Race Coverage

"The Word is Gratitude"....

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Ironman 70.3 World Championship Race Recap - October 29th, 2022

By David Koppel

Some Background Context: In early August, I finished 2nd in my age group (M35-39) at USAT Olympic distance nationals. I lost to Brett Collins for the second year in a row. Brett is a nice guy, but he's taken two national championships from me and finished one spot in front of me at a 70.3 in June. It was a strong result, but I really didn't leave that weekend feeling fulfilled or motivated to train for the olympic distance. I knew it wasn't triathlon that was the issue, just that I wasn't as into the short course racing as I once was for maybe a couple reasons. 1. It's hard to find really competitive fields and big races in that distance. 2. The swim is a much bigger portion of the race, which leaves me chasing faster swimmers for the entire bike and run legs.

I had really enjoyed Steelhead 70.3 (half ironman) in late June and I did have 2 more 70.3's on the calendar in the next 2.5 months. The other thought I had that I couldn't quite shake was that I didn't know if I was getting everything I wanted out of my training to be the fastest possible triathlete on the time I had available. As in, I've coached myself for 6 years and certainly gotten faster each year, but was I getting ALL of the juice from the squeeze?! So many of my peers and guys beating me are coached athletes, and having never been coached, I started to wonder what I may be missing....

I gave it a day after Nationals, and then I reached out to a coach whom I had never met, but whom I knew had many successful athletes in the amateur and pro ranks. I set up a call mid-week with Andrew Yoder of Yoder Performance, and within 30 minutes it was such an obvious fit in personality type and training style. We got started a few days later and I haven't looked back since! The first month was spent doing some base work with limited speed work, as I was out of 70.3 shape and racing at Wisconsin 70.3 in 5 weeks. I wasn't in peak form at all for Wisconsin 70.3, but with a good racing plan in place, I PR'd my swim and my run, and had the most enjoyable run yet. I used to go out too fast and crash and burn, but on this run I held 6:15/mile from the start and still ended on Empty, but with a far better result. I was 10th overall and 3rd AG, and about 3 minutes slower than my PR for the distance but this course was slower than Steelhead. We began the build to the World Championship with 7 weeks to go. As the taper began, and the build ended, I was fitter than ever and really confident going into this race!   READ MORE

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