Graeme - IM Tallin (70.3)

IM Tallin (70.3) – Race Report

1900m Swim - 90KM Bike - 21Km Run

Tallin is my first IM branded event at this distance all the others I have done being independent races in the UK.

This is a relatively short report, I mainly wanted to reflect on some learning points that may be helpful to others.

Originally, I planned to race the full distance here but due to covid and a deferred entry to Copenhagen two weeks later I dropped down to the half hoping it would be an ideal time & distance as a sharpener for my A race (Copenhagen)

Having raced Lakesman 6 weeks earlier and completed in 13h: 23m: 42s I set a target for myself of under 6hrs for the 70.3 which seemed reasonable and which in the end I missed by around 5 minutes.

I should have been well under 6hrs, but not surprisingly my recent complacency around training and racing was my undoing.  Let’s just say I learnt some new lessons, re-learned some of the things that I already know and did some things that I know not to do.

  1.  I hired a bike with a rudimentary bike fit, rode it for about 5 minutes, made some small adjustments (It felt ok) then racked it. During the race it quickly became apparent that the cockpit of the Planet X Exocet was far too aggressive (narrow) for me, and this made staying aero on the bike quite uncomfortable, so I lost time here.
  2. I forgot my bike bottles and foolishly decided to rely on my ability to race fasted and just pick up water and nutrition at the first feed station which was at 30K, 1.5hrs into the race.  This is where things started to go wrong, I had begun to become dehydrated by the time I got to the feed station and it’s almost impossible to get back from there.
  3. It was a warm day (21deg) and I forgot my “salt stix” again I decided to ignore this, added to taking no fluids for 90mins this was not going to end well.
  4. I forgot to pack my usual UCAN super-starch race fuel and decided to just rely on the stuff provided, the gels on the bike and run were provided by Maurten and I had never used them and they were a bit yuck.

I had a good swim of just over 32minutes, I would normally be out in under 30minutes but the first 900m were into wind and “chop”, so I lost a little time to that, I also swam 1950m rather than 1900.

Given the hire bike and poor hydration/nutrition I did ok on the bike entering T2 in 3h:09m, had I been on my own bike and got the nutrition right I think this course could be very fast!

When I started the run, I couldn’t keep my heart rate down and decided to walk a little to try and control this, unfortunately it took me most of the first lap to work out that I was de-hydrated and needed salt.  Once I sorted this with the salty snacks in a few feed stations I started to feel much better and managed to run the second lap faster than the first, ending my day with a 2:16 half marathon.

The things I got wrong here were all within my ability to control and I didn’t, I am lucky I finished this one!

IM 70.3 Tallin (06:05:04)