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Tips for Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant from a pro

Here are some last minute tips from local professional triathlete, Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches. What should I be doing before race day? How do I prepare for the swim? What about the hills on the bike? How do I finish strong?

Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant is this weekend on Sunday, June 23rd. For those of you racing, by now you’re well into your taper and likely on route to Mont-Tremblant, but here are some last minute tips from a local professional triathlete, Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches.

Antoine Desroches at Ironman Mont-Tremblant 2018.

TMC: With the race coming up in a few days, what are some tips you can offer the triathletes as they prepare for Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant?

AD: In the days leading up to the race, it is essential to make sure you’re staying on top of your nutrition. Be drinking lots, and not just water, but water with some electrolyte mix. Potassium is an electrolyte often overlooked. In the days before a race, I like to eat a lot of bananas. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium.

In the days before the race, don’t do too much. At Mont Tremblant, it is easy to get caught up in the moment and do a lot of walking around the village. Try to save your legs as much as you can. Take the time to make sure your equipment is all set up and ready for race day. This preparation beforehand relives a lotĀ of stress and conserves energy.

Antoine Desroches exiting the swim at Ironman Mont-Tremblant. Photo: Jerome Bergeron.

TMC: For the swim what are some tips you can offer for those who have not done Mont Tremblant before?

AD: At the very least take the time to check out the race site. Things you want to be thinking about are: 1) Where do you enter and exit the course? 2) How many steps do you have until diving into the water? 3) Is there a ramp or steps out of the water? Knowing these little details beforehand will help you on race day.

At Mont Tremblant, the lake can be choppy or flat depending on the weather. So check the weather beforehand, and be mentally prepared those possibilities. If you can, get in a swim before the race. Also, Mont Tremblant is one of the few events that offer a warm-up swim for age groupers. Take this time to get warm and adjusted to the water temperature.

Antoine Desroches. Photo: Talbot Cox

TMC: On the bike, there are many climbs on the course. What is your advice on how to tackle the terrain?

AD: Take it easy on 117 at the beginning of the ride. Every year, except for maybe last year, I have gone out way too hard. It’s easy to go to hard at the beginning of the 117, don’t do it. It’s better to build throughout the race, instead of going too deep, too early and bonking. Remember we have to run a half marathon after.

Have a nutrition plan for the entire race, and stick to it. Be drinking and eating throughout the bike, every 15-20 minutes you want to be putting something in your body. You will be thankful you did. Some people have a timer on their watch to remind them.

Also, pour water on your head and neck, this keeps your head cool. If your head gets hot, it’s going to tell the rest of your body it’s too hot.

In the beginning, you may feel great, but build throughout and stay on top of your nutrition.

Antoine Desroches finished fourth overall at Ironman Mont-Tremblant 2018.

TMC: How do you come home strong?

AD: The run has very little shade on a sunny day, keep cool with sponges and water at the aid stations. The first part has some hills, so pace yourself, you can make up the time in the second half. If you go too hard and accumulate too much lactate, the last part will be a struggle.

The run can be pretty lonely and boring, be prepared for this; I like to have a song or mantra in my head to help me push through. It’s those last 5 kilometres that are the hardest when you’re at your breaking point. You need to remind yourself of all those hard training sessions that you’ve put in; you can do this.

TMC: Closing thoughts?

AD: Enjoy it. I love racing in Tremblant; the vide is electric, it’s one of the reasons I keep coming back.