• Athlete: Dave Mudek
  • Event: IRONMAN Texas 70.3
  • Date: 02 April 2017
  • Distance: 70.3 Triathlon
  • Race Priority: B
  • Result: 17th of 259 (AG)
  • CTL: 135.7
  • TSB: 17.9
  • HRV (rMSSD – Day, 7-Day, 30-Day): 388.5, 156.5, 139.1
  • Temp (High/Low): 80/75
  • Wind: Gusts of 16 to 20 mph from the coast
  • Humidity: 80% (maybe)
On a scale of 1 to 10, (1 = poor, 10 = exceptional), how would you rate this performance?
  • 7
Why did you rank it as such?
  • I think that I could have settled in sooner on the swim, pushed a little harder on the front side of the bike as I rode a normalized power (NP) of 193 on the way out with an intensity factor (IF) of .83 and a varability index (VI) of 1.01 while I rode an NP of 201 on the way in with an IF of .86 and a VI of 1.02 for an overall NP of 198, IF .85 and VI of 1.02. My run went to plan almost flawlessly and the same for the nutrition so I rate it overall a successful race.
What was your travel itinerary to the event?
  • I drove from Fort Polk to HOU to pick up Amanda Friday morning. It was a non-stop drive for about 3.5 hours. Once I picked her up we drove to Galveston with a stop for lunch at Jason’s Deli where I had a bowl of Southwest Chili and a LARGE salad with a small serving of soft serve. Consumed water. Total travel was about 212 miles or 5 hours. We ended at IRONMAN Village where we checked into the race, walked the expo for about 30 minutes and then made our way to the hotel to check in at 4 PM.
Did this affect your performance (positively or negatively)?
  • I think that the travel schedule was right. It was 5 hours in the car, but was planned so I got a full night’s rest the evening before, ate a quality breakfast, made the drive, and had enough time to eat a quality lunch, and dinner as well as check into the race and do a 35 minute recovery spin before dinner on my awesome Sportcrafters Omnium Trainer.
How were stress levels in your life in the days before the race?
  • Low. We just came out of the rotation and I have been using my SelfJournal to manage my time/training, Headspace to manage morning and evening mindfulness exercises, and HRV4Training to track HRV which trended very positively the entire taper week to an all-time high on race morning. The one thing of note is that the steady climb shows adaptation and recovery, but going as high as I did it put me outside my 30-day average which could possibly be a sign of being overly “relaxed” on race morning.
How were your sleeping patterns in the days before the race?
  • Routine for the most part:
  • Monday – 7.5 hours with good quality
  • Tuesday – 8.3 hours with good quality
  • Wednesday – 7.7 hours with good quality
  • Thursday – 8.6 hours, with quality scores, but a mild bout of insomnia in the middle due to a “eureka” moment on a side project. Once I took the time to write it out I was back to dreamland.
  • Friday – 6.8 hours with lower quality. Just poor time management Thursday night.
  • Saturday – 8.9 hours with great sleep score, but a sore back due. Hotel bed was horrible and resulted in DOC and I constantly rolling into the sinking middle; they replaced it that afternoon. HRV actually tested an 8.7 laying in the bed and then a 9.8 after exiting the bed and laying on the floor for 10 minutes due to the level of discomfort.
  • Sunday – 7.1 hours with an average score of 70% vs average of 80% for the week.
How were your eating habits in the days before the race?
  • Quality. Stuck to my normal with no major changes. The Friday before the race I ate larger meals with less snacking due to the larger lunch due to travel. That evening we ate our “traditional” pre-race meal of Italian foods with soups, bread, bruschetta, a pasta & chicken dish with light sauces, and tiramisu. The following morning was waffles, greek yogurt, fruit, eggs, breakfast sausage, and a bagel, Gu Brew throughout the day, lunch was deli flats (turkey, provolone, mustard), and dinner was pancakes, maple syrup, and fruit (mixed berries) along with more Gu Brew. Prior to bed 1x Nighttime Beachbody Shake & 8x Gu Roctane Salt Pills. This was the first time I did an evening pre-load of this much sodium based on recommendations from the team at Precision Hydration via their free sweat test survey (They are giving 15% off supplements to readers use code 3VS).
  • Race morning I consumed 1x Gatorade Recover Protein Shake for whey protein & carbs with 8 oz of Naked Juice/beet powder, and my standard pill packages/vitamins I take daily.
What were the weather conditions for the race?
  • Great given the predictions. There was a brutal crosswind coming in at a constant 16-20 MPH the heat and humidity were on par for where I live.
What specific preparations did you make for these conditions (hydration, clothing, etc.)?
  • No change to the standard nutrition plan. Did a preload on electrolytes the evening before and the morning of based on recommendations from Precision Hydration.
Were these preparations adequate?
  • Yes. Had no GI, energy, or cramping issues on course.
What was your warmup routine for the race?
  • My standard warm-up of 10-15 minutes jumping around, shaking it out, a few sprints, and dynamic stretching of the shoulders.
Was it effective?
  • Yes. Felt ready jumping in the water.
What were you thinking about on the start line?
  • Trying not to float past the kayaks. I was right up front on the edge and was mentally prepared for and waiting on the horn.
Did this help or hurt your performance?
  • It was good to be in that position and not have anything between me and the first buoy. Made for a clear visualization of what needed to be done.
On a scale of 1 to 10, (1 = poor, 10 = exceptional), what was your motivation level for this race?
  • 9.
Why did you rank it as such?
  • Overall coming into this race I knew it was early in the season and I got a “late” start for what I wanted due to family and holiday travel along with a very early season Dopey Challenge. These factors made me contemplate where the tradeoffs worth doing this race so close to IMTX with my shorter train-up than I wanted already for IMTX.
What was your nutrition plan for the race?
  • Pre-load Sodium: 8x Gu Roctane Electrolyte Capsules in the morning with breakfast
  • Pre-Swim: 2x serving of Gatorade Endurance sipped from waking up until warm-up. 2x Gu Gels, 1x Cliff Shot Gel staged every 30 minutes with the last one consumed 15 minutes before my warm-up.
  • Bike: 1x serving of Roctane and 2x servings of Gatorade Endurance per an hour on the bike or roughly 101g carbs per an hour.
  • Run: 1x HOTSHOT at aid-station #1. Then Gu Chews 1x per a mile as required with sipping Gatorade at every aid station with a mix of water. At “full service” this was around 80 grams of carbs an hour on the run. I kept 1x serving of “Rocket Fuel” in a bottle in case I needed to change up the timing of nutrition between aid stations or take on board more salt.
  • This plan allows me to enter the run “topped” off for my personal needs and to keep the tank on a 70.3 full. It allowed me to maintain the following IF on each event: Swim 1.01 (pace), Bike .85 (power), and Run .96 (power).
How well did you execute the plan?
  • The plan went incredibly well actually. My concept was to train so that I didn’t need to actually consume anything on the run outside hydration and that was virtually the case. I ate zero chomps and sipped very little Gatorade which allowed me to maintain a very high heart rate and intensity throughout the run.
Could the plan be improved?
  • I think the only change is learning how to best tweak it for weather and distance. Might ditch the Rocket Fuel and the Chomps for 70.3 distance.
  • Had minor GI distress on the bike so need to look at how I carry the Roctane as right now it is 2.5 servings in one bottle that I sip off of. Currently, I sip until there is a light “WTF” from my side/gut and then I push the pace until that fades and repeat.
  • As I continue to test it in training and different weather conditions I may ditch the Rocket Fuel which was a staple carry over from IMCDA and IMLP in 2015 during the freak heat waves that I liked having with me in 2016 for sipping late in the race between aid-stations.
What was your hydration plan for the race?
  • I take all liquid nutrition at about 1-2x bottles an hour depending on the race course.
How well did you execute the plan?
  • Well. I consumed everything I planned to consume.
Could the plan be improved?
  • Fixing dilution ratios for these “cooler” races. While this was a warm race for many it was cool for training in LA and NC all these years so I was taking in a higher carb/liquid ratio than a “hot” race knowing that I wasn’t going to sweat as much.
  • Doing the math and planning better for moments to mix water into the solutions or were to stage an additional bottle or 2 on the bike so that the Roctane isn’t as “thick.”
What was your pacing strategy for the race?
  • The swim plan was to stay calm, relaxed and push a good tempo. On the bike, the plan was to work by power first and heart rate second thanks to y trusty PowerTap P1 Pedals. Start at 190 and climb over the course to 200. On the run, the goal was to build over the first mile to a high Zone 2 heart rate, look at the power average over the mile and then hold that power with a steady climb over the last 1 mile to the finish. I use the Stryd running pod to maintain my accurate pacing. The goal was to keep power above 290 and steady based on conditions.
How well did you execute the strategy? (List your mile/lap splits, if applicable)
  • Very well. Cadence on the swim was in the range of my training base cadence with a good HR to PA ratio and a constant HR effort. On the bike, the power was a reverse split heading out at an average of 190 and returning at an average of 200 for an overall average of 195 and a variability index of 1.02. The run went much the same as the bike. Built to the top of Zone 2 heart rate which on that day gave me a window around 320 watts. Held this throughout the run with a variability index of 1.00 for near flawless pacing until the final mile where I climbed over the mile to a 445w (All Out) and a 178 heart rate (Zone 4).
What do your splits show about your execution?
  • They were steady with solid decoupling split by split, steady VI and IF from split to split.
What decisions did you make before or during the race that helped your performance?
  • All of my power data is from indoor training so I make micro adjustments to the zones in my head during racing as I do not have a strong dataset for outdoor. These decisions allowed me to race strong and push myself without going over the edge.
What decisions did you make before or during the race that did not help your performance?
  • I didn’t check the “line” for the wave starts. I knew my start time but didn’t realize the “line” was about 20 minutes backed up. So 10 mins out from my start I went to the end of the line, saw what wave they were on and then sprinted to the end of the doc just in time to enter the water with my wave and begin swimming to our place in line. Fail on my part for not checking the flow of the operation down at the start line as I was warming up in an open area between the start line and spectator area.
Anything else about the race, positive or negative, you feel is important?
  • Went in with a goal to just have a strong race, work on pacing, and nutrition as I worked towards IMTX. Figured I’d go hard, but know that this wasn’t my peak so the overall rankings would fall where they might. I knew that I needed a top 10 though if I wanted to go to worlds and that it would be close, but rested in the knowledge that I was there to go hard, but world qualifications could wait until Buffalo Springs. I feel very lucky to secure the spot with 17th. I had a wicked fast age group with some guys ahead of me who just gave up their pro licenses to come back to age group so I feel good with a 17th compared to last years 12th and also am happy that so many fast people mean so many already had spots to worlds making the roll down to me possible and taking stress off of my A-Race 70.3 later this summer.
Of the brands mentioned in this report, I am an affiliate of Precision Hydration while Gu Energy, Stryd, and PowerTap are partnered with Triple Victor Sports, LLC.
Precision Hydration is offering all readers of this report 15% off their first purchase; use code 3VS.
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