Thinking Is Great Practice For Race Day
Running last night in the universally crappy weather, I was listening to my iPod (also keeps the cold out of my ears - I don’t like ear ache!). It was the usual selection of songs for training, and just perfect to help me visualise the Ironman race. For big, long races like this, having a full-on Dolby-digital, I-Max vision of the event to play in your head is great motivation AND it helps on race day as a way to plan how to get through the hard bits.
Anyway, what I was mostly thinking about last night was the bike course for the race. It includes 1800m of climbing, with a profile that’s basically a climb for the first 40 miles up to a plateau at 1100m or so; 30 miles at altitude; and then a descent of 20 miles more or less back to sea level for a further 20 miles on the flat.
The climbs and the flat sections don’t phase me too badly, but that descent has a reputation - apparently it’s why most riders opt for road bikes with drop bars with clip-on tri-bars rather than TT bikes. You need speed AND control on this route!
By the time I got home, I’d decided that what I really needed to do was watch the Google Earth fly-by of the route again . . . and get at least one practice run on the descent of the route itself in the week before the race.
If there was a really good quality video of the route, I’d probably spend a lot of time watching that too. Something like this one from the Tour De France in the Pyrenees:
Me, ride down a mountain like Fabian Cancellara? In my dreams!