Freeman Cebu Sports

Last minute tip for Ironman70.3 Phl

EVERY POUND COUNTS - Alan G. Choachuy - The Freeman

This is it Cebu, just eight more days to go before the biggest triathlon event in the country gets underway! This is the seventh 70.3 Ironman in Cebu, 10th overall on Philippines soil. Although I will be seeing action in the relay event for the first time this year, the Metafit Tri Team is in full force with captain Fritz Co leading the way. Metafit also has its new team jersey sponsored by Air Spencer.


If you have not trained enough for the race next Sunday, you may be in good company as most of our beginners are not finding enough time to train. Adding stress to everyone was the sudden change of the bike route. Instead of the usual race course passing through the SRP, the new bike route covers only the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue with one loop covering 30km. Meaning, one has to make 3 loops to compete the 90km challenge.  In terms of fitness, there is nothing much you can do but hope and pray that you finished the whole race in less than 8 hours and 30 minutes. Here are some useful last minute tips I can share:

Swim: Based from tide prediction this year, the swim stage looks calm and hopefully be an easy swim for everyone. But still you need to focus, relax and enjoy.

Focus: The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Most often swimmers get disoriented at sea and criss-cross the route, thus making the swim distance longer. Make sure to have a reference point like the buoy and avoid lifting your head up. When you lift your head up, automatically your lower body sinks.

Relax: Avoid muscling each stroke in the swim. Each stroke must be done with finesse, go with flow of the water, catch each stroke and power your pull then relax as soon as you get your hand outside the water and back in. Catch as many water as possible to help you go further forward faster. The more you use your muscle, the more you sink deeper.

Enjoy: Most of the beginners tend to get stress when they swim in open water. Don’t worry, you are not the only one getting stress. Enjoy the view under water, the colorful fishes and corals, but as soon as you turn around to the deeper side, everything will turn dark blue color. So take time, think of happy thoughts, have a music in the head or pray the rosary but never stop. When you stop you will lose momentum.

Bike: The new 3-loop bike route this year would be faster bike split, although the biker would climb the bridge six times. What goes up must come down. The old Mactan-Mandaue bridge has a much shorter span compared to the Marcelo Fernan bridge, a difference of almost 400 meters in length. That means its gradient will be higher but one can carry its momentum going to the highest level. Not like the Marcelo Fernan bridge you will lose its momentum before you get to the top. In going down the bridge, please mind the gap. Prepare your hydration and nutrition, learn how to drink and eat on the bike. Newbies tend to stop at every water station to refuel and rehydrate.It’s good to do that, but when you stop it takes time to regain the momentum. Refuel or rehydrate every 30 to 45 minutes. Try to maintain the average speed of 30kph, and you will finish the bike leg in 3 hrs, at 28kph average in 3 hrs 12 minutes, 25kph in 3hrs 36 minutes and at 22.5kph in 4 hrs. Avoid wearing lose fit bike jersey as it increases the drag.

Run: If you have swam 1 hour and biked for four hrs, that means you have another 3 hours to finish the 21km run. One has to average a speed of 7kph to finish the 21km in 3hrs. At this point of time, you really have to budget your remaining strength and energy in your body. Go too slow and you will get disqualified, go too fast you might hit the wall and end up in a stretcher. The best advice is to find someone to pace with you, maintain at least more than 7kph average so that you will have extra time to spare for the water station. Another technique I did for the run leg is a ratio of 30 seconds walk, two minutes jog and one-minute run. On the water station, there are ice shower available so try to drench yourself with ice cold water to help you recover faster. On your way to the finish line, remember to zip up shirt, fixed your hair and cross the finish line with a big smile.


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