Tuesday, 19 August 2008

4 days to go

Well, we're well and truly on the final stretch to Gael Force. I'm going to be off-line from Thursday, so figure I may as well put down some predictions of how I see it playing out. This is all guess work and a lot will depend on the terrain, but hopefully I haven't under-estimated the event.

Stage 1: 12km beach\road\trail run
This is the part I'm looking forward to the least. Some of this could be off-road and some of it is definitely on sand, so it'll probably be very energy sapping. I'm happy enough that this is the first part though, as it'll be my toughest discipline. My aim is to take this really easy (even to the point where I'm debating walking the distance), will probably walk up any medium or larger inclines, with a suggested pace of around 7 mins per km.
Estimated time: 1hr 24mins

Transition 1: Run -> Kayak
Thankfully, we time out at this transition, so its essentially free. Main aim here will be to get some fluid on board and also get some calories in. Not too much, but enough to tick over for later.

Stage 2: 2km kayak
Reports suggest this will take 10-15 mins, so I'm going to factor in 25 mins for this in total. Hopefully I won't be too stiff after waiting for a kayak.
Estimate time: 25mins

Transition 2: Kayak -> Run
Essentially another free transition. Plan is to get straight into the next run.

Stage 3: 3km road run
A short and hopefully relatively straight forward run to the bikes. Will probably adopt a similar approach to stage 1. Going to allow myself some extra time here, in case fatigue is setting in (hope it isn't...long way to go yet!)
Estimated time: 24 mins

Transition 3: Run -> Bike
Probably the key transition I think. I should hopefully have the bike pre-loaded with all the necessary gear (energy drink, water, food, pump, etc) and will probably take a bit of time to change into some dry(er) clothes.
Estimated time: 5 mins

Stage 4: 35km road cycle
This should be my strongest discipline. However, I could really be struggling at this point, but hopefully I'll be ok. Cycle itself should be undulating for the most part, with the wind being the problem from reports that I've read. Last few km is uphill, with will bring us to the next section, the ascent of Croagh Patrick.
Main aim on the bike is to make steady progress, but not to push myself too hard...there's still a fair bit to go after this, so will aim to keep the fluid intake up while also getting some calories on board.
Depending on the headwind, would hope to average at least 22kmph, based on my training rides after runs.
Estimated time: 1hr 36mins

Transition 4: Bike -> Hike
On the homeward stretch here...one massive obstacle in the way though, the iconic Croagh Patrick. Transition here shouldn't take too long, besides racking the bike and probably stopping for a quick breather.
Estimated time: 5 mins

Stage 5: 5km mountainous hike
Well, its a mountain by Irish standards. First section of this is boggy, so this is a worry. The actual mountain itself is pretty steep and the footing is very rocky \ shale. This will be a slow steady plod, that's for sure. The decent will also be slow and steady, as given the expected fatigue at that point, it'll more than likely be worse than the ascent.
Estimated time: 1hr 30m

Transition 5: Hike -> Bike
Last transition...this will hopefully involve hopping straight on the bike and going.
Estimate time: 2mins

Stage 6: 12km cycle on and off road
Not long to go now. Will just be a case of getting it done. Hopefully mainly downhill (certainly the first section is).
Estimated time: 30 mins

Total (estimated time): 84 + 25 + 24 + 5 + 96 + 5 + 90 + 2 + 30 = 361 mins = 6hrs 1min

Hopefully, I can knock one minute of those times somewhere!

1 comment:

Andrew is getting fit said...

I look forward to the race report! Good luck.