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Race day tactics: Kona 2016

Updated: Sep 26, 2022

At we try and give our followers a transparent insight into high performance triathlon coaching – whether through our camps, training seminars or blog articles. Following Daniela Ryf’s successful 2016 Kona defence we have received numerous inquiries as to the pre-race build-up and whether such a performance was predicted. With permission, thoughts and tactics shared between Brett Sutton, Daniela Ryf, Robbie Haywood and Susie Langley via email ahead of Kona 2016.

From: Brett Sutton Subject: Race day tactics Date: 6 October 2016 8:47:47 am GMT-10 To: Robbie Haywood, Susie Langley, Daniela Ryf

we will digest this together so no one is in any doubts of how we go about the race . as we need to have a couple of tactics. actually we will have three. nobody ever accused me of being a one trick pony .

so the way we play it if all going well

jodie (Jodie Swallow) will. Blast off the start with one or 2 other good swimmers. we get under her arm in the first 200. not on her feet. we try to hang in as that is a bonus ., but if we can’t remember jodie tires as do the other good swimmers without the mens pack. so our last 1600 can be best of everyone . it’s when rinnie (Mirinda Carfrae) starts losing time so. We hold them through the early blast then it’s a bonus. they won’t drop u after the turn.

if they drop u stay focused and don’t sit in a group over the last 1600. don’t give leaders or rinny free time because u trying to draft off slower girls.

out on bike if u with jodie let her blast away as she needs to lead.Don’t try and drop her over the first 20. put the time into the others. if she has been told not to lead her race is over . she needs to lead so if u with her sit and build your legs into the pace till the 90 . work the upside of the turnaround. on the way back we start to go to work taking advantage of bigger gear down wind. steadily start to turn the screws.

by 140k we then let em have it. u will be strong they will not.

Plan B if things not going well don’t panic . u going awful will ride same speed as them going well.

listen . don’t go for the smaller gears if ur legs blow up. we keep cadence low and heart rate low so we save cardiovascular for the fightback on the run.but I think u will be monster the last 40.

on the run. We again have 3 choices A) if we 10 minutes from the fastest runner we head out and "nd ur speed and keep it controlled. keep calories going until we get to 30 km. then we start to go for it if we feel great. robbie and susie will let u know.

B) if u under 10 minutes keep pace solid so she has to work to catch u. don’t panic to try to gain time. save up and when she tries to pass go to war with her. even if u not great put that hard 2 k in as she will try and break. she hates running with people. if u hang tough and show her angry Bird face she liable to blow up. has done it before in Kona and back in her ITU days also. has to be chasing or in front .

C) if for some reason on the bike u have problem and come in behind em we just need to go after it.! keep feeding but run with no inhibitions. once u catch them back off and rest and whack em in the last 3k.

important if ur running with anyone except rinny don’t let them change ur tactics as u will be too strong for all of them in the last 12k.

conclusion: we all need to be calm and calculated. let the other morons run around with the goHarder! u can do it!’ bullshit. keep calm . angry bird doesn’t need to hear it . the last 12k is the race . I believe either going in or out with rinny u will take her out if we have fed properly and not lost calories. ok we all understand our jobs. its not about winning but painting a performance. lets remember thats when we are at our best. best mechanical luck. Coach Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone

From: Robbie Haywood Sent: Friday, 7 October 2016 08:48am GMT-10 To: Brett Sutton Subject: Re: Race day tactics

Hi Brett, Thank you. Good to have time to go over with her a few times, ask questions, digest, and have plan locked down. The girls she is worried about: Rinnie – IM Austria and running her down. Came out swinging at her press conference. Jodie – just won ITU Worlds Melissa Hauschildt ???? Cheers, R.

From: Brett Sutton Subject: Race day tactics Date: 7 October 2016 10:22:16 am GMT-10 To: Robbie Haywood

what we need to do is correlate with danni where u and susie will be going into and out on course . dani needs to worry about herself .she too good for them if executes properly.

people rinnie s talking it up. not like her so she either being way too psyched up or getting bad advice.. austria short. if she so "red up will blow up when things don’t go her way. talk won’t worry the bird.

melissa hauscheldt I don’t think will get strong marathon. dannie will out swim her . she doesn’t get 180 on the bike and will blow up around 120 to 140 trying to catch them . remember in her run career her best was 3 to 5km. i think at 30 k will explode. suited to halfs not the full distance.

if the bird puts the blow torch to their bellies they will all crack.

Xena (Caroline Ste!en) and lizzie (Liz Blatchford) not there so swim pack that can ride a bit will be smaller this year. all others will have to ride.This will be to our advantage.

Cheers Sutto Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone

Daniela Ryf had the fastest bike and run splits of the day and !nished in a course record: 8:46:46

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