Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ironman Mont Tremblant Training Weekend Part 1- Bike Course

Joe and I headed up to Mont Tremblant for a training weekend on Friday afternoon. The car ride took just about 6.5 hours. It only took about 5 minutes to get through Customs. There was a line of only 2 cars ahead of us. I saw different reports on what food we could bring across the border especially regarding fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, but all food is allowed (with limits far greater than I could ever exceed). We packed a cooler filled with our food for the weekend.
Waiting in line at Customs
Eating food I had packed
Saturday morning we met Ted, Pattie, Della, Mark, Lynn, Jen, Jimmy, Jimmy's wife Lisa, to ride the bike course.

I was excited to see what this course was like, how it compared to the Ironman Lake Placid course. People have been posting reports on slowtwitch and various forums and a lot of people were reporting a HILLY course. I had read a couple of reports, but I really haven't been paying too much attention to what people have been saying. In a nut shell,  let me say that I really love this course. It is not as bad as I was expecting at all. The hills are extremely manageable. I was in aero position for most of the course- and that is very atypical for me. It is not technical at all with very few turns. There are small signs with the M-Dot icon along the course with arrows as to which way to go, but not enough to solely follow these signs. It was good that Ted had printed out cue sheets for the few turns we did need to make.  Very little bike handling skills are needed, which is good for us triathletes- well at least me! The consensus among the group was that this course is easier than the Lake Placid bike course.
Bike Course Map
There course is essentially broken up into two out and backs. You start off going north on Route 117. This is a two lane highway with a shoulder large enough to ride 2 abreast. 

Parts of the road were just freshly paved, and they are actively working on finishing the rest. I would imagine they are aiming to have this all done by the 70.3 at the end of June. The road will be closed during the race. 

Route 117 has some gradual rolling hills. There is nothing very steep and you can really get into a rhythm. I felt very comfortable riding this road. The speed limit is 90km (about 57 mph), so the cars flying by were a bit nerve racking at certain sections. By race day, when all the paving is done, this part of the course is going to be great.
You go back past the transition area (which is currently a dirt/gravel parking lot). They are working on this right now as well. This aspect will make it very spectator friendly since friends and family will be able to see riders 4 times on the bike course.
The second out and back is completely different. It is on just a regular road. It is very nicely paved and smooth. The climbs are steeper, but they are shorter, and there is nothing too hard.  I was up out of my saddle more on this out and back than I was on 117. There road has some more twists and turns than 117, but nothing crazy.

My Garmin reported 5148 ft of climbing. All in all it is a great course.

We are staying at the Marriott Residences Inn, which is right in the middle of the action. It is right near the finish line and transition area. Race week, we have a condo, but this hotel was a perfect choice for the weekend. We have a full kitchen and a sitting area with a lot of space. When we checked in the receptionist told us that bikes weren't allowed in the room, but when she realized we were training for the Ironman she said "Oh they must be expensive. For Ironman athletes, you are allowed to bring in the bikes." She gave us old sheets for us to keep our bikes on in the room. We had a dinner inspired from Allen Lim and Chef Biju's book "The Feed Zone". It was quick, easy and great for after a long training day. I didn't have the energy to even look at the recipe and measure anything, so I created the meal based on the crispy chicken dish I had made before. Here is a quick recap:
Ingredients (approx measurements):
Coconut oil for cooking
1/2 cup Millet
2 Organic Chicken Breasts
1/2 cup raisins
1 jalapeno or other hot pepper
1 onion
 4 cloves garlic
3 stalks Kale (any kind is fine, though I used red)
1/2- 1 cup Cilantro
Sea Salt to taste
Cumin to taste

Dinner sides:
1 sweet potato
Dressing (Olive oil, Sea salt, Lemon juice from 1/2 lemon)

I brought my rice cooker and made millet:
I roasted 2 chicken breasts for 40 minutes at 400 degrees. I also put in a sweet potato in the oven as well. While everything was in the oven, I chopped 4 cloves of garlic, one onion, 1 hot (ish) pepper (Joe was supposed to get a jalapeno, but supposedly Whole Foods was out of them. I can't even tell you what kind of pepper he got- but it worked!!). I cooked in pan for about 5 minutes. I then added about 1/2 cup of raisins (two handfuls) and added some red kale because I like to add kale to everything! I added 3 stalks of kale, shredded and ripped off the stems. I stirred in some salt, pepper and about 2 tsp of cumin. Season based on your taste.

Once the chicken was done, I shredded the chicken and added it to the pan with the kale, onions, garlic, peppers and raisins.
I cooked for about 5 minutes, then stirred in some cilantro (about a 1/2 cup- one large handful).
I placed the cooked millet on a plate and topped it with the chicken mixture.
To complete the dinner, we split the sweet potato and salad. I made a simple arugula salad and topped it with a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt.
It was a delicious post training day dinner. Now we are ready for another training day. I'm excited to get a better look at the run course. I will post a run course report after today!


  1. I would love to hear more about the course, both bike and run as I will be joining you guys this august. I am hoping to get up there once before the race. How was the Marriot, I haven't booked a place to stay but hoping to call tomorrow.

    1. Hi Donna!
      That is so exciting that you will be doing IMMT as well! I am looking forward to meeting you!
      I am working on a post that previews the run course. I hope to have that posted by tomorrow- so stayed tuned.
      The Marriott was right in the middle of pedestrian village- right at the finish line and very close to transition. The location was great. We had a room that was spacious. The fully equipped kitchen was great. The bathroom, bedroom and separate sitting area provided a good amount of space. The beds were comfortable too. The only negative thing about it was that it was a bit dated. All in all it was a good choice.
      For race week, we are staying in a condo complex, which are farther away from the pedestrian village, but still within walking distance.

  2. Thanks for the review!!! I am doing both the 70.3 and the 140.6. When you wrote "The consensus among the group was that this course is easier than the Lake Placid bike course." <<<<that just made my day!!!!

    1. Good Luck!
      Yes, I think that you will find that it is easier. On the second day, we did an easy recovery ride on the second out and back. The hills felt a little bigger than the first day! However, the hills are short, so when you are carrying speed, you can easily use your speed and force to get you up a lot of the hill. When did our recovery ride, we were not carrying much speed at all!
      Would love to hear your thoughts after you do the 70.3!!

  3. Thanks for this great post!! I am doing IMMT in August as well and am looking forward to it. The elevation chart makes the course look intimidating, but everything I am reading makes it sound more manageable. I've only done IMWI so I can't compare it to IMLP, but it sounds like it should be a great course.

    We'll be staying in the Country Inn which I believe is right across from the Marriott. We got the full kitchen and everything there as well because I like to cook as much of my pre-race meals (especially morning of breakfast) as possible.

    Off to go read about the run course :)

    Good luck with your training!

  4. I have never done IMWI, but what I have heard about it is that it is hard to get into a groove on the bike course due to all the turns. That is certainly not the case with IMMT and you can get into a groove. I am not sure about the elevation comparison though.
    The Country Inn is right next to the Marriott- it is a great location, you will be very happy!
    Good luck to you with your training as well!