Login required to started new threads

Login required to post replies

Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?)
Quote | Reply
I'll be racing the Indian Wells 70.3 on December 8th. I've done one Ironman 70.3 before this (Santa Cruz this past September) and had some questions based on the swim start for this event.

Background:

I'd describe myself as a strong-ish swimmer relative to the age group field as a whole, but was a little presumptuous in Santa Cruz and slotted myself with the very first group. The group's estimated pace was 27:00, but I ended up getting out of the water in 28:57. Felt like I had a subpar swim for me based off what I've done in the pool and open water for training. Even though the slower time could be attributed to ocean conditions, I was still passed by maybe 15-20 people (possibly more) from the waves behind me. With the rolling start, I believe 4 people went off from the corral at a time.

Once I got on the bike I was able to really get moving. There wasn't really anyone who stayed with me until after I passed the majority of the Pro Women. Two Every Man Jack guys ride with me once I caught them with about 10 miles to go. I ended up coming into T1 first with a 2:17:55.

For Indian Wells, I expect that I'll be at the front for the age group race on the bike as my in-aero FTP on the trainer has gone up a bit since Santa Cruz. I've also been putting a lot of work into my swim with a couple of 2-a-days thrown in and have made really good progress in the pool. I believe that if I have a good day, and since it's in calm Lake Cahuilla, I could be close to that 27:00 mark.

How should I position myself for this rolling swim start to set up the best possible race? Should I go with the first group at 27:00 minutes? Or line myself up a group behind and potentially have a bit more draft to swim in?

I'm thinking that since the bike is flat and fast there could be an advantage to riding with a few other guys at legal spacing.

Side note: I know the run course is rollers on the golf course, but is there anything else I should know about it? Looks like a decent amount of turns. All on pavement?

Dominic Pollizzi / WeTri Racing

Last edited by: zestypollizzi: Nov 19, 19 13:35
Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [zestypollizzi] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
 
Hey Mate,

I have had the same thoughts in my racing last season, I raced a rolling start 70.3 at cairns 70.3 in June, I waited about 12 minutes and in the end there was a fair bit of traffic in the swim but nothing major, I swam pretty good with 27 flat. After about 6km solo on the bike a nice group of 8 guys came past and I was able to form a nice legal group with them for about 50km, then it ended up blowing apart into small grounds with the last 30km everyone solo into head winds. So If I had just gone off with the first few I likely would have swum 1 min faster, and the front group biked about the same as what I did anyways and I mentally race better off the front.

Since then I spoke with my Coach and he has said, just position yourself in the best case swim scenario and if I am solo early on bike, just make them chase me down and stop gaming the system, and also it is better for the whole race if people position them self honestly.

So I am glad I gave it a try one race to try start behind but ill go back to just going off within the first 20 into water now as I am a solid swimmer and consistently swim go sub 27.
Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [zestypollizzi] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
The water is cold. Cold!

You'll have to de-contaminate your wetsuit due to regulation, so be prepared to leave it there the day before.

The bike course is super flat, so should be relatively straight forward to pace.

The run course is a two loop route on the golf cart path with a ton of rollers. Be prepared to run through people on your second loop because it can be especially narrow on some parts of the course.
Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [zestypollizzi] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Racing Palm Springs as well..... The race is full rolling then? No AG at all?

I always start just off the front since I want people to draft off of, if you position to far back you will be swimming by yourself. By just off the front I mean like 3-6 rows back. Will try to position next to someone that looks kinda of big and will give a good swim draft, or a girl as they are in different colored caps and easy to follow. The women also tend to kick more which provides more lift.

See you out there.


I am going to line up next to you!!!

___________ https://www.instagram.com/toothengineer/ https://www.strava.com/dashboard https://slfmotion.com

2020: Galveston, Rookie, Buffalo Springs, Kona
Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [Gilliga] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Thanks for sharing the experience. Was leaning towards this, just positioning myself towards the pointy end of the race and not worrying about "gaming the system". Appreciate it!

Dominic Pollizzi / WeTri Racing

Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [kahlil] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Usually I do alright with cold water. Swimming during the winter at Lake Natomas up in NorCal toughens you up! Got it on the 2nd loop being congested, thanks for the tip

Dominic Pollizzi / WeTri Racing

Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [Toothengineer] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Toothengineer wrote:
Racing Palm Springs as well..... The race is full rolling then? No AG at all?

I always start just off the front since I want people to draft off of, if you position to far back you will be swimming by yourself. By just off the front I mean like 3-6 rows back. Will try to position next to someone that looks kinda of big and will give a good swim draft, or a girl as they are in different colored caps and easy to follow. The women also tend to kick more which provides more lift.

See you out there.


I am going to line up next to you!!!


Looking off the Ironman Website it just states "rolling start" for the swim. I'm assuming that means it'll be just time based group's like in Santa Cruz, no age group. Great advice, hope your last bit of prep goes well and I'll see you on the start line!

Dominic Pollizzi / WeTri Racing

Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [zestypollizzi] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I started myself way too far back at Indian Wells last year. I ended up having the 12th fastest swim in AG's and definitely would have been happier if I had started in the 10-15th person range instead of where I did (probably 50-60). That was stupid of me. Even with my starting position though I was the 2nd AGer off the bike and that meant I had bike through a good portion of the women's field so you won't be totally alone even if you seed yourself pretty far up. People are going to freak out in the cold water. You don't want to be swimming into people who think they can swim 27 and then end up treading water every 75 meters to catch their breath in the cold.

Benjamin Deal - Professional - Instagram - TriRig - ATAQ Fuel
Deals on Wheels - Race reports, pictures, sponsors, and more!
Most recent blog post: Takeaways from spectating Kona 2019
Most recent video: What's the Deal with: cold water adaptation?
Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [realbdeal] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Good tip on the cold water. Definitely thinking putting myself in the 3rd or 4th wave is my best bet. Thanks Ben, rooting for you to go crush it out there!

Dominic Pollizzi / WeTri Racing

Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [zestypollizzi] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
zestypollizzi wrote:
Thanks for sharing the experience. Was leaning towards this, just positioning myself towards the pointy end of the race and not worrying about "gaming the system". Appreciate it!

Trying to game the system is poor sportsmanship imo. Obviously it's not against the rules, but when I've seen guys do this at races it's definitely rubbed me the wrong way.

Strava I Instagram I Team Every Man Jack I
Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [Sean H] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I think there's trying to strategize a little within the guidelines, and then there's excessively pushing those limitations. It certainly degrades the quality of not just the result, but the experience of everyone else involved.

Dominic Pollizzi / WeTri Racing

Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [zestypollizzi] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [Sean H] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Sean H wrote:
zestypollizzi wrote:
Thanks for sharing the experience. Was leaning towards this, just positioning myself towards the pointy end of the race and not worrying about "gaming the system". Appreciate it!


Trying to game the system is poor sportsmanship imo. Obviously it's not against the rules, but when I've seen guys do this at races it's definitely rubbed me the wrong way.

This is so hard though.... I am a 29-31 min 1/2IM swimmer. If I start in the wave that corresponds to my finish time 29-31 min I will be swimming over people the entire swim no one will pass me. If I start at the front yes a few people might swim past me but it wont be a ton. So I just start at or very towards the front now.... Is that gaming the system or being being race smart Idk? Now if you look at Juan Valencia at IMTX he started the swim very late swam a 52 but then he was able to find some people to bike with, now thats more like gaming the system but still within the rules 100%..... Kinda of a gray area of racing.

Now I would like to see big AG swim mass start swim waves, then I would finally know where I am in the AG field.

___________ https://www.instagram.com/toothengineer/ https://www.strava.com/dashboard https://slfmotion.com

2020: Galveston, Rookie, Buffalo Springs, Kona
Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [Toothengineer] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Toothengineer wrote:
Sean H wrote:
zestypollizzi wrote:
Thanks for sharing the experience. Was leaning towards this, just positioning myself towards the pointy end of the race and not worrying about "gaming the system". Appreciate it!


Trying to game the system is poor sportsmanship imo. Obviously it's not against the rules, but when I've seen guys do this at races it's definitely rubbed me the wrong way.


This is so hard though.... I am a 29-31 min 1/2IM swimmer. If I start in the wave that corresponds to my finish time 29-31 min I will be swimming over people the entire swim no one will pass me. If I start at the front yes a few people might swim past me but it wont be a ton. So I just start at or very towards the front now.... Is that gaming the system or being being race smart Idk? Now if you look at Juan Valencia at IMTX he started the swim very late swam a 52 but then he was able to find some people to bike with, now thats more like gaming the system but still within the rules 100%..... Kinda of a gray area of racing.

Now I would like to see big AG swim mass start swim waves, then I would finally know where I am in the AG field.

I'm talking about people who start well into the rolling start but know they are a top AG competitor. If you're going to be competing for overall or AG award, start at the front. Don't try to bank time and also have a bunch of people to slingshot past on the bike. Just start at the front and race the other top guys. Guy at a race I did earlier this year started 6 minutes into the rolling start (and it was a small race). Almost won the race that way. Got off the bike 15 minutes after the eventual winner, then finished 7 minutes after him, only losing by :47 chip time.

Strava I Instagram I Team Every Man Jack I
Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [Sean H] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Oh yea thats annoying.

___________ https://www.instagram.com/toothengineer/ https://www.strava.com/dashboard https://slfmotion.com

2020: Galveston, Rookie, Buffalo Springs, Kona
Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [zestypollizzi] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
In the 4 of these rolling starts I've done I've positioned myself half way between the 27-30 group since I usually swim in the 28s. Went 28:15-:59 for 3 of the races and 29:45 for the 4th. That one I was out of the water a bit ahead of my normal overall positioning even with what felt like a sub par swim. The worst I've been out of the water is 8th or 9th in the M45-49 AG and the best has been 2nd a few of those times)

In the last 2 races I've been passed by <8 people total and have passed in that 15-18 range per race. I've always lost count after that for some reason, mostly boredom I guess.

Seems like a bunch of people in the 27-30 min group are much better at wrongly predicting where they should start vs their swimming ability.

In my case all but one of the swims the first 500-800m is spent passing 1 here or 2-3 there. After that it's pretty lonely.

In one race the sub 25 group had more people than the 27-30 grouping. haha

Brian Stover
Accelerate3 Coaching
Insta Twitter
AeroCamp February 24-26. Training Camp March 15-21. PM for details
Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [Toothengineer] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Toothengineer wrote:
Sean H wrote:
zestypollizzi wrote:
Thanks for sharing the experience. Was leaning towards this, just positioning myself towards the pointy end of the race and not worrying about "gaming the system". Appreciate it!


Trying to game the system is poor sportsmanship imo. Obviously it's not against the rules, but when I've seen guys do this at races it's definitely rubbed me the wrong way.


This is so hard though.... I am a 29-31 min 1/2IM swimmer. If I start in the wave that corresponds to my finish time 29-31 min I will be swimming over people the entire swim no one will pass me. If I start at the front yes a few people might swim past me but it wont be a ton. So I just start at or very towards the front now.... Is that gaming the system or being being race smart Idk? Now if you look at Juan Valencia at IMTX he started the swim very late swam a 52 but then he was able to find some people to bike with, now thats more like gaming the system but still within the rules 100%..... Kinda of a gray area of racing.

Now I would like to see big AG swim mass start swim waves, then I would finally know where I am in the AG field.



I would love to see Ironman just have age group waves starts, do away with the rolling all together, of just go back to mass starts
Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [Gilliga] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Gilliga wrote:
Toothengineer wrote:
Sean H wrote:
zestypollizzi wrote:
Thanks for sharing the experience. Was leaning towards this, just positioning myself towards the pointy end of the race and not worrying about "gaming the system". Appreciate it!


Trying to game the system is poor sportsmanship imo. Obviously it's not against the rules, but when I've seen guys do this at races it's definitely rubbed me the wrong way.


This is so hard though.... I am a 29-31 min 1/2IM swimmer. If I start in the wave that corresponds to my finish time 29-31 min I will be swimming over people the entire swim no one will pass me. If I start at the front yes a few people might swim past me but it wont be a ton. So I just start at or very towards the front now.... Is that gaming the system or being being race smart Idk? Now if you look at Juan Valencia at IMTX he started the swim very late swam a 52 but then he was able to find some people to bike with, now thats more like gaming the system but still within the rules 100%..... Kinda of a gray area of racing.

Now I would like to see big AG swim mass start swim waves, then I would finally know where I am in the AG field.



I would love to see Ironman just have age group waves starts, do away with the rolling all together, of just go back to mass starts
Most 70.3s had them just a few years ago. And they were awful (in my opinion). I was a fast 18-24 and in all the races with ag starts I was either wave 16/20 or 18/20. It was BS. I would be swimming over 70 year olds and basically lived on the left edge of the bike course. I would legitimately pass 1000-1500 people ok the bike. That's just not fun for anyone involved.

Benjamin Deal - Professional - Instagram - TriRig - ATAQ Fuel
Deals on Wheels - Race reports, pictures, sponsors, and more!
Most recent blog post: Takeaways from spectating Kona 2019
Most recent video: What's the Deal with: cold water adaptation?
Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [realbdeal] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Fair... always being 35-44 since racing, my group has always been in front to middle, but with 2-3 waves I never know where anyone is that I am racing.

___________ https://www.instagram.com/toothengineer/ https://www.strava.com/dashboard https://slfmotion.com

2020: Galveston, Rookie, Buffalo Springs, Kona
Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [zestypollizzi] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Before this turns into a thread beating the dead horse of how IM should handle their swim starts, I would say my opinion is that if you can or have swum <30 minutes, you should start in the front. I say this as a guy who is 31-33 depending on conditions. I tried once two start at the front since by starting in the middle of the 30-35 group, I got frustrated by the crowds. However when I went to the front for one race, I got crushed, so now I start right behind the 30 minute line and it has worked out well for the past few races (including santa cruz). It seems that everyone over-estimates by 1-3 minutes and a handful just stupidly start at the front even as they don't belong there, like I did once.

808 > NYC > PDX
2020: Honu 70.3, Pac Crest Oly, CdA 70.3, Hagg Lake Oly, Best in the West Half, NZ 70.3 WC
Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [realbdeal] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
realbdeal wrote:
Gilliga wrote:
I would love to see Ironman just have age group waves starts, do away with the rolling all together, of just go back to mass starts

Most 70.3s had them just a few years ago. And they were awful (in my opinion). I was a fast 18-24 and in all the races with ag starts I was either wave 16/20 or 18/20. It was BS. I would be swimming over 70 year olds and basically lived on the left edge of the bike course. I would legitimately pass 1000-1500 people ok the bike. That's just not fun for anyone involved.

And it starts! But thank you, Ben and I agree. The rolling start are better than AG waves. AG Waves in facta re the stupidest of the systems, IMO. Mass starts were fun but there is a legitimate reason IM is not doing it anymore and it makes sense so Gilliga needs to both accept and understand that better. However to be fair to Gilliga, I still don't see any reason IM can't initiate an optional 'elite/competitive' mass start wave then have the masses roll, which I think has already been mentioned and discussed as the best compromise here.

808 > NYC > PDX
2020: Honu 70.3, Pac Crest Oly, CdA 70.3, Hagg Lake Oly, Best in the West Half, NZ 70.3 WC
Quote Reply
Re: Positioning for 70.3 Rolling start? (Plus Indian Wells 70.3 tips?) [hadukla] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Sounds like an "open" category that a few of the Olympic/Sprint races I've done have. Certainly helps with making sure those gunning for the top overall, who are not racing for money, are competing against each other. You say Elite, so Pros and these top overall age groupers would start together? I think that'd benefit those who are on the cusp of earning their Pro Card. Then they'd have a better understanding of whether or not they can hang, rather than coming last in the Pro field.

8% rule would apply for license qualification

Dominic Pollizzi / WeTri Racing

Quote Reply