1049 Piers Constable GBR

1049 Piers Constable GBR
Placed 85 | AG 40-44 | Overall time 10:03:29
Swim 1:08:23 | T1 2:14 | Bike 5:16:56 | T2 1:54 | Run 3:34:04

Coach’s remarks: I think this very honest report from Piers sums up his work ethic and how hard the game is 🙂

Hey coach, thought I’d send u some data whilst I’m awake in middle of night unable to sleep.
Pre-race was looking forward to it. Had a seriously annoying cold on Friday/Saturday but this seemed to go away the morning of the race. I can’t say I felt anything other than pumped on the start line.
Swim was uneventful. I struggled to find feet for any length of time. As soon as I found any I seemed to lose them, so did most of swim on my own, but wasn’t working very hard. An enjoyable swim, probably the easiest IM swim I’ve done and a PB by 2 mins.
T1 good, wanted to be on bike by 1.10 and I was.
I didn’t realise straight away but when I went over the timing mat coming out of T1 I lost one of my three gu flasks out my rear pocket. So only had 1000 cals for the bike rather than 1500. Made up for this with 2.5 bananas in first half of ride so they’d have time to digest, but I had a lot of stomach discomfort on the run and I think this may have been why. Took 2 salt tabs every hour and around 4 litres of water. Went for one pee on bike at 100km and that was it for the day – no more peeing!
Managed to drop chain at one point and it took two attempts to put it back on. Probably lost a minute.
Thought I’d held back on lap one of bike. Ave 35.5kph for 90k and 200W power. 2hr33 for halfway. HR was 80 but this felt like a 70 at Longtoot. But as soon as I started the second loop I knew I was struggling, power was way down (180W ave for lap two), HR dropping and speed plummeting. Didn’t overtake a single guy on lap two, only girls and seemed I was getting overtaken by everyone. Tried to settle in drafts at 10m but was soon losing them. Started to feel sorry for myself here and lose it a bit mentally. The second 90k were as hard a bike as I’ve ever done, didn’t enjoy it at all. 2hr44 for lap two. Overall a 5.16 bike looks ok but this was not a controlled 5.16, it was an all in 5.16.
T2 nice and quick.
Was dreading run as quads had been cramping on bike, and if someone had offered me 3.34 at the start I would have grabbed it. But straight away the legs felt good. Settled into a 4.50 pace and was feeling very mentally strong. For the first time ever I just focussed on maintaining speed and form to next km marker. Must admit up to 18km it felt a breeze, other than stomach that was in serious difficulty and was meaning that I was only taking one gel every 10k and water – no coke. Took two salt tabs every 10km too. But from 18k on something switched and it started to get hard. Pace was dropping and although I continued to run aid stations it was tough. Stopped a couple of times in woods as thought needed a number 2 but nothing happened so just ploughed on. 25-32k out though forest and back was the worst, but when I got to 10km to go I stopped feeling sorry for myself and picked it up a bit. Was still running everything but walking aid stations at this point. Knew the sub 10 had gone – knew I needed to run under 5min kms but pace was 5.10-15 and was hard to sustain this. But I definitely found the run easier than Busso, and didn’t give up like I did there.
So all in I’m happy with 10.03. On a perfect day I wanted 9.55 and I was only 8 mins off this. I have done nowhere near enough bike training the past three months, and it showed. That’s where I lost the race. Rubbish bike split and too much effort expended getting it which impacted second half of run. This sport is brutal, it shows up any weakness and you just can’t fake it. You get what you deserve, nothing more.
Thanks for continuing to believe in me. You are always spot on with your predictions and it was clear you didn’t think a sub 10 was likely, only possible on a good day. I’d put this down as a 7.5 out of 10 day, which given all the work, travel and illness the past 6 weeks is not surprising. But I wouldn’t change things around – I like the work life balance I have and I’d be bored if all I did was train.
So … gonna take it easy for a month, back from holiday in Zambia in mid August and then we start training for the double header in Phuket. Long term goal is IM South Africa in April, if we have a perfect day and a calm swim and no wind on bike we can go sub 10 there. Hope you will continue to be part of my team!
Piers