What is the Temperature Like on Race Day?
Temps for Ironman Lake Placid are highly variable, as it's nestled in the mountains. Past years have seen lots of rain and colder temps, so it's best to pack everything just in case. In general the first hour of your day on the bike will be cool, then warming up as your race progresses. Athletes should put some warmer clothing into their special needs bags on the run just in case.
What's Your Top Swim Tip?
The swim start will be tough simply because it's so crowded. And with the cable underwater, everyone has an easy target with no real "secret" advantage to lining up on an angle. If you're looking for a solid time, get into the mix and seed yourself about two minutes faster than your expected time. If you want to avoid the scrum as much as possible, just hang to the back by the beach and give everyone else a slight head start.
What's the Biggest Mistake I Could Make?
The two biggest mistakes we see on the Lake Placid course are both related to overconfidence. On the bike, folks will simply hammer the first few climbs out of town en route to the descent, spending the first 30 to 45 minutes of their race riding too hot; then they're done. Avoid this by using your power meter, heart rate monitor or the pressure on the bottom of your feet as guide for not working too hard.
On the run, athletes leaving transition and running downhill through the hyped crowds often thinking they are putting time into the bank. There is no such “bank” for the IM run and your deposit will not only not be honored; it will cost you heavily in the last few miles of your marathon.
More: The Most Common Race-Day Mistake
How Can I Nail the IMUSA Bike?
The Lake Placid course rewards patience and discipline. We recommend that athletes keep it in their "easy" gear through mile 35, or the end of the out and back. With your focus then on a great 77-mile ride, you can do your best to stay smooth and consistent up the rolling hills into town. Bonus points for having the patience and discipline to make the last hour of your ride back into town the strongest of your day.
How Can I Nail the IMUSA Run?
Run very easy for the first six miles, especially downhill. Fight the urge your legs have to fly and focus instead on nutrition and conserving energy. Once you make the turn on River Road, you have a net uphill return to town, including two very steep hills. Focus on running a solid middle 20k/13.1 miles, then you can sort out the rest once you have under 10k to go.
More: 4 Keys to Ironman Execution
Search for a long-distance triathlon.