Well, as the race approaches it is time to think about goals. Not that I haven’t prior to now, but now I am putting them into writing.
I need to make a couple assumptions…these may or may not work out.
First, good weather under 80 degrees. That is pretty typical of the area from what I understand.
Second, I am assuming very little wind.
Third, a very flat course – this one is fact.
Fourth, my leg will be fine.
Fifth, shorter transitions. – I will be more focused on transitions this time, but some are longer than others.
Sixth and accurate wetsuit legal swim with no current.
Based on those items, here is what I am thinking I can do given current fitness and health.
Swim – I have been swimming quite a bit and pretty fast. I am faster than I was at Elkhart Lake and feeling very strong in the water. I’m certainly faster than I was in Racine. Wednesday I did 3 fast 100’s. First one was a :59 and I wasn’t breathing that heavy. Next one was a 1:03, third was a :45. Errrr wait…the pace clock broke. Its taper time!! To the hot tub! Today I did a sprint set of 1x200, 1x100, 1x50, 1x100, 3x50...the 200s and 100s were negative splits and the 50s were sprints. On the first 200 I did a 2:20 no problem, then I did a 1:07 followed by the 50's which I didn't track that close. All were near :30s. I did that set twice and got faster the 2nd time hitting a 2:15 and followed by a 1:03. So I am feeling very good.
Assuming the swim course is accurate and the current isn’t severe I should be able to go 26-27 minutes if I don't slack. However I know there is a current for about .3 miles, and I doubt I’ll be able to use a wetsuit. Given those conditions my real goal is to place in the top 10 swimmers. I am in the very first wave with M30-39. That is a big, fast age group and there should be plenty of drafting opportunities. Bring on the feet!!! No wetsuits is a big advantage to us swimmers, especially in a current. I am looking to build a solid lead in the water. So, let’s call it 27 minutes and we’ll see what the day brings.
Bike – It is my understanding that the bike is dead flat. It is on the freeway. So gentle inclines/declines. Nothing severe. This suits my size perfectly. My goal is to average 255-260 watts for the entire ride. That should put me above 23mph. I’d love to hit a 2:24 – 2:26 on the bike. The wind and heat will dictate what is possible. Anything over 85 and I start to melt. At Racine I did 248 watts and knew I was taking it easy due to a lack of long rides prior to the race. This time I don’t have that problem and plan to push the pace a bit harder into zone 3. A month ago I did a 3hr ride at 270 watts and ran an hour at a 7:40 pace. It was a pretty warm day as I recall.
I plan to wear a fuel belt this time. It will have a flask with gu water and salt sticks. I was messing around too much in Racine. This should make the process much easier and I’ll only need water at aid stations. Stick with fuel I’m used to.
Unfortunately I just found out they only have one aid station. So I'll have to carry 3 bottles with me the whole way. 1 for calories and 2 for water. I'll exchange the waters.
Run – Also a flat course. This will really depend on my calf. I have been doing some running. Overall it feels fine, but I can tell the bike fit is causing a bit of trouble from the hip down to the calf. I need to get this looked at in the off season. But I think I’ve noticed a new potential cause.
Since I started my new job, I’ve been doing a lot of walking. From parking to the buildings and then all over the buildings pretty often. Just from parking to my desk and back is about a mile. And with this job I am in dress shoes. And the bigger item, I’ve noticed it is not my calf that hurts, it is my heel/ankle/Achilles area that is aching. So, I am going to get some walking shoes for the walk and see if that helps. But I know my leg feels worse after hard rides. I already have a fitting appointment in October with my PT to get this fixed. I had a similar problem when I screwed up my own cleat position...so we'll see what Tom has to say this time.
Anyway, for the most part everything is fine. But I am doing a lot of trigger point and heat/ice. My runs have felt great. In fact, I’ve really had to hold back. There have been several instances where I’ve gone for a run only to look at my Garmin to see I’m running a 6:45 pace. Whoa cowboy…easy run. My goal until the race is to get in a 30-45 minute run every other day. That will maintain my running legs and keep me sharp. Ideally without aggravating anything. If I really feel good next week I might get in a threshold/race pace type run. Running doesn't actually hurt my leg, I think the original calf problem has healed and now I'm left with the aggrivation of the bike fit/walking thingy.
At Racine my goal was to run 8:00’s, I ran 8:20’s and really faded in the heat. Despite the injury the half marathon gave me a lot of confidence. Assuming the weather is good, I really think I can break 8min/mile with good pacing on the bike. 255-260 watts is toward the upper end for me, but isn’t out of reason by any means. I've got a lot more hard training under my belt since Racine too. But like last time, if I look down and see 260 watts with 24mph average, I’ll back off to make sure I have a good run. Going a minute faster on the bike only to die on the run will cost me more than a minute.
Anyway, 27 minutes on the swim, 23mph on the bike, and 8min/mile on the run is a 4:38. Add 2min per transition and we’re looking at a 4:42. That is 11min faster than Racine, a similar but hotter course. If I do that, I’d like to think I’ll make the top 20 in M30-34 and qualify for the ITU World Championships. As always conditions will dictate what is possible. Think cool, dry, calm.
ITU Worlds is on the Silverman course…proclaimed hardest course in the world. Sounds wonderful! I looked at the profile. It didnt look fun.
My baby has been shipped down to Myrtle Beach. I didn't like the way it fit into the box...the big chain ring seemed to bulge the case out quite a bit. I'll be nervous until I see the bike in one piece. I was in a big hurry to get it out the door on Wednesday...shipping it home I think I'll remove the chain ring to be safe. Please Fedex...be nice to my bike!!!
I’ve decided to join Endurance Nation. It’s a good intermediate step between being self coached and a one-on-one coach. I’ll get good training plans, tips, nutrition, race strategy, the works. I’ll start that up in November.
Hopefully next season will be geared towards ITU Worlds. I have IMWI in my thoughts for 2012. I want to build up a lot more speed before doing that again.