The Leadman Cometh Again

Well, race week is here. If you’re not doing a long training day (and you shouldn’t be; you’re getting ready to race a really long way) on the weekend, a little inspiration for the upcoming week. And if you’re reading this on Monday, it’s less than a week away. I’m sure you are all having dreams of belt buckles. And really long bike rides. And, finally, some warmer temperatures in the morning. It’s still going to be cold, but now it looks like it won’t be so cold. 

I’m going to evaluate in the day before the race, and on the long bus ride (see you all there) on Saturday morning, but right now, I’m tentatively planning to have a slow T1 and change into something with some sleeves or arm warmers (you can DROP OFF clothes – which you’ll get back – at Special Needs) and maybe knee warmers depending on weather. If it’s really cold, I’ll probably dry off and put on totally dry clothes. If it’s not so cold, I might just opt for a vest over my tri kit. I’ve also had good success in cold races cutting up sections of a mylar space blanket – link goes to a 10 pack for $9 on Amazon; well worth the investment (you’ll need scissors to cut it up) – and putting sections of it under my race suit. They are easy to pull out and chuck at aid stations. There are full changing tents (like Ironman) so don’t worry about needing to do the full monty (which is not allowed, remember, under USAT rules).

A little teaser to get you pumped for race week…
Gloves are also probably a good idea, especially because it can be hard to drink if your hands are numb. Toe warmers, etc are fine, but I think since I was planning to wear socks on the run, I’ll probably  just put on a pair of wool socks in T1. T2 should be a speedy affair, but I think any extra time in T1 will probably end up being time saved on the race course. 223km is a LONG way. Better to be comfortable than cold. Always easier to take off clothes than to try to warm up mid-race. Also, if you’re warm, that will probably motivate you to eat/drink more often, which is good. If you are focused on being uncomfortable (or cold) drinking (or eating) is probably not first priority. But it should be. First of all, that will help keep you warm (fuel to burn) and also because it’s so critical for a race this long.
Aero helmets are always a good choice for free speed, but they actually serve double duty on cooler days because they are warmer. They are extra good when it’s rainy, but thankfully, there’s none of that in the forecast. It’s actually supposed to be a beautiful day, but like most higher altitude climates, it will be cold in the morning. So just be prepared for that. Semper paratus!

In other random useful information, the bike course map on the Leadman site is wrong (the course is too short), but there are corrected directions here on Slowtwitch. The map for the run on the site is also wrong (only 10mi) but the athlete guide has the correct run course, which includes an out-n-back. Look forward to seeing you all in Bend!
…and let’s get ready to race!

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