Leslie’s main goal was to have fun with her family doing this race, and she knocked it out of the park! Knowing that she had a long run on the training schedule the following day, she held back on her effort and properly executed this race as a C-Race.
Like Leslie, Jennifer was racing a C-Race this weekend; her goal race is in two weeks. (Remember: It is NOT possible to achieve a top performance-based result in each race at races that are that close together. One must be placed as a higher priority over the other.)
Jennifer was wise and did not try to race her A-Race before her A-Race. Instead, she used this race as a supported training day and she tested many of the elements that she wants to deploy in her goal race. Jennifer learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t work so well. This was great intel for her to learn now so that she can fine-tune her race plan for her A-Race!
Jamie has a goal to complete a triathlon in each of the 50 States, so this crossed Texas off of her list. Now, many of you reading this are probably saying, “Racing? In Texas? In July? Even Texans don’t do that!” Yep, you did read this right! Jamie was VERY BRAVE and raced a triathlon in the middle of a Texas summer!
Jamie did a great job of managing her efforts and the conditions. She had a solid swim (in 78ºF water, I might add), had her best bike pace EVER in a triathlon, and had a great run. She ended up finishing second in her age group!
What a day! Congratulations, Jamie!
IRONMAN 70.3 Ohio - Sandusky, Ohio
Craig Vuljanic raced his FIRST TRIATHLON EVER at IRONMAN 70.3 Ohio in Sandusky, Ohio on Sunday, July 24, 2022!
Craig has been working so hard in training and at learning what he needs to do to be successful in triathlon. He started on a Custom-Built Training Plan last December and eventually moved onto Performance Coaching. During that time, he’s literally done everything I recommended, and this set him up for success on race day!
Craig is a Type 1 Diabetic, which means that his body doesn’t produce insulin on its own, which means that his body cannot convert sugars to energy on its own. Since glucose is the number one energy source in a human’s body, this is a big deal.
Because Diabetes is a somewhat common disease, many people don’t understand that it’s a VERY significant disease. Let me be perfectly clear: Doing an endurance event as a Type 1 Diabetic is a BIG DEAL because it is much harder than it is for someone who doesn’t have Diabetes.
Craig wears a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) at all times and also wears an insulin pump. Finding a way to keep these devices working during the race was a challenge, but ultimately Craig did it! He discovered Skin Grip, which keeps his CGM attached even in the water when he’s swimming. He talked with his doctor, and we dialed in on the right combination of hydration and fueling products to keep his sugar levels in a safe range.
I’m so, so happy to say that Craig had a FANTASTIC race. Weather conditions delayed the start of the race and made for challenging conditions in Lake Erie. Swimming in a Great Lake is almost never easy, and to do so in choppy conditions in one’s first triathlon is an even bigger accomplishment. Due to the conditions, Craig was more fatigued from the swim than we originally planned. As a result, he needed to modify his bike and run. He did so, and his bike was steady and well-executed, as was his run. He finished his first-ever triathlon in 6 hours ON THE NOSE - literally 6:00:00!
Congratulations, Craig! Type 1 and getting it DONE!
Lisa came back to Lake Placid this year to try her hand at this course again. Unfortunately, she once again didn’t finish the bike course in time. However, this doesn’t mean that this race was a failure for her.
Lisa hit 48 mph on the Keene Descent, beating her top speed from last year. She also overcame some significant unexpected adversity on the swim, managed her nutrition and hydration well, and was faster in Transition than she’s been at IRONMAN transitions in the past.
I said this last year when I wrote about Lisa’s race at IRONMAN Lake Placid, and I’ll say it again: It’s important to discuss the very real challenges and disappointments that come along with an endurance sports journey. It’s not all finish line smiles and happy social media posts. Training for big goals like IRONMAN Lake Placid is very hard and sometimes very disappointing. Acknowledging this reality gives us all the opportunity to manage expectations, plan well for our goals, and give ourselves the best chance of success.
I’m so proud of Lisa for her determination and tenacity. Very few of us would attempt a race that we had been unsuccessful at for the FOURTH time. I’m inspired by Lisa as well as proud of her!
Bridget Hamm achieved a major personal goal when she crossed the finish line of IRONMAN Lake Placid this year!
Bridget is a competitive athlete in the CrossFit world and also has a strong collegiate athletics background. IRONMAN was a big shift for her, but she’s been using a Custom-Built Training Plan since October 2021 to help her prepare for IRONMAN Lake Placid.
Bridget had a great swim and executed a solid bike. (She also told me when I saw her on the marathon that the bike was the hardest thing she’s ever done.) On the marathon, she started to feel unwell, so she adjusted her plan and included more walk intervals in her run/walk strategy than we originally planned for. However, this is what successful IRONMAN racing is all about: adapting to the conditions and circumstances that actually exist, not carrying on as if the conditions are what you hoped would exist.
Bridget crossed the finish line of IRONMAN Lake Placid, achieving her goal! BOOM!
Scott finishes IRONMAN Lake Placid!
I’ve been coaching Scott Heintzelman for four years now, and this year’s IRONMAN Lake Placid was our eighth IRONMAN together. For Scott, it was his TENTH IRONMAN overall!
Scott has a goal to race at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i, which is a race that requires qualification. He’s qualifying for the race via the IRONMAN Legacy Program, which has required finishing 12 IRONMAN races. This year, IRONMAN changed the rules of the program. Starting in 2023, in addition to having 12 IRONMAN finishes, athletes must also have 12 years of racing history with The IRONMAN Group in order to qualify for the IRONMAN World Championship via the IRONMAN Legacy Program.
Per his original racing schedule, Scott would have been at 11 races completed at the end of 2022. However, he only has four years of racing history with The IRONMAN Group. This means that we needed to fit in another IRONMAN race this year, or else Scott would need to race an additional eight years before he could qualify.
We added another IRONMAN race to his schedule, bringing his total number of IRONMAN races in 2022 to four. This is A LOT of IRONMAN races in a single year and takes a huge toll on the body and the mind. In order to get Scott through this sustainably and without him hating triathlon for the rest of his life, we had to adjust goals and expectations. This year, it’s about finishing these races so Scott can earn his ticket to Hawai’i.
Scott has been nursing an injury for a few months now that has been making running challenging, which meant that our plan had to be modified further; Scott needed to walk the marathon of IRONMAN Lake Placid.
Fortunately, Scott’s experience at this distance of racing and his many years of consistency in his endurance training served him well; he came off the Swim + Bike with plenty of time to be able to walk the marathon.
I’m so proud of Scott…maybe the proudest I’ve ever been in our eight IRONMANs together. Walking the marathon and aiming for the finish without any performance goals is not in Scott’s DNA, but he was smart and did walk, getting the finish he needed to keep him on track for his big picture, long-range goal. Not only did he walk, but he smiled all along the way!
Congratulations and well done, Scott!
Lindsey finishes IRONMAN Lake Placid!
Lindsey is good friends with Bridget; together they signed up for IRONMAN Lake Placid this year. Like Bridget, Lindsey is a competitive CrossFit athlete and IRONMAN Lake Placid was a BIG bucket list item for her.
Lindsey started off on a Custom-Built Training Plan and ultimately switched to Performance Coaching when she decided that she would benefit from more constant communication and planning. When she first reached out to me in October 2021, she hadn’t ever swam or biked as an adult.
Lindsey will tell you herself: The training for IRONMAN was the hardest thing she’s ever done. Remember; Lindsey is a strong and competitive athlete in a different sport. But triathlon tested her in ways she didn’t expect.
Despite the challenges, Lindsey NEVER ONCE backed down. She always sought to find the way that she could keep moving forward in her training and keep progressing toward this goal. It was honestly awe-inspiring for me to watch her determination and grit as we worked together.
Lindsey had a great swim, and ran out of the water smiling from ear to ear. She had the fastest Transition 1 of anyone I’ve ever coached at IRONMAN Lake Placid, and kept pedaling all the way through the bike course.
When she ran out of Transition 2 and onto the run, Lindsey’s joy could be felt for miles. She was smiling and SO HAPPY to be out there!
As the marathon progressed, Lindsey started to fade a bit. However, she kept moving forward. She adapted her run/walk strategy to be what felt and worked best for her in those moments. One step at a time, she made her way to the Olympic Oval, entering during the famous “Magic Hour” in Lake Placid. She got a high-five from Heather Jackson and Mike Reilly, and fireworks went off (literally) as she crossed the finish line. For her, like so many people, the road to that finish line was WAY MORE than 140.6 miles long, but she made it!
Coach Laura Henry
Laura Henry is a Syracuse, NY-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Long Course and Level II Paratriathlon Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, VFS Certified Bike Fitter, and has successfully completed NASM's Certified Personal Trainer course. Coach Laura is passionate about helping athletes of all ability levels reach their goals and has coached many athletes to success.