Race Previews: Ironman 70.3 Racine & ITU Hamburg

Hamburg, Germany- 2014 ITU Hamburg. (Photo by: Lagardere Unlimited/Hochzwei )

Sanders

Ironman 70.3 Racine Preview

Lionel Sanders

Are you hoping for a hot/humid day to practice nutrition more after the IMTX day?

I’m impartial to the heat and humidity for this one. The 70.3 is short enough that you can get away with poor hydration and electrolyte consumption, which is why IMTX was such a shock to me. I will certainly cater my nutrition and hydration plan to the forecast, but the reality is that I will likely be forced to bike and run very hard from start to finish, so it is unlikely that I will be even remotely able to keep pace with my sweat rate. I will be looking to minimize losses though and will target a body weight loss of under 5%.

Does a down current swim give you an advantage and keeps everybody closer?

A down current swim certainly works to my advantage. From my experience, to swim well in chop / up stream, requires power to be applied against the water in a very efficient way. As a weak swimmer, I am not very good at applying power efficiently, thus chop and upstream swims tend to exacerbate my weakness. A down current swim definitely allows you to “fake it” a bit more.

What is the rest of your season look like for your lead up to Kona? Do you have another IM before Kona?

Racine will be my last 70.3 until the Challenge race in Bahrain. My next race will be Ironman Mont Tremblant. I just can’t go into Kona without hard data backing up that I have a much better grip on Ironman hydration and nutrition. After that, I will go to Kona a few weeks in advance to acclimatize to the conditions and do a final training block.

Do you think the super bumpy roads at Racine will affect you anymore then others during the bike leg?

I would say I’m pretty desensitized to bumpy roads. I’ve spent the last 1.5 years on the CompuTrainer, but I spent over a decade riding BMX on Essex County rides. We are the southern most part of Canada, and have the highest number of freeze-thaw days in all of Canada. Long story short, our roads are worse than Racine!

Matt CMatt Curbeau

How did you feel about your IMTX performance?

Super happy to see my progression in the water pay off on race day and put me in a place to be in the mix when getting on the bike. I came out with a large number of contenders including Hansen and Ronnie. However they got away with quicker transitions and ended up besting me by about 10 minutes on the bike. I had a good lead out of 27-30 miles with a strong group and when sanders went by and things broke up I decided to chase rapp. Unfortunately for both of us he wasn’t on his A game and I ended up hung out along for the better part of 70 miles until Russell brought along Pedro and caught me at mile 100. From there I followed them home and did the best I could to finish having done a bit more work alone on the bike than I would have liked. But hey it was new territory for me and I had to just go for it. Next time I’ll be sure to make the gap to the next group up the road.

Are you building up to any race later in the season?

Yup, right now getting ready for Chattanooga and Cozumel for the long stuff and prepping with Racine, timberman and another team camp down in the woodlands at the end of August.

Are you looking to take advantage of the field on a particular part of the course?

As long as I can keep in relative contact with contenders in the swim, I will bike my ass off to be in the mix coming into T2. That’s my only play and the one I’ve gotta go for. If it frys my legs for the run, so be it. I’d rather risk it to be in it than never have been close.

You swam with Matt at Texas and Lionel came out behind you, with both of them racing here, do you plan on using either of them to help your overall race?

Certainly, the goal will be to do my best to come out of the water with a slight cushion. This could be wishful thinking but it’s what I’m going for. Then once riding I will turn myself inside out to stay in contact with these guys. They are both absolute steamrollers on the bike, so if I can get a ticket on the Lionel-Russell express you bet I’m going to work to stay there.

LeonLeon Griffin

“I’m very motivated for a top result after another pretty disastrous go at the full Ironman a few weeks back in CDA. I had a few small interruptions during a short lead in, but I still had some great miles in my legs and some very solid 70.3 results so far this year which just did not show come the race. Rather than run a marathon in 106F temps for basically pride only, I decided to hit the showers early and try recover as quick as I could and back into what I love racing most – 70.3’s. I feel like this is my sweet spot and after a couple pretty relaxed weeks I feel I’m getting back on top of things and ready to hit this race in Racine hard”.


KirstyKirsty Jahn

Racine is quite a different course than Muskoka (flat vs. hilly). What are some advantages to the Racine course for you and what are some of the challenges?

It will be quite different than Muskoka. First off, it is a much more competitive field than Muskoka. For the swim, I am looking forward to a larger/deeper field, as I need more practice swimming in groups and drafting.
The bike and the run are fairly flat at Racine, however, I heard the road quality at Racine on the bike can be a major challenge. We all have to ride the same course though, so I am not too worried about a few bumps, just need adjust tire pressure and make sure everything is screwed on tight! I personally enjoy hills, but am looking forward to a flat course where I can just lock into a steady pace, this usually lends itself to faster run splits too.

After Racine what is the plan to prepare for Austria?

After Racine, I am heading straight to Boulder for 4 weeks to get a solid block of training in at altitude before heading to Austria. It will be nice to be out of NYC, and in an environment where I can totally focus on training, recovery, etc.

Do you guarantee the fastest run time—this is good points if people have you on their team?

The run course at Racine, is flat and fast. It is a double out and back, so I will have lots of opportunity to see my competition. To guarantee the fastest run is tough one, especially with this field, we all know anything can happen race day! However, I feel if all things go according to plan I should be able to post one of the fastest runs. With that being said, I am more concerned with how I place overall, than running the fastest time.

Are you going to Kona to spectate? If so, are you going to come out and kick everyone’s ass in the TRS beer mile? Best time and chug strategy talk please.

I am planning on going to Kona to spectate! I haven’t booked anything yet, but think it will be worthwhile to make the trip out there, especially since TRS is sponsoring the beer mile! 😉 The boys should be prepared to get chicked!

NaethAngela Naeth

How are you feeling after IM Texas?

I’m feeling awesome! I had a good break after the race and a few fun trips to mix things up. I’ve been in Boulder, CO for the last few weeks and can’t get enough of the mountains. Vegas is pretty hot this time of year so to get out and train here has been a treat. Makes me hungry for training and racing!

I read something that you are not trying to be in peak fitness for every race, was this just at the beginning of the season or are you just building towards Kona?

That is true, to some degree. Every race I do I’ll be putting my best foot forward like everyone on the start line, but the goal this year is definitely Kona. Can’t be in peak shape 12 months of the year!

Do you like Racine course, you have done it a few times before? 2013 champion I saw…

Yes, 2013 was my first race there. The roads are a bit beat up (understatement!) but Lake Michigan and the run course make up for it. In 2013 we had some narly waves and I loved it. I’m hoping for the same this year. The run course is 2 loops and is quite scenic with good crowd support!

With your win at IMTX, do you hearing more people talking about you?

Ha, not that I’ve heard! 🙂 But I tend to stay away from stuff like that.

How did your lead up to Kona change after getting the automatic spot from IMTX?

My win in Texas makes my lead up to Kona absolutely stress free. I don’t have to be chasing points and realistically, I can do any race I want. It’s awesome and I’m excited to really put in some solid blocks of training toward another Ironman – this time in Kona!

Do you have any particular strategy heading into Racine?

Win the swim!

Are you looking to make a move on any particular part of the course?

The last 100 meters will be an all out sprint. My husband is coming to cheer me on so I have to show him I can out kick him for the next 5k we do together. He thinks he’s got me but I’ll scare him before then.

Kelly WKelly Williamson

Have you been in Salida training this summer?

We haven’t been in Salida yet this year. Having done Ironman Texas and no second Ironman, we opted to stay in Austin into summer and I drove to Buffalo Springs. I think this has been the year of Choosing Races I Can Drive to, with Texas 70.3, Ironman Texas and Buffalo Springs. We just left Austin last weekend to spend two weeks in Indiana then we’ll head to Brevard, North Carolina to check out another cool mountain town, escape the Austin heat and get in some quality riding.

Are you happy with your BSL performance?

I wasn’t thrilled with my performance. I felt very good going into it and having not raced since IMTX, I felt I had done things right, fully recovered, and gotten in some really solid training geared towards going faster again. I felt alright in the swim, just not enough speed; really sucky part is that I felt fairly strong on the bike but I lost tons of time to the other girls; but the run felt great. I was proud of myself for running my ass off knowing I was likely just trying to claw my way back into Top 3. That said, the weather could not have been better, and I always love getting back to Lubbock; great memories from this race over the years, Mike and Marti Greer give it so much character.

Does your Dad still say “where ya’ been?” When you gets off the bike? (Emily said “my husband does the same thing b/c he heard the story about her dad saying that”).

Oh wow y’all are good! You remembered that little nugget. That was from my first half Ironman in Muncie, Indiana. To my knowledge, he does not say this anymore; but it’s still possible, seeing that he did in 2012. Unlike Muncie in 2004 when I was dead last off the bike, Muncie in 2012, the first pro woman came in on the bike and my dad said to my mom “Alright, let’s check our watches and see how long it takes for Kelly to come along!” She was pissed off at him for saying it and walked away; but I showed him, I came in right on her heels and won the damn race! I can imagine my mom used that against my dad after the fact.

How do you feel about your KPR points heading into this race?

It is what it is. I knew that a great performance in Texas would likely set me up to be qualified, but I didn’t quite seal the deal there. Had I wanted to be in Kona hands down, I would have opted to do Ironman Coeur d’Alene after Texas; but I have been sick twice this year already and I just didn’t feel like it was smart to immediately start training again for another Ironman 6 weeks later. I chose to stick to some 70.3’s and knew if I could manage 2 solid races in Buffalo Springs and Racine, then I’d likely slip in there. So we’ll see this weekend. Last year, that was the absolute focus and I managed to qualify in the first round. This year, I am just a bit more laid back on it, trusting that what’s meant to happen will happen. Kona would be great but I’ve managed to get it handed to me 4x there! While I absolutely love the event, there are other great Ironmans out there too; so we’ll see what happens. Being a planner, it’s kind of nice not knowing and not being able to plan it all out as I have in the past!

Jen SJen Spieldenner

The year started off well with a 7th at Oceanside. Then you had a couple rougher races and just bounced back with your first Ironman 70.3 win at Muskoka. Are you feeling fit and ready to hit it in Racine?

Yes, I am ready to go for Racine. I was for sure a bit tired last week after racing Muskoka and a solid month training camp in Flagstaff, but am feeling more like myself now.

Muskoka and Racine are very different in terms of the type of course (hilly vs flat). Do you prefer one over the other? Will your strategy change at all? Or, will you just kill everyone in the swim and try and stay out front as long as possible the rest of the race (hopefully to the tape)?

I would say I prefer hilly over flat. I don’t mind flat though as I spend a lot of time in Findlay, OH which is the flattest place you will ever see. It will be hard to get away on the swim this time with the likes of Sarah Haskins and Haley Chura in the field. I always try to use the swim to maximize my strength, I would be dumb not to.

Have you seen Paulo and gotten your winners hug after Muskoka?

I have not seen Paulo since Muskoka…it will have to wait until most likely September.

Your triathlon squad teammate Heather Wurtele is racing as well. Since you train with her from time to time do you plan to exploit her weaknesses (if there are any?!?!)?
I don’t really think Heather has any weaknesses. The woman is tough as nails.

You recently did a stint training in Flagstaff. Did the altitude training benefit you in Muskoka and in your training leading up to Racine?

Altitude and Flagstaff agrees with me. I have been going there in June/July the last three years and I always have a solid second half of the year after being up there. Flagstaff makes you tough. I love the challenges altitude makes you face and I love working hard there.

What’s next after Racine?

After Racine, I am planning on The Frankenmuth Triathlon and then the rest of August will depend on how Sunday goes. I want to do 70.3 Worlds if I qualify and if I think I can place in the top 10 there. I have Timberman, Silverman, Miami, and Challenge Florida on my schedule as of now.


Fantasy Analysis: IM 70.3 Racine

Katie Z

ITU Hamburg Preview

Katie Zaferes

“I am always excited to race a fast race with amped up fans and that is exactly what Hamburg is. It is aggressive through and through from the first swim buoy being pretty much right in front of your face once you dive in to the technical 6 loop 20k bike course. Then you get off and try to run with the speed demons.

I’m excited to have just come down from an altitude stint where I had the luxury of doing many of my workouts with Tommy, my husband. It’ll be fun to shake out the cobwebs after a pretty long break from racing since WTS London and the perfect primer for Rio.?

Fantasy Analysis: ITU Hamburg

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About the Authors

Zach Miller
Zach Miller is a sports enthusiast and age group triathlete living in the The Woodlands, TX. He is the Host of The Triathlon Preview Show. Follow @trifantasy The Triathlon Preview Show: iTunes Podcast
Emily is a professional triathlete and swim coach living in Napa, CA. Emily swam for the University of Michigan and completed her first tri in 2004 at the Chicago Triathlon. She worked for seven years as a paralegal, followed by three years as an Assistant Swim Coach for the University of Illinois-Chicago. Presently, she lives and trains in Napa, California while working for the Napa Valley Swim Team and coaching several age group triathletes.

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