Raynard Tissink Triathlon Coach
Powered by Velocity Sports Lab

Di Mc Ewan: Race Report IMSA

News Index

Starting this race as one of the pre-race favourites made it a whole new, nerve wrecking but exciting experience. It was great to see how much media attention there is for this race. And of course there was the race within the race my battle and showdown with ‘The Master’ Lucie Zelenkova Reed.  I did my utmost best to not let it any of it get to me and focused on what I could control and how I raced my race.

I had many things going on before the event and changing coaches was one of them. It is never to do so close to an event but looking at the bigger picture of the season year ahead I decided to make to change. Luc has been and still is awesome but I wanted to start working with someone based in Cape Town, with whom I could have more interaction with and who I can start to work on the finer details. I made the decision to move across to Ray because he knows what it takes to be the best, is passionate about his new career and has started getting a training group/squad set up over here.

Joining him at last minute we both agreed that at this race we would not see any fireworks because of the change of training and load but it would be a great stepping stone to build from. But of course one does always hope ;)  This was the 5th time I would be lining up in PE and thus far I had managed to improve on my performance each year. I was hoping to at least continue with this trend and on a good day top my 4th place from last year. So getting onto the podium was a goal but I knew the field was stronger than last year.

For the first time in this race the pro’s had their own start 15 min ahead of the rest of the field. From the word go I found myself in a big swim pack, which was apparently the third group in the water. I stuck with them for the whole swim as the pace was perfect.  We caught the back of the age group field quite early on lap 2 already which cause a little bit of un settling amongst us.  I came out of the water in 57:51 around 7th place with a few pro girls in our group.

Jumping on the bike my legs were just not there, they were sore and just pedalling was an effort.  I race and train with power and normally in these events this is a good thing to help you hold back and not push too many watts over the first lap or so. But not on Sunday. I was struggling to even get to the numbers that I wanted to hold. I had to fight every pedal stroke and really and truly wanted to throw in the towel and call it a bad day in the office. I went through the first lap in 1:45 and knew that I would be losing time on the top few girls. This race was not going to be my race. But I sucked it up and fought on. I managed to have even splits each lap and felt the most comfortable on lap 3 of the bike. I also managed to overtake Michelle Bremer who had flown past me up the climb on lap one and then blew badly. Just goes to show again how important pacing is. I found myself yo-yoing with a Spanish rider. She too would be flat out up the hill, gap me and by the time we hit the coastal road I had closed the gap and she would sit my wheel back to the climb. This happened each lap but by lap three I caught her even sooner and she could sit my wheel no longer.  I jumped off the bike in 6th place with a bike time of 5:16.

Big Thanks to Felt Bicycles for coming on board and providing me with incredible DA3 and Reynolds Aero 72 wheel set to race on. I am looking forward to the next race where I plan to do it some justice!

For those interested in statistics, you can view my Quark power file on:
Training Peaks (http://www.trainingpeaks.com/av/2Y3ITK6RG4HPAXAW4LE7MZWMAU)
Strava (http://www.strava.com/activities/49228614).

Luckily run legs don’t often equal bike legs and even after that effort and fighting through the 180km, I jumped off the bike feeling somewhat better. I had been looking forward to putting on my Pure Cadence running shoes to get rid of the discomfort I was experiencing. As Brooks running slogan goes… Run Happy. I tend to always do just that. My pace out of the blocks was good and what I was hoping for.  I held it pretty steadily most of the run. I had run my way into 5th place after one/two ladies ahead of me had fallen apart. I was about 10min behind 4th and 6th was about 10min behind me, so on the final lap I knew that all I needed was to keep running and get to the finish. My run time was 3:18:57 and second fastest female run of the day.

My Suunto Ambit run file can viewed on:
Training Peaks (http://www.trainingpeaks.com/av/YWHKJNSTUQ2LULN6XHR2D66P5A) 
 Strava (http://app.strava.com/activities/49228116) .

All in all, I was that little bit out of the mix and the ‘race’ but I am not disappointed with how I raced and pushed through. Fifth is still a credible result in the top class field that we had and I was proud to still give South Africa a representation at the post race press conference.

My nutrition worked out perfectly. I had a single bottle Barre Body Nutrition Dojo with 1500 calories in which sipped slowly on the bike course along with water and GU Brew according to taste. On the run GU gels and coke powered me through. I had no moments of light headedness and weakness caused by a drop in sugar levels and the only aches and pains felt were muscular.

After the race I began to slowly lose my voice and by the Tuesday it was pretty much gone. A visit to the doc and I was promptly put on a course of antibiotics to treat Laryngitis. It worked out perfectly timing wise for a week off. Now it’s time to ease back into training and continue to build toward my next goal race – Ironman Austria.

Thanks again to everyone involved in making all of this possible;

The team at Takeda - They are my primary sponsors and the company responsible for bringing us quality products such as Reparil, Ferrimed, Emvit and Piz Buin.

Felt, Compressport, Brooks, Casco, Reynolds, Orca - My equipment and apparel of choice.

Andy Gowans of Barre Body Nutrition - For great products and personalised nutritional advice.

Ray and Natalie Tissink - This is only a start of I am sure of many more performances to come. I have enjoyed the past two months working with them and excited to get back at it
Annah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017

After a great first year racing in the professional category in 2016, I was amped for the 2017 season. Feeling stronger and fitter and more in the "right head space" - I had done some great training over December spending many many many (and many more) hours on the bike - I loved it. My swim was starting to click, I was starting to understand the phrase "feel the water", and my running was strong

READ ONAnnah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017
Visit my YouTube channel
Visit my YouTube channel for videos...