IM Philippines 2018

Ironman Philippines 2018 – Another podium result and one step closer to Kona!

The 2018 edition of IM Philippines was the first time they have run the full distance event in the region. With over 1600 athletes lining up over the weekend, everyone was gearing up to tackle the weather and conditions that Subic Bay can deliver. The forecast was for temps in the high 30’s and standard maximum humidity! The locals and organisers have great passion, and this shined through on race day with so much support and a very well run event.

Beach start – sprinting into the 30deg water. Pic : MultisportPH

Race morning was the typical warm and humid temperatures as predicted, and the swim course was flat and calm. The male pro’s started 30mins after the 70.3 event, and we soon caught the back markers and dodged our way around the first loop. I had a good start, and managed to get a small gap by the first buoy – around 400m in. This gap grew steadily and through out the rest of the 3.8km swim leg I managed to build a lead of around 4mins heading into T1. This earned me the quickest swim of the day clocking just over 51mins. The water was close to 30deg, so we all had to be cautious not to push too hard early on. I found the swim pace was comfortable, and it was nice to be in control of the effort and not having to concentrate on chasing others or surging.

Transtion 1 was a 1km run from the sand to our bikes, and half of this was straight uphill.

Starting the bike with a nice lead. Pic : Anthony Yu

Out onto the bike, I held a steady lead throughout the first 70kms, and around this point Nick Baldwin and Freddie Lampret were starting to close the gap. We came together at the 100km mark, I stopped to grab my special needs bottle and the 2 of them got away on the long descent. I was happy to stick to my steady plan, and eventually caught up and passed Freddie again around 120km. Nick was riding strong, and cruised into T2 with a 5min lead. Cameron Brown was about 3mins back from me starting the run, so the pressure was on.

The weather on the bike was crazy – the first half was quite warm and humid as the sun was coming up, and then some black clouds rolled in. It started pouring down causing some surface flooding and the winds picked up for a solid headwind slog back into town.

This settled down again as we arrived into transition 2, and you could tell it was going to get warm again as the marathon was about to start.

All done in 3rd place. Pic : Anthony Yu

Nick and I were running a similar pace for the first 10kms or so, and Cam bridged up and came by me around the 12km mark. He was hovering around 1-2mins ahead for the next hour and we were all separated by less than 1min 45sec at about the 25km mark! I was feeling good and picked it up a bit, although Nick and Cam managed to lift also (I think we all were slowing down, but the effort was lifting!). Cam almost caught Nick although the final 10km really heated up and we stayed as it was through to the finish. Some great close racing all day!

 

1st place – Nick Baldwin      –        8:50

2nd place – Cameron Brown   –     8:56

3rd place – Simon Cochrane   –     8:58

 

Once again, my race plan didn’t involve power or pace targets, although in the heat I had some heart rate zones to keep an eye on – Heart rate doesn’t lie, and it’s a fine line between just right, and slightly too hard when racing in the heat. I managed to not walk one step in the marathon which was a pre-race goal and plan, I focused on steady pacing and grabbing water at each aid station on the fly. I handled the heat a lot better at this race and put this down to a very focused heat prep build up. Fire me a message if you are keen to hear how I did this, and if you need any help building up to some hotter races this season!

Podium presentation. Pic : AsiaTRI.com

It was a great event to be a part of and it was good to see so many kiwis over there racing – a nice change from the cold weather setting in back home! A big thanks to the events team who made us feel welcome all week and organised all the transfers / meetings seamlessly!

 

My sponsors and supporters are great as always, and are a huge part of my team that I couldn’t do with out!

CEEPO BICYCLES / ORCHARD GOLD / ST PIERRE’S SUSHI / SMITH OPTICS

 

Its always exciting and motivating knowing that so many people and family are tracking the race back home.

Talk soon,

 

Simon.

 

 

 

 

 

Ironman New Zealand – 2018

Training and racing had been going great over the summer and I was looking forward to lining up for my 27th Ironman race. (9th race at Ironman Taupo). I knew my form in each discipline had taken a step up and I was looking forward to executing a race I knew I had in me. I had decided prior to the race that I wouldn’t use a bike computer or run watch at all, as over the last couple of years of racing in the Professional field, it is a lot more clear that it is more about reacting to the race and other athletes, and less about a steady Time Trial effort. I knew my bike and run were good and that my internal pacing is usually spot on. Time to trust my body and the hard work form the previous months of training!

This year the weather was great, just some light winds and looking like a warm afternoon – we were set for a quick day!

Set for a nice fast day!

 

Goal for the swim : Strong start – nail the first 400m, make the front pack, and swim on feet to conserve energy.

This year I decided to start over to the left to have some clear water at the start. Dylan McNeice, Braden Currie and Callum Millward had a similar idea, although it was still well spaced out for us with most other Pro men cramped over by the right hand buoy. Had a strong start and after 200m or so we drifted right and ‘met up’ with the other quick swimmers who joined to make the front pack. I could see all of the swimmers I wanted to be with were there, and settled in for a great swim.

49min 11sec – 1:16/m pace

 

Goal for T1 : Hard running and quick out on to the bike.

Great transition, legs felt good and raced up the stairs, dumped wetsuit in the bag and off to bike, helmet on and out!  (2min 52sec)

Powering home over the last 20km. Pic by Bevan McKinnon

 

Goal for the bike : Start strong, and don’t be afraid to push the pace and follow some early moves. Position myself well in the front pack to make sure I don’t get dropped. 

This year the first section of the bike wasn’t quick at all, I was behind Mike Phillips and Braden, and no one was really looking to push too hard. The pace rolled on as we were caught by Cam Brown and Joe Skipper at the 45km turn and from there the tempo had definitely lifted. There were a few surges and I got strung off the back of the group a couple of times and hard to really fight to get back on. This is where I decided to go to the front and not drop back more than a couple of guys. Terenzo, Joe and Mike got away from the front group around 75km and managed to build a solid gap on the 2nd lap. I stayed near the front and felt great, lifting the effort during the last 20kms when I could tell everyone was getting a bit tired. I lead the group into T2 and was looking forward to the run. Great first race on my new Ceepo Viper-R, very comfortable position and could stay aero all day!

4hrs 31mins – 39.9km/h average. 

 

 

Goal for T2 : Smooth and controlled. 

Far from it! Ran into T2 and collected bag from the volunteer.. emptied bag and realized they had given me the wrong bag (cams bright orange shoes fell out instead of my green Sauconys). Had to run back and find my bag in the line up and then back to business. (1min 42sec)

 

Heading out on the run. Pic by Korupt Vision for Australian Triathlete Magazine

 

Goal for the run : Start strong and run the first lap by feel, dig deep during the last lap.

I found my self exiting transition just in front of Cam Brown, Callum Millward, and Dylan McNeice. Cam quickly bridged up to me and as he went to go past I decided to go with him and see how the pace felt. We were running around 3:40/km for the first 10km, and this was feeling great. The headwind back into town started to take its toll and around 11km I decided to ease back slightly and Cam carried on. (running a 2:41!) The second lap was tough but I just focused on getting some nutrition in and holding good form. As I turned in town for the final time (28km) I could see Dylan and Callum only a couple of mins back and looking strong. I really wanted to finish strong so decided to keep pushing and not look back. I got back into a good rhythm, and picked the pace up slightly for a strong finish.

2hrs 56mins – 4:11/km pace

Final push for home. Great shot from Mitch Buckley

 

 

Overall – 8hrs 21mins – 7th Professional Male. 

 

Massive thanks to my sponsors, family and supporters.  I couldn’t do this sport with out you. And to my wife Larisa, who at the time of me writing this is 6 days over due with our first child. Your support over the Ironman weekend was amazing and I am excited for the next big event!

My athletes looking nice and relaxed the day before the race!

My Coached athletes also had a great day out, and it was awesome to be able to get out on course after I was done to cheer them home! Its been great watching them all progress in the build up and I really enjoy the process of customising the specific plan for each athletes goals!

I have a few spots left for coaching new athletes, so get in touch via my contact form or email simon@simoncochrane.net to chat about some options!

Happy training, and talk soon!

 

Ironman New Zealand + Ironman Australia

 

These two Iconic races are the longest running Ironman events down this end of the world, with each of them having had their 30th anniversaries within the last couple of years – there is a lot of history and that is why they have such a great turnout of competitors and spectators come race day! They both have very passionate communities with locals who embrace the event and show massive support on the day!

 

The swim courses couldn’t be more different  – Taupo with the crisp crystal clear lake and straight forward course, to Port Macquarie’s warm murky salt water zigzagging its way through the yachts and with an interesting mid swim exit climb up over some stairs and a weir – but the bike and run have a lot of similarities – a rough rolling bike course and a multi-lap flat run with a few short hills. This year both of the Professional fields were stacked full of very quick guys and multiple Ironman Champions, as the Asia Pacific Champs at Melbourne had been cancelled – these were the 2 races that were the next closest in the schedule and location wise.

Lake Taupo on a mint day!
Lake Taupo on a mint day!

 

Below is a brief rundown of how both of these races went and the progression in my training and racing over the last season!

 

Ironman New Zealand.

I have made great gains in my swim over the last year and was looking forward to positioning myself right in the mix, rather than chasing from the word go! – this showed through with a personal best swim of 48:30 and I was comfortable leading out the chase pack.

You always know you are in good company and setting up a solid race when you are no further than 50m away from the legend himself Cam Brown for the first 4.5hrs of the race! We worked bloody hard in the first 45 kms and managed to bridge right up to the guys at the front of the race who had exited the water a few minutes ahead of us. The ride was another personal best for me – clocking 4hr 32mins. Just shy of a 40km/hr average on those Taupo roads is quick going by any ones standards – Unless your name is Dougal Allen who posted an impressive new bike course record of 4hr 22mins!

Mr and Mrs Cochrane's bikes ready to go!
Mr and Mrs Cochrane’s bikes ready to go at IMNZ!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#ScottieTPhoto - great shot out on course!
#ScottieTPhoto – great shot out on course!

Getting off the bike after the big effort for 180kms, I was pleased to still be able to execute a well paced marathon of 3hr 3mins and run my way in to 9th place with a time of 8hrs 28mins.

 

The recovery after a big race is now getting better and quicker after each one – I think the body is now used to backing up the big training blocks and the Ironman race day isn’t too much of a shock to the system. The week after Ironman New Zealand was spent in Rarotonga for our honeymoon and was such good timing to enjoy some downtime in the sun and nice food!

Epic week in Rarotonga for our honeymoon!
Epic week in Rarotonga for our honeymoon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ironman Port Macquarie was next on the cards and training ramped right back up to get ready for this one.

 

 

Ironman Port Macquarie

I knew the swim pace at the front of this race was going to be furious as the level and depth of top notch swimmers even out did the one’s at Taupo. Once again – after the initial 500m max sprint, I had found myself at the front of the first chase pack and was quite comfortable and happy to lead the way through the inlet and canal swim. Sighting was very important and I stuck to my line and this helped pick up a couple of others who had drifted off the back of the fish up the front. Exiting in 46:50, this was a new PB although was still 2:30 back from the front of the race – showing how important the swim in an Ironman race is.

Swim exit at IM Port Mac
Swim exit at IM Port Mac

 

 

I had made the decision to ride slightly less aggressive than at Taupo, as the 2nd lap of the bike is where guys really feel the pinch as the wind picks up and the rough roads start to take their toll. I managed to negative split the 2nd lap of the bike by 20seconds although in hindsight I probably should have attacked the first lap a bit harder. Off the bike in 4hr 45mins but this was a bit too far back to make decent inroads to the guys heading on to the run.

Posting one of the quickest marathons of the day – 3rs flat – was enough to bridge up and pass a few guys, but I didn’t execute the run I know I am capable of.  I crossed the line in 6th place in a time of  8hrs 36mins  

 

 

IM OZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This season has given me a lot more confidence. Each and every race has stepped up and the consistent improvement is still heading in the right direction. Each discipline is even across the board and now I am only a small percentage off the front of some big races and am looking forward to challenging the podium in the upcoming events as I continue to build and lay down the blocks in the long term plan. I am still learning at each and every race and now feel like I can RACE the full 8.5hrs right at threshold, and will keep pushing the boundaries – its exciting to see how far the body, and MIND can go!

 

 

A massive thanks must go out to my team of sponsors and supporters! Every one of you make a huge difference and keep me striving to perform week in and week out – and to my athletes that I coach, I am still learning something each race to give back the knowledge and experience that I have absorbed through out the last 22 Ironman races.

 

Keep up to date with my training and racing plans  :

 Follow on Twitter –   @CochraneSimon

 Instagram – @CochraneSimon

Athlete page on Facebook –  SimonCochraneIronman

 

Embrace the winter of training – Consistency is key!

Cheers,

Simon.

 

P.S – fire me a message if you want to talk about some coaching options – now is the perfect time to get committed for the summer season…. not 2 weeks before it starts 🙂

Sponsors

 

 

 

Ironman Japan 2015 – 3rd Place

 

‘Climate’ & ‘Climb-it’ are the 2 main themes for Ironman Japan!

 

Ironman Japan has always been a race venue high up on my list. The rural and scenic location of quiet Lake Toya sets the scene for a picturesque and easy race. Yea right!

Lake Toya
Lake Toya on a nice clear day!

 

It is one of the hardest Ironman race courses around the world. Starting with a beautiful and clear, warm lake swim, the ride takes you around the lake and into the mountains for 2800m of vertical climbing,  up to 15% grade in a few spots before descending down into the valley to start the marathon. A hot and humid run winds its way up a long and steep gravel off road track for the first section, before a 4km straight down hill back to the lake side. The final run back into town rolls along the road with the final stretch of lakeside path to the finish line. Add in the heat, humidity, rain and wind – it was an adventure!

Japan Bike elevation
Bike course elevation chart – perfect warm up for a marathon!

 

I was super excited to race as training had been tracking nicely over the last few winter months. I flew in just a couple of days prior and adjusted well to the warm weather and high humidity. We found out pretty early that the lake was fairly warm and that the pro wetsuit cut off temp of  21.9deg was likely.

5am on race morning the water temp measured 23.5deg, so the call was made and the swim skin went on. This would even out the field and show up some of the weaker swimmers that wouldn’t be getting the benefit of added buoyancy.

Lake Toya 2
Crystal clear warm water

Swim –  I had a great start and went right to the front after 400m or so and had the Brazilian Thiago Vinhal right with me. It continued this way, getting a Brazilian foot massage for 3.8kms while we put nearly 4mins into the rest of the Pro men. I was first out in 51mins,had the quickest transition and lead out onto the bike with over a 1min lead on Thiago and 4mins over the 2nd swim pack.

IM Japan - Simon Cochrane Bike
One of many hills

Bike –   The first section around the lake was flat and fast. I had to stay controlled and not get too excited with the lead motorbike and media bikes around, knowing that I had a big day in the saddle ahead of me! I flew through the first 20kms in under 40mins and fuelled up before the first of many hill climbs were to begin.

That was the last of any flat section, the rest of the 180km loop consisted of long climbs, shorts steep climbs, false flats and awesome fast descents. Seeing the big ‘Black bear warning’ signs was quite amusing, and I was just hoping they were still in hibernation mode. A few foxes ran across the road in front of me and also a Japanese local reversed out while I was heading down the quickest section of the course! I managed to swerve around the back of him as there was no chance of braking – checked my speedo afterwards and was ticking along just shy of 90km/hr!

The rest of the ride was less eventful, I was passed by 3 riders just before the long 18km climb and decided to stick to my own plan and not go with them. The steepest little section was about 5kms before T2 and the 5min ‘out of the saddle’ effort made sure that your legs had been totally fried before the marathon starts! Into transition in 4th, 5mins behind 3rd and 10mins back from the front two.

Simon Cochrane - IM Japan run
Final stretch along the cobbles

Run –  Straight off the bike you could tell the temp was getting up, every step was getting more and more humid as I started running down for the first couple of kms into the gulley. This only became hotter as the road turned into straight uphill gravel trail for another 3kms. Steadily gaining time on the front guys and feeling strong, I just stuck to my plan of running an even paced marathon. Aid stations were between 3 and 5kms apart so making sure you got what you needed at each one was very important. I passed  3rd place at about 15kms and he was obviously paying for his over zealous riding. I had to make a pitstop at 25kms and never look forward to a hot portaloo but when you gotta go.. Opened the door to find a ‘squat style’ Japanese toilet and could only laugh to myself. Just what you feel like doing half way through an Ironman marathon! The last part of the race winded its way around the coast before and out and back section on the lake front. It was good to see all the supporters and also how close the front 2 guys were. I had made up some time although all 3 of our run slits were within 1 minute of each other.

 

What a challenging course,  talking to everyone after the race, there was a fairly overwhelming conclusion that this was the hardest Ironman course around. After 20 Ironman races I can definitely say that also!

It was a great week hanging out with a few Kiwis and the group travelling with the Tri-travel crew, awesome celebrations with some great Japanese food and a few Asahi’s!

Kiwis at Japan
Kiwis in Japan
Awards Japan
Great food and beer!

 

 

Massive thanks to my parents for making the trip over, and to all my supporters and sponsors back home – I have a couple of weeks off now before I plan out the NZ season. Summer is not far away! The next big event for Larisa and I is our wedding in November!  The #dreamteam will be official. Lots to look forward to, and exciting to see the results improving each race. Very happy with a solid season and keen to start the next one refreshed and rearing to go!

Keep up to date with my training and racing plans  :

 Follow on Twitter –   @CochraneSimon

 Athlete page on Facebook –  SimonCochraneIronman

2014 – Ironman Western Australia – 6th Place

 

 

What a week in Busselton for Ironman Western Australia! Great times, with great people.. Would be the most relaxed and confident I have been going into a big race. Staying with my family, coach and other athletes is always a risk for a stressful race week.. But was exactly the opposite, plenty of good banter, joking around and red wine were to set the tone for a well balanced taper week and prep!

Iconic Busselton Jetty – best swim course, all the way out and around!

 

The morning I was to fly out of Auckland didn’t go exactly to plan.. A couple of early Personal Training sessions with my clients ended with a 6kg dumbbell rolling off a bench onto my little toe! A swollen and bruised broken toe would usually send the mind into a ball of stress 5 days out from your first key race of the season, but as soon as I mentioned it to my coach – I was told not to mention it again and to trust the fitness and prep that had already been done.. This meant a cruiser taper week than I am used to, without any running, and limited cycling.. Hopefully this would help me freshen up and allow my toe some time to repair!

Just before race start

Just before race start

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Race day rolled round and was set for a nice hot fast day!

A super strong field of over 30 international Pro men lined up for the beach start, and set off into the warm Western Australian waters. 50mins later I exited the 3.8km swim at the front of the 2nd pack leading Josh Rix and Matty White up the beach into T1, (after my little toe had been nicely tapped around 1000 times by the large 2nd pack trailing me.)

Out into the flat and fast Busselton Highway for the 2 lap 180km cycle, I stuck to my game plan – rode to my power and enjoyed a steady solo ride averaging just shy of 39km/h. Awesome flat roads,  with 11 U-turns break up the aero position quite nicely.. It started to warm up during the 2nd lap and by the time we hit T2 the sun was beating down and a few guys out front were cracking already!

Running a marathon on it should fix it!
Running a marathon on it should fix it!

 

I took my time in transition as I used slightly wider shoes and regular laces to avoid any extra aggravation.

Within the first lap (of 4) I had moved from 15th off the bike into 11th place, steadily gaining on some fading runners up ahead. By the 3rd and 4th lap there were runners everywhere making it hard to know where the guys up ahead were.. But I kept my steady pace up as others were falling off, concentrating on keeping my fluids up and my leg turnover high.. I ran through to 6th place and secured a personal best time and a pay check!

Running strong - gaining 9 places over the marathon!
Running strong – gaining 9 places over the marathon!

 

 

Personal best time : 

8hrs 36min

Swim – 50min  

 Bike – 4hrs 37min

 Run – 3hrs 3min

 

Big thanks to all my supporters, my parents and sister for flying over,  to Jon for the great company and accommodation, and Al for keeping us in check and relaxed. Larisa’s support from back home in NZ was huge – kept everyone up to date and was tracking from start to finish!

 

 

 

A big part of this success is my sponsors support also, Jason from Orchard Gold, Nick from St Pierre’s, Jason from Endura,  Mike from Shoe Science and the team at Timex. You all play a massive role.

Consistently improving results are a great confidence boost, a big improvement over the winter months and I’m ready to step it up again in the lead up to the NZ summer season! Firstly a couple of easier weeks and to enjoy Xmas with family and friends.

 

Happy training and keep safe out there!

 

 

Running – Benefits of a faster cadence

Run - Cadence

Running – Cadence (number of steps you take per minute)

“An athlete with perfect technique will always perform better than an equal athlete with poor technique”

 

Today we take a quick look at running Cadence.

How to check your cadence: Warm up for 5mins and then get running at your ideal race pace, count how many times your right foot hits the ground in a 60seconds. Double that number and you have your steps per minute (cadence)

 

If you are frequently injured or feel inefficient, gradually increasing your step rate (which in turn decreases your stride length) by five to 10 percent may help you run more economically while lowering your risk of injury.

A longer stride causes runners to extend their legs more, landing with a foot strike in front of the body creating a braking effect. This not only slows you down but can increase the risk of injuries by increasing the vertical loading pressure on the lower leg muscles and joints.

Increasing your cadence can also help with the overall metabolic cost of running. You are a lot more efficient when you are moving forward, the more that the body moves ‘up and down’ the more energy it will take you to run.

Focusing on some running drills and technique can help you with the transition into a slightly faster cadence. There isn’t a perfect cadence that suits everybody – but most people out there would benefit from a slight increase and might be pleasantly surprised at the added performance benefits that come their way.

 

Most common benefits may include:

–         Improved forward momentum

–         Less effort

–         Increased speed

–         Lighter ground impact

–         Less injuries

So have a go at upping the cadence – it might just be that key you need to unlock your next level of running!

 

Contact Simon for Triathlon and run coaching – simon@simoncochrane.net

– www.facebook.com/SimonCochraneIronman

– twitter.com/CochraneSimon

Mont Tremblant Ironman – North American Championships

Canada Quebec flag

Last week we travelled to Quebec, Canada for Ironman Mont-Tremblant – the North American Championships. Quebec was amazing and it would have to rate one of my all-time favourite places I have been to. The pristine lakes (over one million in Quebec alone!) and mountains of Mont Tremblant provide such great scenery everywhere you look. I feel lucky to have been able to race the North American Ironman Championships on the spectacular course.

DCIM100GOPRO
Stunning house with an epic view!

We arrived on the Wednesday of race week and were staying with a local homestay family Mark and Caroline. Mark was competing too, and this would be his first Ironman. Their house was a beautiful place out in the country and only 25 minute drive to the race start. The set up they have at their place was awesome with a huge private lake right out front, an endless pool, wind trainer, gym, and nice packed gravel roads for running. Mark and Caroline were incredibly helpful and made us feel very welcome. They made us some awesome meals, Mark gave us a guided tour of the course, and they insisted that we use their new Volvo SUV to transport our bikes and that they would use our little rental car. On Monday after prizegiving they took us up to the top of the mountain for some sightseeing and we finished off an amazing week in Canada with a beautiful dinner at an Italian restaurant up the mountain with champagne to celebrate. We are lucky enough to have been provided with homestay families to stay with at both of our overseas races and both times we have met amazing people and had such an awesome time! It has made the race week experience much less stressful and a lot more fun! It was also great to be able to offer some advice and assistance to Mark on his first Ironman experience.

DCIM100GOPRO
Private swimming pool 🙂

 

 

Perfect race week meals with Mark and Caroline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The course at Mont Tremblant is amazing. The lake swim is an out and back in a clean warm lake, followed by a 2-loop hilly ride (>2000m elevation gain) and finishing up with a 2 lap rolling run over a variety of terrain including a packed gravel track! It was a warm day and this Championship race had drawn a solid field of over 30 males including multiple Ironman and 70.3 champions, along with some talented locals.

Race morning
Mont Tremblant

The Race

My day went great, I stuck to my game plan and was happy with how it played out, I lead the 2nd group out of the water, bummer that we had already given up 5mins to the top 11 guys who flew around! It would always be a bit nicer if I didn’t have to ride entirely solo, but I knew what power I wanted to hold and did just that. The hills on the 2nd loop were a bit more challenging as all the long climbs seemed to be accompanied by a head wind! The road conditions were near perfect – would have been a different story for everyone on the bike if we had to contend with the chip seal from NZ! Off the bike and I got into my stride nicely, holding my goal pace throughout the first 25kms. The 2nd time around the hilly section in the heat made for a challenge and damaged the average pace a wee bit…..  but the others were suffering more than I was and I kept pushing on. I passed a couple of guys in the last 10kms to finish up in 15th place and with another 3 guys only 5mins up the road.

DCIM100GOPRO
Quick shot after the finish and before the recovery and food tent!

 

I am pleased with how my race went but also disappointed that I missed the 9th place finish I would have needed to secure that Kona spot!  When I look back over my season, I have had consistent results (2nd kiwi in the Kona ranking points) and am continually learning and improving over all 3 disciplines.  The 15th place at the North American Champs capped off my 3 top 10’s and an 11th over the Ironman distance for the season.

 

 

 

The next challenge

We are back in Wisconsin now, and coincidentally the first race of the 2013/2014 season kicks off here in Madison in just over 2 weeks.  So I thought why not! It will be an awesome test to see how my body handles 2 Ironman events so close together. My focus over the next 2 weeks will be on recovery, good nutrition and to get to the start line as fresh as possible. My legs seemed to have pulled up pretty good, and mentally I was already prepared for one more big race!  It will also be a good opportunity to get some early Kona points for 2014 and get a race in before I ease off and build up for the season back home! It will be hard travelling to Kona and not competing but will be nice to support Larisa and return the help she has given me on this trip so far, and also to catch up and support the big Kiwi contingent taking part this year!

Run IMMT
Home stretch at Ironman Mont Tremblant

 

Thanks again to my sponsors for all their support :

Orchard Gold berries, Endura sports nutrition, Saucony, Tri’n’Run, G2 Personal training, Rocktape, Smith Optics, Timex, Compressport,  Schwalbe and Sugoi.

 

Keep up to date with our travels and racing on :

 Twitter – @CochraneSimon

 Facebook – SimonCochraneIronman

USA trip – Update so far… The first 3.5 weeks have flown by!

USA flag 2

 

On July 8th Larisa and I flew out of Auckland headed towards the USA for 3 months of training and racing. We are lucky enough to have a base in Madison, Wisconsin staying with Larisa’s cousin Julia who has been kind enough to have us to stay – thanks Julia! We arrived into Madison after 30hours of flying via Rarotonga and Los Angeles. There were a few dramas along the way with delays and baggage not fitting in the car but it’s funny how everything always just works out nicely when you stay calm and trust that things happen for a reason 🙂 Larisa’s cousin picked us up at 1am local time with a rental van (big enough to fit all our bags/bikes!) and drove us to her apartment where we are basing ourselves for the next few months. The apartment is a perfect little setup for us; great kitchen, big fridge and a coffee machine! It’s so close to everything we need, walking distance to the Wholefoods food market and Target, 500m to the local outdoor pool, 10min ride away from wide open rolling country side and 1km away from the lake with endless running trails and dirt tracks! The apartment complex also has its own Bbq area and outdoor pool – great for recovery days!

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Our first ride, nice clear morning!
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Pool – 5 mins walk from the door!

 

The first week here was a heat wave in Madison, upwards of 35 degrees and 80%+ humidity most days – a bit of a shock to the system but great for training and mental toughness! It made my 29km birthday run a good challenge! We had a couple of solid weeks training in Madison before our first race at Racine 70.3. There was no tapering for this one – we were both using the race as part of the build-up for our bigger Ironman races later in the season. We were lucky enough to stay with a great home stay family who were an awesome support to us on race week – including a tour of the bike course and some fantastic meals. They also came out to cheer us on during the race and made for a really enjoyable day. Thanks Kruse family! We were happy with how the day went, it is always good to test out a few things and find out where you are at. The race gave us an extra dose of confidence for what is to come and also a few things to focus on in the next block of training.

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Dinner out with our home stay family in Racine

 

 

 

 

 

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Transition full with over 2500 bikes

We are back in Madison after Racine and have been lucky to meet heaps of great people. We have been going along to a Friday morning swim in a private quarry lake with one of the local tri-clubs – it’s a beautiful lake to swim in – so clean and fresh and great to get in some open water swimming training! At one of the swim sessions we were introduced to Will Smith – a kiwi triathlete who has been living here for a few years. We spent last weekend out at his place and joined him and a few other local pros for some awesome riding and trail running. It’s a fantastic place to train in the summer and it looks like a fun place to train in the winter too – they turn the trails into snow-shoeing runs through the forest!

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Back at Wills after a 5hr ride

 

 

 

 

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Another warm one

 

 

 

 

Next up for me is Ironman Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Canada on August 18th. This is my main race for the season over here and it is a good opportunity to earn more points towards a starting spot in the Mens Pro Field at the World Champs in Hawaii. It is the North-American Championship race so has a 4000 point value – that makes it a high scoring points race attracting a solid field of Male Pros. The course looks stunning and suits my strengths – I can’t wait!! It has a nice fresh water lake swim – hilly 2-loop bike course and an awesome run with a large portion of it on off-road trails.. Larisa has already qualified for Hawaii and wont be racing here. She will be using the trip to Canada to make the most of some riding and run training in the mountains! (and to give me extra support – and a hurry-up – on race day!)

 

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Lake at Mont Tremblant

The climate and terrain in Madison has been perfect for our training, and having a bit more time for recovery and all the little extra things is really benefiting us. The town is full of like-minded active people with training facilities all over the place, the University of Wisconsin has a large amount of rowing, running and swimming competitors so there are always people out early every morning which is good to see!

A big couple of weeks training is ahead of us now before we fly up to Canada. We have been lucky enough to be partnered with another homestay for race week and it sounds like they have a private lake to swim in. We look forward to meeting another great family and it will be one more cool experience to add to the trip so far. I hope everyone back home in NZ is having a great time as winter embarks and that all your trainig is going to plan! We will touch base again before the race in Quebec!

 

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Simon and Larisa

– Living the dream!

 

 

 

 

Also check out a short clip we made of some of the local trails:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5psaKva3Uc