Master this weekend’s Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant with tips from the best in the field. Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches is regularly the first man out of the water and knows the swim course extremely well. Lionel Sanders has clocked blistering fast bike splits on Mont-Tremblant’s hills the past few years and super-runner Cody Beals is equally as familiar with the run course and has tips to help you run your best.
Swim course – Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches
“The race has a beach start in a calm and usually wetsuit-legal lake (usually 65F/18C). Before the race, I suggest taking an easy swim in the lake and practicing a few starts and exits (you don’t exit exactly at the same place that you started) in order to know after how many steps in the water you need until you can start swimming and when you should start running when you exit the water.
The transition is about 300m from the swim exit, but depending where your bike is racked you may have to run even further. Therefore, I personally prefer to remove my wetsuit as soon as I get out of the water so that I can run with my wetsuit in my hands. It helps to run faster and you’ll spend less energy because it’s much easier to run without a wetsuit on.”
Bike course — Lionel Sanders
“The best piece of advice I could give is to not do anything on race day that you haven’t already been doing in practice. The beginning stages of the ride are quite hilly, and it is easier to push big power up a hill. Of course, you can allow for a little more power going up those hills, but not anything significantly larger than you have trained to do. If you still feel really good on the final climb, then you can take the leash off a bit more, but I would still err on the side of caution… your run legs will thank you. I don’t know if I have ever heard of someone biking too easy, especially not on a hilly course like Mont Tremblant. On the other hand, countless performances have been ruined due to over-biking.”
Run course — Cody Beals
“Be prepared for a range of conditions. Over the past few years, the weather in Mont Tremblant on race day has ranged from cool and rainy to hot and sunny. Regardless of the weather forecast, bring gear for all conditions and adjust your pacing and fuelling plans accordingly.
Get ready to focus. The majority of the run course follows “Le P’tit Train du Nord”, a paved trail which was once a railway. The trail is scenic, but flat and unvarying, making it easy to space out, lose focus and slip off your goal pace. Come prepared with a soundtrack, mantra or visualization to repeat to yourself to remain engaged and on track.
Save something for the finish! The last kilometre features a sharp climb to the top of the village followed by a quick descent to the finish line. Many athletes struggle here, so it’s a great opportunity to make up ground.”