Categories: Motivation Polar News

Reliving the race | Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga

September 19, 2017

The weekend of 8th and 9th September witnessed an epic battle over the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Champion title in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Special congrats to our very own Javier Gómez Noya for taking his second Ironman 70.3 World Title!

Many other familiar Polar faces were spotted on the podium and the leaderboard: Tim Don took third place, Sebastian Kienle finished fifth and Maurice Clavel sixth, while Emma Pallant brought in silver in the women’s race. We talked to the athletes about their race experience and asked for some tips for aspiring triathletes – read what they had to say.

Javier Gómez Noya

How would you describe the race at Ironman Chattanooga?

It was a tough, honest and challenging race course. I had a strategy for the race and I’m extremely happy that things went the way they were planned. It is very easy to say, but very hard to accomplish it.

Which of the three segments was your favorite?

The run course was probably my favorite one. I think the run is my main strength compared to the strongest bike riders. The hills on the course hurt a lot, but I think it suited me well.

Which segment was the most challenging this time?

As I mentioned before, the run course – it was one of the hardest I ever raced, and obviously, it is the last one of the three, and energy and power are lower as the race is drawing to a close. All this said, anything could have happened had I not got off the bike with the strongest cyclists – this was also very challenging for me.

Do you have any tips for those thinking of signing up for their first triathlon?

Enjoy the process – training for a goal and being fit is a very painful and enjoyable journey, and the race day is just the final reward. Be careful, triathlon can be very addictive!

How do you use your Polar V800 during your training?

I can’t imagine any of my running workouts without my Polar V800 on my wrist. The live heart rate and pace data helps me know my body thoroughly, and the data also helps my coach a lot in creating my weekly and monthly training program.

Emma Pallant

How would you describe the race at Ironman Chattanooga?

I was really happy with my race! We have been working really hard in training and made some good progressions, and to be able to execute that in the most important race of the season was really rewarding.

Which of the three segments was your favorite?

My favourite of the three segments is the run. I always feel more comfortable on land and I loved how tough this course was. The run is my strongest and I always think not a lot can go wrong in the run, its just down to you and your legs.

Which segment was the most challenging this time?

I think the swim was pretty challenging because I never quite know where I am. We had a current so I was pushing extra hard and wasn’t sure if I could keep the pace up until we turned back and had the current behind us. Then I realised my arms didn’t feel so bad after all!

Do you have any tips for those thinking of signing up for their first triathlon?

I think my biggest piece of advice would be to get guidance in the form of coaching or a group. It’s so easy to overdo things or not do the correct training, and that’s when you get ill and injured. When you first start out is the time to ingrain good habits, so with the right coaching the journey will be a lot more enjoyable, rewarding and can last as long as you want.

How do you use your Polar V800 during your training?

I use it a lot in the run for my average pace to make sure I don’t go out too hard in long runs and bring it home more quickly than I leave. I also will use it in the open water a lot so that we can mark out courses for hard sessions.

Tim Don

How would you describe the race at Ironman Chattanooga?

Just fantastic. I think Ironman did a great job – 2 days of rain with over 4500 of the world’s best age groupers and pros. The online live feed was awesome, and the City of Chattanooga did a phenomenal job. The volunteers and spectators were so full of energy and you could see the whole community got behind the event!

Which of the three segments was your favorite?

I loved the bike. It was a challenging course in some lovely countryside. It was a bot stop start, especially the last 30-40km as tactics came into play. Most of the main players were in the lead group and keeping their cards close to their chest. That was quite funny and you could see some of the guys loosing it at that point and getting frustrated.

Which segment was the most challenging this time?

I guess it was the run as you are already two and a half hours into a world championship race on a tough course, with some of the best athletes in the world going toe to toe. The run was quite challenging, and to be able to chase down some speedy runners you really needed to be in tip top shape both physically and mentally.

Do you have any tips for those thinking of signing up for their first triathlon?

Go for it! Try a shorter race first, maybe a sprint distance or Olympic distance. There are so many websites dedicated to helping out first time triathletes with anything, from equipment to training as well as race day tips. Also maybe see if there is a local club you go down to – I find them very friendly and encouraging. It really is a great sport!

 

Sebastian Kienle 

How would you describe the race at Ironman Chattanooga?

I would say it was a well championship worthy course. Lots of support from the community, and a very tough course. The swim had some drift from the river which made it really hard once you lose contact to a group. The bike course had a big climb at the beginning. I hoped that some bigger gaps would appear, but the depth of the field is just very high in world champs. The run is also hilly and it hurts a lot, especially after a bike course like this.

Which of the three segments was your favorite?

I was not at my A game at any of the three disciplines but all three segments where special, so it is hard to pick one. On a perfect day I would have loved to have a little gap going on the run – then I think this run course would have stayed on my mind for a long time…

Which segment was the most challenging this time?

The same here: they were all equally challenging. During the swim I really struggled to go in the red. It was just the same on the bike: I was able to hold a high pace, but as soon as I tried to go all in, to attack and make something happen, my body just did not respond. That is the most challenging part in our sport: not giving up even if it is not the day you would have loved to have.

Do you have any tips for those thinking of signing up for their first triathlon?

Make two goals, one short-term, sign up for the first race right away so that you put a date on your goal. Then one long-term, let’s call that a vision like qualifying for Kona one day. Join a club and train with others, don’t overdo it at the beginning. Get yourself a complete check-up from a sports medicine specialist. A device such as the Polar V800 could help to balance recovery and training. Learn to listen to your body!

How do you use your Polar V800 during your training?

In pretty much every training session. For shorter intervals on the run I use speed, for longer intervals I look more at the heart rate, especially when the course is not flat. The same on the bike: power for shorter stuff, heart rate for longer rides. Especially when training in hot weather heart rate is very important. I upload everything so that Lubos, my coach, has access to all the data.

Maurice Clavel 

How would you describe the race at Ironman Chattanooga?

The race was definitely a tough one. You have to be a very complete triathlete, especially on the bike and on the run course. Climbs, downhill, flat and hilly sections. Even on the run there is no flat section, so it’s very tough as well.

On the bike I pushed really hard to break away, but I couldn’t open up a gap in that big chase group. Towards the end of the bike course I felt my legs hurting as I had used a lot of energy. Once I had my running shoes on, I had a good feeling again. I really wanted to get that top 5 finish, so I gave my all.

In the end, I have to be happy with this 6th place as this is a race with a stacked field full of tough competitors. To come away with 6th after my 8th place at last year’s World Championship, I’m glad with the progress I made this year. It gives me motivation to take another step forward next season.

Which of the three segments was your favorite?

The easiest for me was the swim. But I love challenging bike courses and the speed you can get on the downhill. So I loved the bike the most!

Which segment was the most challenging this time?

I think the run was the most challenging for me on the day! I really put the hammer down on the bike. Such a great field and such an incredibly hard running course with a big altitude difference made it very challenging and tough.

Do you have any tips for those thinking of signing up for their first triathlon?

For someone doing a race for the first time, I would say never overpace at the beginning of the bike and the run! Do it your way, just try to be consistent!

How do you use your Polar V800 during your training?

Before such a important and challenging competition I train a lot with my Polar V800. It is very important to listen to your body and follow heart rate and pace, because you often go too hard, especially the days before the competition!