Ironman MT Race Report by Paulette Dalton
I started into triathlon about 13 years ago with very little experience or training before jumping in. I
had some setbacks in the early days and was even pulled out of the water by the life guards in my
first season of racing…but there is something about this fantastic sport that keeps dragging me back
to the start line smiling.
IMMT was my 6 th iron distance triathlon and my fastest yet…but still a lot of work ahead of me to
reach my ambitious race goals.
This year I found myself actually excited for the long training days. I attribute this to having so many
friends also training for the same races all year.
While I didn’t follow a specific ironman training plan (I will do so for my next race) my focused
training began in January.
The main focus for the winter was to get Boston-ready with long runs every weekend up until April.
There was also a week-long Cuba Training Camp that was helpful to get bike ready for the
spring….indoor spinning can only do so much. The warm weather was also a nice mental break
from the cold.
Once Boston was complete I hopped on my bike and did as much biking as possible until the
ironman…again with no structure except to gradually increase the distance.
A wise friend of mine told me “you cannot do too much biking in prep for an ironman”.
My longest ride leading up to the race was 240km about 1 month before the race. I did an average of
about 950km/month leading up to the race….I think there is room for improvement on this with a
more structured approach.
Another workout that I found essential to my ironman training was the Metric Ironman a few of us
completed at the end of the Muskoka Training Camp.
We opted to stay outside of the Mt Tremblant village so we had to drive and park. This was actually
a smoother process than I imagined and saved us a lot of $. I had time to put air in my tires, add a
few things to my bento box, use the port a potty a few times, snap a few photos and make it down
to the swim start in plenty of time.
This was my first time doing IM with the waved start. It wasn’t awful but it wasn’t great and I
included this on my post-race survey. I found the waved start by age group made the swim even
more congested than with the mass starts I am used to and I didn’t like starting so far back from
some of my friends in other age groups. Otherwise the swim was fine and I loved my goggles I had
The run from the swim is quite far but pretty flat. I chose to wear compression sleeves in the water
and put bike socks on in T1. I reapplied a quick amount of chamois cream and had a volunteer assist
with spraying my back with sunscreen.
My goal for this portion was to be under 6 hours and I did it in 05:59:27!!
The course was nice and the roads smooth. 2 loops of 90K – the first 60km are pretty smooth and
fast and I slowed a bit in the last 30km as it’s a bit hillier. My max speed for the day was 77km/h.
For nutrition I ate my home-made energy bites (chocolate/coffee and lemon/ginger), water, 1
Gatorade, honey stinger chews, 2-3 gels, sport beans, bananas (with the 1 st loop mainly solids and
the 2 nd loop mainly liquid, gels and chews). I grabbed a second zip log bag of snacks at special needs.
I don’t usually change my shorts in T2 however I just felt like wearing something new and fresh so I
changed into a clean pair of tri short for the run and also swapped my socks. I reapplied sunscreen
and took 1 Tylenol.
This is usually my strong event and I was pumped to start it out…my first KM was ~
4:45/km…this quickly slowed to 5:48/km pace. I was convinced going into the race that I could do
this in under 4h…
I can attribute the challenge to the heat and perhaps for my next race I may do a few more longer
runs and long bricks leading up to the ironman after the spring marathon.
What did help in terms of managing the heat was putting ice in my sports bra and shorts at all the
I took in mostly cola, water and a few ½ gel packs during the run.
I used special needs to get more Tylenol.
The venue and course was great but I think you’ll find that with most IM events. What I think made
this event so much fun was that we had such a great bunch of friends and family racing and
cheering! It was one of the most fun IMs I’ve done!
The extra bike training I did this year helped me take almost an hour off my previous PB of
Already looking forward to training and planning for the next one!