Newman vs Enduroman

Pro-VO2 athlete Tom Newman had a great race in Lanzarote finishing first on the bike by a heavy margin in the Enduroman half ironman. This saw Tom come in 2nd overall in what one of the toughest half ironman races due to the well known heat and wind of Lanzarote.

Tom’s Lowdown…

As I have done for the past two years, I have just been out for an early season blast in Lanzarote…. The aim is always to get fit, focussed and of course tanned for the season ahead. I did 7 days at Club La Santa in ’08, 10 days in La Santa Village last year (staying with some friends) and decided to switch sides of the island to spend 10 days training based in Puerto Del Carmen…. Accommodation is a 1/3rd of the price and I was based right on the ironman swim, bike and run course.

I flew out on Thursday 27th, only just escaping the jaws of the office….work has been extremely busy so I was really looking forward to getting away for a bit and taking a break (well sort of….). I based my training on last years camp and felt great for the first 4 days with the average day being a c10mi run first thing followed by a quick breakfast and then out for 60 – 90mi bike. I think my body was definitely used to the cold winter so c20 degrees took its toll by day 5 and I was forced to have a rest(ish) day of just an hrs bike and 45min swim…. I had to stop myself when I thought about extending the bike and look at the race year ahead….my main races are Austria 70.3 in May and then IM Regensburg in August….no point killing myself this early….

So…..continued on with that in mind and really just listening to my body and training actually went a lot better for it…. One of my pals, Jim Peet flew out on the Thursday and 70miles with him and a few others on the Friday was a welcome change to battling the wind myself.

The week had been windy with my rest day seeing gusts up to 60kph….I had my new FFWD 60mm / 80mm wheels on so I acted somewhat like a kite in that sort of wind!

The cherry on top of all the training was to be the enduroman half ironman on Saturday 5th. I was so undecided, even on race morning, on whether I should crack on with it or not….but to be honest, why the hell not. Once I got my head into it, I was really up for it, but, compared to previous races, a lot more relaxed as I really wasn’t fussed about my time.

The enduroman event was the festival of triathlon encompassing an Olympic race (1500m / 40km / 10km) Half Iron (1.9km / 90km / 21km) Iron (3.8km / 180km / 42km) and Double Iron (7.6km / 360km / 84km)….. Daz Carter was doing the double and arrived on the island the same time as me, but was resting a lot pre event….and who wouldn’t…those distances are mad!!!!

The course was good but by no means fast. The swim on race day was pretty rough, the bike course 65% impacted by a 15mph S.E. wind and then run pretty hot. Anyway, swim went ok and I came out in 13th position…. Bike was the maim point of my racing and I loved getting onto it for the first time in a while in anger…. I averaged 32mph for the first 10km which was pretty exciting. Wind behind on the flat, I went from 13th to 4th in about 5mins….! Good times….. A couple of guys came up to me after the race looking at me in a very bemused way…. ‘you ride fast no!’…haha…

Anyway, just got my head down and fought the wind as much as I could. I started to blow a bit around mi 40 with avg speed around 23.5mph and looking down the barrel of a 2.30 bike split. The main problem I think was the Olympic bike was different to ours so there weren’t many out on the coruse to chase down (“carrots” if you like J). I was helped by a mate who shouted out I was 2.20 down on the leader (having swum 7mins slower than him) without about 15mi to go….so….”head down and crack on you tart” time… I hammered the last 15min and came off the bike about 45seconds down on the leader.

Off the bike and I felt really good. I set off on the run as quick as possible to get in touch with the leader….. It was pretty hot and the wind was being blocked by a lot of the villas and come mile 4 I had to say goodbye to the nice blonde who id been running with, racing the Olympic distance, and resort to a long walk through an aid station to try get myself back together as the initial pace and fatigue in me took its toll.

The next three miles were slow and I saw my avg speed drop a fair bit. Like always though, give it a bit of time, a fair few cups of flat coke and a dose of HTFU and I was off again. Looking back my nutrition was crap – two Maximuscle viper bars on the bike, one gel and one more for the run is probably a little light for fuel. But, this was a training race after all (although it never feels like it when racing….i wanted to win!).

I fought my way to the end gradually feeling better and better as I went running the last mile as fast as the first few….

Just shows a decent nutrition plan (hadn’t even thought of it until I got onto the bike!) would have seen a big drop in time… The only small glitch was the run distance….I had run 5 laps of the olmpic course which I think equated to just over 10miles….it took that long for some guy at the turnaround handing out scrunties to see my race number and tell me I was running the wrong course. I then did 3 laps of the correct course but didnt realise this took me up to 23.5km!!!!!!!! So I ran 2.5km more (watch confirms this!) than the winner but lost by 4mins…not cool. But who cares. The guy who came third did exactly the same and was furious!

In summary though, I came second with a time of 4hrs 51mins, 4minutes down on the winner. I had the quickest bike ride of the day which for a guy who has trained hard for 8 days and ridden 70miles the day before, was pretty good (I think anyway….). By no means a fast time for the half but fit and fresh id hope to knock a fair bit off that time.

Big ambitions for 2011 now…I think the London Mara is going to be canned so I can concentrate on Austria 70.3 at the end of May and seek a place in the World 70.3 Champs Las Vegas. Although I think Lanza will have qualified me for ITU Long Distance World Champs (which are in Nov), Id rather do Q for the half Iron champs….saying that with Challenge Henley, Nov works a lot better. But, of course there is always the potential of a Kona slot which would be Oct…. Exciting times.

Lots (!!!!) of phys to get on with. Hopefully, finally piece a season together. :)

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