Six weeks after the win, Beals has had time to recover and is ready for IRONMAN Chattanooga on September 30th. After a season full of 70.3 wins (Taiwan, Victoria and Eagleman) and a memorable first Ironman, Beals got the itch to do one more Ironman to close out his season.
Heading into the race this weekend, Beals took the time to share his thoughts on 2018, his Ironman debut victory and IRONMAN Chattanooga.
TMC: Following your big win in Mont Tremblant, what have you been up to?
CB: I’ve been riding a wave of positive energy after Mont Tremblant. I recovered well and found some of my best fitness within a couple weeks of the race. With just six weeks between IRONMAN Mont Tremblant and Chattanooga, I’ve been focusing on recovering and maintaining fitness, not putting in a huge training block.
Related: Cody Beals wins in IRONMAN debut
TMC: Why Chattanooga after Mont-Tremblant?
CB: The timing of Chattanooga was perfect for me. I’ve learned that I retain fitness very well with relatively light training towards the end of the season. Six weeks is plenty of time to recover, but not so long that I risk losing much fitness without continued hard training. Another factor was the outstanding IRONMAN Now Facebook live coverage. Both Tremblant and Chattanooga are among select events with outstanding live coverage and commentary. The response from fans and sponsors from my exposure at Mont Tremblant underscored how valuable this coverage can be.
TMC: And why another Ironman and not a few halves?
CB: My plan all along was to wait until after Tremblant before laying plans for the fall. I considered the option of another Ironman or a few 70.3 races. After Tremblant, I swore that I wouldn’t race another Ironman anytime soon, but the memory of the trauma soon faded and I was left with only positive memories of the experience. I’m eager to translate the fitness I showed in Tremblant into another big performance to cap off the season.
TMC: How do you approach a race that you expect to challenge for the win?
CB: Coming off my Tremblant win and three other 70.3 wins in 2018, it’s certainly a shift to be viewed as a race favourite. In the past, I’ve often benefited from flying under the radar to some extent, which is definitely lower pressure. I’m also no stranger to the burden of expectation, having won Eagleman for the third time in June. I’m at my best when I’m focused on my process and present mental state, not getting hung up on outcomes.
TMC: The field this weekend doesn’t have the big names as Mont-Tremblant (or the Canadian connection). Who are you keeping an eye on this Sunday?
CB: The start list in Chattanooga may be less top heavy than Tremblant, but I think there’s greater depth. I don’t obsess over start lists, especially late in the season when many athletes won’t even make it to the start line and others will be tired, injured or unfocused. That said, my list of podium contenders includes the ever consistent Matt Russell, “Smokin’” Joe Gambles, previous winner Kirill Kotsegarov, the German Stefan Schmid, and recent IM Wales Champ Matt Trautman. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Chris McDonald, Adam Otstot, Stephen Kilshaw, Michael Patrick Alonso Mckernan and Patrick Mckeon in the mix.
TMC: Are there any objectives you’re looking to hit during the race?
CB: We just learned that the swim will be cancelled due to heavy rains, high currents and flooding. Parts of the run course are still underwater. I’m awaiting more information on the revised race format. With that in mind, I’m eager ride under Marino Vanhoenacker’s bike course record of 4:27. I’d also be thrilled to run sub-2:50, which I believe has only ever been done by my friend Matt Hanson when he won in 2014.
TMC: What does a great day in Chattanooga on September 30th look like for you?
CB: My goal in Chattanooga is the same as Mont-Tremblant: I want to win in style!