Another glorious summer weekend and more brilliant news from Glass and Stainless sponsored athlete Jack Schofield! On the back of an impressive performance at the 2018 ITU World Long Distance Triathlon Championships where he placed 6th in his age group, Jack has just finished 2nd in his age group at Ironman Maastricht. In fact, his time of 09:16:57 was enough to see him into 8th place overall. This is the first time Jack has finished in the overall top 10 in an Ironman.
So how did he do it?
Before The Race
With only 3 weeks to prepare for Ironman Maastricht, you’d expect Jack to stick to what he knows. For the most part he did, committing to the usual rigorous training schedule punctuated by a few larger sessions. Recovery from the previous race went well and he was putting in consistent performances in training. However, he did decide to make one major change- nutrition. For the first time in a long distance race, Jack made the brave decision to not eat any real food during the race. Instead, he chose to be entirely reliant on a number of well-timed energy gels, 28 in total.
The day itself began with the usual early start, this time 4:30am, followed by a hearty breakfast. With the energy gel plan still in place, it was important for Jack to start off the day with as much nutritious food as possible.
With temperatures pushing past 30 degrees, it wasn’t too much of a surprise that wetsuits were banned from the swim. This opening leg of the Ironman has always been Jack’s weakest but he described feeling ‘smooth, comfortable, confident’ in this particular swim. He might not have been the fastest in the water but he was able to get an Ironman distance PB when others add several minutes to their normal time. Jack still wants to put a lot more training into this section of the race but he certainly seems to be on the right track!
As ever, it was on the bike that Jack really began to move up the ranks. Battling against terrible surfacing and a very technical bike course, it took a bit longer than normal for him to settle into the bike and get comfortable with a rhythm. However, Jack stuck to his plan and slowly began to move through the pack. This was made easier in the second half of the bike loop where the hills levelled out into a pretty flat surface. With half a mind on the upcoming marathon, Jack began to dial down the power in the final 30km.
Running a marathon in 30 degree heat is no mean feat, never mind following a gruelling swim and bike ride! Overheating was a real concern and a lack of frequent aid stations didn’t help matters. Despite the hot conditions, Jack was able to pass several athletes and come out with an incredible second place for his age group.
Across the race, Jack was able to move from being outside the top 200 in the swim to finishing inside the top 10 overall, a truly impressive result we’re sure you’ll agree!
If you want to learn more about Jack’s training and upcoming races, check out his blog here!