It been a huge month for Team Nagi racing with many outstanding performances. To say we have had a roller coaster with the weather yet again would be a huge understatement as temperatures soared both here for a short time and then abroad. What I was so proud to witness was the incredibly sensible decision making 2 of our long course athletes made when the temps hit 30 degrees on race day.
Where many can fall into the trap of maintaining a certain power output or speed, these two athletes let their heart rate be the star of the show and it quite literally saved their races. Sure, they had power targets in mind on the bike, but these usually go out of the window unless the body is incredibly well heat adapted. Even with the best of preparations some athletes just suffer way more when the temperature gets closer to 30 degrees and beyond.
In both these cases each athlete had to drop their power targets by about 10-15% to keep their heart rates at a sensible level. As the body temperature rises then so does heart rate and at 30 degrees the impact on the body can be huge, it’s like a different world to what 20 or even 25 degrees feels like.
If you fail to account for this and get carried away on the bike the run can seem like death march. It’s the reason why many athletes are walking or falling apart by the time they get to halfway point of an Ironman run. I’ve been there myself many times before and it’s not pretty. But if you can be smart, patient and sensible and you don’t get carried away you can literally overtake hundreds of athletes in the second half of the marathon.
Some of the best athletes in the world have never been able to win in Kona because of the heat. Some athletes are just way better in it than others, but you can still train for it. How much you can adapt by doing this is highly variable from one person to the next.
My advice to athletes is always the same when it comes to race choices, choose wisely, because conditions on the day can play a huge part in your overall performance, no matter how fit you are. Don’t think it will just all fall into place come race day. If you decide to go for that location which could get hot just be sure you prepare well for it as it could make or break your performance.
Or just take the sensible route, go for a race with a higher likely hood of cooler conditions, there are plenty of them out there after all.
The Brutal Triathlon (Ironman)
- Andy Rogerson
- Splits: swim 1:07:12 / bike 7:14:00 / run 5:56:36
- Total Time: 13:46:18
- 3rd in 30-34 category / 3rd male overall
When someone asked me what the Brutal Triathlon in Wales was the only way I could describe it to them was “it’s like an Ironman on steroids”. You see this is no ordinary Ironman, it’s clearly up there with one of the toughest races in at this distance in the world. What makes it so tough is there is over 3020m of climbing on the bike then the run finishes with a run up Mount Snowdon covering 1350m of ascent. What was even more impressive is this was Andy’s first attempt at the distance since taking a sabbatical from the sport for over 3 years. It was also extremely hot on the day. But like the class athlete he is he didn’t get carried away on the bike, stuck to a sensible heart rate on the bike and produced the 2nd fastest run of the day that included a 10min detour off the course. I should also divulge he managed to talk me into letting him do a full marathon run only a week before at the Marathon Du Medoc, I’ll let Andy tell you about that one below. An absolute hoot if ever I’ve seen one where Andy went out and lived his best life for a day. An outstanding performance all round Dr and the perfect springboard to launch into 2024.
Marathon Du Medoc (Run)
- Andy Rogerson
- Total Time: 6:27:50
“Marathon du Medoc sits in a category entirely on its own. It’s a boozy frolic through the Bordeaux winelands in compulsory fancy dress, with over 20 aid stations offering wine from the local chateaux, as well as chips, French cheeses, oysters, grilled steak, and even a red wine slushie. This race is about celebrating life. It’s about having, rather than getting, a good time: to run a PB at this race would be to have failed miserably. The dress theme was “gastronomie”. I ran it dressed as a banana with two cousins and a couple of other friends. I believe it made the perfect appetizer before the most gruelling ironman of my life 7 days later back in Wales, and Julian wholeheartedly agreed. No doubt wine-fuelled running will feature in most race tapers henceforth… “
- Angus Pollard
- Splits: swim 1:01:05 / bike 5:09:42 / run 3.40.45
- Total Time: 10:01:52
- 25-29 category
This was nothing short of an incredibly gutsy performance where the 30-degree heat really took its toll on Angus during the day. The goal was Sub 10 on the day so to get so close to that in these conditions with stomach issues is still a performance to be proud of. Especially when you haven’t done an Ironman since 2019 and your previous best time was over 13.5 hours. It’s also a race where so much was learned and will be carried forward to future races. This is all part of the Ironman journey and one that should provide the fuel to fire future performances as Angus only skimmed the surface with this one.
- Andrew Reardon
- Splits: swim 30:42 / bike 2:21:55 / run 1:33:47
- Total Time: 4:35:23
- 3rd/250 in 45-49 category
- Next up: Ironman Florida
This race has been a long time coming for Andrew, especially after a couple of disappointments this year. But credit to him he bounced back (quite literally) after fracturing his scapula only 9 weeks before this race at Swansea 70.3. It doesn’t come along often but in Italy he finally found a near perfect race. This was all down to his meticulous preparation in every area from nutrition, to training, to heat prep, to recovery…he ticked every box like a true pro. The stars then really started to align for him in the build and the result was a podium finish. A performance to be very proud of for sure in what was incredibly tough, hot conditions.
Massive shout out to Team Jansen (Lucie 5:59, Chris 6:46, Ollie 5:48 & Lewis 7:01) who all completed Italy 70.3. A true family affair yet again and so terrific to see the young Jansen’s continuing to go from strength to strength. That’s 2 half Ironmans for Ollie now and he’s only 20. Great work gang!
- Tony Peach
- Splits: swim cancelled / bike 3:34:41 / run 1:53:46
- Total Time: 5:24:47
- 55-59 category
It’s always hugely frustrating for me as a Coach and my athlete when a swim gets cancelled. The reason being is you know all the hard work that goes into improving their swim that many athletes put in. TP was one of these. The day would also prove to be awful day weather wise and would have tested the hardiest of souls. But like the well-seasoned tough guy he is he put his head in the right place for the bike and run and produced an excellent all-round performance. Loving your work as always Peachy Cheeks.
Bournemouth Triathlon – World Champs Qualifier (Sprint)
- Louise Hutchinson
- Splits: swim 16:58 / bike 41:20 / run 25:35
- Total Time: 1:30:32
- 2nd in 60-64 category
- Toby Dean
- Splits: swim 15:56 / bike 33:25 / run 21:10
- Total Time: 1:13:15
- 4th in 45-49 category
- Tony Jarvis
- Splits: swim 14:42 / bike 33:55 / run 20:17
- Total Time: 1:13:18
- 6th in 45-49 category
Huge congrats to the gang that headed down to the South Coast for one of the biggest races of the year. Bournemouth was the testing ground for those British athletes looking to quality for Team GB for the World Triathlon Championships in Malaga, Spain next year. The race was full, and the field was absolutely stacked so to see 3 incredible performances from our guys and girls was amazing. Each one of them was super pleased with their performances and rightly so, especially Toby who pulled his calf muscle only weeks before the race. It’s yet to be confirmed but I can take a guess and say all 3 will probably have qualified for the world Champs yet again. Huge congrats to all for finding that peak performance in the last race of your seasons.
Serpentine 2 miler
- Chris O’Neill
- Total time: 1:02:00
He may well be in full marathon training but Chris couldn’t resist taking a dip recently at the Serpentine big swim. Great to see all that run/swim marathon training paying dividends!
Some of my fave things this month…
Want to know the secrets of a long healthy life? Then this Netflix documentary is for you. I first read ‘The blue zones’ book over a decade ago when it first came out. To say I found it fascinating would be an understatement. The blue zones are 5 locations around the world where the highest density of people who live to be over 100 are found. In the original book a team of scientists went out to study these people to to help determine the factors that lead to longevity. Some are obvious but many of them are not so, these really surprised me. So good to see they made a brilliant documentary of the book where they travel out to each of these areas to meet these incredible people. What is even more fascinating is that one country in the world took note of these findings, started to integrate them and now has the highest life expectancy in the world. I’ll leave you to discover which one that is.
Next level is the follow to the hugely successful ROAR book by Dr Stacy Sims, one of the worlds leading experts in women’s health & performance and the menopause.
This book quite literally blew my mind. So much made sense to me after reading this book in relation to female performance during perimenopause (which can start in some cases in their early 30’s…I’ll admit I had no idea!) right through to the menopause and beyond. This is a must read for all female athletes of every age because the more you know the more you can be prepared for what can be an incredibly challenging time. The good news is there is so much that can be done to help off-set these symptoms, you really don’t have to suffer in silence.
What was abundantly clear to me is that finding the right specialists to work with during these times is absolutely crucial. You can also make big changes to the way you train and eat that will help support performance and reduce symptom severity. The book delves into great detail on this and should give all readers a terrific foundation of knowledge to take on this challenge that will impact every woman in some way, shape or form.
Team Nagi swim squad ladies in their element
Huge congratulations to Triathlon Tom & Princess Charlotte who finally got engaged this month. I can now finally rest in peace.