So I discovered someone is actually reading this already. How cool! But I also heard they couldn't comment. If anyone else is having that problem, please let me know. I added a test comment and it worked, so I am not sure what the problem is.
So yesterday I got us up to a few months ago. Now I will bring you up to where I am right now and my plans/goals.
As I may have mentioned last year was my first serious year of training to race. As a result of that training (despite injuries) I showed some pretty dramatic improvement. And in all honesty I was only just starting to learn how to train properly.
In 2008 and 2009 I did a couple common races and the conditions were similar, so I'll draw some comparisons between the years.
In 2008 I did the following:
Lake Mills Sprint - 1:25:12 - 302nd place overall
Elkhart Lake Olympic - 2:53:46 - 135th overall
Tri-ing for Children Olympic - 2:39:22 - 56th place (getting better)
In 2009 I did the following:
Lake Mills Sprint - 1:16:55 - 79th place
Elkhart Lake Olympic - 2:43:42 - 65th place
Tri-ing for Children Olympic - 2:16:00 - 28th place
Allow me to put some of this into context. As a general rule in 2008 I was swimming olympic distance races in about 22-24 minutes.
I was riding just under 20mph.
I was running 8-9min/mile.
In 2009 I started training seriously much earlier in the off season...however I did almost zero speed work. Instead I did a lot of volume and built a really strong base.
My swim times didn't do too much. I dropped a minute or so. But I really haven't worked hard on swimming since college.
My bike splits improved to about 22mph on average. It depended on the race and conditions.
My run also improved. Early in the season I was running closer to 8min/mile. Towards the end of the season I was doing 7:45's at Oly races and 7:10's at sprints.
For the sake of being consistent and understandable I am going to use times and comparisons with one race, the Tri-ing for childrens race. My specific splits are below.
swim - 23:43 Bike - 1:15 (19.88mph) Run - 57:14 (9:12 pace)
Swim - 18:55 Bike - 106:32 (22.54mph) Run - 48:09 (7:46 pace)
In 2009 the swim course was short by a couple hundred yards.
Back to Nationals for a second. In order to qualify a person must do one of two things. In any USAT sanctioned race you must finish in the top 10% of your age group.
There are bigger national qualifying races in which you must finish in the top 33%.
I have not decided which way to go at this point. I don't know that there are any really close regional qualifiers. I will have to take a look.
there is also the possibility that if someone goes to nationals and does well, they will qualify for the world championships. For me...this year...that isn't terribly likely. We'll see.
So the question becomes...what will it take for me to finish in the top 10% at a USAT race. First, it depends on the race. I will continue to use Tri-ing for childrens as an example. It is a flat and very fast course. Last year it was a team sponsored race for me (read: free). As a result many Gear-Grinders were there. If I had done a 2:16 in 2008 I would have finished 10th. In 2009 it was only good for 28th.
In order to qualify I estimate my overall time will need to be closer to 2:02:00 on a similar course that means dropping a full 14 minutes this year. Is that possible? I'm not sure. But I'll have fun trying. From 2008 to 2009 I dropped over 20 minutes while only putting in volume training. This year I am doing the volume and the hard work.
Here are the times I figure I'll have to go.
Swim - 18:30 on an accurate course.
Bike - 1:00:00 24.5mph for 25 miles
Run - 42:00:00 6:45's for a 10k
-Add transition times.
So those are my goal splits based on a flat/fast/accurate course in good conditions. Actual times will vary based on external factors, however the external factors impact everyone.
This has gotten long enough, I'll add my actual training plan tomorrow. (or later today if I get time.)