HomeathleteFat to Fit: Ironman Lake Placid Race Plan

Fat to Fit: Ironman Lake Placid Race Plan

2013 Ironman Lake Placid

From my view in the Crowne Plaza great room where I write every morning I can see dozens of competitors out swimming the course. I’ll do the same in a couple of hours. The pic above is out that window.

Yesterday we spent more time strolling around Lake Placid. Not much of an agenda but to be with each other. The anxiety of a few days ago has faded now that we are here and the details are taken care of. I’ll turn in my bike and transition bags today. Tomorrow we race.

I love to race. The excitement before is one of my favorite parts.

Riley has become our photographer. She’s developing a great eye. Warms my heart. I’m going to have to post an album of here Ironman Lake Placid street photography.

Greg Rittler Ironman Lake Placid 2013

In less than 24 hours I’ll be getting in the water to start the 2013 Ironman Lake Placid. You know it’s real when they put your name on the back of a shirt.

Ironman Lake Placid tshirt

For now I’m content to sit, drink some coffee, and review my race details. There’s an incredible amount to think about for a rookie ironman. The plan is just to make sure I don’t make any needless mistakes (I’m sure I’ll make other mistakes). Here’s my race plan for tomorrow including my transition bag setup, the race schedule, my goals, and how I want to think during the race.

I think there is a 1% chance that my race goes according to my plan. I’ve been told time and time again that the key is to have a plan and then deal with reality when the plan falls apart. I could be two hours later than this plan or half an hour faster.

You don’t know what you are made of until you do it. I will know in about 36 hours.

Transitions Bags

Morning/Swim Bag

  • wetsuit
  • tri bottoms (wearing these)
  • goggles (2 pairs)
  • swim cap
  • timing chip
  • body glide
  • gel
  • Gu chomps
  • Garmin 910xt

On Bike

  • saddlebag
  • 2 tubes
  • 2 CO2
  • patch
  • tire irons
  • 2 bottles of Infinit Go Far

Bike Bag

  • helmet
  • chest strap
  • shoes in large plastic baggie
  • socks
  • gloves
  • glasses
  • sunscreen
  • tri top
  • EDGE 810
  • Towel
  • chamois buttr

Bike Special Needs

  • 2 bottles of Infinit Go Far
  • 1 Gel flask with Infinit Napalm
  • chamois Buttr
  • wipes
  • paper towels
  • 1 Tube
  • 1 CO2

Run Bag

  • shoes in large plastic baggie
  • compression socks
  • singlet/shorts (Not planning on using just in case)
  • number belt with race number
  • little towel
  • skin lube
  • 1 bottle of Intinit Jet Fuel
  • 1 gel flask Infinit Napalm
  • wipes
  • paper towel

Run Special Needs Bag

  • 1 bottle of Infinit Jet Fuel
  • 1 gel Flask Infinit Napalm
  • wipes
  • paper towel
  • skin lube

Race Plan

  • charge garmins the night before


  • 4:00am wake up
  • eat
    • energy bar
    • coffee
  • review race plan
  • poop
  • dress
    • tri bottoms
    • sweats/hoodie
    • tshirt
    • shoes/socks
    • hat/gloves
  • fill bottles
  • 5:00am leave for transition
    • backpack with bottles
    • pump
    • special needs bags
    • phone/headphones
  • check bike/bottles/air in tires
  • eat Gu Chomps


  • 6:00am get wetsuit on and head to swim start
  • give Elise backpack/phone/headphones
  • 6:15am eat gel
  • 6:30am swim start (wave start might be 6:45am)
  • swim goal: 1.5 hours
  • start with 1:30 time group
  • relax and NEVER get winded. enjoy this. this will be a beautiful morning swim in the rain.
  • find some feet and follow along.
  • if this takes longer than you think that’s fine: you’ll make it up running because you are conserving for the run.
  • 8:15am head for T1 at a slow trot not hurried
    • enjoy the morning
    • soak it in
    • you are just getting warmed up.
    • thank everyone you see helping along the course

Transition 1

  • dry off
  • socks/shoes/chest strap/tri top
  • grab Infinit Napalm gel flask
  • helmet
  • glasses
  • chamois buttr
  • gloves
  • stop for 20 seconds before you leave and make sure you have everything


  • 8:30pm bike start
  • bike goal: 6.5 hours
  • easy and steady all day long
  • turn off your brain. you are a machine. you ride 112 mile in your sleep.
  • climbing? what climbing?
  • start WAY easy and settle into a decent pace with a nice easy cadence
  • eat & drink 1 shot of gel & 1 bottle per hour
  • replace bottles with perform as needed
  • at special needs trade out bottles and gel flask
  • thank everyone you see helping along the course
  • 3:00pm head for T2 at a slow steady pace
    • no hurry
    • enjoy the day
    • you are about to start marathon #5
    • you are feeling good because you chilled for the swim and bike
    • thank everyone you see helping along the course

Transition 2

  • compression socks
  • shoes
  • skin lube
  • grab race belt
  • grab Infinit Napalm gel flask
  • grab Infinit Jet Fuel bottle
  • stop for 20 seconds before you leave and make sure you have everything


  • 3:10pm start run
  • run goal: 4:15
  • everything else was the warm up. your race just started
  • thank everyone you see helping along the course
  • miles 1-3: no faster than 9 minute miles. drink. relax. this should feel easy
  • miles 4-13: find your pace and focus on easy, steady, good, form
  • miles 14-20: let yourself go, ignore the garmin, enjoy the run, you LOVE to run even when it is hard
  • miles 21-25: you’ve been here before
    • feels like hell…it’s supposed to hurt
    • you can do ANYTHING for an hour
    • you are almost an Ironman
    • you’ve spent a year of your life getting ready for this
    • this pain is your last initiation right
  • Mile 26: this is the victory lap. you love last miles. soak it in because it will be over soon.

7:40 Finish

  • Cry…you know you will
  • Hug and kiss Elise and my kiddos. They made all this possible.
  • Rest for a couple of days 🙂

Keep moving forward,

Written by

I am the CEO of Blue Ocean Ideas, a creative agency in Baltimore, Maryland. My job is to clarify the strategy and take care of my team. I am married to the beautiful Elise Rittler and we have four great kids. When I’m not at Blue Ocean Ideas or with my family I am riding a bike, running, playing ultimate frisbee, eating, or sleeping. There is a little more about me here.

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