Hiroyuki Suzuki visiting Florida for the world Championship 70.3

November 21, 2009

Back in 2007, Hiroyuki Suzuki (30), a young triathlete from Japan had qualified for the Foster Grant World Championship 70.3 where he performed an impressive race and covered the entire distance in just 4h46 – his best ever time on a half ironman distance.

Last September 2009, during the Singapore half ironman, Hiro did it again and managed to get himself a ticket for Clearwater in Florida for 2009’s World Championship. He was kind enough to share with us his experience over there.

It took me 2 years to come back again here at Clearwater. It was in 2007 last time I came to Florida. At that time, I did not have much experience on how to train and was just relying on will power and the desire to achieve something. This time was a little very different – I had focused on the race and had a proper training plan to prepare for it.

This year though, I had to work on the 11th so unfortunately, I could only take the plane on the 12th to arrive on the same day at midnight. The race was taking place on the 14th. Of course, as you can imagine, I was so tired so after taking care of my race registration, I ate some of the soba I brought back from Japan and went to bed to get some rest.

On the 13th, I woke up around 4am (1 day before the race). I went outside the hotel for the sunrise, set up my bike, went for a spin for 30minutes and went for a “quick” swim practice (It was very cold that I stopped after just 10 minutes). Okay… I was the only one swimming without a wet suit. The rest of the day was pretty uninteresting  as I had nothing much to do after I was done with the bike check-in. I was bored, sleepy and suffering from a headache. I stayed at the my hotel room trying to relax, massage my legs and kill time. For diner, I had again some soba :-). I had a hard time falling asleep as I have too many naps during the day and ended up sleeping only a couple of hours before the race.

I woke up again at 4am on the race day, ate 2 bananas and guess what else…? Yes … some soba :-), and left the hotel for the body marking.

The hotel I stayed at this time was very convenient as it was right next to the race starting point. After pumping up my tires, I could bring back my bump with some other gears and kept warm in my room.

SWIM = 1.9km:

The course that was originally planned was to start from Mexico Bay but unfortunately, it was changed due to the wavy ocean. I would have preferred the old course but…  anyways.

The start was given in a time trial style (one race after the other) and we were not allowed to warm up before hand. I was hard to get straight into the race.  I was very cold for the first few hundred meters but after a few minutes got warm pretty quickly. Blinded by the sun facing us, I found it hard to swim straight and stick with the course. My time was okay anyway and I finished the 1.9km swim in 29minutes.

Swim: 1.9km => 29min

BIKE = 90km:

My goal was to keep my cadence from 90 to 100 per minute from the beginning to the end. I did not push too much to keep some energy for the run. I was feeling good but for some reason did not get the impression I was going fast enough as 400 people past me (this is the world championship after all I guess and there are a lot of strong people out there). The last 10km, my legs were getting stiff and I felt I was not far from getting a cramp. I had to take a few salt tablets which helped me a lot. Once again, I did learn a lot from this race and found new ways to improve myself for next time. It’s amazing how much you can learn from each event!

This race was a flat and very fast course so I decided to use my full disk wheel. I was hoping to gain more speed but did not manage to get the sensation I was looking for – I still felt heavy. I thought afterward I may should have brought a lighter wheel. More than just the equipment, I was too low especially comparing to the other strong competitors

Bike: 90km => 2:31min:15sec

RUN =21km:

My start was okay but I did not have much power to pass people back after they passed me. I was thinking so many time my speed was okay and that I should stick to my pace and not worry about the others. My left thigh and left carve were really stiff and cramping up.

Along the course, I saw Mr. Tomoya who I met in Singapore last September (He’s living over there). His level is very high so seeing him on the course boosted my mental and made me more hungry to not lose against him. Then, I took some Coca Cola drinks at the aid station. Yes it’s true it’s great way to recover quickly, but, my stomach got upset from it 5km before the end and had to walk a little bit. I pushed as much as I could to finally cross the finish line after 1:39min17sec.

Run:21km => 1:39min17sec

Total time: 4h48m2s

I just regret I could not have more power in the end. If I did, I may have beat my last time 2 years ago. My mental was not stable enough along the race – I will make sure to train harder next time so that I will not have this problem again.

Next year, when I race, I should set my mind to push hard as if it was my last race. Craig Alexander himself, who I had the chance to meet, gave me a few tips that I will try to implement for my upcoming events.

For 2010, I m planning to go to California and Hawaii 70.3. Both races have a high level but they both offer some slots to qualify for the Ironman World Championship in Kona (Big Island) so I will try to get my chances there.

I will try to also participate in an event in Europe. I have never been there so would really like to experience racing there. Plus, because I am light, I am usually better for hilly course instead of flat. For this reason, I think a European race with a mountain course might be more adequate for me. I look forward to participate in one as I know they have so many strong athletes over there.

Don’t you think it’s a lot for someone who is married and working full time in Japan?!

I don’t know if I can do it all or if I can take holidays. The number of holidays should be okay but we never know with Japanese companies right…? Let’s not even mention about the money factor as well … We will see

I registered already 3 races anyway for next year – I like to think that if I am registered, I will have to find a way to make it happen.

See you next time

Hiroyuki Suzuki

To access Hiroyuki’s report in Japanese, click on the link below:


One comment

  1. Hiro, you are quite an accomplished athlete! Your energy level is astounding! My heart races as I read all about your race experiences,because I once experienced all of those emotions,doubts and cramps! A person never forgets the emotional highs of such an event! I was forced to quit because of a torn groin muscle and hamstring tendonitis, which became worse with every race. I no longer had the long, smooth stride that I had enjoyed for 13 years. I wish I had known then what I know now, as a massage therapist. I could have avoided much of the permanent scar tissue and kept my muscles in better condition. I have helped other world-class athletes improve their performances, simply by reconditioning the tight and over-stressed muscles. A srong muscle which has repetitive use injury becomes stiff and short and it is incapable of working properly. That is why injuries occur to so many athletes. So I encourage you to get regular muscle work done to stretch and release those muscles that are proned to cramping up.
    We (Jim and I) look forward to seeing you in two years. Good luck on all of that training and the races! Stay safe!

    Vickie Anderson
    2346 Druid Rd E
    Lot # 1410
    Clearwater, FL 33764

    Business address:

    Vickie Anderson, LMT, MMT
    Clearwater Professional Center
    600 Bypass Drive, Suite # 107
    Clearwater, FL 33764

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