Austin 70.3 Relay (bike leg)

This race report is a little bit different than others since it’s not truly a race report, but self-feedback on a single leg of a race.  Additionally, there was no swim leg….so it was a walking start to the line, mount and ride.  However, I think you’ll find something useful with the information.  This race report was especially useful (in hindsight for my Dallas Marathon on December 11, 2016):

The Problems

  • Cramping – not hunger / bonk. My hypothesis is that it was an electrolyte problem, rather than a food problem.   1 bananas consumed hour before start of bike.   Felt good about my food prior to the start of the bike.
  • Average HR of 169, high 181. Zone 5 95% of time, Zone 4 5% of time. This is an overall fitness problem, but will improve naturally.
  • Don’t like the higher HR, but the goal was to “hammer” and reach 20mph average (successful).
  • Cramping at 45 mile marker:   QUAD cramping.   Gotta correct this one. Able to correct to some extent and stay engage on bike, however was locked up with I dismounted. Horrible. Need to do a lot of reading on the subject and get it corrected.

What was Right?

  • Able to stay in aero position 85-90% of time. Rough spots and 90 degree turns through 43 were the only time out of aero.   Out of aero on part of the climbs after 43, but overall satisfied with the position.
  • Quick on the bike and able to get into a steady sustainable rhythm until mile 17.  Issue at 17 (user error) cause a double calf cramp – able to stretch this one out and continue on ride with little delay.   This is a “that day” problem. Able to correct the problem quickly with stretching.   Felt great through 40ish.
  • Well trained going into bike relay
  • Completely comfortable on the bike. 

Mounting the bike

  • Need to work on shoes pre-placement and working to get shoes on bike in when starting the ride out of T1.
  • No opportunity in this race, but needs to be noted for my personal winter/spring practice.   Tim McCurry has right idea for shoes during out bike training sessions – leave them on bike perm….


  • Austin is a hilly course, but with the capability for me to carry 21mph.
  • First half was simply faster than the second half with slow decline throughout the course.
  • Decline was steeper than it should have been due to muscles (cramps) rather than fitness. Is this speed appropriate for ½IM? No. Eighteen to nineteen is reasonable to run the 13.1 after.


  • Water: Carried for the day: 4 bottle slots (torpedo, three bottles).
  • Shoes were great, singlet worked fine. Gloves were nice for relay, but not
  • Food: One package of Skratch chews, one package of cliff shots (1/2 consumed during bike.
    • Need to consume more during ½ iron for transition to the run.
    • Not a huge amount of food, but something at 45-50 for transition to the fun.
  • Bike: Bike maintenance was good. Like the setup – cockpit and shorter crank shaft would be good next upgrades.

Next Time

  • Carry 3 bottles, one EMPTY slots for course bottles for on course liquid.   How?
    • Torpedo filled (Nuun),
    • two bottles on the back with liquid nutrition(tailwind), Bottle under horizontal is empty – allows easy reach of Gatorade/ water bottle to fill torpedo.
  • Bike bag: solid food that need to be place in left singlet leg
  • Run bag: solid food that can be consumed at the start of the run – not sticky sweet to slow down the beginning of the run.
  • Bento Box:      Need to find an easy to consume solid food that I can best consume on the bike in aero position.

I like a lot of what I did here, just small changes to make sure there is no calorie deficiency going to the run.   The run would have HURT due to cramping, but otherwise I would have been physically capable of transitioning to the run and finishing.

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Garmin Data


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