Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Irawcan 226K/17h triathlon

I did a full 226 km (140.6 miles) triathlon yesterday in 17 hours! It was totally self-organized and -supported training event. I thought it should be called something else than an ironman, and came up with irawcan.

I also set up rules to guide myself and possibly other who might be interested in the future:
  • TIME: You have 17 hours, starting at 7AM and finishing by midnight. You can have as many breaks as you like, but the clock keeps ticking. This is only for personal training purposes. Therefore you should eat and drink well, take your time, and use all the 17 hours if required.
  • DISTANCE: This is a full 226 km (140.6 miles) triathlon, consisting of 3.8 km (2.4 miles) swim, 180 km (112 miles) bike, and 42.2 (26.2 miles) marathon run. Normally in a triathlon you have to perform these in exactly this order, but in Irawcan you can do them in any order you like. You may also break them into parts, and even mix those parts in any order you like, as long as you will accumulate the full distance in the end.
  • NUTRITION: Your nutrition should mostly (at least 80%) consist of raw (meaning unheated, not unripe) fruits and vegetables. However during training you may use sports drinks, gels, bars, nuts etc, as long as they don't exceed 20% of your caloric intake. Caffeine may be used in small amounts, but meat, fish, dairy, eggs, grains or alcohol are not allowed (simply because I don't currently eat them at all).
So how did I do? Here's my 226 km, 17-hour triathlon training day step by step:
  • I woke up too late to have any breakfast. I started promptly at 7:00AM by swimming 3800 meters in the local 25 m pool, which is near to my home. I swam the whole distance at a relaxed pace without any breaks. My time was 69 minutes. I didn't wear a wetsuit, which are often used in real outdoor triathlons.
  • After the swim I spent some time in the sauna. Then I went home and made a breakfast smoothie consisting of water, honeydew melon, bananas and chocolate (ie. organic cacao powder).
  • The weather was sunny but chilly, so I decided to do the whole 180 km bike on my Tacx Bushido trainer. I installed my Cervelo P3 on the trainer and kept an easy 30 km/h pace. I took a lot of breaks to make more smoothies, to have some lunch, and to refill my drink bottle with Nuun Kona Cola. The cycling took 6:13 (without the breaks). I watched Ironman Hawaii and surfed the net while cycling.
  • I had some dinner, made a few phone calls, and was ready to start my marathon run around 6PM. That meant I had 6 hours to finish by midnight. The weather was still sunny and perfect for running. I put on my Hoka One One Stinson Evos and ran around the ubiquitous non-technical trails and dirt paths around my home. I used Suunto Ambit for measurements. I carried a backpack with extra clothing and gels. I visited home around 8PM to drink and eat.
  • At around 9PM I hurried out again, as I still had over 20 km to go in 3 hours. The sunset by the river at 10PM was stunningly beautiful. It got dark but I was ok, as almost all dirt paths in my neighborhood have lights. I had to run on some asphalt bike paths occasionally. I paced myself perfectly, arriving at home when Ambit showed I was done, with only a couple of minutes to spare! The marathon took 4:43 (without the breaks). I took a quick shower, ate a couple of gherkins and beetroots, and fell asleep immediately after that.       
Altogether this was 12 hours 5 minutes of training, not bad for one day! Thanks to reasonable pace I'm not sore or tired or anything like that, but I'll take this following day easy just in case.

I have real race called Challenge Barcelona scheduled on September 30th. Although the distance is the same, it won't be as easy as this of course, but I aim to finish it in around 12 hours as well.


Mike Short said...

What a great way to spend a day. Must be a nice confidence boost for the time on the September event, too. :)

Anonymous said...

Not strictly, but on most days my husband and I are ovo pescatarian veg (cooked and raw) 80% and 20% includes everything else but not too much crap really. We are in a phase of working on increasing raw more amd more. Reading this is so awesome. The title is very cool too. I am very inspired. I am currently training for my first sprint tri. I have a long way to go. I will definitely keep track of iRAWCAN. (I can dream, right?)

This August, I'm running my own full marathon where I will map my own course, etc. and often wonder if I could pull it off... it will be my first. (I've done half, duathlons, and recently metric century rides.) After reading this, I am smiling knowing self organized, self supported 'events' happen out there. :-)

Cheers and well done!!! Thanks.

Trail Plodder said...

Thanks for kind comments! This was a great way to begin celebrating Finnish summer - the white nights are great for 24/7h training :) Actually in Northern Finland the next sunset will be on July 27th! Good luck for your marathon TB!