A Note to my athletes... (IMWI2011)

Hi Everyone,

I hope that this email finds you well and that you are at home, resting, eating, or perhaps doing something that isn't even related to triathlon. 

I want to first say that it has been a complete pleasure to work with and help every single one of you to the start line on Sunday.  Regardless of how the day unfolds, I hope that all of you can grasp onto the breakthroughs, the great feelings experienced, the friendships made and the things that you have learned about yourself, both inside and outside of the sport. THAT is what makes Ironman such an amazing sport.

Sunday is the day that we peaked you for. However, remember that it's also just another day of doing something that you love.  You have all swam in Lake Monona, you have all ridden on these roads and run through Madison.  You are just going to have the luxury of doing it when rested and with some help, ensuring you don't have to slow down too much to refuel and when transitioning from one discipline to the next.

Sunday looks like it will be cool in the morning (53-55*) with light south winds.  We'll have pretty good swim conditions (insert happy dance here:).  Remember that you will be swimming into the sun on the backside of the loop...be patient with your sighting and use those buoys (located every 100m) to guide you.

The challenge that you will have on the day will be holding back on the bike.  Cool and calm to start, then warm (85* on the road...perhaps higher) later on. This always causes a VERY fast front half of the race and yields some very slow runs times later in the day.  While some athletes can hang on alright, those of who pace correctly will run strong throughout that marathon and feel your best later on.  The key's here will be hydration, electrolytes and slowing down.  ALL of your (our) races will be made on the run.

The run will be warm.  Know that you will be hot when running with the wind and feel slower.  When running into the wind, you will cool and fast...Both require you to take care of yourself... stick to YOUR plan, stay in and enjoy the moment and you will finish feeling great!

Perhaps the bigger piece to this weekend is the remembrance of 9.11.  We are all blessed and lucky to have the opportunity to do what we do. Tired, energetic, fast, slow, exceeding or missing expectation, we are all amazing people and Ironman (as much as we love it) doesn't have any bearing on that.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of your 2011 Ironman Wisconsin journey and I hope that I can be apart of your future adventures.

Within my own race I will be using each one of you to help propel me to a great race.  I will lay it down, lead by example and will see each one of you home...

Race hard, be smart, be safe and have fun!

Your coach and friend,
Blake

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