220 Triathlon

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Going Long Your long-distance CV isn’t complete until you’ve passed the trial that is Lanzarote. Here’s action, Brit tales and pure inspiration from the race… Contents 6 Ironman Lanzarote: full race report .........90 6 Best of the Brits: another year, another GB masterclass.......... 92 6 Lanzarote Diary: race-day build-up .. 96 6 Lanza post-mortem: how to learn from your race mistakes . 101 www.220triathlon.com 89 Volcanic climbs, barren landscapes, mouth- numbingly dry and intense heat: welcome to Lanzarote, the toughest Ironman in the world Photo: Stuart Acker Holt/Digitallondon.co.uk IRONMAN LANZAROTE SPECIAL

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Transcript of 220 Triathlon

  • Going LongYour long-distance CV isnt complete until youve passed the trial that is Lanzarote. Heres action, Brit tales and pure inspiration from the race

    Contents6 Ironman Lanzarote:

    full race report .........906 Best of the Brits:

    another year, another GB masterclass ..........92

    6 Lanzarote Diary: race-day build-up ..96

    6 Lanza post-mortem: how to learn from your race mistakes .101

    www.220triathlon.com 89

    Volcanic climbs, barren landscapes, mouth-numbingly dry and intense heat: welcome to Lanzarote, the toughest Ironman in the worldPhoto: Stuart Acker Holt/Digitallondon.co.uk


  • Going Long Races

    Ironman LanzaroteWith both the mens and womens defending champions on the start line, IM Lanza 2009 was clearly set to be a race of volcanic proportions

    Some 1,300 triathletes came from all over the world to take part in this most iconic of European races


    Lanzarote, Canary Islands23 May 09

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    Belgiums Bert Jammaer and our very own Bella Bayliss both had their sights set on title number two, and both would set about their defence in dramatically different styles

    Constant battleThe day started out !at and fast in the two-loop 3.8km swim off the beach of Puerto Del Carmen. British mens pair Stephen Bayliss and Scott Neyedli led out of the water, but the two were only seconds ahead of Jammaer.

    Bayliss did his best to hold off last years winner on the bike, but the Belgian stormed to the front and started to pull away from the early leaders. Jammaer faced another threat, though, in the shape of two-time Lanzarote champ and Kona bike king Ain-Alar Juhanson.

    As the winds ramped up to their usual Canary Isle intensity, Juhanson took over the controls. Jammaer had managed to hold the Estonian off until the top of the second mountain, but passed the baton on the downhill section of Mirador Del Rio.

    However, starting the run within minutes of Juhanson, Jammaer remained in contention and passed the leader within the "rst 5km of the four-loop course.

    Former Tour de France cyclist Kai Hundertmarck rode his way to start the run in third, but struggled through the marathon. That left Olaf Sabatschus and Stephan Vuckovic to keep things interesting as Juhanson faded, the two Germans quickly gained ground on Jammaer.

    Vuckovic, who had suffered from back problems during the bike, ran an impressive 2:49hr

    marathon to get close to the defending champion, but Jammaer held on for a win of just over three minutes.

    Sabatschus "nished third, local favourite Gregorio Caceres Morales claimed fourth, while Bayliss managed to hang in after pushing too hard early on the bike to stay with Bert to round out the top "ve. Fellow Brit Scott Neyedli came in two minutes later for sixth.

    In the pinkAmericas Hillary Biscay was "rst out of the water onto dry land,

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    Going Long Races

    The notoriously tough Lanza bike course saw the mens lead position change several times

    Bella Bayliss showed shes back in the saddle after a couple of

    below-par results earlier this year

    Bert Jammaer takes the plaudits of the crowd as he heads in for

    Lanza title number two

    but the sub-9hr performance took its toll

    Results3.8km swim \ 180km bike \ 42.2km run



    but it didnt take long before GBs Rachel Joyce took the lead on the bike a lead she didnt relinquish until just before the end of the "rst loop of the run.

    Fifth off the bike, Bella Bayliss took a few minutes to collect herself in T2, before tearing out and tearing up the "eld. No other woman would run within 16 minutes of Bayliss marathon split (3:04:05), which left a battle for second between Joyce, Switzerlands Michaela Giger and Germanys Kathrin Paetzold.

    The three were within minutes of each other with 10km

    of running to go. In the end, though, it was Joyce who got to the line ahead of Giger by just 36 seconds. Paetzold followed in fourth, while swim leader Biscay ran her way to "fth.

    Ive struggled to get myself together since the start of the year, said Bayliss. Its been a trying few months where Ive struggled. Ive worked really hard over the last six weeks to get my strength back.

    As if you could have forgotten, Bella had her best race year to date in 2008, clocking wins at four Ironmans (South Africa,

    Lanzarote, UK and Florida), Ironman 70.3 UK, an Ironman-distance race in France and posting a 8:51:17 runner-up "nish in Austria and a seventh place in Kona, before rounding it off with a wedding to long-term partner Stephen Bayliss in November.

    The two then took a break from training, which Bayliss thinks might have affected her early season "tness 2009 started with two disappointing Ironman showings in New Zealand (5th) and South Africa (DNF on the run). Lanza proved shes back on track.

    August 2009

  • Going Long Best of the Brits

    Best of the BritsLanzarote has garnered a reputation as the UK long-distance athletes spiritual home. This year nearly 300 made the trip. Heres four of the best


    Age 35Result 9:53:47: 8th in 35-39 age group, first Brit age-grouper homeSwim 1:03:49 Bike 5:33:18 Run 3:08:34

    It was a tough day for age-groupers and pros alike, with Bert Jammaer narrowly missing a herd of goats while on the descent to Famara. But I had a great race and everything went more or less to plan.

    The swim was frantic and the current was pushing us into the buoys. I was using a new Sail!sh suit and was pleased with the extra buoyancy. Exiting the water for the second lap was exhausting, but good for the spectators, and I managed a smile before entering the water for another pummelling.

    We had typical Lanzarote weather, with a headwind from Yaiza all the way to Mirador del Rio. Going up Haria I was

    Stephen BaylissAge 30Results 9:02:14: 5th male overall, ProSwim 50:12 Bike 5:11:23 Run 2:54:38

    My result was not what I was looking for, especially as I was in the lead for the whole swim and the !rst 15km of the bike.

    But then I was caught by eventual winner Bert Jammaer. I rode with him for another 40km but should have stuck to my own pace, as I think it took away from my run speed. On the positive, I was 45mins quicker overall than in 2005!

    The race has given me a lot of strength for the races coming up later in the year, like IMUK and then, of course, Hawaii, which is my main goal for 2009. This year Ill be aiming for a top 10 !nish, after last years 18th place.

    pushing 450 watts, holding just 8kmph. I could have walked quicker! I had a solid bike and managed my Ironman marathon PB, so I was really happy.

    I took two bottles with six scoops of In!nit in each and consumed a third of a bottle per hour. Im sure this contributed to my 3:08hr marathon as I ran pretty consistent splits off the bike. The crowds support was awesome and, because its a loop marathon where you collect a different-coloured band each lap, its easy to focus on attaining the next band to stay motivated.

    I quali!ed for Kona, but Ive decided to make 2009 a build year for 2010. It was a tough decision, but I want to attain a top 10 in my age there and Ill need longer than four months! I have a place at IM Wisconsin, which has slots for 2010, so my aim is to qualify there.

    Stuart Anderson

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    Going Long Best of the Brits

    Bella BaylissAge 31Result 9:54:57: female winner, ProSwim 55:59 Bike 5:46:36 Run 3:04:05

    I was absolutely thrilled to win Ironman Lanzarote for a second year in a row. Ironman Lanzarote is such a challenge, so its a very special feeling to come out on top for a second time especially since last year I went into the race straight from my win at IM South Africa, and this year I went in having a DNF at South Africa! But after my African adventure had highlighted some weak spots, I put my head down and got to work to !nd my strength again. And I think I found it!

    I stuck to my game plan throughout the race and felt strong till the end. I ran 3:04hrs, which was a run course record, and equals my best run time so far [Ironman Austria 2008].

    Next up are 70.3 UK, Ironman Austria, IMUK, Hawaii, IM Florida and IM Cozumel. For Hawaii Im aiming for a top 10 placing again Id be over the moon with that.

    Scott NeyedliAge 30Result 9:04:28: 6th male overall, ProSwim 50:14 Bike 5:11:52 Run 2:55:44

    My lead-up to the race involved a crash at the Lisboa Half, a stomach bug in my !rst week in Lanzarote, and then a bad cough and cold that had me bed-bound. It !nally cleared on race week, but I didnt know what to expect. I just had to believe that the good work Id done up to April would get me through.

    The swim went well in my new Blueseventy Helix, even though the pace wasnt that fast. But I managed to get clear at the start of the second lap with Stephen [Bayliss].

    I was out in second in the early stages of the bike, before Jammaer passed me. I pedalled on alone in third until I had company at about 45km, coming out of El Golfo. I lost some time to the stronger bikers but felt I had to hold back, unsure of where my !tness was. I waited till the 95km

    mark to begin my push, just before the Harrier and Mirrador Del Rio climbs. This, I !gured, would break the weaker riders or the guys whod worked too hard in the early stages.

    Heading into T2 I was just behind Bayliss, Morales and Stephan Vuckovic, a good place from which to run into a challenging position. I was sure I could run a decent marathon but, as it turned out, so did they. Still, I ran in my Newtons for the !rst time and recorded a 2:55hr marathon: my second fastest marathon in an Ironman and, more importantly, a sub-three-hour time in the heat.

    I caught Ain-Alar Juhanson in the last 2km, who gave me words of encouragement as I went by, which was a very kind gesture from the great Estonian. I just didnt have the legs to get into the top !ve but, given my illness and the calibre of the competition, Im pleased to have featured in the event.


    August 2009

  • Going Long Best of the Brits

    Rachel Joyce

    Age-grouper to pro: 30-year-old Rachel Joyce is following in the footsteps of Chrissie Wellington

    Result 10:15:05: 2nd female overall, ProSwim 53:53 Bike 5:43:38 Run 3:29:11

    Giving up a lucrative job to turn pro is a life-changing decision for any athlete. More so for one who had been plagued by injury. But, for Rachel Joyce, the gamble is paying off. In just one year shes been quietly making a name for herself on the long-distance circuit, diligently working her way up the results list. On 23 May she recorded her best

    performance to date with a second-place !nish at Lanza, and in doing so gained a spot at the

    2009 Ironman World Champs in Hawaii. We caught up with Joyce to !nd out more about our rising long-distance star

    Talk us through your efforts at Lanzarote. Did it all go to plan?Id raced in Ironman South Africa seven weeks before so I wasnt sure how long my recovery would take, but I felt I was in good shape. Going into the race I de!nitely had one eye on getting a Hawaii spot.

    On race day I felt like I swam well and was second out of the water. I moved into the lead quite

    early on the bike and held that position for the rest of the leg.

    Although I didnt feel bad, I de!nitely didnt feel my best. But knowing the course really made a difference. Going into the run, I didnt have a !nal placing in mind: my aim was to follow my nutrition plan and run an even pace. Bella had a storming run but, after brie"y dropping back into third place, I was pleased to run back into second my second podium this year.

    What made you go pro? And how did you !nd the transition?I went professional in 2008, leaving my job as a solicitor at Taylor Wessing. It was a big decision to leave the !nancial

    security of my job, especially after a non-season in 2007 due to a persistent back injury.

    However, my philosophy is that you dont know if you dont try, and the worst thing for me would be to be asking What if? in a few years.

    It was made easier by the support I had from people around me: my boyfriend, family, and !nancial support from Taylor Wessing and Richard Jones and TheTriLife.com. They may have thought I was mad but they supported me nonetheless!

    I may have given up a well-paid job but I love training and the lifestyle so I havent got any regrets. Ive also been able to go back to Taylor Wessing during

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    Going Long Best of the Brits

    Rachel during the 180km bike leg at Lanzarote 2009, which she led from T1 to T2

    just love training and the buzz of race day.

    In terms of lifestyle, my training has increased but I think its the consistency of exercise that has changed the most. But my life is probably more monastic than it was before: early nights, healthy eating and no big benders! I guess my life is much more solitary as I do most of my training on my own.

    Despite long-course tris growing appeal, there remains only a small pot to support the pros. How have you managed? To a large degree Im relying on savings, but Ive been lucky to have support from TheTriLife.com and Taylor Wessing. And now I have a bit of prize money to add to the pot!

    2012 is obviously in the forefront of everyones mind and Sport Englands money can only go so far, so its understandable that its focussed on the Olympics sports. However, I think theres room for developing the long-distance structure,

    which doesnt have to involve money: maybe sharing the knowledge coming out of research for the Olympic-distance guys, for instance.

    Youve seen the sport from both sides age group and pro. Is there anything triathlon could do to promote itself better?The pro!le of triathlon has really taken off in the last few years. What I would really like to see is the continued growth of events for children so that the UK can continue to nurture talent from a young age. I think Hollie Avils success is a great example of how effective this can be.

    Talk us through your sporting history and route into tri?I swam to a national level until the age of 17 but I also raced in cross country and track to a county level at school. I completed the London Marathon in 2001, where I surprised myself by running three hours. It wasnt until four years later that I got into tri proper, but I think it was

    then I realised I liked the challenge of longer events.

    How did your sporting life unfold in the world of UK age-group triathlon?I did my !rst triathlon in 2001, but then started working and went back to swimming, and it wasnt until 2005 that I got really hooked. I quali!ed for the 70.3 Worlds in 2006 and decided I really wanted to race well there. It was in the summer of that year that I contacted Richard Jones, who became my coach. I then won quite a few races, and was !rst age-grouper at Monaco 70.3 and the World 70.3 Champs.

    Ive loved every event Ive raced, although Id always favour the hillier courses like Lanzarote and Monaco.

    What are your ambitions for this season and beyond? Preparing for Kona will be my main focus, although I will be targeting two or three 70.3 races over the summer. Longer term, Id like to win an Ironman!

    Rachels factfileAge 30Lives West LondonTraining hrs/week 20-32 Major results 2nd IM Lanzarote 2009 3rd IM South Africa 20091st 70.3 World Champs 2008 (25-29)

    the winter to bolster my bank account so thats really helped.

    How has your life changed since turning pro?A lot! Perhaps surprisingly, I !nd it a lot less stressful, mainly I think because while I was working and training, I didnt feel like I was doing either properly, which was frustrating, and probably made me more susceptible to injury and illness.

    As for stress, I do put pressure on myself to perform, but I did that as an age-grouper so I dont think that has really changed. Of course I get disappointed when I think Ive underperformed in a race or training session, but as well as being ambitious I also

    Of course I get disappointed when I think Ive underperformed but as well as being ambitious, I also just love training and the buzz of race day

    August 2009

  • Going Long Athlete Diary

    Lanzarote DiaryWe followed British age-grouper Chris Clarke as he prepared for Ironman Lanzarote. After a tough year !lled with setbacks, how would he cope with one of the worlds most gruelling courses?


    Monday 3Time for a wetsuit

    check and Chris first open-water swim of the season! We just did one lap of the race course, to

    get familiar with it

    Wednesday nAnother open-water

    swim. Chris again swims one lap of the

    race course, followed by a relaxed cool down

    and technique session in the next bay along

    96 www.220triathlon.com August 2009

    Chris Clarke is the triathlon Everyman. Sure, hes achieved things many other age-groupers can only dream of, having raced Kona three times and managed top-20 !nishes at Ironman UK and Ironman Korea. But an age-grouper is what he is, with training having to !t in around running F2K Health & Fitness in Didsbury, Manchester and the demands of family life Chris and his wife, Colette, have two daughters, aged 11 and 4.

    Without the support of my family, training and racing for Ironman wouldnt be possible, says Chris. Together we have seen many different parts of the world and met some interesting and like-minded people along the way. But we opened F2K in 2008 and, last year, training had to take a bit of a back seat to running the business.

    So how would Chris cope with Ironman Lanzarote? The course hot, windy, dry and hilly is known, after all, as one of the worlds most demanding. We followed him to the Canary Islands to !nd out

    Chris factfileAge 37Lives South ManchesterMajor results2007 29th overall, Ironman UK2006 20th overall, Ironman UK2006 39th overall, Ironman Arizona2005 18th overall, Ironman Korea

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    Going Long Athlete Diary

    n Thursday Chris says hed like to thank Royles Tri Shop, Wilmslow, for getting his bike race ready and sorting wheels out for him at the last minute!

    J ThursdayChris and training partner, Andy Goddard, during a 60min bike along part of the race course, near Soo, on the north side of the island

    Road to LanzaroteIn many ways, the build-up to Lanzarote wasnt ideal. Work commitments made joining a tri club impractical, so I had to do most of my training alone. Then in February we had a series of family disasters: a major house fire, a burglary and my wife having an operation that didnt go according to plan. We were left homeless and training was no longer a priority.

    However, I was still itching to race and Lanzarote was going to be the start, to see where I was and how much I had lost over the last 18 months. My goal was now just to finish near 10 hours, and try to amend a few problems Ive had in the past with heat stroke by using different sunscreen and race kit. They may seem simple goals, but I had to be realistic.

    The main challenge was how creative I could be with time management, to maintain my 10-hour-a-week training programme. Swimming took the biggest hit as I just couldnt get to the pool. So my focus turned to the longest and toughest part of the race, the bike! This was mainly incorporated into the spinning classes I take at the gym, and some longer rides at the weekend. Finally, run sessions meant going the long way to work, or using the treadmills in our gym for intervals.

    Soon, I had done all I could. Now it was a case of ready or not, Lanzarote here I come

    August 2009


  • Going Long Athlete Diary

    Taper in the sunColette and I arrived in Lanzarote late Saturday evening, one week before the race. Sunday was spent relaxing by the pool and acclimatising. Our accommodation was self-catering: the plan was to prepare similar food to back at home but we soon realised that eating out was cheaper. There was a concern about food poisoning so I was quite selective with my choices but still managed to enjoy some of the local cuisine.

    We hired a car and drove the 180km bike course, taking in the scenery along the way. This also enabled me to ride different sections of the course during the week. The car was also handy for the race briefing on Wednesday and the pasta party on Thursday both held at Club La Santa on the far side on the Island.

    Obviously it was time to taper, so my training week went like this

    MONDAY Bike part of course (2hrs) with easy 30min run. Swim one lap of course.TUESDAY Bike part of course (90mins) with easy 20min run.WEDNESDAY Bike part of course (60mins) with easy 10min run. Swim one lap of course.THURSDAY Swim 400-1,000m various speeds.

    Getting to the end of the taper after everything thats happened back in the UK was a great feeling. The week had gone to plan, and I felt great and really excited about racing.

    Friday morning was spent going over my bike and getting the race bags sorted for check-in later that day. Once everything was in transition, it was time for a siesta as I always struggle to sleep the night before a race.

    J ThursdayAndy uses an aero bottle but I cant get on with them, says Chris. They weigh more and, as soon as you get out of seat to climb, they spill!

    n ThursdayChris and Andy do a 10min run straight off the bike over sand dunes near Soo. Were barefoot so as not to get sand in our race trainers!

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    Going Long Athlete Diary

    J SaturdayChris during the race itself. The sun, wind and hills were a pleasant challenge from the turbo sessions back in Manchester I loved every minute of it!

    Saturday 3Chris was happy to

    finish in 10:12hrs after a hard days work at the office. He hopes

    to return next year and improve on his time

    August 2009

    Saturday, the big day, started with the alarm going off at 4.30am. Colette applied two different suncreams 15mins apart to prevent my usual problem of sunburn from the bike ruining my marathon. Meanwhile, I got on with eating bagels with peanut butter (washed down with 500ml of Nuun) and !lling my bike bottles with a mix of Coke and water.

    Outside there was a morning chill in the air but it didnt bother me as we walked down to transition. As you can imagine, T1 was a sea of pure tri bling. After bike checks it was a patrol down the racks to see what everybody was riding, and judging by the bikes alone, it was going to be a tough day!

    Once the race got underway, the swim went better than I

    could have hoped. At 1:03hrs I was happy. I managed to stay out of trouble and keep moving in the right direction... result!

    The bike had been the only discipline Ive been able to do with any frequency lately, so I was more con!dent. I loved it what a great course! and put in a solid 5:30hr performance

    The run is usually where things go wrong in the heat of the day for me. Sure enough, after a strong !rst lap my stomach refused the gel Id just downed and power just drained out from beneath me. Laps two and three were a struggle, as I wasnt able to keep anything down. But I managed to get it together on the !nal lap and despite everything my race goal was achieved 10hrs 12mins. After the year weve had, I couldnt be happier.

    Race day

  • Going Long Cause and Reflect

    www.220triathlon.com 101

    Cause and ReflectIronman is never a done deal. So when it goes wrong, how do you hold it together? Coach Joe Beer looks at one athletes Ironman Lanzarote story


    August 2009

    Many of the greats of Ironman racing have had to do their apprenticeship, turn around bad luck or try to !nd the positives in a failed race. Mark Allen took multiple attempts at Hawaii before he won, Chrissie Wellington turned a puncture into a win in 2008 and Chris McCormack will have to turn the mechanical failure of his bike during the same race (that resulted in a DNF) into motivation for the 2009 showdown in October.

    Our self-trained guinea pig, Gordon Hutton, had four Ironman races under his belt. In his pre-race email he was hoping to complete Ironman Lanzarote in under 13hrs. It didnt turn out that way: with splits of 1:22hrs for the swim, a run of 7:47hrs and 6:23hrs for the bike plus two 11min transitions he was looking at a 15:56hrs struggle to the line, loaded with various challenges.

    I never managed to achieve the time I was looking for, or even close to it, he says. Personally I was lost as to what to do to

    Gordons factfileAge 32Lives LondonTop triathlon timesBlenheim Triathlon sprint-distance, 1:27hrsMilton Keynes Olympic-distance, 2:26hrsIronman Frankfurt, 14:08hrs

    regain something from the race, as thing upon little thing built into one big problem.

    So, with the beauty of hindsight and a coachs perspective, lets see what he could have done

    | PROBLEM ONE No swim recceAfter a tiring journey, Gordon didnt train the day before the race, missing the chance of a swim course recce in the ocean. Knowing the currents, course and saltwater taste would have to wait until race day.

    This cost him, he now realises, a good !ve or six minutes, through not being more focussed on swimming and surviving the froth instead. Still, we should be thankful he didnt do his (illogical) last-minute solution of doing a dry run on the race morning, just an out-and-back. Not safe, not clever.

    PREVENTION If allowed to do so, get on the course and swim part or all of it, taking into

    account youre tapering. Talking to locals (and those swimming it before/after you recce it) about currents can add extra detailed knowledge.

    IN-RACE CURE Keep smooth and relaxed. Even if you do miss out on the bikers you should be leaving T1 with, the time lost is so small and less than 1% effect on overall race time in Gordons case.

    | PROBLEM TWOHectic T1Gordon found that while hed planned to run through transition, it was more of a

    With four Ironmans under his belt, Gordon was looking at a sub

    13-hour race in Lanzarote


  • Going Long Cause and Reflect

    August 2009102 www.220triathlon.com

    meander. He didnt appreciate how long transition actually was, nor how many people would be around him. There were 119 people out of the swim in the four-minute window around his swim time!

    Gordon feels it cost him two minutes. He adds, Transition was another area I didnt pay any attention to for the race. Keeping down my porridge was priority number one at that point.

    PREVENTION Viewing the race area packed with bikes the day before, you have to imagine hundreds or people running around in it, too. On race morning, make a mental note of where your bike is.

    IN-RACE CURE Again, relax; its a small percentage of time and wasted energy wont help. As the swim !nish approaches, start to visualise your bike location.

    | PROBLEM THREE No socksGordon forgot to pack any socks for the bike. In training hed ridden with no socks without a problem, but in the race it gave me blisters under the cleat area. When I took my shoes off, I was completely unprepared for the pain.

    PREVENTION Lay out what goes into your bags, put it all on as if in the race, check its all correct, and then pack your bag. A large blob of Vaseline in the toebox of run shoes also works wonders.

    IN-RACE CURE A small pot of Vaseline in T1 and T2 bags can come in handy when blisters or rubbing occur.

    | PROBLEM FOUR Ergomo diesGordons Ergomo power and heart rate monitoring system decided to have a rest day on race morning.

    It crashed after only 11 seconds of data collection, turning it into a comfortable platform for the monkey to sit who would later jump onto my back, he quips. Hed trained on power, but with no secondary timing device his eating strategy was compromised. He reckons it cost him a good 40 minutes.

    With no power he didnt know how hard he was riding into the wind, especially early on when he admits he should have been backing off. Gordon adds: Nutrition must have been a factor as my timing was off for sure, though I did actually eat quite a lot.

    PREVENTION Use a reliable system (Ergomo is now a defunct company) with new batteries. Have a second simple watch

    on the bike in case your hi-tech system dies on you.

    IN-RACE CURE Knowing approximate aid station distances can give you a sense of distance and, therefore, a rough time progression. Write aid station or key location distances on a piece of tape on your stem or top tube. You could also ask fellow competitors or volunteers the time.

    | PROBLEM FIVE Run becomes survivalAny would-be Ironman should remember that even the greatest have spent some time in the dark place.

    Gordon sums it up: My run was way off-plan. I expected 4:30hrs instead I just survived my way through the 26 miles, talking to anyone that would listen. On the run I lost two hours from what was planned, and mentally this just destroyed me. This is where I think I was just not tough enough. Digging in and living with the pain of Ironman is a big part of it.

    I say to athletes I coach that the marathon still comes down to a foot race, and you have to be prepared to dig deep. Aero bikes and miracle wetsuit technology cant help you here.

    PREVENTION Do visualisation in training and especially in race week that focuses on the run, as well as the pain you can deal with. A well-paced, patient bike split and a great feeding plan can help, but you have to soak up the pain. Thats what the professionals do so well.

    IN-RACE CURE Dont think about the pain lasting another four hours. Be in the here and now, knowing this is what it takes to earn an Ironman medal. There are no easy days, just faster or slower ones. But all races help us learn about the Ironman challenge and ourselves.

    After forgetting his bike socks, Gordon suffered immense pain under the cleat area

    A mentally destroyed Hutton on the run, digging in and living with the pain nonetheless