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Race report – IRONMAN 70.3 Gdynia

I raced IRONMAN 70.3 Gdynia 11th of August. Here is a race report of my trip to Poland.

It was very fun to get back to racing! I had thought that a 70.3 race at this point of season isn’t that much fun, but it surprised me. I was faster than expected and it didn’t feel that bad after a full distance race as anticipated.

But first, let’s see what happened between Ironman Klagenfurt and Ironman 70.3 Gdynia.

After Ironman Klagenfurt, I took it more or less easily around 10 days. I spent a few days in Klagenfurt and in Vienna at my friends and right after that travelled to East-Finland to see my parents for the first time this year. Fun for change. My body felt rather great as I did easy training during those. I travelled with road bike and wetsuit; swimming halls are closed in small towns in July. Running flow was gone, as also in the race, but I noticed it to come back little by little, which made me very happy.

10 days after the race I travelled to Italian alps with my friend Aino to train and have fun, which is basically cycling, running, eating ice cream and talking crap. After first day’s chock climb to Passo Gavia, 25km climb without being able to breath and feeling like a total piece of shit, I started to enjoy the high mountains quite a lot! My body adapted to the high altitude and steep climbs rather well, I think. Usually the longer and the steeper, the better. Amazing sights, rather empty roads and good asphalt made our long rides very great! We were also lucky with weather; it basically rained only one morning and otherwise it was surprisingly warm and sunny for those heights. Our training days were long (and hilly, suprise, suprise), but rather feeling-based. I left my max effort attempts on the climbs for a next time (which for sure comes!), although I would have wanted to push hard on some days. Ironman a few weeks earlier made me to hold it back and not ruin the rest of the season. Running legs started to come back. Hill cycling helped, as expected.

Then back home, 13 days to go to the race day. And… surprise, surprise, or not a surprise, a fatigue arrived. I slept much and gave it time. It is very normal for me that within a few days after coming home from a training camp the fatigue comes, although the entire camp I’ve felt very good and can’t almost understand where the tired feeling comes from. So I slept, did some easy training and a few hard swim and run sessions, but I skipped all hard bike sessions. Then off to Poland. Luckily the fatigue seemed to go away just in time.

Finally to the race trip…

I travelled alone. I train a lot alone, but going to races all alone feels still rather strange. I did it last year too, but still. Luckily the entire trip went well and after a very social July, I actually enjoyed being alone in Poland, just doing my routine pre-race things, training a little and relaxing. My hotel located very central, there was also a swimming pool in 5min walk distance, so I had a good opportunity to swim still in Gdynia two times before the race. My body felt good and I was even happy with how the swimming had felt in the pool sessions.

21 professional women had signed up, 14 started. It was still a rather big field, bigger than I am used to.

Swim

Beach start, choppy water and sun shining directly to eyes. Navigating was difficult. My start was again rather good, I managed to stay in the second group, I’ve become better in that this season, but.. I still got dropped of that group after 500-700m ish. Before the turn-around I landed in no-man’s land and swim-navigate-failed alone rest of the swim leg. I felt myself rather good and strong, although the pace was crappy. So, more OW training is needed. I also need to concentrate more in the first half of the leg in order to stay in the group.

Bike

My plan was to hold back a little in the bike leg and try to run better than earlier this season. So, no max effort in the bike, but a max effort in the run. I succeeded rather well in that (didn’t die in the run this time).

90km felt short after a full distance as previous race. I didn’t have the perfect day, yet it still felt rather good and strong all the time. In the first half, there was more headwind and climbing than tailwind and ascending. And vice versa. This time my legs felt also good in the headwind. I’ve sometimes had difficulties in races to get same power in headwind as in tailwind, so I was quite pleased with it now. I passed 4 pro girls, but otherwise it was very lonely cycling and very little amateur men around me. Very happy that only a few of them manage to catch me in the bike leg these days!

The bike course was nice and varying. In the city sections there were however quite many holes in the asphalt.

Off to T2 feeling that I could have continued at least 50km with same effort. (diesel, full distance girl)

Run

It was quite a surprise for me what my day’s run fitness was. I have struggled a little with running this season. Sometimes it feels easy and right, sometimes total crap. I had run 6x1km intervals on race week Wednesday at 3:30/km pace feeling surprisingly easy, so I knew my running fitness shouldn’t be very crap, if the legs just want to function on the race day.

And this time they worked rather nicely. I took the run leg totally by feeling and clocked a new PR 1:24:15. Afterwards I feel I should probably have worked a little harder, especially on the second of three laps. I lacked a little the experience how hard can I push without collapsing.

6th place in a very strong field. I was happy with my Sunday “training day” and Poland race trip.

Total time 4:24:37. New PR, yet still quite far from what I would like the see in the watch. Well, next time. :)

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race report

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