The outlaw 2023
Outlaw Full Blog: Ian Garrod
Not knowing where to start I thought Id get to the point as often as triathletes we want to know the bottom line and what the main points of the blog are!
For me this is straightforward:
“Trust the numbers Richard gives you both Power and Heart Rate, work to then and trust the programme”
I retuned as an ‘aging athlete’ to Triathlon in 2018 with a new tri specific bike and a new born enthusiasm. Richard took this enthusiasm and within a few months his training programme prepared me into having a great race for me at Derwentwater triathlon.
2019 saw one event, Pegurea Half distance event in Mallorca and then a hiatus until I suppose 2022.
Training with Richard - The main takes for me were linking mainly the bike and run training and detailing when and how much at what intensity I was to do. As with most of us, swimming generally was dictated by when I could get to the pool and (for me) swimming with a Master’s swim club.
From the start, I was surprised and suppose relieved in some ways about how ‘economic’ the sessions were to get the most out of me performance wise when it mattered. Coupled with niggles that reared their head from time to time, in preparation for Outlaw Full it was my left hip flexor. With Richard’s understanding and support I was able to work around these niggles, with Richard saying “It’ll be ok Buddy, go with it” on more than one occasion!!
Winter months found me doing a minimum of two weights sessions in the gym each week in addition to Richard’s training and supported with my growing interest in Yoga. Yoga has really helped me in race preparation and something I now do each day.
Being self-coached previously, I am sure that we all have got involved with Power, HR and the technical sides of training physiology’s. Training on Richard’s programme took me away, almost completely, from “FTP, sweet spot, normalised power, critical power and VO2 max” etc.
Putting the above information to one side may not be for everybody, but for me it was great. It made me concentrate on the session, put my energy (and time) into the other aspects of a training for an Ironman distance race and actually made me have more purpose for every session I did.
As a result, by the time my half Outlaw race came up in May, I knew what my body could do in terms of Power & Heart Rate, using only HR actually in the event itself as a measure.
In the lead up to Full Distance last week I was more than prepared with the sessions I had completed in training and knowing how this translated into actual performance on the road, it built my confidence, although we all can have self-doubts at times.
Richard’s straightforward style removes all doubt when needed with regular chat on the phone!!
It’s always a wonder how little we can do can get away with in taper period pre-race! For me I went with it and resisted the temptation to go out and just have an “easy swim or stretch the legs”. I just did what I was told and although I have raced many times in the past, I can certainly vouch for “follow the programme” and don’t get bogged down in mileage or hours per week.
I went into Outlaw Full confident that I could do ok, maybe be competitive and wasn’t worried (too much!) about taking my efforts in training into longer distances.
The swim went as expected and didn’t break any records, taking it casually, finding clear water from the beginning, in the mass start and finding a rhythm, for me, quite late. Exiting in 1:16 I was down a little on what I was aiming for (1:12), but really didn’t know what my swim split was exactly, until the finish.
Onto the bike, where the wind throughout the day had a big effect on the whole field. I had in my mind where I needed to be, effort wise and worked hard to get my HR a lot lower than it was exiting the swim. Early days I gradually let my HR rise to where I considered I could maintain it without any tail off.
The main difference here for me, was that unlike in training for long rides, at no point did I see a complete tail off of performance or energy. Taper doing its job? Rich’s “mid range power” smart trainer sessions?
Really strict with myself and didn’t break any pots going up the steeper sections and concentrated all the time on what was going on around me.
I used only, HR, Timer, Distance & Speed on my Garmin display. Timer used to really make sure I ate and drank when I should, with HR being the main information used.
Drank water (including electrolyte mix) , and used gels from an early stage. I used Precision hydration electrolyte tab on the bike (& run), gels mixed into one bottle, and ate around 280g of flapjack. I like solid food!! Bit low on the water bottles picked up at aid stations, two 750ml, but seemed to work.
With strong headwinds on the return to transition I was glad to get off the bike after a 5:31 split.
Kept a large bottle off the bike, filled with water and took another Precision electrolyte tablet, whilst walking what seemed like, most of the first mile. Richards words ringing in my ears, about approaching the run………………….
Hard work and from the start, but maintained average HR of 119 throughout the run with the wheels slight come off at 21 miles with a 12 05. Prior to that averaged 9:30 – 10 mins per mile with a walk through every aid station making sure I took on enough water.
Having a word with myself at 21 miles I realised to stay on some form of schedule I had to keep running as getting going after each aid station was taking longer & longer.
Popped an aid station caffeine gel at 22 and 24 miles and went for it as I knew I was close on 11 30 finish time. What’s the worst that could happen?
Managed to keep running for the last three miles, and came over the finish in a time of 11:30:21 and first overall in the 60-64 category.
Relief was the main emotion and pleased I’d managed 11:30, chuffed’ness came later when I knew I’d won my AG.
Got to say again, thanks for all the support, Richard, not just the sessions & “numbers” you provided to enable me to get this result, the finish was the main priority and completing a Full distance race once again, aged over 60.
· Trust Richard,
· Trust the numbers,
· Keep it simple,
· Don’t neglect weights, core and mobility sessions throughout training, for me, the Yoga
· If you don’t, do consider the electrolyte tabs by ‘Precision’ (not sponsored by!) Over two events, great and no cramps or muscle soreness (during the race that is, post event another story),
· Get full night’s sleep,
· Nutrition wise, I used SIS Beta Fuel & Precision PF30 (half distance), OTE Super Gels (full distance race). OTE edge it, I think?
· Old fashioned flap jack in small pieces on the bike. No food on the run,
· Outlaw do great events,
· Trust Richard and the numbers (think I’ve said that?)
Thanks again Richard. Thumbs Up.