• Athlete Patricio Vasquez

IM 70.3 Punta del Este - URUGUAY

Its great when I get Race reports from my Coached Athletes and this one is a great one from one of my first IRONMAN Coaching sign-ups. Patricio who races for The Brain Team in Chile has been with me now for 2 years and is going from strength to strength. He has a busy Work and Family life and a Partner who herself is an elite Triathlete but we have found a way through all of that to create a Training plan that fits with this lifestyle and has kept Patricio fit and healthy and able to turn up to the Race ready to go! Here is his insider Race report where not only does Patricio demonstrate his great command of written English but also guts and determination to complete the Race. Hope you take from it as much as I did.

First of all I must say this is a great race to join. At least for me, traveling from Santiago to Punta del Este is fast, cheap and easy. This is a hot town in summer, but in April it is really relaxed and calm, so it’s easy to move, plenty of places to eat, safe to train, weather is just perfect for tri, and so on. Absolutely recommended for people living in nearby countries.

The race is pretty much flat and fast. Water is at about 20 degrees Celsius, not too salty because it’s in the middle between River Plate and Atlantic Ocean. In the morning there is little wind and water is calm, so expect a quick swim. Transition area is small and also well organized, and therefore fast. The bike is 2 laps, flat most part of the course with the exception of Punta Ballena which is a small climb in the middle of the course, that you have to pass 4 times in the race. Total climb about 450 meters. Roads are in excellent condition with the exception of the first 4 kms that you have to be careful. The run is just flat, by the sea, 2 loops. Aid stations are good too, so I really found no issues with the race at all. A date to save for future years.

With regards to my performance, I had great expectations on this race. When planning the year a few months ago I defined Punta del Este as one of my A races in 2018, so I trained hard and also lost about 6-7 kgs. My goal was to smash my PB by a lot!!! But we all know triathlon is a box full of surprises...

In the water I didn’t feel fast. I got disoriented after the first turn and lost the group I was swimming with, so for a big portion of the swim I was alone. On the way back I swam straight tough. I was out of the water in 37 minutes, which was a good surprise for me, but right when getting off the water I had a big muscle cramp in my left leg, which was strange because I shouldn’t be tired so early in the race. Between the beach and T1 there was a wooden ramp, and in the middle of it a couple of showers that were turned on. I thought it was a good idea washing my feet from sand so I used them, but right after that I slept off heavy on the ramp. It was painful but nothing that could put my race in danger I thought. I moved on.

After a fast T1, I started the bike, which as said before was flat and fast, with only Punta Ballena small climb 4 times in the course. I did a good bike, in 200 watts which should be around 80-85% of my FTP, and 135 bpm heart rate. Wind climbed through the bike leg, so my last 20 kms slowed down my average speed. Another fast transition and to the run. I started with good and controlled pace the first meters, but probably in the 1 km or so I started feeling pain in my left knee. A few hundred meters later I had to stop. The pain was immobilizing. I still had another 19 kms to go, so I though in retiring, but stretched a while, pain decreased and moved on. I had to stop another 5 or 6 times in the first 10 kms, always trying to realize if it was worth risking a bigger injury for that medal, but again and again pain decreased and I moved on. After the first of the two loops I was just jogging with pain but moving ahead, and in the last turn in the 15 km mark I took an Activator (caffeine) dose and for some reason pain decreased a lot. I realized if I was able to run faster I could beat the 5:20 mark, so I started running and although my knee was painful I was able to resist. I only did the last 5 kms at the pace I had planned for the whole run portion, but at least that’s something. I couldn’t beat the 5:20 mark by 15 seconds, but still broke my PB by a few minutes.

I felt disappointed that I mentally prepared so much for that run that I knew it was going to be tough, so not being able to do my best there was a big pity. But I have improved my fitness a lot, so I hope I can have the opportunity soon to take that fitness into results.

Huge thanks to Phil for his guidance and great coaching.



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