How to train Regent Aguila Ironman 70.3 Philippines 2019 (Last of 3 parts)
As you bike up the Mactan bridge on your way back to Shangri-La, you will feel the excitement but it’s still a long 10km to go and everything will start to slow down as you go up the bridge. The struggle at this point is real, so try to save your legs for the final 21km run. Focus on smooth pedaling, don’t get too excited and push yourself. As soon as you enter the transition area, stay focused. Remember where your bike rack is located as it will be chaotic given the close to 2, 000 bike racks. Although the run part is not my strongest discipline, but again the goal now is to complete and be safe inside the 8-hour, 30-minute cut-off time.
The common problems during the run leg are dehydration, muscle cramps or fatigue, blisters or even over hydration. During the bike leg, you must continue to hydrate and take your nutrition. Religiously eat before you get hungry and drink before you are thirsty. Set an interval of 30 to 60 minutes in between, and continue until the run leg but you can adjust to your preference. Some recommended nutrition are GU gel, Vitargo and Tailwind, which are all available at Wise Choice Supplements in A.S. Fortuna and at the ground floor of Ching’s Palace in Lahug. Be sure to try these supplements at least 2 or 3 times before the race. Some may contain caffeine and it may take time for you to get used to it. As the saying goes, don’t try something new on race day – from the bike, shoes, goggles or even hydration and nutrition.
Bike and run are repetitive forms of exercise that creates muscle imbalance due to same movement over a long period of time. Simple exercise such as hip lift or bridge movement, which focuses on hamstring muscles. You can progress in doing one leg hip lift or one leg bridge exercises. One leg squat or split squat is also good to train your muscles in balance and stability. It helps activate other muscle group not used in bike and run also. Focus on activating your core while doing all these exercises.
So for this week, try to squeeze in these workouts: Plank 60 seconds, hip lift 40 seconds (activate core and gluteus), one leg hip lift for 30 seconds each leg, and finish off with 20 burpees (no push up, no jump) as fast as you can. Repeat the workout every other day until Thursday (August 8) then give yourself at least 2 to 3 days of recovery.
Here are some pace you need to maintain during the run. At 6min/km, you can finish the 21km distance in 2 hrs. and 6 mins. At 7min/km (2 hrs. 27mins.), 8min/km (2 hrs. 48 mins), and 10min/km (3 hrs., 30mins), which is equivalent to 6kph. Never stop until you reach the water station, hydrate, eat, and take a quick ice bath just to shock your body. You can always find a fellow triathlete who has the same pace as you. Try to follow them or have some short conversation with them just to keep your mind away from the run.
As soon as you find your way back to Shangri-La for the final 100+/- meters to the finish line, fix your hair and shirt. If someone is in front of you, try to slow down to give them a moment at the finish line arc. You may try to overtake them but pleasedon’t overtake when you are approaching the ramp going up the arc. I really had some bad experience with this in which I was bashed from shoving the DNS (did not start) triathlete who didn’t swim nor bike, but just run the last portion to take the finisher’s medal.
As you go up the arc, enjoy the moment. This is an achievement that is only reserved for the few. You finally savored the sweet nectar of success borne out of your hard work, months of training, and endless hours of swim, bike and run. The sacrifices you have made for your family, loved ones and work finally paid off. Wearing that medal and hearing them announcing your name – you are an Ironman finisher!, is your crowning glory. It is a golden moment that you would cherish for the rest of your lifetime.
Written by: Alan Choachuy
Originally published in The Freeman
For comments, you may e-mail him at alanchoachuy (at) gmail.com