How the hell did Jackson Laundry run two long course events in one weekend? – Triathlete

Hands and feet numb from the cold as he climbs out of the water, Jackson Laundry sees Sam “The Great Unit” Long transition.

In this final race of a long year, Long, the popular American triathlete whose season didn’t go exactly to plan, is not short of motivation.

The Canadian Laundry, which has had an equally long season, knows its best – perhaps only – chance for success here in Southern California is to stick with the power rider for the next 56 miles. In normal times, this would not be an easy task in itself. Considering Laundry ran less than 48 hours earlier and 2,400 miles full east at the Daytona International Speedway, that makes for an unenviable proposition.

Then there is quadratic pain. The laundry might have expected to feel it during the last part of the half marathon in three hours, but from the pistol to the swim? ! “That was a little worrying,” he thought to himself. “But I just continued…”

Given Laundry crossed the field (with Long) on ​​the bike for 2:01:42, put out a two-minute peak power output of 409 watts, opened a four-minute gap before the race, and then held onto second place. , Ironman 70.3 Indian Wells can be considered one of the best performances of his career. And given the circumstances, it also becomes a story to tell the grandchildren, and no doubt a story that can be lovingly embellished year after year. A mad goal, yes, but where there was method – and meticulous planning – in the madness.

(Photo: Clash Daytona)

“I just wanted one more chance.”

“It was the last race weekend of the year in North America, and my fitness was indicative of better performances than I had shown,” said Laundry, his only victory in 12 races having been accompanied by a thrilling finish at Oceanside 70.3 in April. “I just wanted one more chance.”

Well, two to be precise. Laundry knew the course, conditions and distance in Indian Wells were more suited to his strengths, but also relished the racing experience Clash would provide in Florida, after finishing seventh in a strong field in Miami in March. The lure of a $110,000 purse that included bounties that paid eight deeps was also tempting.

As it happens, the support of Clash’s pro athletes has not only been helpful for the racing experience, but has also helped the 29-year-old catch his Friday night flight from Orlando to Palm Springs. .

In the “Daytona distance” – one mile swim, 37.5 mile bike and 8.2 mile run – Blanchisserie finished in the silver in eighth place. Then he really had to move. The race ended at 3:30 p.m. and his flight was scheduled for 6:45 p.m. It was an 80 minute drive to get to the airport.

“I did the math and thought I had to leave with all my stuff at 4:20 p.m.,” he says. “I was able to have the race mechanic take my bike apart and pack it up while I raced. Then another friend, Lesley, gathered all my stuff and my car was parked 100 yards from the finish line. If I had been in the top five, it would have been more difficult because of the prize giving, but I still thought it would be okay.

In the end, the flight was delayed 25 minutes and Laundry – in full recovery mode – was able to progress by munching on the 4,000+ calories he had consumed before reaching the AirBnB in Palm Springs late in the day. the night. “When you do something like that, the things that can mess you up are muscle pain, and if you burn out, your whole body feels bad and you’re in a survival state,” says Laundry. “A lot of times after races I’m not hungry and I don’t recover as well, but this time I forced myself to eat and even though I was really in pain I knew the most important thing would be to do the job again. full of energy and recover .

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“I didn’t get much sleep on Friday, but on Saturday I had a good night’s rest and although I had to wake up at 4 a.m. for the race, it felt like 7 a.m. because I had just east coast time. I was then praying that I would not have cramps while running and that I would get over the muscle pain.

The decision to fly Friday rather than stay in Florida was also part of the plan. “I knew race day at Daytona would be stressful on the body no matter what, so I decided to make it my only ‘disaster day.’ I watched the week in its entirety, it was just a day that was hard on the body.

Although Laundry enjoys Clash races, he’s under no illusions that the format doesn’t suit his strengths, especially when the elite field of sanctioned World Triathlon races show up.

“Honestly, I had what I thought was a good swim and I was almost two and a half minutes behind. Then, instead of an 80-90 km bike to work, I had 60 km. I was starting to put some time in the peloton and moved up to sixth, but I added another 20-30 km to the bike and the race looks different.

The other challenge was a cramp in his right abdomen which Laundry lists as his “most debilitating of all time.” “I tend to have trouble turning left, and running, cycling and turning left all the time on the course put a strain on my right side,” he explains. “I was able to change my stance so I felt like I was running right and relieved the stress on that muscle, and I was able to rally and pass Seth Rider for eighth. I didn’t want to finish ninth.

Double the race, double the fun

Queuing in Indian Wells with no wait, Laundry knew the regular Ironman 70.3 distance of 1.2 miles of swimming, 56 miles of biking and 13.1 miles of running was more favorable, as were the conditions. The air temperature was 47°F (8°C) cold and the water 57°F (14°C), which Laundry was more than acclimated to coming from Guelph, Ontario, where when the pools had been closed during the pandemic, he had regularly gone swimming in the lakes.

“I was in a good space mentally, thinking if it gets messy, then who cares?! I swam fine, but I felt my legs hurt. You don’t usually get quadratic pain while swimming, so it was a little worrying, but I just kept going and tried to keep the effort relatively low.

“I got out of the water and Sam Long passed me right away – he had a fantastic swim. I decided there and was going to try and ride with him no matter what. My legs were amazing steep at the start of the moto and it took me a minute or two to recover mentally and just push in. We started shooting to catch the leaders.

From there, the duo continued. Laundry produced a 10-minute max power effort and resistance finally broke as they arrived in T2 with a four-minute buffer on Lionel Sanders, Bert Aernouts and Justin Riele. Laundry says the bike stage in Indian Wells was at least on par with anything he had produced before, but he still had to race.

“My quads were taking a pounding,” he adds. “I didn’t totally give up because Sam wasn’t going away very fast, but I started thinking about protecting second place. I knew from Lionel’s race at Oceanside that he could definitely close in the last few miles.

To sum up the weekend, there were no regrets. “It was the best outcome I could have hoped for, it was fun and pays a vacation to the Canary Islands for my wife, Montana, and me. That being said, one thing I learned this year is that the conditions, course and distance make a huge difference in who is going to be successful I am a half distance guy and the conditions here in Southern California during the winter months are perfect for me – I seem to be able to push myself more strong in the cold. Oceanside and Indian Wells are two of my top three races of the year. Going forward, I will have to pick the races that I have the best chance of doing well.

Missed the live coverage of Ironman 70.3 Indian Wells? Outside+ members can watch the race on demand on Outside Watch!

Jackson’s advice on cutting back for a big race weekend

“Everyone is different, but I think people train too much on race week.

“You are already heading to the event and you want your body to feel repaired, healthy and rested.

“It doesn’t take much to stay active and you don’t want to introduce any type of fatigue.

“Don’t be afraid to eat a lot of carbs before the race. You should probably be heavier at the start line because your body needs to be fueled with glycogen and properly hydrated to give you the energy to perform.

“Every year for about ten years I have gained an average of a pound a year and I have gone faster every year. When I was racing high level age group I was 143 pounds, now I weighs 153 pounds.

“Part of sport is being healthy and for a lot of people that means losing a bit of weight, but don’t limit your diet during race week.

Where Jackson is looking to improve

“Thanks in large part to PTO, more and more World Triathlon athletes see the opportunity to try races on longer courses, and when Henri Schoeman and Vincent Luis step in, it’s a level different.

“My swimming has been stagnant for 7-8 years and I want to improve it. I’m going to talk to my coach, find some mentors, do some research, maybe learn more about deck coaching and find out what kind of stimulus I can to add.

“I want to find ways to get better propulsion. I have pretty good form, but a lot of guys also gain speed through their kick and that’s something I’ve never worked on. I want to make it a point where it becomes normal and doesn’t take anything away from my running or my bike.

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