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70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall
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This is my first race report so bare with me. A little background about my previous seasons leading into this one. Prior to the 2018 season, I had done 5 70.3’s and was in the upper mid-pack but wasn’t ever 100% serious with training (4:20s-4:30s). After graduating college, I decided to get serious and got a coach at the end of 2017. After a successful 2018, with 2 70.3 wins and a PR of 4:00:40, I knew 2019 could be great off I put in the work.
I lowered my run volume and increased swim, bike, and total volume. My 20 min CP increased from 370 to 408 watts over the winter and I was swimming faster than ever before.
I chose Gulf Coast because of the early season date and the fast course. I didn’t think the heat would be as big of a factor in early May, and PCB proved me wrong.
The swim ended up being wetsuit optional, and was actually red-flagged other than the race. The pro men hit the water at 5:45 am and the women followed at 5:50. I have been working hard on my swim all winter and I was pretty disappointed with conditions. The start was rolling and I got in a few minutes after the age groupers started. It was a beach start and I was immediately hit with 6+ foot waves as I entered. This was my first open water swim in over 6 months so I knew I was in damage control. I tried to swim hard and sight often, although seeing the buoys was difficult with the swells. I got out in 32:29 which I was happy with given that was the worst conditions I’ve ever swam in.
I got on the bike quickly and took off on the out-and-back course. I wanted to push 310 watts out and 320+ coming back if I felt good. Almost immediately, I could tell my legs weren’t gonna show up today. I did my best to push good power without digging myself into a hole and hit the turn-around in 1:01:30 with an average of 309 watts. I continued to drink as much water as I could with some salt tabs and Gu mixed in. There was a headwind for the ride back and my power continued to fall throughout the rest of the bike. I ended with a 2:06:44 (8th fastest bike) with an average of 303 watts. I was disappointed but knew I still had a good day going.
I hit the run hard but knew the heat was going to chew me up. I started off conservative to my race plan and averaged 5:45 for the first 10k. As I predicted, the 80+ degree, 95% humidity weather got to me and I faded the last 10k. I finished with a 1:17:30 which, again, was disappointing because I knew I’m in better shape than that.
After crossing, my family found me and told me I ended up being the fastest age grouper and landed in 5th overall, right in the mix with the pro guys in 4:00:22. I had the fastest run of the day my 3 mins, outrunning TJ Tolkson and Matt Russell. This made me feel a lot better about my performance but the sting of that 22 seconds still hurt.
I came away from this race with a new 70.3 PR, but more importantly, knowing that I can stand my ground in tough conditions and race with the big boys. Don’t worry, I plan on crushing 4 hours in Muncie in July.
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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [Conky] [ In reply to ]
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I was wondering who you were! Huge congratulations man! Are you going to step up and race pro next season? You seem to be on to something good here. Keep rocking and kicking ass - sweet result!

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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [Conky] [ In reply to ]
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Nice race there, a pro bike/run for sure. But I would council you to stay AG for the time being. Racing pro would basically be the same as you did here. You cannot start off 7 minuets down on the swim in a 70.3 and ever be in the race. Take a year and really work on that swim, get it at least in the 27/28 range before making the jump. Go break some AG hearts for awhile, then jump into the sea...
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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [monty] [ In reply to ]
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Monty- While I know you know more than me, I just would ask, it looks like he wasn't that much slower than Matt Russell and Jason Pohl (4th/6th respectively) and I would think he may have swam a bit faster in the pro mass start than with other AGs, that isn't too far off. ALso given I hear this was one of the toughest swims out there, I imagine he wouldn't be too far from 27/28 in a wetsuit/lake swim. Maybe reminiscent of some recent Canadian who still struggles with the swim... can't think of his name for some reason

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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [Conky] [ In reply to ]
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awesome race man. most of us can only dream of numbers like that. congratulations!!!

the world's still turning? >>>>>>> the world's still turning
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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [Callin'] [ In reply to ]
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Well done mate, those bike numbers blow my mind. Sounds like you are on track to go pro or win and Age Group world title

Are you sure the waves were 6 foot? I grew up on the beach in Australia and 6 foot is massive and I don't think they would start a race making a bunch of age groupers go through it. It was prob more like 3 foot, which, is bigger and more powerful then many realize.
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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [Conky] [ In reply to ]
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Nice work!
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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [hadukla] [ In reply to ]
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Well there was not a fast mens swim pack at this race, and it was a pedestrian 26+ for the lead pros, this guy was 32;30. If you go to just about any other major race, the pro swim is going to be a couple minutes faster too. I would not gauge my entry into pro swimming off Matt Russell, I would make sure I was not more than 4 minutes down on true lead pro packs before I moved up. This kid is young and has a long career ahead of him if he wants it, so why not win some titles, and at the same time work like that Canadian who shall not be named in the water for a season or two.

On the grand scheme of things, he is not going to make any money until that swim comes down 4 or 5 minutes, so why not just build some confidence at the pointy end of the AG ranks first? I would want to actually be in the pro race, just not a participant racing with a 6+ handicap every race, and double for a full ironman..
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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [colinlaughery] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks guys, I think I’m gonna continue AG racing for the next year or two. Like Monty said, I need a faster swim although a 32:30 isn’t an accurate representation of my current swim fitness. I also should be able to push 320-325 watts on the bike, and need to before I move up.

The waves probably weren’t 6 foot but when running into the water from the beach, the water was knee deep and the waves were taller than I was standing up. I just have no experience with open water swimming, let alone those conditions.
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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [Conky] [ In reply to ]
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Conky wrote:
Thanks guys, I think I’m gonna continue AG racing for the next year or two. Like Monty said, I need a faster swim although a 32:30 isn’t an accurate representation of my current swim fitness. I also should be able to push 320-325 watts on the bike, and need to before I move up.

The waves probably weren’t 6 foot but when running into the water from the beach, the water was knee deep and the waves were taller than I was standing up. I just have no experience with open water swimming, let alone those conditions.

How tall are you and how much do you weigh?


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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [Conky] [ In reply to ]
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Great race. What’s your sports background.

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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [Thomas Gerlach] [ In reply to ]
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6 foot, 160 and I come from a running background...which explains why swimming is my weak link
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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [Conky] [ In reply to ]
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Yer yer that can be intimidating, I love when that happens as it feels normal and smashes all the no coast swimmers back giving me a nice advantage. Good luck next few races.
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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [Gilliga] [ In reply to ]
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I get so confused when people say they hold 300+ watt for 2 hours and are disappointed! Just another realm than my athletic abilities, well done! So time to build up an FB/Instagram following!

How old are you if i may ask? And are you self trained?
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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [Conky] [ In reply to ]
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Why do you think you need more watts? 300 at your weight is pro mate! I think it’s just the swim and you will be no issue at all being a very competitive cycle leg pro.
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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [Conky] [ In reply to ]
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Awesome read! Congrats on the win. Do you do your 20min tests upright or in the TT bars?

It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future
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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [lassekk] [ In reply to ]
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I’m 26 and I’ve had a coach for the past 18 months, which I think has helped tremendously. And I did this latest 20 min test upright on a trainer.
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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [Gilliga] [ In reply to ]
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Gilliga wrote:
Why do you think you need more watts? 300 at your weight is pro mate! I think it’s just the swim and you will be no issue at all being a very competitive cycle leg pro.
I'd agree with this. I bumped up to pro only being able to put our 280-290 watts in a 70.3 right now. Of course there are a number of factors there but purely cycling wise, you're there.

Congrats on the race! I was tracking 70.3 GC and noticed there was an age grouper that was going to finish high, didn't know it was you!

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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [Conky] [ In reply to ]
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Great stuff.
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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [Conky] [ In reply to ]
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How'd you go about finding a coach that gels with you? And what's your hourly volume like throughout the year? Massive numbers and performance, dude. Congrats.

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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [Conky] [ In reply to ]
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Helluva race! I was there too, albeit a little longer than you! I finished in 5:38 for my first half distance. I think I have work to do everywhere, but definitely with my 50 minute swim! Hoping to break 5 later this year. I agree, run was hot as hell. That confirms my sticking with a one piece suit so I can dump ice in the front and back and have it stay.
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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [Bigbird] [ In reply to ]
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incredible race...how many hours do you train a week?

Just asking as I wonder if you NEED to go pro? Do you have a career otherwise that can pay good money? lots of 35-45 hour a week jobs out there that can hit $100k+ after a few years...
Last edited by: triczyk: May 15, 19 9:06
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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [Conky] [ In reply to ]
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Awesome race and report! How many times are you consistently biking and running per week?
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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [cloy] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks man! Luckily a few teammates in college picked a local guy up and suggested I do the same. I’m a pretty consistent athlete and can usually keep my mind out of the training process. He gives me the workouts and I give feedback. People really complicate the process I’ve found.

I’ve been consistently swimming 20k+ yards, biking 7-9 hours (all indoor), and running 40+ miles for between 16 and 18 hrs of total volume a week. I come from a running background so I’ve been trying to focus more on the swim/bike lately.
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Re: 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Report - 1st AG’er, 5th Overall [triczyk] [ In reply to ]
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I have a bachelors degree from PSU and have a good job. I think my biggest reason for jumping to pro is the extra prize money. Until I win enough prize money to make paying for the license worth it, I’ll stay amateur. It’s still a hobby and will likely always be one.
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