WEEK 13 – March 21, 2016 – March 27, 2016
I have trained for and completed one other Ironman race, and that one was Ironman Wisconsin. From my researching race reports for Ironman Lake Placid, I am finding a lot of similarities between the two races. Both are well liked and have a strong following. Both races always sell out quickly, although not quite as fast as in recent past years mainly due to a lack of a pro field and the additions of a handful of new Ironman locations taking some of the devotes away. They both also offer a challenging bike course, and each comparing the atmosphere of the bike routes to that of the Tour de France. The volunteers at both are reportedly awesome. And both are favorites of the voice of Ironman – Mike Reilly. He tends to never miss Madison or Lake Placid. Lastly, both boast of awesome finishes, with IMWI having the state capital building in the background and IMLP finishing on the 1932 Olympic oval.
But there is one main difference between the two races: the swim. IMWI has always been an in water, mass start. IMLP has changed to a self-seeded start. I can only guess, but I think the size of Mirror Lake at IMLP is somewhat smaller than Lake Monona in Madison, and therefore due to the swim-start initiative that the World Triathlon Corporation has implemented, IMLP moved to a self-seeded, wave start of the two loop course.
I participated at Ironman Muncie 70.3 in 2014, which was a wave start based on age groupings and I found that to be a great swim. The swimmers were spread out well over the 1.2 mile swim, and I chose to swim the inside line of the buoys and had very little contact with other swimmers. I was hoping that IMLP will be very similar.
Then I read the some IMLP race reports from 2015. Many of the authors reported that the swim was “tough,” or “brutal.” Not what I was hoping to read. But I think a good many of those people are strong swimmers, hoping to be 1:15 or quicker, and found that they were swimming among swimmers that possibly self-seeded themselves a little too strongly. I will not make that mistake.
I asked a swimmer from the 2016 IMLP Facebook page what his recommendation for the swim start for a guy like me (slow and dreading the swim). Others pitched in with their comments as well. Most said to seed yourself according to your expected time and be truthful (no problem there!), and to stay wide of the underwater cable or stay to the inside of the buoys. Either of those options were what I was planning anyway. As far as the cable is concerned, it is an underwater cable that lays out the course for the swim. Since Mirror Lake is very clear, it is an easily visible guideline and allows swimmers to swim without having to sight their way out of the water. I think my plan will be to watch where others are swimming and when I get into the water at the start, look for a clear line of swimming, even if it means that I swim a little out of my way. Finishing IMWI’s swim in 1:30 should allow me ample time to swim the two loops at IMLP and not get pummeled.
Anyway, it is way too early to be worrying about the swim in the race. I’ve got things that need to be taken care of before even toeing the line in late July.
This past week went well, but I only got one swim of 3000 yards in due to the school where I swim being closed for and early release on Thursday, closed on Good Friday, and closed for an entire week next week for spring break. I’m sure it shouldn’t be an issue. I missed an entire week of swimming and cycling in 2013 training for IMWI, and had no trouble getting prepared.
The weather was a little better this week, although we are heading into the spring with its out of nowhere storms, and up and down temps. Hopefully soon we will start seeing steady warmer temps. I am looking forward to warmer weather so I can open my own pool and not miss anymore swims.
WEEK 13 TOTALS:
Swims: 1 total, 1 hours, 3000 yards
Bikes: 4 total, 5:20 hours, 83 miles
Runs: 7 total, 4:25 hours, 31 miles