SRM sponsored professional triathlete, Michi Weiss, powered to another stunning victory, his fifth this year, at Ironman Cozumel on Sunday 18thNovember 2018. The beautiful Mexican island of Cozumel has become a race destination very close to Michi’s heart as he has now won three Ironman titles and one 70.3 title at this venue, making him an overall 6x Ironman and 4x Ironman 70.3 Champion.
"If I was going to get Kona qualification out of the way early, I knew I had to win here. Second doesn’t cut it anymore." Michi Weiss
After his top 10 finish in Kona at the World Championship just 5 weeks earlier, Michi picked up a heavy cold which took some time to shake off and allow him to get back to some basic training before heading to Cozumel. This is a venue he likes a lot and with the chance to grab a Kona slot for 2019 he was super motivated but also nervous because with the new pro qualification system for the World Championship he needed to win outright over a strong field including some athletes who could swim and bike fast like Igor Amorelli or run well like Ivan Rana and of course Mat Russell, who is always a threat in an Ironman, as he showed by finishing 6thin Kona just weeks earlier.
Consistency Is King
Michi loves this island and it shows. He is always very relaxed in the stunning surroundings and welcomed with open arms by locals. When all the hard training is done it all comes down to performing when it matters and being content and relaxed in your surroundings is pivotal for success on race day for pros and age groupers alike – Race happy, race fast!
Michi swam well, losing the main pack with just 1km to go, then exited only 3 minutes 40 seconds down on the fastest trio of swimmers – Amorelli, Rana and Mendez. Once on his ‘Red Missile’ Diamondback Andean equipped with HED Vanquish 8 wheels and SRM Origin PowerMeter, he caught the main group within 10km of the start by riding at 330W/45kph and then it required three decisive efforts to pass each of these groups as detailed in the graph below.
After the early action, Michi had a lonely ride ahead of him and was never made aware of what his gap back to the chasers was. While this made for some uncertainty, Michi was able to use his SRM to stick like glue to his known sustainable race power, typically 300-320W, which he managed to do even when the cross winds became tail winds and gave him some free speed. The temptation for most of us at that point would be to ease off and be grateful for this gift from nature, enjoying race pace for less effort, but then easing off on the bike is not how you win 10 Ironman/70.3 titles!
By the time Michi reached T2 he had a 12 minute lead on the field and that meant that he just had to run his splits, typically 4’05”/km and the victory would be his. He took off a little faster at a shade under 4’/km going through 21.1km in 1h24m but thereafter he was relieved to slow his pace somewhat as the information he was getting made it clear that Ironman Cozumel victory No.3 was in the bag, and so it was. His run split was a solid 2h54m and overall race time was 7h58m34s. Sweet indeed, especially as it also came with a pro slot for next year’s World Championship allowing us the luxury of a really controlled build up into the racing and training period before the Big Dance in Kona.
As always, thank you to Michi Weiss for being so open and transparent with all his SRM files. At the time of writing, we are looking at Michi doing one more race before taking a well deserved end of (best ever!) season break. Watch this space.
May the Force X Velocity be with you,
Garth Fox (MSc)
Sports scientist & High Performance Coach