IRONMAN 70.3 CDA is HERE.  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 cda athlete guide rs 1


High 70’s and 44% humidity.  That looks pretty awesome at this point in the year.  Looks like some showers early in the week, but dry on race day and sunny.

Here’s my advice.

  • Full wetsuit!  I bet the water will be nippy!
  • Bring morning clothes to keep warm before the race.  It will be in the 50’s, so you don’t want to sit around being super cold wasting energy shivering.
  • Bring sunscreen.  Looks to be sunny and you don’t want a race number sunburn for a souvenir.


Rectangle out and back with 2 turns.  Butter.

Key points:

  • Does not get more straight forward than 2 turn out and back.
  • Make sure to keep sighting and not just head down swimming.  You can get off course with that long from start/finish to turns.
  • Consider shaded goggles.  At some point you might be facing the sun.
  • Bring a full sleeve wetsuit and know how to get it on.  Water temps in the 60’s.  It will be chilly!
  • Know what color the buoys are for turns so you have an idea when the turn is on you.
  • Swim wide of the turns if you want to minimize contact.
  • 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.


3500 feet of gain over 56 miles, that’s spicy.  Hope you brought your hill game cause you will need it on the back 2/3 of the course.


  • It’s going to be important to manage the hills and not burn everything out for the run.  Be smart and don’t hammer in the 50 rpm range trying to power the hills.  Kick back to 75% max FTP (or low Z4 HR) and adjust gears to what you need to keep effort under control.
  • One loop, but an out and back.  Enjoy the climb out and descent, cause you get to ride it in reverse on the way back.
  • Consider if you are affected by cold to have some toss-away arm warmers or tube socks with holes for hands cut in to start out of T1.  Going to be chilly to start the bike.
  • 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?  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!



400 feet of gain over 13.1 miles isn’t half bad.  It will be peaking on the heat, but highs in the high 70’s should be very doable, if you didn’t burn yourself on the bike.

  • 2 loops isn’t bad.  Ya, you will see things twice, but for spectators at least on an out and back 2 loop course, they can see you often.
  • Sunscreen up in T2.  You don’t want to suffer out there turning into a lobster.
  • Keep the pace and effort in check out of T2.  You will have a chance to burn off that excitement on the climb at mile 3.5 with the repeats and then again at 9.5.
  • Lean at the ankles, keep cadence at 80+ and focus on form over muscling through it.  This is where you find out of you tried to hammer the hills too hard on the bike.


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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