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1st Segment – Mile 0-10 (Days Of Our Lives)
Once out of transition there is a steep downhill of a few hundred yards with a left at the bottom – take it too fast and you'll be head over heels into the hay bails. NOT a good way to start the race, so be careful here, especially if wet.  Don’t try to race or pass, just be safe to start the race.  This will get you to Route 73 and you’ll pass the ski jumps on the right at about the 2-mile mark.  From here it’s approx. 7 miles of  gradual climbing with a few speedy descents.  This is where you begin to hydrate and get calories, as this is the MOST important time to refuel.  If you like to eat solid food for fuel, get it in early.  Intensity should be easy and comfortable (60-70%) like watching Days Of Our Lives from your couch, eating fat free pop corn and falling asleep - yes, that easy!. Settle in and appreciate that you’re racing Ironman.  Race your race, not the people passing you.  When you see them later just wave and let them know they were watching the wrong show.

2nd Segment – Mile 10-15 (Breaking Bad)
“THE DESCENT” -- where you can have some fun and make up a little time. BUT, be careful.  It’s fast, stressful, loud and intense, just like Jesse and Heisenberg driving their Winnebago through the New Mexico desert with Tuco in hot pursuit. Keep your line on the bends and always expect there will be faster riders coming from behind, especially during the first loop.  Ride to your ability and be predictable for the riders around you. Traffic is open for vehicles coming from the opposite direction (from Keene up to Lake Placid) so don’t go wide and become a love bug in an aero helmet.  Again, keep it safe – especially if wet. Can’t stress this enough!

3rd Segment – Mile 15-30 (The Voice)
Flatter part of the course to Jay/Ausable Forks. Keep intensity 65-75% and stay on your hydration and nutrition. Don’t wait until you are thiry– that’s too late!  You should be eating and/or drinking every 15 minutes. Keep your focus but enjoy the scenery.  This is a great segment to rehearse your favorite song over and over as you try to get a judge to turn their chair.  It can be Jay-Z, Andy Grammer, Lionel Richie, Taylor Swift…no judgment here, whatever motivates you!  And while you’re belting this tune, you should probably have peed by this point. If you can’t pee on the bike, practice it before race day. Stopping to pee can take several minutes; multiply that over several stops and it could be as long as a bad first date = WAY TO MUCH TIME.

4th Segment – Mile 30-43 (Parenthood)
Once you make the turn around at Jay/Ausable Forks it’s about 6 miles to 86 with a sharp right and about a 1-mile climb. Be sure you’re in the small ring and geared correctly BEFORE you make the right. You will be on 86 for about 4 miles and then turn right for a quick out and back on Haselton. I love this segment as it has a little of everything: climbs, descents, out and back, false flats – and all of the related emotions -- much like Parenthood.  Many different characters make up the perfect show!  Remember to keep it consistent, take it easy on the hills, and keep telling yourself that you’ll be back here for a 2nd loop.  Again stay on your nutrition plan as you have settled into your overall race effort/wattage.  Have to pee again? Think of it as a commercial break.

5th Segment – Mile 43-56
LOOP#1 – (So You Think You Can Dance)
This is where your race slows down and you must be patient as it’s the toughest part of the course. This entire segment is uphill, ending with the 3 bears at about mile 53. On Papa Bear, the final of the three climbs, the road will be lined with spectators, offering the vocal support you'll need. Think of this entire segment as a dance and let the hills lead -- take ONLY what they give. Don’t attack, don’t push, don't force, because in addition to the hills you may also be battling head winds if the weather turns (which it will at some point).  So just FOLLOW and pay close attention so next time around you will know this dance!  And finally, once you make the right on Northwood Road at the top of Papa Bear, you'll be heading back into town towards special needs and more roaring crowds. That's when you'll realize - “I gotta do that again?!”.

LOOP#2 – (The Walking Dead)
If you don’t follow all the previous segments and your nutrition plan you’ll end up bonking here, pull over on the side of the road, and the walkers will come to feast.  Do you really want to start the marathon in a Zombie state?


Have a great race and and enjoy the journey!


Robert Pennino

Head Coach - Terrier Tri New York City & Tampa

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