Luke Ehgoetz

FINALIST

Target Race: Muskoka 70.3 on September 12, 2010

Taget Time: 4:40

TARGET RACE REPORT

First of all, let’s get one thing straight.  This race should be called the Muskoka 72.8, since the bike course is actually 94K instead of the usual 90.   As a result, you certainly get your money’s worth doing this race.

So essentially, my whole summer was geared up towards doing this race.   I had several shorter tri’s and a few longer distance ones, which all worked well as training for this race.

So let’s get into it shall we?   
The days leading up to this event were a bit nerving, as a lot of people (myself included) spent a fair bit of time watching the weather reports.   The weather trend was very cool mornings and they were calling for light rain most of the day.   Rain on this bike course can be treacherous, due to the tight turns and hilly course.   In 2008 when I did this event, it rained most of the day, but at least it was warm.    10 or 11 degrees and rain was not going to be fun.  

In previous years, I went up with my family on Friday and attended the athlete banquet which was always very good.   A great way to carbo load for the race.  This year, the family stayed at home (hockey try-outs and questionable weather) and I came up with another athlete I know from New Dundee, Greg Hallman (who by the way did awesome in his first ever half iron distance event – congrats Greg!!).   I picked Greg up at home at 6am, and we made great time getting to Muskoka just before 10am with a couple of quick coffee and restroom stops.

We were staying at Hidden Valley, which is nice and close to Dearhurst, and it allows us to keep our vehicle with us (as opposed to the airport parking for Dearhurst guests).   Upon arriving, we checked in (YES!! our room was ready at 10am!), so we put our bags into the room and then proceeded to walk our bikes to the bike check-in at Dearhurst parking lot.   From there, it was onto registration, a tour of the race expo, a quick walk around the swim start and exit, and then we headed to the Power Bar Pro Panel question and answer session that they put on.   Like last year, many of the top pro’s were there to answer questions, including 2x Kona champ Craig Alexander and last years Kona runner up, Mirinda Carfrae (also both winners of this race last year).  

5:20am Sunday morning, alarm goes off, and I am happy to have woken up after a pretty solid night’s sleep.   I quickly ate some oatmeal and a whole wheat wrap with peanut butter and a banana rolled up inside.   After a bit of coffee, my 7 systems supplements and some packing up, we were out of HV by 6:15 and walking in the dark over to Deerhurst.  Saturday was a great day weather wise, and likely everyone wished we had that weather for Sunday.   As it turns out, most of the rain passed by overnight, and we were greeted race morning with overcast skies and what seemed like a comfortable 13 or 14 degrees.   It didn’t really feel cold at all.   It was almost “ideal” racing conditions…almost!
We arrived in transition and I quickly got to work taking all of the wet bags off my bike and then getting everything set up.   After an easy run to get warmed up, I started putting on my wetsuit for the long walk to the swim start.   Once there, I did a good warm-up, and was ready for this race to get started.   I felt calm and comfortable, and before we knew it, the Canadian national anthem ended, and the pro’s were off and running (actually swimming….but you know what I mean!).  I was in wave 2, which was a good thing, as that would mean little traffic to negotiate in the middle parts of the swim.   4 minutes later, and the horn went off, and it was game on!   

1.9K Swim

I don’t know if it was me, or what, but I thought the swim course was slightly different than the prior two years.   The course is normally a perfect rectangle, but this year, it seemed like we had to take a bit of a left hand turn at the first buoy, right beside a bunch of boats.   This made for a bit of congestion in the swim, likely the most I have ever experienced in this race.   I got a bit knocked around, hit, pushed and slapped, but nothing I haven’t experienced before.   I tried to just find some open space, and after a few minutes I was pretty much OK and swimming free and clear.   After the right turn at the 2nd buoy, I was more or less just trying to hold a nice steady pace and try to find some feet to draft off of as much as I could.   I did a bit of drafting here and there, but likely swam most of the race on my own.   Nothing else was too memorable about this part, and 34 minutes later, I exited the water.   Ideally, I was hoping to go 33 minutes in the swim, but 34 was definitely alright, and a 4 minute improvement over last year.    After the swim exit, I took advantage of the wetsuit strippers which is definitely a good idea, and also decided to slip on a pair of runners for the 300m UPHILL run to the transition zone.   Once in T1, I quickly got my helmet and clear sunglasses on and was off on the bike.   It was warm enough that gloves and arm warmers or an extra shirt was not required (for me at least).

94K Bike

With the 1.9K swim and 300m uphill run to transition, my heart rate was high right off the bat.   The first 20K of the bike course is definitely not easy.   A lot of steep rolling hills to keep that heart rate pumping.  At this stage, I was passing a lot of people from my wave, as I was only 28th in my AG on the swim.   This was motivating, and kept me pushing hard.   Once we got on the main roads of Hwy 35, it was time to push the pace.   The roads were freshly paved, overcast, no wind and cool.   Perfect biking weather.   I was making good time here and the average speed kept going up.
My nutrition plan on the bike was as follows:
– Start off with a normal concentrate (260 calories) of Infinite in my aero drink bottle;
– Carry a double concentrate (520 calories) of Infinite in a bottle on my frame;
– After the aero drink is empty, put the 2x concentrate bottle in my aero drink bottle and pick up 1 water at each aid station to last the rest of the race;
– I also grabbed one gel at each aid station to give me that little extra bit of calories;

This plan worked well and I had no issues with it at all.

The middle 35 or 40K of the bike course went by really fast.   I found myself going back and forth with two other athletes, which kept things interesting.   After the 2nd aid station down in Baysville, things started to get tougher.   Firstly, it started to rain.   Not too heavy, but enough to get the roads wet and slippery in the most difficult and technical part of the course.   At this point, I found myself all alone.   A few of the guys I was riding with got ahead of me and joined up with another small pack.   For 15 or 20K, I struggled to catch back up with them, as I really wanted to be with a group, rather than all by myself.   I’d say with 15K to go, I got passed by Chris Van Kooten who started in a wave (or two or three) behind me.   For some reason after he passed me, it helped pull me along (no drafting of course) and we caught up to the pack of guys I was trying to catch for the last half hour.   Chris carried on, and left us all, but I was now back with the group of other riders, which really helped.   To my surprise, one of the riders in this pack was Jeff Beech, a former pro triathlete from Waterloo, where I am from (more or less anyway).   That was super motivating, as he is in my AG.   If you would have said I would be going into T2 with Jeff Beech at the beginning of the race, I would have said you were crazy.   That being said, we all rode together for the final 5K of the ride and as we approached T2, I had a nice smooth dismount, and I actually beat him over the dismount line, and was likely in about 3rd place in my AG at this point, making up 25 spots over the 94K bike.

Into T2 though however, that would be the last I would see of Jeff.  He is an awesome runner, and with his quick transition, he was gone.   I took some extra time to put my Garmin watch on to track my pace, socks on my feet to avoid any blisters and then grab my Nathan Speed belt, for extra nutrition for the run.   I think this added 15 or 20 seconds over Jeff’s time, so by the time I got out to the road, he was already 100m ahead and gaining ground quickly!

21.1K Run

So although I didn’t really know it at this point, I think I was in 4th place in my AG starting the run, as Jeff Beech took over 3rd in T2 and eventually would end up in 2nd.   Right off the bat at the 1K marker, we had to climb a pretty decent hill on the run.   I could totally feel my quads starting to tighten up, which made me nervous.   I don’t think it was nutrition, but purely the effort put out on the bike.   I quickly took another salt pill, and hoped all would get better once we hit some of the “flatter” sections on Hwy 60.   Once there, things seemed to get better and I was ticking along at a nice pace.   I got passed by only a few runners, and I past a few, so things were staying pretty even.  Starting at about the 8K mark, things got tough on the run.   We had a few good climbs to get to 9K and this really took a lot out of me.   On the bigger climb, I did a few short walking breaks of only a few seconds, but it did seem to help.   I never really lost any ground on the athlete that was in front of me who just kept running.   The turn-around point was at about 10.5K and after that, it was supposed to be a lot easier, as it was mostly downhill from there.   As it turns out, I progressively felt worse as the run went on.   The downhills were pounding the legs, and every type of incline was making me more and more fatigued.    I figured after seeing some of the athletes coming back from the turn-around, I had a decent chance of getting on the podium if I can just keep the legs moving, so I was definitely motivated.

I was keeping the nutrition up by taking in a gel every 5K or so.  In addition, I was taking in salt every 20-25 minutes.   I never really had much more cramping like I did in the first K, just a lot of fatigue.   The last 6K were quite tough, and I just had to keep telling myself to keep moving, as you’ve been doing so well up to this point.   I got passed by another athlete at 17K, but that would be it for the rest of the race.   Once we got back to the top of the hill on Canal road, it was a nice downhill to the 20K marker.   The last K of the race has a pretty tough climb back to Dearhurst, but this is where the crowds were.   Half-way up the hill, I just wanted to take a few quick walking steps to feel better, but the crowd wouldn’t have it.   They yelled for me to dig deep and fire up those quads as there was a runner about 30 meters behind me.  This definitely got me going.  Funny enough though, as I passed, I heard them yelling to that guy to dig in and go after me.   They just wanted to see a battle, but I wasn’t about to give them one.   Since I had no idea if the guy behind me was in AG or not, I just had to give it all I had for the final 600 meters.   So going as deep as I could, I rounded the transition zone and sprinted (all relative at this point) to the finish line to finish the run and the race with a new half iron PB of 4:56:26.

Although I was one of the finalists in the 7 Systems improve more contest, I would have had to do 4:40 in this race to improve upon my previous years time of 5:01.   I knew all along that was not really an option, so my real goal was to podium and take a spot for the Foster Grant 70.3 World Championship in Clearwater, Florida in November.   Mission Accomplished!!   Sweet!

AUGUST UPDATE

With less than a week to go I think I am on track and haven’t had any downtime in my training….thanks to using 7 SYSTEMS endurance sports supplement!

My only race in August was the Toronto Island Sprint Triathlon, which you can read about in my blog.   I’d say it was a success, despite having a poor swim in my opinion.

In the 3 other weekends available for training this month, I did the following:

August 8th – Biked 114K to a family cottage in Bayfield and followed that up with a 10K run.   The ride was almost entirely into a headwind or crosswind, so that was tough.   In addition, it was super humid and I got rained upon twice.  The 10K run was not fast!

August 22nd – Biked an 83K loop around New Hamburg and followed that up with two loops of 8K around town for a total of 16K worth of running.   Again, VERY humid day.   I took all the hydration I could on the ride (72oz of Infinite), and consumed another 48 oz running as I filled up both my Nathan Speed Belt 2 bottles after the first loop.   When it was all said and done, I lost 6 lbs all while consuming 120 oz of fluid.   Glad I wasn’t doing an Ironman, as I’m sure I would have bonked at some point!   I just find it hard to drink much more than I did!

August 28th/29th – I had planned on another long ride/run on Sunday, but after getting a quick training email from Jasper Blake (a bit of a benefit from being in this contest), I decided to mix it up this weekend.   So on the Saturday, I thought I’d see how quick I could just run 15K.   So, in the middle of the day in hot and humid weather again, I did a 15K run in 1:01:45.  This was a pretty hilly run in windy conditions, so I was pleased with the effort.   Garmin data available here.

In addition to the weekend stuff, I’ve still be getting to the New Hamburg pool 3x week, biking to work (58K round trip) 3x week and doing my Tuesday tempo run (~6K – 9K), and Thursday Intervals (usually 5 x 800m w 200m recovery).   If it works out, I’ll hit the gym for some weights/stretching/hot tub once or twice too!

This routine is similar to last year’s effort where I did 5:01 at the 2009 Muskoka 70.3, but this year, I’ve definitely stepped the swimming up a bit more and have done more mid week running.   I actually have a spreadsheet that has tracked every run I’ve done since 2004.   I’d share it with you, but it’s huge!   Here are some highlights of it though.

Due to more speed work, my average run speed has dropped 5 seconds per K.   This includes all the long runs training for the Around the Bay 30K and Ottawa Marathon this year.   In addition, I am on pace for about 150 runs in 2010, which is 20 more than last year.   Each year I am seeing improvements in training and racing (both running and triathlon) so this in encouraging.   At 37, I have to wonder how much more improvements are left.

I hope this final week prior to Muskoka goes well and that I can have a good race once again. 

JULY UPDATE

I’ve done 2 triathlons since starting on 7SYSTEMS. The first one was the Multisport Canada Belwood Sprint Triathlon (1K swim, 30K bike and 7K run) on July 18th. I had a good race and finished 2nd in my age group and 15th overall out of 400 athletes. Next up was the Muskoka Long Course Triathlon (2K swim, 55K bike and 13K run) on July 25th. This race is generally more competitive, so I actually wasn’t expecting to get on the podium in my age group. To my surprise, I once again had a solid race and managed to finish 4th in my age group and 27th overall in the race out of 350 athletes.

My training generally consists of the following on a weekly basis:

  • 3 swims per week in the pool (around 2500m per session) and if possible, one open water swim;
  • 2 mid week runs. One interval session and one tempo run;
  • 2 gym strength training sessions;
  • 3 bike rides to work. This is my primary bike training that I do. It is about 28.5K each way, so 57K round trip and 170K per week.
  • If I am not racing, I will look to do a long brick type of workout each weekend. A typical workout would be about a 70K ride and 16K run;
  • In addition, a lot of stretching and leg rolling is key to maintaining flexibility and working out any muscle tightness.

It is still early, but so far 7SYSTEMS endurance sports supplement has been working well. I am hoping that it will keep me healthy and injury free, as I continue to train for my goal race.

ABOUT LUKE

I’ve done this race in both 2008 and 2009 and I hope to use the 2010 race to qualify for the 70.3 World Championship down in Clearwater Florida in November.

Read more about Luke, who he is and more details about training and racing since starting to take 7SYSTEMS: http://mytriathlonandtrainingadventures.blogspot.com/


34 Comments

  1. deannaj Said

    I think this would be an amazing accomplishment. Go Luke

    June 9th, 2010 at 9:52 am

  2. jadekirby Said

    Good Luck Luke!! Xoxo

    June 9th, 2010 at 10:08 am

  3. ONCottageFinder Said

    Good luck Luke!  Huntsville, nice place for a 1/2 Ironman if you ask me!
    I’m sure you’ll do great!
    Chris Roth

    June 9th, 2010 at 10:12 am

  4. Zach Weston Said

    Luke rocks! I want to see him in Florida! Go Luke Go!

    June 9th, 2010 at 10:36 am

  5. Mirko Said

    Go Luke!!!

    June 11th, 2010 at 9:05 pm

  6. h28530 Said

    you got it!

    June 14th, 2010 at 10:13 am

  7. killerbcj Said

    Take us to Florida with you, please!

    June 14th, 2010 at 10:00 pm

  8. matt5252 Said

    Go Luke! I wish you the best.

    June 15th, 2010 at 2:04 pm

  9. jpack Said

    Luke….good luck with the training and race in Huntsville!!

    June 15th, 2010 at 9:18 pm

  10. akamu Said

    You’re the Best!

    June 18th, 2010 at 10:51 am

  11. blue_butterfly Said

    Good luck!!

    June 18th, 2010 at 10:51 am

  12. jbolland Said

    Good luck!

    June 18th, 2010 at 10:52 am

  13. phathuynh27 Said

    Luke, best of luck!!!

    June 18th, 2010 at 10:53 am

  14. rhaddad Said

    Luke, see you in Florida in November! All the best and good luck.

    June 18th, 2010 at 10:58 am

  15. philniles Said

    I dislike even DRIVING 70.3 miles…. good luck bud!

    June 18th, 2010 at 11:04 am

  16. imckeen Said

    Good lucky Luke!

    June 18th, 2010 at 11:53 am

  17. bgourley Said

    Go Luke

    June 18th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

  18. t-bone Said

    What do you want to do when you grow up?

    June 18th, 2010 at 9:03 pm

  19. jodibake Said

    Good luck, Luke!

    June 19th, 2010 at 8:33 am

  20. jsmith Said

    atta boi

    June 19th, 2010 at 12:41 pm

  21. Sharon Ehgoetz Said

    I wish you all the best. I know you’ll do great

    June 19th, 2010 at 2:32 pm

  22. triguy Said

    Rock it man….rock it!

    June 22nd, 2010 at 2:01 pm

  23. Theheff Said

    Go Luke go!

    June 25th, 2010 at 10:23 am

  24. njurkowski Said

    Hey Luke…I’ll be really original and wish you “good luck” as well!;)

    June 25th, 2010 at 1:29 pm

  25. matthew11 Said

    Good luck to you!
    You are an awesome brother!

    June 26th, 2010 at 10:02 am

  26. donnas Said

    Good luck Luke. You can do it!!

    June 26th, 2010 at 10:28 am

  27. jpethick Said

    Good luck Luke!

    June 28th, 2010 at 6:28 am

  28. jn77 Said

    Good luck Luke!! I feel silly complaining about being tired after a 5k now LOL

    June 28th, 2010 at 7:44 am

  29. zeph19 Said

    Charlene bradley (pye) says Good Luck!!

    June 28th, 2010 at 8:57 am

  30. val Said

    Hope that you reach your goal, Luke! All the best!
    Auntie Val

    June 29th, 2010 at 6:01 pm

  31. cge 37 Said

    GO MAN GO GOOD LUCK MAN

    June 29th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

  32. apilkey Said

    Good luck Luke!

    June 30th, 2010 at 9:09 am

  33. kmacbean Said

    Best of Luck! :-)

    June 30th, 2010 at 12:26 pm

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