IMLP Bike course

27 03 2010

I had to do a 4 hours bike ride today, so I loaded the IMLP (Ironman Lake Placid) course on the computrainer and off I went.

After doing IM France last year, I thought that IMLP Bike would be a walk on the park, but as it turns out I was wrong. I don’t think IMLP is harder than France, but there is a big difference. France is like a triangle, it is basically 80 km uphill, until you reach the summit, then you get a bunch of rolling hills and at the end you just go downhill back to the transition area. The good thing about it is that you have a chance to get some rest before starting the marathon.

IM France Bike Course Profile

Lake Placid is a 2 loop course, the course is like an U. You have a very steep long downhill, which starts just about 10 km into the course, then when you reach the 35th Km, you have rolling hills with short steep climbs and it goes up and down for a long time. It is hard to keep any pace or even power since it keeps changing the grade. However, make no mistake, you are going up most of the time. At the end of the loop especially it is pretty steep, but the steep portions are never very long. The problem? Well we are going to start the marathon quite tired without having the opportunity to save the legs at the end.

Lake Placid Bike Profile

I did the first lap in 3:27 Hours, which means that “if” I could keep the same pace for the second lap (I would not be able to do it today!), I would be on the 7 hours range for the whole course. I just hope I get my act together, because my endurance is not there yet. The last 30 minutes were brutal, but overall I kept a good wattage output and other than the last 40 min, my heart rate was pretty low.

4 Hours Ride 2010-03-27 (Click to Enlarge)

If you look at the orange line, it represents the profile (altitude). I’ve applied some smoothing to the graph to make it a bit easier to analyze, which shows the wattage relatively flat during most of the workout, dropping on the downhills and getting back up on the uphills. What I didn’t like was the increase of the HR around the 3 hour mark. It was due to the uphill of the end of the first lap, but the power didn’t increase as much as the HR… which means that a have a long way to go with building my endurance.

Overall I’ve been seeing my power output increasing quite a bit on the shorter workouts and even compare to two weeks ago, when I was supposed to do 4 hours and had to cut it short… I ended with more than 10 watts better Normalized Power. Not bad for only two weeks. But there is a catch, I was sick 3 weeks ago.

3 Hours Ride 2010-03-13 (Click to Enlarge)

Regardless I think I’m improving, but only time will tell. One thing is for sure, this is not an easy course!



7 responses

4 07 2011
Old Dog

Hi Hans,

Well, I’m doing it for the fifth time this year. Missed my Hawaii spot two years ago because I didn’t go to the roll down as a result of being mad about bonking on the bike giving me a bad time (needed to grow up), then last year I had it in the bag, 40 minutes ahead of my only rival (great runner) when an unsuspected but massive aortic aneurysm messed up blood flow to my feet, and I was dropped 3 miles from the end as a result of intense foot pain (lucky to be alive!), and now I have my aorta fixed, tested at Eagleman a few weeks ago, and ready to boogie. Thanks for the profile map that I used in my next post, with due link to your site.

You’re right. Not any easy course, but a really beautiful one.

-k (Old Dog)

4 07 2011
Hans Winter

Good luck in your race! 🙂
I had a great time there last year and I might do it again in a couple years… assuming I get a spot! I signed up for IMMT (Mont Tremblant) for next year, which doesn’t look easy either, but again, I don’t think there is an EASY Ironman! 🙂

29 03 2010

I was also under the same perception that after IM France anything would look easy, but that dream crashed really early for me. I have been telling you since the day we registered for IMLP that all the reviews I have read say the bike course for LP is one of the hardest bike IM courses in North America (if not the hardest). Did you believe me? Of course not! LOL

How does it feel now?

Key strategy for me will be going easy on the first loop (spin, spin, spin) and IF I have anything extra left in the tank I MIGHT push a bit on the second loop.

We might see Bryan flying by us during the first loop, and then maybe during the run, when he will be at least a good 10 km ahead… :o)

29 03 2010
Hans Winter

Well, I did not think it would be this hard. That is for sure.

Having said that, I was actually happy with my workout. I wasn’t expecting to keep that power for 4 hours. I hold back at the beginning, which was an excellent idea. Now I need to figure out a strategy for the actual race. Doing this loop twice will be very tricky, specially the second loop.

How are we going to pace ourselfs to save enough energy for the second loop? I think I’ll use the power meter for that… but what output?? No idea. Pacience will be key!

Bryan? I’m pretty sure we will see him on the run, at least 10km ahead of me for sure! 😉

28 03 2010
Bruno S.

Ha! So you thought after IM Nice everything would be easy, hum?!

27 03 2010
bryan payne

Your scaring me.

27 03 2010
Hans Winter

Bryan, you are definitely better biking than I am, but it will be hard to keep a good average in this course. It goes up and down ALL TIME! Well, if it was easy, everyone would do it! 😉

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