How to Get To Kona - SUMMARY


If I didn’t have to go through the transition tent, then I wouldn’t. In short you should have almost nothing in the transition bags and everything that’s allowed on your bike. Transitions are a waste of very valuable time. In T1 I only had to take off my wetsuit/swim cap & goggles and put on helmet, sunglasses, socks and race number. How long does that take? (Bike shoes were in cleats – practice this beforehand.) My T1 was slow due to a never ending wee! T2 was taking off helmet, cycling socks and putting on peak, running shoes and socks, and placing some cramp block tablets in my shorts. How long does that take and more importantly there is nothing to confuse yourself with!

Pre Race weeks

I went through my bike from front wheel to rear about 4 weeks before the race and replaced everything then that needed replacing, such as the chain and tyres. I also had the bike serviced 2 weeks before the race. With the taper there is the strong chance of getting sick. I went for 2 vitamin B injections and had a rehydrate every evening. I also cut back on the food intake as was doing less. Really focused on quality foods, like fruit and veggies. Unfortunately Heineken had to take a back seat for a while!

Race weekend

I got to PE on the Thurs eve and stayed with the folks. Had a good book so could put my feet up and switch off. Avoided the pasta party and all other events. Registered and retreated to the folks place. The race briefing is vital, but the tension is relentless. I downloaded and had read the race brief twice beforehand. I therefore had a boring weekend, but didn’t want to deal with others stressing out. I was quietly confident that I would have a good race, but there were significant endurance questions, and I didn’t want to hear what others had/hadn’t done in training. Checked the bike in quite late and didn’t hang around to chat.

Pre race - Breakfast

Pre race - on the beach
Sip energy drink on beach - 250ml


I was really happy with my race. I arrived at the start a little late, 6:20am, so was a bit rushed. I got the ideal start position on the beach (front/right). I may have taken the swim a little easy, but was really enjoying it. If I had swum 2 minutes quicker, I would’ve been 70th in the swim rather than 113th. Not worth the extra effort! Had a wee at T1 which slowed everything down which made sure I was comfortable for the start of the bike. (Pee took forever though!!!) Bike was fast but I was comfortable. Paced off a guy on lap 2 heading to the dead turn and he was too fast (he rode a 4h45 – big mistake). Should’ve hung back, but there weren’t many guys about. Pacing off others is the key though and takes a lot of the stress and thinking out of it. Recovered eventually on the bike after I realized I had a problem. Took an age to get out of the hole I had dug however. The last 30km’s I was back on top of the gears again and really enjoying myself. I’m disappointed in the run and was hoping for a 3h40 split. The bike dented me, however I think more than 10 minutes were made on the bike. Sometimes you’ve got to rely on your strengths. Saying that it’s the first triathlon I’ve done that my run position is the best out of the 3 disciplines!

Most guys are over trained and/or raced. You can only peak so many times physically and mentally. My SA champs suffered a little as a result of this as I was definitely on the IM path by then even though I tried to avoid this and do a half job of both. The training squads take up too much time even though more social. (What is the end goal?) Training too late in the day also dented the guys too much from a recovery perspective. You would also end up having a coffee rather than running a brick. Too much IM talk also does your head in, however listen to the guys that know what they’re talking about and take in the nuggets of information. You know what you need to do. Getting my weight down early also helped my body to deal with the loss of reserves.

I really enjoyed the training and finished most sessions wanting to do more, but resisted the urge. I wouldn’t suggest entering IM 4hours before cut-off, but at least I only had 5 weeks of training to deal with.

The key points to the program were as follows:

• 3 big weeks (mostly 18hrs each), followed by a lighter week
• Consistency, don’t miss a session or shortcut or do more. The session is as it is. Would draft the next 2 weeks plans at the begin of the week, depending on commitments
• Quality, intensity as session was intended (This resulted in a lot of solitary training work at my intensities.)
• Exceptionally time efficient. No hacking around at pools, waiting for people etc.
• Long rides – was finished by 9am (incl. brick) – super early starts – 4:30am with lights!
• Brick – once a week, after Saturday long rides
• One 4km swim per week, 2 swims on Mondays. Swimming for the week done by Friday.
• Don’t finish a session shattered. Always have in reserve. If swim session was 2km, don’t extend because you’re feeling good. Save that for the next session.
• Get to race weight asap – 74.5kg’s in my case by end of Feb (81kg on 1/1/2011) – settled on 75kg’s for race day (Weighed myself once a week on Monday morning and wrote it down.)
• Don’t get injured
• Don’t put any pressure on yourself

And that my friends is How You Get To Kona.

Almost too easy - right?

There are no shortcuts to Kona,


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