Jun 28

WIBA Day 3

If you missed the first part of this two-parter, check out Days 1 & 2 here.

On Sunday, the last day of the WIBA event, the schedule was to run one loop of the two loop course.  This was perfect as I had a 2 hour long run on my schedule.

Ironman Wisconsin Run Course Preview from Rob Beuthling on Vimeo.

We met at the top of Monona Terrace at 7:00AM.  While we hung around, we exchanged stories from the previous day’s bike ride.  Everyone I talked to was happy with how their ride went and the general consensus was that the course was a lot of fun to ride.  I, as were many of my fellow WIBA-ers, were pleasantly surprised at how not sore we were.  My legs were a little tired, but overall I was still feeling pretty fresh.

Before getting started, Robby and Stu gave the group an overview of how the transition area works for IMWI.  From what I have heard, the IMWI transition is fairly unique compared to other IM races.  The actual transition areas are indoors rather than outside under a tent.  Also, the time spent in transition is a bit longer simply because of distance that you need to cover.

We all took off together and I settled in with the 8:30 pace group.  This group, of about 10 runners included Skip and Jesse from the previous day’s ride, was led by Stu (of Simply Stu podcast fame).  He was the perfect leader for a group because he is not only a Madison resident but also has raced IMWI 3 times.  He went from a 16:50 his first year down to a 12:40 in third year! Talk about improvement.  He talked pretty much the entire time about the run course and race in general as well as answering any questions people had.  It made the time fly by.

The main topics on the run were about different types of nutrition and managing nutrition.  I thought I would share some of the tips. 

  • Don’t drink the cola until you absolutely have to.  The cola they have at aid stations on the run can be a lifesaver, but if you can at least wait until the second loop to take it, you’ll be better off because once you start drinking it, your body is going to start craving more.
  • Try chewing peppermint gum or eating peppermint at the end of the bike.  Stu mentioned this as something Lindsay Corbin started that has been catching on.  Peppermint (or ginger if you don’t like peppermint) helps to settle the stomach and in a way cleanses the palate from all the nutrition you take in on the bike.
  • Find some real food alternatives.  Stu’s favorite included boiled red skin potatoes (with the skins removed), drizzled in olive oil and coated in parmesan cheese and a sandwich made with croissant, Canadian bacon, cream cheese, and jelly.  I can’t say that either options sounds super appealing but they both sound jam packed with energy.
  • Pack a second pair of shoes and socks in your special needs run back.  You may not get this bag back after the run, so don’t put a new pair of shoes there, but a second pair can be a huge lifesaver and not only if it is raining.  After 13 miles of sweating and running through wet aid stations, a dry pair of shoes could really improve the 2nd loop.
  • Freeze a Gatorade and put it in your bike special needs bag.  When you pick it up, you will be rewarded with a Gatorade slushy.

Overall, the run course was fairly nice.  There are a couple of out and backs to add on miles that I am sure are mentally tough on race day but aren’t the worst thing in the world.  Stu, unnecessarily, kept apologizing for all the construction on the course. Because Madison is a college town, most of the road construction projects happen during the summer.  With the number of streets under repair, the course is going to be as smooth as butter come race day.

This course is a great course for spectators and from what I have heard, the crowd support is crazy insane.  Stu pointed out a couple of his favorite spectating spots that I have circled in green below.  Both spots allow you to see the runners at multiple times throughout the run.


As we finished up the first loop, we made a loop around the Capitol.  This loop either begins your second loop or brings you right down to the finishing stretch.  As we ran the loop, I just imagined myself turning the corner and seeing the finish line right in front of me. We ended up finishing with exactly an 8:30 pace.  At the top of Monona Terrace, I decided that I wanted to run down and then back up one of helixes just to see what is like.  On race day, we will have to run up the helix after the swim and then bike down and back up the other helix, so I wanted to get a feel for it.  Everyone else ended up joining me and we ended up racing to top.  I think that counts as both our hill workout and speed workout of the day.

After the run, I hurried back to the hotel.  Breakfast was served until 10:00AM and I was starving.  I managed to make it back just in time for some scrambled eggs and hash browns.  After breakfast, I showered up, and began the long ride home after a great weekend.

Thanks for reading!  Stay tuned for a non-triathlon post coming up later this week.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2011/06/28/wiba-day-3


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  1. Jeff Irvin

    Non-triathlon post? You have time for something like that while training for an Ironman??

    Looks like a very cool run course! Don’t complicate the nutrition and special needs dude. Keep it as easy stupid as possible. I used liquid nutrition for the entire race, even in the crazy heat. It was easier and I could focus on racing.
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..USAT Coaching: Are Barriers to Entry Lacking?

  2. BDD

    I miss Stu’s podcast. He is so motivational, like he can sell ice cream to an eskimo. That cool you had a chance to listen to him speak.

    I heard from alot on IM vets to bring real food in your special needs bags, I been told to bring your favorite foods, it can change your mood by eating something you love.
    BDD recently posted..Top Ten Transition Tips

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      I never knew about Stu’s podcast until recently so I missed out on its heyday. He was a totally awesome guy though. He works for Rev3 and Zipp now (as well his full time job). Unfortunately he won’t be around for IMWI this year though but he gave everyone his email address and phone number in case we have problems leading up to the race. In the past, he has helped racers who have forgotten things from goggles to a bike. The bike wasn’t forgotten, but he had a racer leave OH with a bike on his roof. When he stopped in IL for gas – no bike. Still doesn’t know where it is at. How is that for a good way to ruin a race weekend?

      I’m still debating whether or not to freeze a Subway sub and put it in my bag. Fat Cyclist did it for IMSG last year so it is possible. I know that would totally hit the spot on race day though.

  3. Jon

    My coach mentioned to me about high glycemic vs low glycemic foods on the run or the bike, such as coke. He said that if you start with high glycemic, you need to stay with the high glycemic. Same is true if you start with low glycemic, you stay with low glycemic.

    When I rode with Kristin last Fall she said the crowds at IMWI are the best. She said its like a party the entire run. Should be fun!
    Jon recently posted..I have to apologize for a previous post. THIS is actually how you train for an Ironman

  4. Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race

    Great tips but I agree with you on the Food Alternatives. Do you get a plate with fork and knife and sit down?

    I am so glad all of the Extraordinary League of Tri-Geeks are getting their IMs in before me so I can take the best of all of your tips and apply them to my race.
    Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race recently posted..Make This, Don’t Buy That – Energy Bar

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Haha! If you want a fork and knife the WTC charges $15 each at the aid stations. Didn’t know that you have to race with cash in your pocket??

      “so I can take the best of all of your tips and apply them to my race.” = So you can learn how we F it up and not do the same 🙂

      1. Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race

        Exactly. I figure you guys can pass along how you F’d this up or that up and I will TRY not to do the same.
        Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race recently posted..Make This, Don’t Buy That – Energy Bar

  5. Mandy

    GREAT TIPS! Seriously the slushy and shoes thing are genius!

    Those potatoes sound good but kind of messy.
    Mandy recently posted..Placement

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      I thought the same thing about the potatoes. He said that he ate 8 of them on the bike last time he raced – two per ziploc bag. I may have to try them out because I can’t pull a Jeff and do only liquids.

  6. Matt Smith

    What a great weekend of training! The guy leading the run sounds pretty cool to just be talking and answering questions the whole run. Those were some good tips too. I’m glad you made it back safely.
    Matt Smith recently posted..Steelhead, Come And Get Some!

  7. Jessie

    I watched your videos (well Tim was watching and I saw them) lol!!! Looks amazing!
    Jessie recently posted..First 18 Mile Run

  8. Colleen

    Great tips for the run! I love COLA during the run, but you are right – you’ll crave it for sure. And Tom has changed shoes at special needs and said that it was a life saver! 🙂 I froze gatorade for the bike at IMLOU last year and was so happy to have it! Great tips!

  1. Ironman By Thirty » Blog Archive » Third & Fourth Quarter Reports

    […] to head over to Madison in June to do a course preview as part of the WIBA group (Day 1& 2 and Day 3).  After riding the course for the first time, I am even more excited for race day.  It […]

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