Challenge Daytona 2020 Race Report


  • Athlete: Kevin Haugh
  • Event: Challenge Daytona Middle Distance
  • Date: 05 Dec 2020
  • Distance: 70.3 Triathlon
  • Race Priority: 1
  • Result: 41 of 80 (AG)
  • CTL: 109
  • TSB: 14
  • HRV (rMSSD – Day, 7-Day, 30-Day): No Data
  • Temp (High/Low): 68/63
  • Wind: 8 gusting 12 from NW
  • Humidity: ~79%


On a scale of 1 to 10, (1 = poor, 10 = exceptional), how would you rate this performance?


Why did you rank it as such?

Since this was my first race, rating my performance is somewhat difficult, as I don’t have much to base off of, or compare to. But overall, I would rate this as a 7 for a few reasons. The first, I feel that I could have had a better swim. The lack of open water focused swimming, and really this being the 2nd time dealing with other swimmers, took my focus from being relaxed and calm in the water. The Bike and the run on the other hand, are what keeps this rating up higher.

What was your travel itinerary to the event?

I left Virginia on Monday Nov 30th and drove to Holly Ridge NC for a quick visit with a friend. I departed Holly Ridge NC on Dec 1 and made my way to St Augustine, Fl for another stay with my friend who convinced me to look into Triathlon. The next day, Wednesday, Dec 2 I checked into my hotel.

Did this affect your performance (positively or negatively)?

I think that the travel schedule was pretty spot on. This allowed me plenty of time to relax and settle into the race area. Being familiar with Daytona was a huge help as I end up down in that area for work regularly. I think I could have left on Tuesday and had the same results, but for the most part this travel allowed for ample time to relax and prepare myself for the race.

How were stress levels in your life in the days before the race?

Low. One of the benefits of beginning my travel and adding the two stops with my friends, was the ability to have a more relaxed, stress free trip to Florida.

How were your sleeping patterns in the days before the race?

  • Routine for the most part:
  • Monday Night – Routine ~6-7 hours
  • Tuesday Night – Routine ~6-7 hours
  • Wednesday Night – 9 hours!
  • Thursday Night – ~7-8 hours
  • Friday Night– Struggled with sleep due to pre-race nerves, slamming stairway door, and car alarm going off for 30min at 2am. I think I got about 8 hours of interrupted sleep.
  • Saturday Night – Slept like someone who just finished a 70.3

How were your eating habits in the days before the race?

The days leading up starting on Wednesday were normal, but increased caloric intake and used about 4000 calories with a 70%carb/15%fat/15%Protien break down for macros. This thinned out on Friday and ended with a nice pancake dinner at iHop.

Race morning began with waking up around 3 and ate a bagel and a serving of roctane(with no caffeine). Back to sleep. I woke up at 5 to have bagel with a little peanut butter, serving of roctane, and banana. This was the last food until after the race. Between 530 and 7 only roctane and gels/chews where consumed.

What were the weather conditions for the race?

For this race, conditions could not have been any better. Cool temperatures in the morning, with an overcast sky for the majority of the race. The clouds cleared during the run which caused the temperatures to rise a little, but nothing over 70 all day.

What specific preparations did you make for these conditions (hydration, clothing, etc.)?

None. Was prepared for cooler/colder temperatures in the morning with arm sleeves and gloves. Was also prepared to ride with socks on, but temperature dictated none of those would be needed.

Were these preparations adequate?

Yes, and were not needed.

What was your warmup routine for the race?

15 min light jog around the venue with some dynamic shoulder warmups. Got a little sweat going. After that was just keeping the shoulder loose with arm circles while waiting in the corral.

Was it effective?

Yes. Was ready when I got in the water.

What were you thinking about on the start line?

Surviving the swim……

Did this help or hurt your performance?

I think I allowed myself to get into a negative mindset with the “survive the swim” mindset. I think this caused me to be over amped for the swim and thinking of it as the scary portion of the race.

On a scale of 1 to 10, (1 = poor, 10 = exceptional), what was your motivation level for this race?


Why did you rank it as such?

With this being my first race, and having Augusta cancelled on me. I think I was extremely motivated to go out on the race and smash it.

What was your nutrition plan for the race?

  • Pre-load Sodium: 24 hours prior to start, I consumed all my liquids with a Gu hydration tabs to keep the sodium intake up.
  • Pre-Swim: 90 min- Serving of Chews and gel, 60min- 1 Serving of Chews and Gel, 15 min Gel.
  • Bike: Per hour 1 serving of Roctane/Hydration Tab mix and 1 Gel. Water as needed.
  • Run: 2 Gels and Roctane. Water as needed.

How well did you execute the nutrition plan?

I think I executed the nutrition plan as well as I could. Sodium preload day prior felt solid, especially with mixing the hydration tab with roctane to load up on carbs. My pre swim nutrition felt like an appropriate intake to keep topped off and ready. Once on the bike and settled, I got a gel and some water going. This nutrition plan on the bike was set up to ensure I was taking on approx. 48 ounces of water,

Could the nutrition plan be improved?

I don’t think I have enough data to say yes or no. My next race I feel as though I will keep the same nutrition plan, unless something needs to be tweaked. But as of now, I cannot see anything needing to be improved upon…..


What was your hydration plan for the race?

Hydration throughout the race was good. Overall, I had everything timed to ensure I had fluids available, even with some of the longer distances between some of the aid stations on the bike course. The aid stations on the run were spaced approx. every 2 miles, so there was no lack of water or sports drinks available. My plan was to make sure I was consuming 40-50 ounces per hour. With the race being cooler I think I ended up closer to 40 ounces per hour.

How well did you execute the plan?

Well. I consumed everything I planned to consume. With no GI or cramping issues whatsoever during the race.

Could the plan be improved?

I don’t think I have enough data to say yes or no. My next race I feel as though I will keep the same hydration plan, unless something needs to be tweaked. But as of now, I cannot see anything needing to be improved upon…..


What was your pacing strategy for the race?

Pacing strategy was simple, I seeded myself in my appropriate swim corral. Pace for swim was supposed to be 1:46 per/100yards. The ride was planned to ride at 210-220w and pushing to 220 if I felt solid. Run was 7:18-7:44 min/mile.

How well did you execute the strategy? (List your mile/lap splits, if applicable)

  • I think execution went spot on. The swim was a struggle, but I feel like I kept a solid pace, and kept moving forward the entire swim. The ride went flawless with the last half of the ride pushing the power up to about 225. The run felt great but I found myself having to force myself to slow down a little off the bike as I wanted to push the pace, but I really had to force myself to dial it back in to the pacing strategy which paid off in the end when things started to get a little real( around mile 8)
  • Swim: 36:56
  • T1: 3:44
  • Bike: 2:29:02
  • T2: 3:11
  • Run: 1:37:23

What do your splits show about your execution?

What decisions did you make before or during the race that helped your performance?

What decisions did you make before or during the race that did not help your performance?

I think I psyched myself out prior to getting into the water with some negative thoughts about “ just survive the swim”, instead of allowing myself to be calm before getting into the water.

Anything else about the race, positive or negative, you feel is important?

  • Positive- Sub 5 for my first race!!!
  • Negative- Swim… The lack of open water experience really got me, and the swim turned into a “Just survive this, Kevin” 
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