Inside Triathlon assistant editor Susan Grant caught up with Ironman world champion Craig Alexander before his race at the
Vineman Ironman 70.3 triathlon.
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Hawaii Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander Interview Susan: Hi, I’m Susan Grant here with Triathlete Magazine and I’m here right now with Craig Alexander, the current Hawaii Ironman Champion and we’re here at the Vineman 73 Pre Event. I just want to ask you a few questions. I know that you’ve done a lot of 70.3 races this year in particular, gearing up into Hawaii. So can you tell me maybe why that was your choice instead of maybe going for some Ironman’s beforehand? Craig: It wasn’t really a strategic decision, I just like to race a lot. I mean, this should be I think my 5th 70.3 this year. I love that distance you know, it’s a distance you can race often. You don’t have the recovery that you would after an Ironman. I mean maybe next year I’ll look up doing an Ironman earlier in this season. It really was just—it was a combination of a lot of things. Obviously my wife was pregnant as well and we’ll have our son, Austin, in April so I really didn’t want to do an Ironman around that time. It just seemed to fit in. This was a schedule I thought as last here as well, and I like to put in a few Olympic distance races into the mix obviously this year I haven’t. I race a lot of time in Minnesota last week but that was my first OD Race this year. It was actually my first OD Race since that race last year. Normally, I’d put a few more in but I mean, not really strategic gold prizes, I just like to schedule in plenty of races. I want to race a lot and I like the 70.3 distance and the Olympic distance still. Susan: Now, the race that were this weekend, features in the beginning it tends to be really cold sometimes foggy but then kind of rapidly can get very, very hot. So how do you plan for something like that? Craig: I think just to be aware that you have to be flexible within nutrition and that kind of thing; I’ve raced through twice two years ago. It was really, really hot. I think they ran out of IV’s in the medical tent, it was that hot. And then last year was the exact opposite, it was really hot to warm up. It was very cold in the run. So I mean you don’t know what you’re going to get. I think a forecast this for nice weather but it will still be cold early. I think you just have to be aware of that with your nutrition, with your strategy, taking on board calories and also your hydration for like particularly later in the run. Susan: And I know that you mentioned last weekend you did the lifetime race, so what is the like going from a race like that that’s a little bit shorter, a little bit faster paced to something like this, it’s a little bit endurance? Craig: I seem to make the transition quite well. I didn’t have the greatest race in a lifetime last week. I was a bit slow through transition, I think I just lack the bit of the top end and I mean that’s the kind of thing when you’re not doing that kind of racing often. I mean you look at the guys who raced well last week, they don’t come off to Maine and Washington DC and I don’t think it’s a lot of difference transitioning from an Olympic distance non drafting to a 70.3. For me the training seems to be pretty similar and usually if I’m in good form, for one style and I’m not in good form for the other style of racing as well. So yes, this time of the year, I try to squeeze in a few shorter races, Olympic distance in 70.3’s and I feel that the transition’s pretty the same as going from one start to the other. Susan: Well thank you for joining us and I wish you good luck this weekend. And you can get more news from us this weekend at the Vineman 73. I’m Susan Grant for Triathlete Magazine.