IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder 2019 is HERE.

IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder 2019 is just around the corner.  You’ve trained, you’ve prepared, don’t blow it by not being ready for the course!

With any event, I always recommend you READ THE ATHLETE GUIDE –> 2019 70 3 boulder athlete guide rs 1


High 80’s and minimal rain chances.  Granted, we are a few weeks out and it could change, but right now the earth is not baking and there are no monsoons in the forecast.

Here’s my advice.

  • Keep an eye on the heat.  Reaching the 80’s isn’t bad, but there’s not much shade on the bike the run can get SOME, but not much.  That sun gets HOT at elevation, so hope for a breeze or some clouds.  SUNSCREEN people!
  • Be hydrating ALL WEEK before.  Elevation with dry air can be deceiving how dehydrated you can get and how quick it could happen, especially with temps in the 80’s walking around IM village, check in, drop offs, etc.  STAY HYDRATED and sunscreen ALL WEEK!


You really can’t go wrong with the rez swim.  Pretty calm waters.  No real issues with water animals.  2 turns… does not get any easier.

From the race web site, “The one-loop swim takes place in the Boulder Reservoir. The water temperature of Boulder Reservoir is generally between 65-70 degrees F in June.”  Ya… so they did say June and this race is in August.  So, there’s that.

Key points:

  • Even if air temps get in the 80’s, the feed for the Rez could be cold enough to keep it wetsuit legal.  More than likely you can still use a wetsuit and start at the back if the temps get to the optional range.  Just bring it all.  Speed suit.  Wetsuit.  When I raced in 2017 and 2018, it was legal.  Just be ready for either option.
  • Know what color the buoys are for turns.  They have orange, yellow, red…. just LOOK at the map before you jump in race day.
  • Look at the course BEFORE you start.  It helps cut down anxiety when you have something for your brain to work on.  Look at the start chute.  Know target 1, 2, etc and where turns are.  Locate land markers for sighting.  When you’re in the water, it’s too late to figure that out.
  • RELAX.  Take the first few 100 yards easy.  Find your rhythm.  Swim your race.  Don’t do anaerobic and freak out looking for air.  You are not going to be able to shoot out at your sprint pace and hold it despite that HUGE shot of adrenaline that you will get when you jump in.
  • Really, this is the best a swim can get for a triathlon.  SOAK IT UP!

Check out swim start tips below!



2000 feet of elevation gain.  While that’s nothing to sneeze at, there’s only two real climbs and the rest are long ascents and false flats.

From IM site, ”    ” – nothing to say about that I guess…


  • Get sunscreened up in T1.  If that sun is out, you will bake on the bike regardless of the air temp.  You don’t want to mess wit,h a sunburn on the run.
  • The roads are ok for the most part. The winter could have caused issues with cracks and potholes, so keep your eyes open.  Also be aware of traffic.  Some spots get tight depending on how IM cones off the route.  You could have a shoulder and they shift traffic over a bit making passing a dicey proposition.
  • Get prepared to be steady and efficient on each climb and recover on the backside.  Avoid hammering the downhill as you will keep digging yourself into an energy hole into each climb.
  • Use aero bars to your advantage.  Stay in aero as much as you can to maximize that high priced TT bike you paid for.  They course can be fast, but the price you pay can be minimized by maximizing your toys.
  • Coming out of T1, don’t gun it no matter how great you feel.  Give yourself 20 minutes to calm down and find your targets.  Your HR should settle and it will be easier to listen to your body.
  • Resist the urge to fly with a tailwind and hammer it.  If you have it at the start and come back on the loop with a headwind, it will be morally defeating to not be able to hold consistent speed or power since you burned it up with the tailwind.  Trust me.
  • FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS on nutrition and hydration.  I always preach the goal is to be 2 to 3% dehydrated off the bike.  You cannot avoid losing no matter how much you think you can take in, so don’t play that game, but make sure you plan your fluids and nutrition how you trained.  You trained like that, right?  It’s going to get hot and sunny out there, and if you are not on top of your water intake, then the run is going to get ugly!  I would even suggest trying to get in minimum your max you planned in training and maybe a bit more as the sun can really start beating down on you out there a mile up in elevation.  You don’t want to be in the 5 to 6% dehydrated range rolling into T2.  TRUST ME.
  • The bike is an energy management equation.  If you go through too much, you cannot get it back for the run.  Better to pull back and give up 10 minutes on the bike so you don’t give up 2 minutes per mile or more walking on the run.  Even if the weather is great and you feel great, race your plan!



Where the race really starts.  Did you manage the bike power/effort?  Did you hydrate and eat right?  You’re going to find out now!
From the IM site, “The two loop run course is very fast and only has 340 feet of gain. The 13.1 Mile route will run you along the Boulder Reservoir, up 51st Street to Monarch, back down 63rd Street and along the Dam Road. Most of the course is on dirt roads.”
  • They have changed the course for 2019, and I think for the better.  Less on dirt and gravel roads.  No dealing with the rural traffic trying to get around on the gravel roads.
  • 300 feet of elevation gain… pretty straight forward and nothing killer.
  • Do not hammer the first loops.  Get a feel and know where you can be aggressive on the second loop if you have something left.
  • Be aware this is TWO LOOPS.  Like the bike, don’t get wrapped around the axle about doing the course twice.  Take it mile by mile and know on the second loop where you want to add, subtract or divide your energy application.
  • If you didn’t hydrate well on the bike, this is where it’s going to catch you.  You will be exposed on sections with no cover.  Be ready.  Be sunscreened up!  That sun can zap you at elevation.
  • Don’t think you will get a chance to catch up on fluids on the run.  It’s a pretty good test of fortitude.  Stock up early at the aid stations with fluids.
  • DO NOT head out of T2 like a locomotive.  Take it easy the first half because you will need it for the second half.

Here’s the RD video on the background for the run course change.

You read this far, check out some various takes on IRONMAN Boulder.


And as a bonus to those that read ALL THE WAY THROUGH, here’s a link to my packing list I use to travel to races.  Enjoy.

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