Melissa Hauschildt on Hy-Vee and Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Las Vegas

It took an Olympian to beat Melissa Hauschildt at the Hy-Vee triathlon on the weekend. Emma Moffatt, bronze medallist at the 2008 Beijing Olympic games, led Hauschildt by a massive two and a half minutes out of the water. Despite having worked tirelessly on her swimming since starting the sport in 2

It took an Olympian to beat Melissa Hauschildt at the Hy-Vee triathlon on the weekend. Emma Moffatt, bronze medallist at the 2008 Beijing Olympic games, led Hauschildt by a massive two and a half minutes out of the water. Despite having worked tirelessly on her swimming since starting the sport in 2010, this is a scenario Hauschildt had predicted.

It would be on the bike and run that she would be forced to make her move, and this is exactly what happened. The former steeple chase champion time trialled the entire 40km, with nothing else in her mind except getting onto the run as quickly as possible. Hauschildt then posted the fastest run of the day, 34:52, amongst a class field of ITU athletes well rehearsed in the faster 10km runs.

What makes this result even more incredible is the fact that Hauschildt’s focus was and is very much on this weekend’s race, the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Las Vegas.

Hauschildt failed to defend her Ironman 70.3 World Title in 2012, having lost her crown to current dual – World Champion Leanda Cave.

You can be sure the Aussie wants it back, and has focused everything this season on winning this weekend’s race. We caught up with Mel to see how she pulled up after Hy-Vee, and her plan leading into the biggest race of her 2013 season.

Trizone: Congratulations on a fantastic result at Hy-Vee last weekend! Following the swim you put in a huge effort to chase down the lead, but unfortunately pulled up a little short of catching Emma Moffatt. How did your swim go and did you expect to have such a big deficit to chase down?

Melissa Hauschildt: I’m really happy with my race at HyVee. Emma Moffatt is an amazing athlete and showed on the weekend she is back to her best. Emma is one of the best Olympic distance girls in the world, so to finish second to her, I’m pretty happy with that. I knew that all the gun swimmers would be there, and that I’d need my very best swim to come even within a couple of minutes of them.

I was hoping I could reel in more time on the bike. This year the bike course was a lot better suited to me, not as technical with tight ITU style laps, but it was still a little wet on the corners so I guess might have played it a little safe there.

I felt awesome on the run. I wasn’t sure what pace I could hold for 10km, all of my training has been focused on Vegas. I might have been able to run a little quicker had I put more focus on this race but I still think the outcome would have been the same. Emma was just too strong.

TZ: Onto the bike, did you have any girls to work with? Or was it a case of time trialling your way through the field?

Mel: When you come out over 2 1/2 minutes down there is no time to waste waiting for someone to work with! I always ride on my own and HyVee was no different. It was just head down bum up for 40km which went extremely quick. I was just on a mission to catch up as much time as possible.

TZ: Fastest run of the day, you must be happy with that! In recent times you’ve been cautious with the run training so as to remain injury free. What was your run training look like leading into Hy-Vee?

Mel: Everything is going great leading into Vegas. No problems at all so I’m glad Jared has held me back with the run training. I could have gained a little more run fitness with some extra KM’s but I would have also risked not even making the start line so I’m very grateful Jared has put the reigns on me. Yes I had the fastest run in Hy-Vee and am very happy with that. I was a little nervous as to what pace I could run for 10km; it’s been a while.

Editor’s note: Jarad is Melissa’s husband and coach.

TZ: How has the recovery been after the weekend? Would you mind sharing what your week looks like leading into Vegas?

Mel: I felt great after the race. No stiff and sore muscles like after a 70.3. It was quite nice to walk or even jog away feeling great. This week is pretty relaxed. I can’t gain any more fitness now so it’s all about recovering from HyVee and tapering for Vegas. Monday was spent traveling back from Des Moines to Boulder. Tuesday morning I did a run session – a lot shorter than normal but including a race pace effort followed by a couple reps above race pace, then back into a race pace effort. A long swim during the day and an easy ride in the afternoon. Wednesday will be an easy ride, a short lactate swim session and an easy run. Thursday a short ride with some race pace efforts, a swim and an easy run. Friday is a travel day. Saturday, the day before the race I’ll do an easy ride, make sure my bike is working well, and an easy jog.

TZ: Do you have a specific strategy leading into the race, or do you prefer to just race by feel and see what happens on the day?

Mel: My race strategy is pretty simple. Swim as fast as I can. Ride as fast as I can and run as fast as I have to to win!

TZ: What’s a World Championship breakfast look like for Mel?

Mel: Porridge or Oatmeal as they call it over here with a banana and some honey. An espresso first up to get everything going.

TZ: How about post race, do you have any particular post race foods, recovery or relaxation techniques?

Mel: Immediately post race I can only eat sweet food. Fruit and cookies are usually what I eat from the post race food tent. As soon as I can stomach something a bit more substantial I will. That will be something like left over dinner (chicken pesto pasta) or a sandwich with meat and salad on it. Usually we can’t get away from the race too quickly so I’ll put my Compressport compression garments on after the race to help with recovery. Once we can get back to the hotel I’ll shower while scrubbing and scratching my arms to get those sticky number tattoos off. Then it’s legs up for a bit, usually replying to emails, Facebook and Twitter messages.

TZ: Thanks Mel, all the best for the weekend and we look forward to cheering you on!