Race Report – Port Macquarie Ironman, May 201216 May 2012
By Matt Craft
My preparation for this race started in mid January when I spoke with good mate and coach Tim Ahern about my races which consisted of 3 main races. Husky long course 2/80/20, Batemans Bay Ultimate 2/120/20 and Port Ironman 3.8/180/42. All with a goal in site of winning each race and getting the golden ticket to Kona.
With all my week to week training time set out, the sessions that would either consist of speed work, strength work, recovery and our long km’s on the bike/run. I have learnt a lot about training and also about what is required to keep the body fuelled up and the importance of recovery. Having the PureSport Workout and Recovery drinks has really made it that much easier to hit all the markers I needed to.
In my lead-up to all 3 of these races I found it very important to get in all the key sessions throughout each week and putting in plenty of down time to relax and refuel. With all our training my wife Kristy and I do either with or without a group is to be CONSISTENT throughout our blocks not missing any training and always listening to our bodies on how they respond to the pressure of training and stress of work.
Along with my pre race brekkie of COCO pops I had a weak PureSport Workout with another PureSport concentrate (1 serve in 100ml of water) 15mins before the race start.
I started the ironman a little bit more nervous than normal knowing that I had trained well which gave me a lot of confidence but knowing I had performed so well in my previous 2 races yet it wouldn’t mean much to me if I couldn’t get the result I wanted at Port. I didn’t have a great start at the swim being in the wrong spot and looking over to the rest of the field to see they had all crept forward 50 meters ahead of the starting cans, once the Gun fired I pushed hard for the first lap to make sure I got up with one of the lead groups.
I found myself coming out of the water in 53minutes and knew I would be able to find a few good riders of similar ability to work with for the bike. As it turned out there were 4 of us that worked off each other for the entire 180k managing to pull back some time on the front few riders. With all the training I did with my mates we practised using the 12m rule whilst in our efforts on the bike so I knew coming into the race this wouldn’t be a problem. I had made up a bottle of PureSport Workout concentrate for the ride drinking 2.5-3 serves per hour along with water from the aid stations, fruit pillow biscuits, vegemite sandwich, banana, 2x gels made up my race nutrition plan. I like some solid food on the ride and the PureSport takes care of all my electrolyte needs as well as some protein which has really made a difference to my longer races.
Coming into T2 I was with good mates Matt Hood and Chris Southwell who gave me a few tips before heading out onto the run with the main one being to be patient with my run. I started off trying to hold a solid pace and after a few Km’s settling back into a rhythm that I should be able to hold the entire run. Things all went to the plan on the run until I hit the 37-38k mark where I had run out gas, I hadn’t taken any special food or drink with me and was relying on what was on course (mistake) and was fading very fast so all I could do was walk through my next aid station and drink and eat everything they had on offer to give me the energy to get home. To me it’s amazing, that I can have felt so bad only 3km from the finish, but then you can forget this so quickly once you hit the finish chute with all the crowd just cheering anyone and everyone home to the finish. Apart from personal achievement it has to be all about the last kilometre of any ironman.
So my day finished 9hr4mins 7th overall and first age grouper home, securing that golden ticket to Kona. Can’t wait for this one and this time I’ll have some PureSport with me on the run to ensure I don’t have any flat spots.