2 Days till Kona – Game Plan

2 Days till Kona – Game Plan

Here we are. I still don’t think I’ve fully come to terms with what’s about to happen, but there’s nothing I can do to slow down the approach of Saturday morning. All that is left to do is relax, trust the training, and have confidence in the plan that Alyssa and I have outlined. After spending an hour going through this with her this afternoon, I have slightly amended my original plan, which was a follows:

Swim like Andy: Andy Potts is one of the fastest swimmers in the sport, and so I thought emulating him with a 50ish minute swim time would be a good goal to shoot for.



Bike like Maiki (sp?): Last year, Maik Twelsiek had the fastest bike split in Kona. I’ve had the privilege of training with him at camp in Tucson the last couple of years, and I would love to shed some of what he rubbed off on me out on the bike course. I think somewhere in the 4:30 range would make him proud.


Run like Rinny: Mirinda Carfrae is an iconic runner in the sport, and I’m hoping to strike as much fear in the hearts of my competitors during the run as she does. The ever present knowledge that she is behind, just waiting to make her move, is a strategy I want to mimic. To accomplish this, I’m shooting for a 2:50 marathon.


If you followed along with the math, you’ll know that putting together a race with these times would put me just over 8 hours. For those of you not familiar with the sport, that is an absolutely ludicrous goal for me this weekend. So as much as I would love to be able to race on par with the best athletes in the world, I have to come to reality with the satirical nature of the above plan.

In actuality, the real plan has very little to do with time. Yes, I’ve thought of numbers that could be possible from what I’ve been able to do in training, but Alyssa reminded me that it all comes down to what kind of day we have. The conditions that are typical, yet very unpredictable, on the Big Island can wreak havoc on any sort of time goal. So the plan for Saturday has more to do with execution than any sort of time.

I have been forbidden to ride 1 watt above my goal wattage during the first 30-40 miles of the bike. This is going to require lots of patience and control, as Alyssa said many people will be flying by me. Even after this first third of the course, the goal remains to stay well within myself and control the effort. It’s really hard to run a marathon after burning all your matches on the bike.

The same strategy goes for the run: be smart, controlled, and patient. The race is really all built around having a great last 10k of the run. If I don’t do anything stupid pacing or nutrition-wise, this is where all the time and people will come back.

But more than making up time on my competitors, I want to feel good at this point. I want to remember running back into town. I want to experience, in the fullest way possible, the elation of making the final turn onto Ali’i drive. The only way that is going to happen is with patience and control.

Stay tuned on Saturday to see how well I am able to execute this plan. You can follow along all day at ironmanlive.com.