Jason Walkley: IRONMAN UK Race Report

Jason Walkley, Tri Training Harder Race Team, competed in the 2016 edition of IRONMAN UK. Jason finished 9th in his very competitive age group. Jason’s A race for 2016 is IRONMAN Barcelona in October and IRONMAN UK was treated as a training race in his build towards October’s race. Read Jason’s Race Report for IRONMAN UK below…

IRONMAN UK is one of my favourite races on the calendar and this was my 4th time there.

Although I wasn't set to peak at this race, I still wanted a solid consistent performance to give me a good base to build on for my main race of the year in October at Ironman Barcelona.

Jason looking cool, heading out of T2
So here goes.....

The swim was ok, came through the first lap in 31:00 with a bit of argy bargy at the bouys and one goggle knocked off but managed to reseat that fine. The second lap was a little crowded as the front end of the swim caught the slower swimmers on their first lap. So a 32:21 second lap for me.

To put it simply: the Bike was really tough. Coach Philip and I had agreed on a few numbers to aim for beforehand with the main one being an IF of 0.75...... together with Normalised Power of 217W and Average Power of 202W.

I pretty much stuck to the power outputs (223w NP and 202W AP) but at half way my IF was 0.82, which is higher than the normal figure a Pro who wins these full IM races puts out..... So I actively backed off where I could for the second half and managed to finish on 0.79....

Which coincidently is the common figure for the winning pro at most races...... I felt awful, felt hungry although I knew I couldn’t be, and generally felt like I had had a very weak bike leg.

This was until I rolled down the hill to T2 and saw Ian Dempsey and Robbie Whittaker both coming out of T2 together. That was the spark I needed, I then thought I must have had quite a good bike leg if they were only about 4 mins ahead.

Jason: all smiles at the finish line!
So out onto the run I was determined to run a good marathon, Phil shouted I was 12th out of T2 in AG, and to run the first 10km to start the loop focussing on form and good strong technique and not to worry about pace or time. I had a time in my head of 45 mins to get to the loop and I was absolutely bang on as I turned to start the first of 3.5 laps around town. I then switched off and just thought about being relaxed and smooth with a good technique, taking on a gel at every feed station and carrying an extra one to drip feed throughout, I felt comfortable as I went through half way bang on my target pace (1:37) I had caught a fair few people and despite a gap of over 7 minutes opening up behind Ian, I slowly reeled him in and passed him at 18 miles, I had passed Robbie about 7 miles in too. Then as you know the last 10k is where it begins to hurt.

Jason, head down on the run course

I tried to ignore the miles and just maintain this good form I had done up until then and hopefully unleash some effort over the final 6-7km. I finished with a 7:04 and 7:15 final 2 miles but it was so hard to run at that point, the legs where certainly on the way out but I crossed the line with a 3:22 and 10:14 overall.
I feel I fuelled right and ran a good strategy so I don’t think I would have changed anything. My previous pb time of 9:54 was gone well before the marathon started at about half way on the bike, but once running I thought I could equal or better my marathon of that day (3:19) and I wasn’t far off. So I’m really happy that my running is finally getting back to how it was in 2013.

9th Age Group and 37th overall (24th Age group athlete) Missed out on Kona by 12 minutes and 3 places.

Jason on the finish line in Bolton

My nutrition was as follows:
Breakfast - 100g of home made muesli - 75g carbs 500cals
Bocadillo - 22g carbs 99 cals

Hour before race start - high 5 plus sachet. 44g carbs 176 cals

Bike - 118g carbs per hour
6 litres of water

Run - gel at every feed station and one to drip feed as I fancied.
Water at every feed station and Coke from mile 22/23 for 2 feed stations.

Not one blip in energy at all and no bloated stomach either.

Next stop Ironman Barcelona in October...... sub 9:30?? I’ll give it a go!