Jonathon Puchalski - 70.3 New Orleans

On the road to Ironman Lake Placid

Jonathon came to LifeSport last fall with the goal of becoming an Ironman.  A few years ago at Ironman Lake Placid he was pulled from the course for not making one of the time checks.  Like many triathletes, he has a very busy life; being a doctor at Yale-New Haven hospital and spending weekends with his kids.  Therefore he wakes up at 4am to get in his training sessions.

Jonathon enthusiastically followed the program set up for him by LifeSport coach Jeremy Howard throughout the winter of 2014-15 � not an easy one by any means, living in the storm-battered Northeast US.  With no warm weather races on the schedule throughout the winter he logged the time on the treadmill, trainer and in the pool. 

In the summer of 2014 he had completed a half distance race in a time of 9:10.  Last week we flew south to tackle 70.3 New Orleans.  While the course was significantly flatter than the one he did in Connecticut last summer, he had a number of other obstacles to overcome � It was the first race he was travelling to by air, so the logistics of boxing his bike and flying to the race venue were new.  It was also his first taste of above freezing temperatures for 2015.

He arrived on Thursday, with what we thought was enough time to get him acclimatized in the open water a few times.  This was not to be, as the weather didn't cooperate and Lake Pontchartrain was closed to swimmers in the days leading up to the event.  But on race day he overcame his pre-swim anxiety and used a slightly shortened course to post a swim PR by nearly 30 minutes (just under 34 minutes).  He felt great heading out on the bike, after putting in solid race specific workouts on the trainer during the winter months, and found himself well under goal pace.  It was here in the excitement of the moment that he made the tactical decision to push and somewhat neglected nutritional intake.  As a result he started to feel some extra fatigue in the final miles.  However, he obliterated his bike PR by almost 2 hrs, turning in a 2:40 split for the 56 miles. 

Before heading out on the run he made the wise decision to spend some extra time in transition and get in the necessary calories to get through the final leg.  Nine months earlier he had finished the half distance race with a 3:14 run split � on Sunday he started off at the same pace, feeling slightly fatigued from his exuberant effort on the bike.  But as the miles ticked off he started to feel better � he moved from 14:40 pace in the first 5K, to 14:10 pace, to 13:44 pace and kicked in the last 4 miles at 12:44 pace, to complete the day with a 3:01 half marathon, with an overall time of 6:28!

Next race is a final tune up in June at 70.3 Syracuse, then back to Lake Placid at the end of July to finish what he started a few years ago. 

LifeSport Coach Jeremy Howard enjoys coaching athletes of all skill levels, in any community around the world.  Contact Jeremy to tackle your first triathlon or to perform at a higher level. Find more tips on @LifeSportCoach.

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