It’s race week – and excitement is in the air as athletes prepare to head down to the Standard Bank IRONMAN® Durban 70.3 event on 2 August in South Africa.
The sun kissed beaches along Durban, South Africa's Golden Mile will be flooded with 3000 athletes eager and nervous to be a part of this inaugural event.
The race village is located around the Sun Coast Casino, where athletes can visit the expo and stock up on any last minute necessities. As tempting as it is to buy new products, now is not the time to be testing anything different. Stick with what you have trained on and with what you know works for you.
Try not to get too caught up in the pre-race festivities and try avoid being on your legs for too long. Resting your legs in these last few days is vital to ensure that you are fresh and ready on race morning.
There is an official swim training session at the swim start on Saturday morning. This provides an opportunity for out of towners to get in a sea swim before race day. The Durban surf can be quite challenging, so it is advisable to familiarize yourself as much as possible with the swim route before race morning.
Check your entry - are there any beach drops; how far in can you run before these drops. As waves always come in sets, it’s worth taking note of the pattern of the waves - roughly how many waves do you need to get through before getting out to the back-line. Take note of how many buoys you will swim past and the buildings along the shore so that you can gauge your progress on race day, and practise surfing the waves back out to shore.
The swim will be the most challenging leg of the race for most newcomers to the sport, so some practise in the waves the day before will help calm your nervous and prepare you for race morning.
The bike course is fast with a smooth road surface and undulating hills. If you have the time, try to drive the route before race day so that you know what to expect. With August being the windy month, there is a good possibility that wind will be a factor.
Remember your nutrition on the bike. A gel and bottle of electrolyte/energy drink hourly is recommended. Again, stick to the nutrition you have been using in training.
The run is on the beach front promenade and it is fast and flat. Start the run easy as your legs will feel heavy off the bike. As your legs adjust to running, you can start picking up the pace especially in the last few km. Coca Cola is great for giving you a boost in the latter part of the race.
This is sure to be an unforgettable race experience, so have some fun, enjoy your day and Never Stop Moving Forward.