All the latest from Team SportPursuit Ironman athlete Graeme Buscke, as he prepares to take on the Ironman Bolton:
31st July 2013 – 3 Days Remaining
24 hours out from the gun going off is normally when I’m at my most relaxed. I can’t do anymore beneficial training. I would’ve registered. I would’ve tagged and put all my gear into check-in bags and I would’ve played out in my mind how I want the race to go. The only thing to do during this period is a quick & sharp 20min swim, 30min bike and 3km tempo run. This is to wake the arms & legs up in preparation for what they will encounter the next day.
Once this is complete I try to get out of the hustle and bustle of it all and relax back at home. There I prepare (normally with friends) a carb rice meal early in the evening to give more time to digest. I head off to bed around 9/10pm with a plan to set the alarm for 2am to wake and drink a food supplement drink to top up the calorie intake. Depending on how far I am from the swim-start I normally wake again around 4/5am to a big bowl of porridge oats already on the element ready to be turned on.
I don’t hype myself up before the race start. I like to stay as calm and relaxed as possible to conserve my energy. I like to get into transition early before the pressure of the other competitors wear off on me. Even before the gun going off while floating in the water I try and keep focused until the 1 minute-to-go warning. Once I get this notice I certainly change! This is as close as I’ll get to going to war so I treat it as such 🙂
24th July 2013 – 10 Days Remaining
Well Challenge Roth didn’t quite go to plan! Long story short I made a very still mistake in the heat of the finishing stages of the 180km bike leg. After the two loop bike course there is a turn off for T2 around the 170km mark. Guess who missed this turn?
Yep, thats right. I rode past it and when I realised what I had done I stopped and asked someone where the finish of the bike leg was. I was told with eminence encouragement to carry on straight ahead to the finish and that I was doing great. I was in two minds about this but decided to trust this cheery pint bearing chap and carried on.
190km later and starting the same climbs for the third time, I knew my day was over. It was over because the goal of Challenge Roth was to bank a fast time. When I had lost 40min there was no point in destroying the legs running the marathon to finish with an average time. It was a decision I had already made before the race so I wasn’t too upset, just embarrassed by my sense of direction!
Drawing positives it was a great training day for IMUK. I did 57min in the swim which I was happy with considering hardly any training. I also went through the 180km mark on my Garmin in 4:52 which was the fastest I had done that distance in. With the legs feeling good when I finally dismounted it was a shame not to see what I was capable of that day. Another positive was I got to jog around parts of the run course to support all my friends that were also competing.
I’ve already booked my place for Roth next year so I can redeem myself!
9th July 2013 – 25 Days Remaining
The French Alps training camps have finally concluded. I packed up the van 3 days ago and set the satnav for Roth. I wanted to get here early to check out the course and be around all the hype of the famous Challenge Roth I’d heard so much about. In my haste I’d wished I had spent more time plugging in the correct address to avoid the detour via Roth, France!!!
I quickly met up with my training partner Darren Jenkins and we set about checking out the bike course. Although rolling most of the ride it seems to be a beautiful course and feels quick! We have also been in the lake twice and about to stretch the legs out on another interval run. Only 5 days out from race day so things are starting to get real! After a disappointing result at Ironman South Africa in April I’m hoping to avoid any hamstring issues this time on the run. This does however mean removing my beloved 42/55 chainset to the standard 39/53 which I’m having trouble dealing with! I’m racing with a lot of the guys from the ITU Long Course camps from last month so this should provide plenty of encouragement.
29th June 2013 – 35 Days Remaining
My training in the French Alps is coming to a close. I’ve had another awesome week tackling a lot of new and old climbs. This week I’ve battled up La Grand Colombier, Mont Revard, Col du Chat & Mont du Chat, Alpe D’Huez and Croix de Fer. Other than the highlight of being blessed to experience these mountains, I’ve seen improvement in my climbing times. I knocked 5min off climbing my good friend Colombier bringing it down to 65min. I’ve finished my forth and final attempt at the famous Alp D’Huez reaching the TT finish in 49:38 (almost 10min off my first attempt). With over 2500km complete in the last few weeks it might be time to find where I put my running shoes and swim goggles!
15th June 2013 – 49 Days Remaining
I’ve been blessed with great weather here in the French Alps. Some amazing riding with over 600km cycling, 70km running and (only) 4km in the lakes over the last 7 days. Another action packed week planned with much the same. A few creaks in the knees but no major problems. Off to tackle Mont du Chat this afternoon which has the reputation of the hardest climb in France.
12th June 2013 – 52 Days Remaining
I’m currently having a coffee on the terrace of our hotel at the top of Alp d’Huez. One of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen! Yesterdays climb was stunning and a massive tick off my bucket list. Over the last 7 days we have climbed 9 Col’s with a couple more to tick off before we arrive back to our chalet this afternoon. The French Alps is the perfect place to be training for Bolton. I’ll be based here for the next three weeks so more updates to follow 🙂