Monday, October 11, 2010

2010 in Review -- Part Duex

2010 Goals:

For 2010 I had several different goals. I can’t remember if I listed them out on previous blogs, but I will list them here now.

1. Do not get an overuse injury from running/cycling

2. Lose 20 pounds by end of March to assist in this injury free endeavor. (easier on the legs and joints if I am lighter)
--Accomplished. I started the season at 220 and dropped to 200. At my lowest I was 197.

3. Run a sub :43 at an OLY this year.
--Missed/Accomplished. I came very close to doing this. Unfortunately for me, my fastest Oly race of the year was Pleasant Prairie where I sprained my knee. In that race I ran a 43:45ish but honestly had no urgency in that run as I expected to DNF after the swim.

I did Tri-ing for children’s but between a half Iron the week before and a new bike fit, I was wasted and did not race well.

I have zero doubt in my mind that if I were to race an Oly tomorrow I could hit this goal. But because I switched from Oly focus to ½ Iron, I didn’t actually do it. Having said that, it turns out this was a very realistic goal for me this year and one that is essentially complete. So while I did not actually hit it, I am going to check it off the list for the sake of re-writing my goals for 2011.

4. Break 1hr 40K bike ride.
Missed – This was a bit optimistic. But was it?? For almost the entire year I was riding on a very un-aero and improper bike fit. Between my trainer riding sitting upright and my aero position being very sloppy, I never put my best foot forward on race day. I raced many flat courses with very little wind. At my power output I should have been close. But I never was.

While I will be working on building freakishly strong biking legs this off season, I need to address my aero position as well. I did part of that with a new bike fit from Bike Doctor, but I think it is time I suck it up and post some pictures on Slowtwitch for some aero critique. I have little doubt I’ll get called fat and they’ll make fun of whatever they find…I can take it. I’ll have to get Aimee to snap some pictures.

While I did not hit this goal during the season I will say this. The fact that I hit 22.7mph on my bad fit at Racine 70.3 on a calm flat course on 250 watts speaks to the slowness of my fit. I say that because I hit 23.1mph at Myrtle Beach on a flat but very windy course. For much of that ride it was a direct head wind with no shelter. While my ride was 20watts higher, the wind is a HUGE factor and should have slowed me down more with a bad fit. So I know my new fit is better, I just need to get used to it and see what happens on shorter courses.

Matt and Scott have made some changes, I’ll need to evaluate those as well.

5. Break 2:05 at an OLY race this year.
Missed – I missed this for a couple reasons.

First, my bike splits never got fast enough due to the fit and power. Without breaking an hour on the ride, going under 2:05 is tough…especially with my run. If I were a sub 40minute 10k runner, it would be different. But my swim/bike needed to make up for a slower run and they weren’t fast enough.

Second, Elkhart lake was my A race and it was a 45k bike, not 40k. It’s also very hilly. I had a chance at Pleasant Prairie but hurting my knee blew my shot. My swim was slow, my bike was decent but on the slower fit, and my run had no urgency due to the knee. I don’t think I ever hurt (except the knee) during that race. On that relaxed effort I ran a 43:45ish. At Tri-ing for Children’s I just didn’t have it.

If I had done an Oly distance race in later September or gone to USAT short Course Nats, I really think I would have had a shot at making this goal. I might not be quite there yet…but a 19:15 swim followed by a 1:02:15 on the bike leaves me 43:30 for the run to break 2:05:00. I think all of those are within reason when I am in peak form. The bike being the toughest part of that, and I’ve really improved since my last Oly. Unfortunately it will have to wait to next season with my new goals.

6. Qualify for AG Nats.
Complete – both Oly and ½ Iron distance. I almost qualified for ITU World Championships as well.

7. Break 4:50 in a HIM
Complete. Granted I didn’t actually do it. I did 4:53 at Racine. But at Myrtle Beach my times with no swim was a 4:15. You can’t tell me I would have been slower than 35 minutes in the water. With a properly measured swim I should have been near a 26. Add in some transition time and a better paced ride and we’re looking at a 4:45…since I wouldn’t have blown up on the run. (I would have followed my plan).

2011 Goals
Since many of my goals were either met, or I’m so close to them now it doesn’t make sense to keep them, it is time I began to think about new goals. I plan to do things a little differently. On the bike I will no longer be focused on specific time goals other than breaking an hour in the 40K. That is a big cycling benchmark and I need to break that next season. Call me cocky, I just don’t see it as a problem so long as I remain healthy and address my bike position. My run goals will be pace/time based as that’s all I have to work with. My swim goals will remain static. I want to swim and not destroy my shoulder. I will be doing rehab all off-season in the hopes of a pain-free next season. I think I’ll begin swimming in January or so due to a race in late May that will require a lot of fitness, Triple-T. I will list specific race benchmarks…they all assume good race-day conditions.

Pain free swimming. Rehab shoulder and get back to my happy place.

· I want to build my FTP to 375.

This is a LOFTY goal…and I want to get my logic out there so people don’t start to heckle me. First, I have only ridden hard for one year. Years prior I simply went out and rode with no goals, no intervals…all easy stuff. Last year was IMWI, all long slow training.

This off season I trained hard and had a lot of improvement. I know my body and how I react to training and how I built my speed in swimming. I really don’t think I am anywhere near my potential on the bike yet. Second, I hit an FTP of 320 early in the season sitting upright. Aero I am at 305 as I never did any intervals on the aero bars in the off season. My training was very haphazard all season due to my own mistakes, and I really feel like getting back to 320 will be a fast process. After that, going from 320 to 375 is a 17% increase. If I hit 350-360, I’ll still be pretty happy…especially if I weigh 185lbs. (That’s 4.47 w/kg, a crazy high number)

Like I said, it is a lofty goal. I might plateau somewhere in there. I may get too tired with the run program mixed in. I don’t know, but plan to have fun finding out. Call me sick, I love intervals on the trainer. I love hitting number oriented goals. It is translating that to the road where I sometimes struggle. And that is a big part of why I think I can do it. Some hate the pain, I love it. I used to love power lifting and being sore because I knew I worked hard. That translates perfectly to crushing workouts on the bike.

· Goal two is a time goal - break 1 hour in a 40k Oly Race. (not a standalone TT) -Realistically speaking, if I have a truly aero position and am able to hold 365-370 watts, I should be really fast on the bike. By that I mean breaking an hour should be easy.

But this heavily relies on bike handling and aero position. So far my speeds on the bike do not match up with my power outputs. This can only be caused by a couple things…bike handling and aerodynamics. If I want to be at the front of the pack I need to act like I belong there when racing. That means being aggressive on the turns. The final piece is being as aero as possible while maintaining my power. I think my position is un-aero, Matt and Scott agreed…now I need to learn how to correct that.

That is what makes the goal lofty (and fun), power is great…but to see the results on race day coupled with great handling and position.

Goal #1 – 10k in under 40 minutes, in an OLY race, not stand-alone. I think this is very realistic as this is my current 5k pace. Ideally I will be at this pace by the end of January.

Using Jack Daniels formulas I am currently sitting at a Vdot of 48. This is from my half marathon split of 1:36. I took off a couple minutes because I could have gone much harder early in the race. This tells me that my threshold pace is around a 7:05, and that is reasonably accurate. If I am going to compete and not get completely crushed on every run I need to get to a Vdot of about 55.

Vdot 55 would get me to a standalone 10k of 38 minutes. I think that is a pretty reasonable goal. My half marathon would be around a 1:25. And my half iron run splits should be in the neighborhood of 1:28-1:32 (assuming I don’t do a 30 minute FTP set at the beginning of the bike leg. Duh!!)

As this will be my 2nd year of real running I am expecting some pretty significant gains. But the biggest factor in my favor is my weight. My Vdot is a 48 at 200-205lbs. If I drop to a lean 185lbs that is a 20lb drop – according to many people that will take 40 seconds per mile off my pace (2s per lb per minute). I could potentially drop from 6:30’s to 5:50’s for my 5k splits based on that alone.

General goals:
Weight – 185-190. This will be look and feel based. I do not think this will be an unhealthy weight for me. This will be one of the biggest factors in hitting my bike/run goals as well. How I look and feel will determine if I drop from 190 to 185.

Injury free – Same as this year. Train smart, avoid over-use injuries. I’ll try not to face-plant myself again too. This goal is a really big deal to me because it encompasses so much. It means my Crohns stays under control. It also means I can train consistently for another full year. The biggest and bestest way to get fast is through consistency. I’m really excited to see what I can do.

Get proficient at the cycle-cross mount and dismount. –No more face plants.

The biggest and final goal of all is going to come in the form of race results. All the run pace and power numbers don’t mean a thing unless I can put it together on race day. So while I won’t put in race result goals right now…my general goals are going to be simple. Race to the potential I know I have, and what my training proves I can accomplish.

Race time goals are a funny thing. If I take my new goals and add them all together for a race time on a flat course, here is what it looks like. 19 swim, 59:40 bike(25mph), and 39:50 run(6:25 pace). That gives me a time of 1:58. Add in transitions and we’re looking at a 2:01 or so. When I look at my goals individually I can see it happening. While they will be very tough, they don’t seem completely unreasonable. But when I put it all together and realize I could potentially go under 2 hours at an Oly. Well let’s just say that sounds a little more unreasonable.

Let’s face it; I’d love to say things like I’m going to beat Matt, Scott, Joe, Justin and other elite triathletes in the area. But I need to be a little realistic too. The advantages I have on the swim and bike over normal age-groupers are completely negated by these guys.

While I could possibly put in the extra yardage and take Matt and Scott in the swim…what would that buy me? Even with a 15s lead out of the water, their run is so much better they’d pass me in transition just getting to my bike. Sadly, that isn’t an exaggeration. In a sense I’m in a bit of a no-man’s-land. I love competition and really enjoy racing specific people, but I don’t know who to choose. Most of the elite GG’s I would enjoy a rivalry with are a couple steps (and years) ahead of me, especially running.

If I am being honest with myself, as painful as it is, it is unrealistic for me to expect miracles like that. Running speed takes time and consistency. Until this season I’ve had neither. Breaking 40 minutes in an Oly 10k will be a big accomplishment for me all by itself as I can still remember running 10min/mile.

The only way I can see getting faster than that is if I lose the 20lbs pretty quickly and have my run times improve by 40s per mile as a result. At that point the rest of my off-season running would be spent improving from a threshold of 6:20 or so. Again, somewhat unrealistic. Having said that…the weight loss plan starts on Monday. J So we’ll see just how unrealistic it is.

So my biggest race goal will be to hit my personal expectations. Should I meet someone who is pretty close to my speed, perhaps we’ll start up a friendly rivalry. Ideally I’d like to qualify for the 70.3 world championships. I am a little torn about accepting a roll down slot. M35-39 is a really hard age group and taking top 2-3 would be quite a race for me. It might take something as crazy as a 4:20…and I doubt I’ll get to that speed that fast. But who knows…a 4:20 comes down to a 26 minute swim, a 2:22 on that bike, followed by a 1:32 run.

I can do a 26 minute swim.
On a calm day I would have easily done a 2:22 bike.
That leaves the run…I can’t do a 1:32 yet, but by the end of this off season I should be able to!

Who knows…one step at a time is a bit easier to deal with than talking about a 4:20.

1 comment:

  1. Lots of information here. I'd say that you're in a good position. First, you have the pre-triatlon profile to become fast (faster). Second, you've surrounded yourself with like-minded individuals that can keep you accountable for training and race execution. And third, you have a plan.

    As for hanging with Scott and I at the races. I would encourage you to swim with us (not in front or too far in back), run through T1 with us, and then bike with us until T2. From there, just hang on. I'd be very patient for the first few races and watch and observe. Maintaining focus during a race is difficult and a lack of attention can be bad, ie missing a turn, going too fast or slow around a corner, etc. Quietly observing the guys in front can give you the "other" skills necessary to being fast. It's more than simply turning the pedals hard. That being said, you should be in the mix this year coming into T2 and if you don't, you need to reconsider what "hard" means to you. Since you were a successful swimmer, there is no reason you can't do it in triathlon. You know hard, just apply hard to triathlon.