m still swimming, along the horizontal bit, then back home, into the sun, and no idea where the hell I am going. Everyone goes right towards the shore, a few hug the boyes, I stay in the middle totally on my own, and eventually see the entrance to the canal. It then gets frisky as I pass slower swimmers, and faster swimmers come through. I get a bash, I deliberately swim over the legs of a faster guy who cuts me up, etc etc. Then out I go
Actual 1:08. Wtf. either it’s short,the new wetsuits has fins, or it was short. Or I don’t need to swim train.

Usual now for me that I’m not in a hurry, total change, lots of chamois creme, bike top on.
Felt sorry for the T1 helpers as they were all students and have probably been scarred for life blithe sight of so many naked old men

Plan was to ride steady, so hr of 170 after 200m was a little unexpected.
Hr stuck at 155 despite trying to go easy, but it’s a race, I like chasing people on full tt bikes, rear disks etc, and grinning as they see what I’m riding. However, way too many went by. It’s a fast course and lots of fast
Riders here

So ate some sandwiches, up the odd hill slowly then overtook all those that passed me on the way down.
Not too much blatant drafting, I was quite surprised

Met flyaway as she passed me at about 75k. Stayed with her for a bit, as she called me fat as I overtook her on the downhills. Started the second lap and let her go, she was killing me

Round again, and finally started feeling strong on the last 20k as I started to put some sustained steady efforts in

Actual 5:29. Sort of happy considering the bike, and condition I was in etc…. A bit passed off at how flyaway put me to the sword.

Another total change, run shorts on, Monaco and new socks. Lots of vaseline applied

In the IMs I have done since my knee went kaboom, I found I could blag a half marathon, and then it got hard. However my run fitness is now a distant memory. I blagged 3k, then it got hard.
The plan was for a 400m run, then a 100m walk – let’s just keep walking as long as possible before I have to walk.
Started at 6:14ks (too Fast) and ended up with 8:40s as the wheels fell off on the last 10k. Ended up with emergency 250m run walks as i just could not run any further. It was hard
Despite that I yelled at everyone I bumped into, clapping our support, shouting go Pirate!
And I still came second in the grumpiest Pirate award – bastards. However, that’s 2 years in a row..? FUCK

Saw the missus as I went to start my last 4.5k put and back, and she to do the 7k out and back. yay she made it off the bike. And she looked good
Saw her again as I headed into the finish…. She had run 5k more than me in the same time…. That’s how slow I had got. However she was looking a little shit now

So left at the lake and into the finish
Overtook this guy who had been walking the whole run, then heard someone behind me so on came the sprint from somewhere…
His finish photo will be crap
Actual run 5:14. Quite surprised by that -it felt a lot slower than that

Total 12:08. Very surprised

So off for goulash, bumping into Hollywood, then a level of support duty interspersed with going back to the tent for showers, changing kit as insects ate me and buying advanced pizza for the missus.
Got too many free beers from the food tent, saw the missus off on her last lap then off to the finnish with more free beer. Found Swiss Bobby then just Oxy. had a fun time, then in roles the missus looking good for a 16:34. Yay
Back to Sherper duties, and more beer.

Saw trogs in and helped Sherper her too forbade but until relieved , and ate sausages as there was no more food left.

Home for cold pizza

Job done

Next day. Pirate party, but hit the awards banquet. Saw flyaway for her 10 seconds of fame, then promptly left as the banquet left something to be desired. More food then home for more sleep

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