IRONMAN Lake Placid Swim, Bike and Run Breakdown Strategy


With all my swim training this past months. I have clearly increased my endurance swims, but speed seems to be slightly better than last year. So the strategy plain and simple is to enjoy the swim, stay in a comfortable zone and stay safe. No heroics here.


Wetsuit off, Bike gear  on. Get out of there.

Bike Elevation

1. Approximately 4 mile downhill from mile 10 – 14. In training I did 40 mph on some parts.

2. Reasonably flat from mile 14 – 35. Keep cadence between 90 – 95 rpm.

3. Payback hills from mile 35 to end of first loop – mile 56.

4. There are some recovery spots along the way from mile 35. Patience with the “three bear” climbs.

5. If you feel great go for it on the second loop.


Definitely wearing socks here. Still not sure if I will go with compression or regular. I may have both in transition and wear according to how my legs feels. Newtons on lace up and get out of there for the Lake Placid marathon.

Run Elevation 

1. First 8 miles of the run can be very fast. Patience is a MUST.

2. 5 miles back into town for the first loop is hilly. Just maintain on the first loop.

3. Feel free to make use of the 9 months of training on the final 5 miles of the marathon leg.


  1. So excited for you with your first full IM! It’s such an incredible experience! Crossing the finish line in Lake Placid last year was the BEST DAY OF MY LIFE.

    You have a smart plan here, so I don’t have much to add. Just some things you may want to think about.

    Have you given thought to where you will position yourself at the start of the swim? That’s key to an enjoyable experience given the sh!tstorm that is the first loop of the Lake Placid swim. I swam a 1:26, and started all the way over on the right bank, and then waited 3 minutes before starting to swim. then, I never moved over, so I didn’t get any draft advantage. While I didn’t get bumped or kicked, I also didn’t get any draft advantage. I was a bit toooo timid. This year, I’ll still be starting on the right bank, but I’m going to start swimming as soon as the gun goes off this year, and I’ll move into the fray a little bit sooner.

    I recommend taking advantage of the wetsuit strippers. My suit was off in like 3 seconds 🙂 Just make sure to pull the top part down, it makes it easier for them.

    Very smart to take the first loop cautiously. As you know, the second time around those rollers in the second half can really kick your butt. In addition to patience with the bears, I also recommend patience with that hill when you first turn up 86 (after the out and back on 9). This hill goes on for about 2-3 miles, and I think it’s really the hardest of the entire course. Steady, steady, steady.

    another smart run strategy. the big mistake I made last year was running like a jacka$$ out of T2. With the spectators, and the downhill, it’s easy to blow yourself up. I really paid for it on the second loop. while I was able to continue running, i was way off my goal pace. Patience is a major virtue. Run slower than you think you should for the first mile or so.

    Ideally, you want to keep a nice steady burn all day. If you train with HR monitor, you are looking for about 75% of your max, or what is typically identified as Zone 2 (if you are using Friel zones). If you don’t use an HR monitor, than on a scale of 1 to 10, you are looking for a rate of perceived exertion of 7-8. Don’t blow the pooch! Keep that excitement in check–focus it and use it judiciously, smile, enjoy the spectators, and you will have a great, great day!

    Good luck – have fun – I can’t wait to meet you! Please DM me and we’ll tweet-up!! I’ll have my cell w/ me whole time.

  2. Maria thanks so much for the wonderful feedback. I will surely keep all you have said in mind as I go through this epic journey in Lake Placid on Sunday. I listened to the Endurance Nation podcast and they said no matter where you place yourself at the swim start it will be chaos. So I’ll try to do as you this year and go to the right but surely start with the crowd. They also said it clears up a bit on the second loop. So much to think about. Its best to visualize it and hope the race Gods are on our side on Sunday. Looking forward to meeting you as well. Awesome luck out there your second time around. I’ll DM you my info.

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