IRONMAN Lake Placid Course Overview April 02, 2019 02:17 Not a Member yet? $25/month Get Purple Patch Education Membership, A complete performance education program for coaches and athletes. SUBSCRIBE You need to sign in to view this page. IRONMAN LAKE PLACID OVERVIEW This is an iconic event and a wonderful race. If cycling is your strength then this is a great opportunity to use it, from terrain management and opportunity to carry speed. The terrain is dramatic, but it is still possible to manage the terrain well and go quite fast. A great course due to it being deserving of respect but not one to be feared. Don't let the location bypass you, with the history of the Olympic Games and the immersive welcome you will get from the whole town. You are bound to have a wonderful few days in such a historic location. Be prepared for every condition here. You can get a perfect day, be stuck with some heat, or equally experience rain throughout. It is the mountains, so arrive at the race site with every condition in mind. Pack your sunscreen in equal measure with your arm warmers and gloves. WeatherThe average temperature on race day is 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Course Cut-Off TimesSWIM 2 hours and 20 minutes Athletes who take longer than 2:20 to complete the 2.4-mile swim will receive a DNF BIKE Athletes have a total of 10 hours and 30 minutes to complete the swim and the bike (regardless of when they start the swim). NOTE: Any athlete who takes longer than 10 hours and 30 minutes to complete the swim and bike course will receive a DNF. 5:30 PM at T2 Additional Bike Cut-Offs 1:30 PM at the start of the second lap (behind Lake Placid High School - bike out) 5:00 PM at Bike Aid Station #5 (Wilmington) RUN 17 hours after the last athlete enters the water via the rolling start Additional Run Cut-Off 9:00 PM - At the start of the second lap (Mile 13) FINISH LINE Each athlete will have 17 hours to complete the race. Any athlete who takes longer than 17 hours to complete the race will receive a DNF. Pre-Race Check-In and Race Day InfoATHLETE CHECK-IN Location: Conference Center ABC Thursday, July 19: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Friday, July 20: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM NO ATHLETE CHECK-IN ON SATURDAY OR RACE DAY MANDATORY ATHLETE BRIEFING Location: Oval/Transition Thursday, July 19: 11:00 AM. and 2:00 PM Friday, July 20: 11:00 AM. and 3:00 PM Saturday, July 21: 11:00 AM. and 2:00 PM MANDATORY BIKE AND OPTIONAL RUN GEAR CHECK-IN Location: Oval/Transition Saturday, July 22: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM RACE DAY: SUNDAY, JULY 22 4:30 AM - 6:00 AM: Transition open and body marking at Oval/Transition 4:30 AM - 6:00 AM: Drop special needs bikes and run bags at Cummins Road adjacent to the Olympic Center (bike), Stone Wall Mirror Lake Dr. (Run) 6:00 AM - 6:30 AM: Warm-Up Swim at Mirror Lake 6:25 AM: Official Pro Race Start 6:40 AM: Age Group Start Bike Tire Tip With the large temperature swings of hot heat during the day and very cool evenings, it is worth removing some of your air in your tires when you rack your bike the night before the race. On race morning, go back and pump your tires to race pressure. This will reduce the risk of pressure-related blowouts when the bike is racked the day prior. Pre Race Tip: Don't Forget To Warm Up View Profile Matt Dixon One of the biggest mistakes I see is a lack of a warm-up prior to the swim. At any distance, a lack of warm-up is a performance inhibitor. In order to get in a proper warm up, make sure to arrive at the transition area with lots of time to spare. Set up transition: arrive with lots of time to spare. Running warm-up: 10-15 minutes of very easy jogging. When you return, have a little fuel and hydration. Check transition and put on the wetsuit: final preps, kiss your family, friends, dogs, and teammates. Swim warm-up: check the course buoys one more time then go: 3-5 min easy swimming 30 sec moderate 30 sec smooth 20 sec strong 30 sec smooth 10 sec V strong 30 sec smooth 20 sec strong 30 sec smooth 30 sec moderate Can go through twice if you wish! Ready to race. SwimLength: 2.4 miles / 3.86 km (two laps clockwise) Conditions/Terrain Water Type: LakeWater Temperature: The average water temperature on race day ranges from the high 60's to the low 70's degrees Fahrenheit. Wet suit legal. Start Info Self-seeded rolling start (based on your individual swim time) OverviewThe two loop swim takes place in Mirror Lake, a calm, pristine lake right in the heart of Lake Placid. It's an excellent spectator course. All athletes will have access to a dedicated warm-up area in the water located adjacent to the swim start. Each athlete will exit the water and run on the beach before entering swim entrance for the second lap of the swim. Yes, it's true! There is a rowing cable at the bottom which is easy to see in this pristine water. If you keep your eyes on it, you'll swim straight and on the course. There is no significant difference if you are over the line or 50 feet away from it. It is almost impossible to go off course here. Keep the swim buoys to your right. Gear TipsThere can sometimes be sun in your eyes during the back-half of the swim. Clear goggles are the way to go if in an early seed, but you might want tinted if you're in one of the later seeds. Water temps at Lake Placid can hover around the wetsuit cut-off temp. Be prepared and bring both your wetsuit and speed suit. Drafting Tip For most amateurs, drafting is over-rated, as the person you are following is likely poor at sighting. Focus on your output, swimming straight, then tuck into a nice draft IF there is an opportunity. Swim Tips View Profile Matt Dixon Try to get in prior to the start and get truly warmed up, it will pay off in dividends (see warm-up above) With this, the swim can be narrow to begin, so choose a side to line up on. It won't be hard to find the cable underwater to help for navigation but continue to maintain frequent sighting. Once through the start, settle into a building effort that is consistent but not a deep effort. Mantra: Swim straight and swim my pace! Overview of T1: Be Prepared and Pay Attention The run to T1 is about 800 meters (874 yards) barefoot on a sidewalk covered with carpet. Be patient while moving quickly but use caution if it is wet as this can get slippery. By the time you exit transition at the mount line, you will have covered more than a 1/2 a mile. BikeLength: 112 miles / 180.24 km (Two Loops) Conditions/Terrain Starting Elevation: 1818 ftFinishing Elevation: 1818 ftTotal Elevation Gain: 4182 ft Start Info FROM THE RACE DIRECTOR We have returned the bike course in large part to the OG route, traveling on Haselton Road almost to the end. Please note the turnaround on Haselton Road will be just shy of the first residence. You will NOT travel all the way to the end. As a special bonus, we will take you into the Whiteface Ski Area before heading back to town. Please be aware of this change and embrace it! OverviewEach of the two loops can be divided into four sections: The climbs heading out of town at T1, the descent to the town of Keene, the flats to Jay and then the series of hills which constitute the hardest riding time back to Lake Placid via Wilmington and the Whiteface ski area and High Falls Gorge. The Jackrabbit Rollers This first section is an uphill on a series of steep to gradual incline rising around 500 feet of vertical in the first 8 miles or so. No single climb is that tough but don't push too hard. Patience rules (even on the second loop). The small chain ring is probably your friend for 90% of the field. Cascade Screamer Down to Keene The next 8 miles are all downhill with a false flat in the middle. Take the time to get some calories in. This is a good spot to ride in your aerobars and go easy on the brakes if you are comfortable with downhill speed. Be ready for wind gusts and cross winds in this section especially if winds are out of the east. Flats from Keene to Bike Turnaround and Back to Jay There is very little elevation change during this section. Pace yourself, go aero and manage the wind. This is the most open section of the course. The Climbs Be ready to climb, climb, and climb during these final 20 miles. There are two short downhills, so recover on those. On Loop 2, this is where the racing starts. Nutrition Info: Orange Gatorade Endurance Formula, Water, Bananas, Clif Shot Energy Gels, Clif Bloks Energy Chews, Clif Bar Minis, Red Bull Disc Wheels Disk wheels are permitted on this course. Bike Tips for Age GroupersExpect wind on the second lap and for the long, 11-mile climb back to be a bit tougher the second time around, particularly because the major hills are at the end. Mentally prepare yourself for that wind, along with the hills and you will master the Placid bike. If you ride Upper Jay to Wilmington too hard on the first lap, you will pay for it dearly later in the day. Paul Buick's Bike Tips View Profile Paul Buick With the minor revisions to the bike course this year, there are no real changes in character. A small adjustment in the overall management of effort between the hillier parts always considering the right tool for the job, current physical resources, and FUTURE WORK. This course has climbing, longer sustained, mild gradients, and shorter steeper pitches Favors the strong cyclist. If you are a strong cyclist, ride well and benefit, there is nothing to fear. If you are not so strong, respect the accumulation of work and pay constant attention to current physical resources, future riding work, and the run. Be prepared for a wide variety of weather. Take appropriate clothing, just in case, and lower tire pressure by 5 PSI if wet. Gearing is on the conservative side, if in doubt, give yourself the easier option. For most amateurs, management and consistent fueling and hydration are key in this race. Bike Tips from Matt Dixon View Profile Matt Dixon The good news on the changes to the course for 2018 is the actual personality of the course doesn't really evolve too much. The middle section (post descent until the rolling '3 bears' climb back up to the lake) is perfect terrain, and the addition just provides some more variability and rollers. A perfect time to put into practice riding skills and terrain management. One should be highly aware of conditions and management of the course and to not overdo too much low RPM strength-based riding in the flatter/rolling section (which includes the new piece). You will want to lean into plenty of mixed RPM and lower RPM work as you climb the rolling terrain up. Despite there being 4,182 feet of elevation gain, the vast majority of the grades are manageable and allow the use of a variety of riding styles and tools. There is little on the course that forces you to simply choose the smallest gear that you have and survive. This allows the "thinking athlete" and master of terrain management to flourish. The initial long descent is fast. It is important to remain supple with one foot weighted (down) and ride within your comfort zone. Please be safe and aware when descending at great speed. Realize that the uphills will need greater effort, but it is always controlled. Always ride within your comfort level and, primarily, realize that the mission is to ride well but ensure you leave resources for the all-important run. This is a great course to remember a simple fact in terrain management. Let's use a hypothetical example: A piece of road that is 1K uphill at 5%, then 1K downhill at 5%. A rider (A) pushes through this 2K section with 250W of output up the hill, 250W down the hill. A second rider (B) pushes the 1K uphill at 280W, crests the top with 5-6 pedal strokes strong to gain momentum (330-350W) then carries speed down the other side at 175W. Rider B will go considerably faster in this scenario and will be more economical over the course of the stretch of terrain (assuming they have trained for this). This is an extended example but has massive application to this course. Mantra: Form, Fueling, Pacing. Race with Gumption. RunLength: 26.2 Miles/42.16 km (Two Loops) Conditions/Terrain Starting Elevation: 1850 ftFinishing Elevation: 1850 ftTotal Elevation Gain: 1604 ft OverviewThe two-loop course will challenge athletes with a tour through the city center four times. Runners head past the famed Olympic ski jumps, down to the turnaround on scenic River Road, and then back up to the turnaround on the shores of Mirror Lake. The Placid Run Course features a lot of changing terrain and scenery. It is a mix of flat and major climbs but is mostly sheltered from the wind. The run course is hilly, and you need your strength for it. This is a very challenging run due to the downhill start and the long climb back to town. Start out slowly and build your effort on race day. Once you hit the lower and rolling parts of the back of the course, you'll lose that downhill advantage. If you took the start too hard, you'll pay for it. Be strong in the second half of the run (much like the bike), and you will finish strong. Nutrition Info: Lemon-Lime Gatorade Endurance Formula, Water, Cola, Chicken Broth (after dark), Clif Shot Energy Gels, Clif Bloks Energy Chews, Clif Bar Minis, Red Bull, Pretzels, Fruit, Base Salt Run Tips View Profile Matt Dixon Control the long uphills, run the downhills with fluid and fast feet, and commit to good form and process in the more desolate back section, it can get lonely. Leave something in the tank following the bike but don't hold back and wait to go fast later. An IRONMAN run needs to be approached differently from a standalone marathon. Your only opportunity to set good form and posture is the initial few kilometers. From here, hold the great posture, don't forget to fuel, and keep the leg speed up. Hydrate, Hydrate, HydrateReally pay attention to your hydration and nutrition, and concentrate on keeping your core temperature cool. And don't be fooled on the bike. The breeze from riding might help you feel cooler, but you still have to hydrate, take in electrolytes, and even added salt. And don't forget to manage your core temperature. Core temperature management is going to be even more key when you are on the run. Final Thoughts View Profile Matt Dixon Focus on the process and don't think about the outcome. Triathlons can elicit monkey brain. You may start asking yourself a lot of questions during the race and lose focus on the immediate task at hand. Controlling that attention and focus is part of the challenge and the fun. Don't evaluate too early. Many athletes start evaluating their performances before they finish the race and leave some potential strewn across the course. Triathlons require you to remain focused on execution and process, without a thought of the outcome during the race. Save your race evaluation for the recovery tent. Fueling: Check in with yourself throughout the race and continually assess your calories and hydration intake. It may be hot this year so think about that when you are planning your hydration and remember calories every 10-15 min. If your mood starts to drop, it is likely calories. Pacing: Manage your effort, gearing, and pacing in each part of the race. Form: Staying supple on the bike, good tension on the chain, running tall on the run with good foot-speed. Basically, all the things we have talked about so far! Don't let the support, terrain, and spirit of this course deceive you. It is a wonderful race, so go have fun and embrace it. Best of luck, we will see you on the course. Mantra: Form, Fueling, Pacing. Race with Gumption. Official Course Overview / Race GuideIRONMAN Lake Placid Athlete Guide Related articles IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga - 2019 Apply a Race Build on Your Calendar The Baseline Plan vs. The Race Builds MwM: Perfecting Race Specific Riding How do I add a race and race build to my plan?