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IM Switzerland Race Report
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Posts: 398
Location: Zug, Switzerland

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wheezy wrote:
BTW Mattsurf, was wondering whether you’ve come across Russell Cox’s website? He used to post on here quite a bit and as far as I know, he’s the only person that breaks down all the IM splits for all events and looks at what you may need to qualify for Kona. Google Coach Cox and you should find it easy enough.


I know his site pretty well

This year must have been unusual - typically in Zurich 10h10 to 10h15 is enough to go to Kona, and it normally roles down to place 12-15, and the last non wetsuit year in 2015, I think it went to 10h20 (ish). However, this year the last slot went to 5th place and 10h00

Honestly I was not ready this year, I may spend the next 3 years building a stronger base and have a really big push in 3 years when I am in the 50-54 AG. I love Triathlon, but feel like doing some fun events rather than a relentless drive for Kona

...having said that, I have entered Weymouth 70.3 for an end of season shout
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Jorgan




Joined: 12 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mattsurf wrote:

Honestly I was not ready this year, I may spend the next 3 years building a stronger base and have a really big push in 3 years when I am in the 50-54 AG. I love Triathlon, but feel like doing some fun events rather than a relentless drive for Kona

...having said that, I have entered Weymouth 70.3 for an end of season shout


Plus I'm ageing-up to M45 next year, and will take you to school Laughing

I fear the relentless drive for Kona will see you dissatisfied with life, and maybe even a little disappointed if you KQ. Plenty of people I've spoken to have said it's actually all a bit over hyped; especially the brutal nature of the course with very little support, and of course the awful drafting. In fact back in June I was speaking to girl who was very disparaging about it, then said she'd been 4 times! I think the reason a lot go, is purely to get the medal/shirt and memorabilia to show-off and say they did it, rather than race a fantastic course. Would I go if I got a slot, of course, but I'm really not bothered about trying to KQ nowadays. Competition for slots has increased, and they are more thinly spread; add to that the sacrifices you have to make (I have young kids), and the fact in the older AGs there are probably some dopers racing and/or serial drafters....I'm really quite ambivalent about making the grade these days.

Nice seems like a much better proposition; way cheaper too!
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
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Location: Zug, Switzerland

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorgan wrote:
mattsurf wrote:

Honestly I was not ready this year, I may spend the next 3 years building a stronger base and have a really big push in 3 years when I am in the 50-54 AG. I love Triathlon, but feel like doing some fun events rather than a relentless drive for Kona

...having said that, I have entered Weymouth 70.3 for an end of season shout


Plus I'm ageing-up to M45 next year, and will take you to school Laughing

I fear the relentless drive for Kona will see you dissatisfied with life, and maybe even a little disappointed if you KQ. Plenty of people I've spoken to have said it's actually all a bit over hyped; especially the brutal nature of the course with very little support, and of course the awful drafting. In fact back in June I was speaking to girl who was very disparaging about it, then said she'd been 4 times! I think the reason a lot go, is purely to get the medal/shirt and memorabilia to show-off and say they did it, rather than race a fantastic course. Would I go if I got a slot, of course, but I'm really not bothered about trying to KQ nowadays. Competition for slots has increased, and they are more thinly spread; add to that the sacrifices you have to make (I have young kids), and the fact in the older AGs there are probably some dopers racing and/or serial drafters....I'm really quite ambivalent about making the grade these days.

Nice seems like a much better proposition; way cheaper too!


I heard the same from a lady I ride with who has also been 4 times and was an AG medalist at Kona. However, I also have a secondary motive for going, my original passion was windsurfing, Hawaii is the spiritual home of the sport and is still the place to go. I would combine a trip to Kona with a windsurfing trip.
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Jorgan




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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mattsurf wrote:
Hawaii is the spiritual home of the sport


Of Ironman maybe; but Mission Bay in San Diego is where the Triathlon egg hatched and the first events took place.
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TRO Saracen




Joined: 18 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorgan wrote:

Plus I'm ageing-up to M45 next year, and will take you to school Laughing

I fear the relentless drive for Kona will see you dissatisfied with life, and maybe even a little disappointed if you KQ. Plenty of people I've spoken to have said it's actually all a bit over hyped; especially the brutal nature of the course with very little support, and of course the awful drafting. In fact back in June I was speaking to girl who was very disparaging about it, then said she'd been 4 times! I think the reason a lot go, is purely to get the medal/shirt and memorabilia to show-off and say they did it, rather than race a fantastic course. Would I go if I got a slot, of course, but I'm really not bothered about trying to KQ nowadays. Competition for slots has increased, and they are more thinly spread; add to that the sacrifices you have to make (I have young kids), and the fact in the older AGs there are probably some dopers racing and/or serial drafters....I'm really quite ambivalent about making the grade these days.

Nice seems like a much better proposition; way cheaper too!


Great attitude! It has got into my head somewhat as its gone from 'beyond reach' to something just about possible.

Missed by 11mins and 6 mins so far, but I think the window of opportunity shuts after this year as I age through M50-54....but I can get in through legacy anyway after this year.

My one rule was that I would 'enjoy' the process of getting to the start line ready to challenge, and enjoy the race itself regardless of whether it ended with a lei or not and so far that's held.

Kids have flown the nest and wife 100% supportive so I am lucky from that POV.
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Jorgan




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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TRO Saracen wrote:

Great attitude!


Not sure how to take that Smile
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have just been analyzing the results from IM Switzerland

as a percentage of participants, comparing AG40-44 and 45-49:

A greater percentage of the older athletes achieved sub 10 hour and sub 11 hours

A much greater percentage of the younger athletes achieved 11 to 12 hours

A greater percentage of the older athletes achieved 12-16 hours

The surprise was that at the sharp end, the older athletes marginally outperformed those 5 years younger

Things are even more worrying when you look at 50-54 compared with 40-44 an equal percentage achieve sub 10, sub 11 and sub 12

It maybe that the 40-45 age group has lots of mid life crisis "one and done" Ironmen, while people in 45-49 are a little more serious, and only hardcore athletes are left by the time they reach 50+

Unfortunately, if this pattern is repeated at other events, I am no more likely to KQ as I go into the next age group
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Jorgan




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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mattsurf wrote:

It maybe that the 40-45 age group has lots of mid life crisis "one and done" Ironmen, while people in 45-49 are a little more serious, and only hardcore athletes are left by the time they reach 50+


It must be those Swiss anti-ageing clinics.
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TRO Saracen




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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are rumours of more widespread doping in the older AG's. But definitely more to it than that unsubstantiated rumour.

I think as you go through your 40's the family life balance thing gets easier - as kids get older/fly the nest there is (was) more time you can throw at it for a lot of us. There probably is a sweetspot somewhere in the late 40's for this before the field starts thinning, and age really starts to bite...

Think it changes again as you go through the 50s - personally of the top end M50-54's I know a decent proportion can and do train as virtually full time athletes: early retirement packages, parents inheritance etc so the top end remains brutal. Heck of a increase in the amount of training you can absorb without the Mon-Fri 9-5 stress, and enough sleep....
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Whisk




Joined: 09 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorgan wrote:
mattsurf wrote:
Hawaii is the spiritual home of the sport


Of Ironman maybe; but Mission Bay in San Diego is where the Triathlon egg hatched and the first events took place.


I think "the sport" he's referring to here is windsurfing, isn't it?
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jibberjim




Joined: 15 Aug 2008
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Location: Kingston

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorgan wrote:
I fear the relentless drive for Kona will see you dissatisfied with life, and maybe even a little disappointed if you KQ. Plenty of people I've spoken to have said it's actually all a bit over hyped; especially the brutal nature of the course with very little support, and of course the awful drafting.


I have to say that visiting the Kona IM was probably the single event that completely destroyed any interest in doing an IM ever for me! Of course I was only spectating and jogging slowly up and down whilst there, but it was just chock full of arse holes (not everyone, but lots of the athletes), and the location could've been any town suburban USA with all the associated #@?# that gives.

If you do go, combine it with fun elsewhere and don't treat it as a race...
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
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Location: Zug, Switzerland

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the prize giving, my wife commented that some of the older AG winners looked fitter than the pro’s
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tuckandgo




Joined: 03 Sep 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate to be the 'bad egg' but in my experience (of lots of people I know, not just my own) is that if you have trained effectively for 18months - 2 years gains after that are just marginal.

The multiple Kona Qs I know (who were all also pretty sturdy FOP at Kona) pretty much 'just did it' without any multi year grind.

The only exception is one guy who was pretty good (say 10ish hours IM, 3hour stand alone marathon time) and he started to add an hour each way bike commute (open roads not city) on top of his standard training, so an extra 10hours zone 2 a week I guess, and improved dramatically. (fastest overall bike split at IM Wales 2016)

Of course this will depend where you start from, and there will be exceptions but the fitter and more experienced you are the harder it is to make significant improvements.
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
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Location: Zug, Switzerland

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tuckandgo wrote:
I hate to be the 'bad egg' but in my experience (of lots of people I know, not just my own) is that if you have trained effectively for 18months - 2 years gains after that are just marginal.

The multiple Kona Qs I know (who were all also pretty sturdy FOP at Kona) pretty much 'just did it' without any multi year grind.

The only exception is one guy who was pretty good (say 10ish hours IM, 3hour stand alone marathon time) and he started to add an hour each way bike commute (open roads not city) on top of his standard training, so an extra 10hours zone 2 a week I guess, and improved dramatically. (fastest overall bike split at IM Wales 2016)

Of course this will depend where you start from, and there will be exceptions but the fitter and more experienced you are the harder it is to make significant improvements.


It's a very good point, but I am still improving. At some point I may well hit a level where that is as fast as I am going to get, but would be nice to know where that is
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
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Location: Zug, Switzerland

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stenard wrote:
Yeah, 15 gels seems loads, but then I guess it depends on what type they are. I use GU and they only recommend 1 every 45mins, whereas High5 and SIS recommend 3 per hour. So they are all different.

That said, I just looked up the exact content of each, and both GU and SIS are 22g of carbs per gel. So it does seem the GU one's are at the low end (the SIS recommendation would be 66g /hr, whilst GU is only c30g /hr).

My plan has me predominantly on solids for the first 2-3hrs of the bike (so chopped up bars, chunks of flapjack, chews), moving to gels in the last 2-2.5hrs.

As for the Kona plan, most people I know who have made it have taken 3-4 years before they piece everything together.

Finally, your pre-race setup must be super efficient. Only 45mins?! I probably get there 90mins before and still feel rushed! If it wasn't for toilet queues, then it maybe wouldn't be so bad*, but I'm often struggling to make my targeted swim wave. And no, I can't go before heading to transition. My body doesn't seem to work that way!

*that said, I was appreciative of the extra time in Mallorca due to a tube blow out overnight


I was using High5 gels, with 22g carbs per gel. Strategy was one gel every 20 minutes - based on a 5 hour ride that is 15 gels

Actually I would have liked a bit more time pre race, however, I caught the first train in.

My failure to add water was more down to laziness, I had spare isotonic liquid in my top up bottle and I thought that it would be OK rather than walk 200m to the fountain to get fresh water - last time I do that
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