Event in Muncie tune-up for race


On July 11, I will be competing in Ironman Muncie 70.3, which is a half-Ironman. I’m considering this my warmup race to Louisville.

Although it will only be half the distance of Ironman Louisville, it’s still going to be a tough race. The weather will probably be much hotter and more humid than Louisville.

This is such an important factor to consider, not only because it will affect my speed and heart rate during the race, but it totally changes my nutrition plan. The hotter and more humid the weather, the slower my body will be able to digest nutrition because it will be working to cool my body.

I usually like to eat some solid foods during the bike portion, like peanut butter-filled pretzels, Cheez-Its, Bonk Breaker bars (think a fancy granola bar) and Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars.

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When I was in Texas riding with my brother, though, it was super hot and humid. I found out that my stomach doesn’t like solid foods when it’s really hot out. So for Muncie, I’m going to use mainly liquid nutrition and energy gels.

For my liquid nutrition, I use GQ-6’s Flooid hydration base in combination with Carbo Pro (powdered maltodextrin). Gu and Roctane energy gels are my gels of choice. Both of these add carbohydrates, sodium and amino acids to help my body stay hydrated.

This all seems very technical, but it’s really not. I’d be lying, though, if I said that I hadn’t done a lot of research on this. It’s so important to have my nutrition plan totally nailed down before a race.

For the actual racing part, I am planning to go at a pretty regular pace for the swim. I’m hoping to finish the 1.2-mile lake swim in about 40 to 45 minutes.

My goal for the bike is to average 19 to 20 mph, which would put me finishing somewhere between two-and-a-half and three hours. The bike course is really flat and is known to be fast. This will give me a good advantage. I’ve got to make sure that I stay on top of my hydration and nutrition during the bike leg so that I set myself up for a good run.

The 13.1-mile run is fairly flat with minimal shade, so it gets hot pretty quickly. At the aid stations, they will have ice and wet sponges to help cool athletes off. I plan to dump a cup of water on my head and stuff some cold sponges in my shirt to keep me cool. My goal for the run is to average nine-and-a-half minutes per mile.

Overall, I would really like to finish the race in under six hours. It would be a great finish for me. I’ve never finished a half-Ironman under six hours before. Boy, it’s really nerve-racking to put my goals out there for all of you to see. But it’s also great motivation to push hard to get it done.

Pro-triathlete Andy Potts said after recently winning Ironman Coeur d’Alene, “When I was feeling bad, I thought ‘push hard,’ and when I was feeling good, I thought ‘push hard.’” That’s going be my mantra for Ironman Muncie 70.3.

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