Friday, March 25, 2011

Race Preview - Spring Training Tri

My first Triathlon of the year is coming up next week, to say I feel ready wouldn't be totally true, but I'm hoping to pick up where I left off last year. In other words, ready this year for me means ready to do better than last year. There are a couple of things I'm feeling good about. First I have some serious running under my belt this year. I've run two half marathons and can easily run a 5k now without feeling like death. Last year, even at the end of the year I couldn't run three miles without being in a group without stopping. Second, while my training has been mainly running over the winter, I do feel like I'm starting in a much better place than last year. Last year I didn't even start training until April.

Race Info
The race at Tradewinds park. I've never been there, but my family has and they said they had fun, if that means anything :)

The swim is a point to point swim on a lake. I actually do better in wavy conditions, not because I'm a super fast swimmer in hurricane, but I think because everyone else slows down more than me in choppy water. So no waves means I can pretty much be assured there will be people around me the whole time. But it is point to point, which I have really learned to love. No turns, no people straying into oncoming traffic. All in all the swim looks pretty good. The only downside to the swim, I just got my first swim of the year in... I just can't get super excited about 1/4 mile swim. I've got to get past it though, the swim always bites me.

The bike is a two loop 10 mile course in a park, so it seems guaranteed that it will be flat, which is good, because on the little 12 mile loop I do near my house, there is only one hill, and it's only about 400 yards long. I'm torn on the loop, I now know that having people in front of me who are moving slower than me really helps keep my tempo up, but if there's tons of traffic that won't be awesome.

The run in also a two loop course. I'm excited for the run, they're advertising it as a straight 3 miles (as opposed to 3.1) but I'm going to compare my time to the 5k I just did. Again I'm torn about the loop, on the one hand it will give a really great 1/2 way point which I always feel is missing from courses I don't know, on the other hand traffic from the staggered start.

My goal is to pick up where I left off. Actually my goal is to do better than where I left off, because I feel like physically I'm in a better place.
Last YearGoal
I've sped up all the times.

The swim being the most noticeable, last year's swim was in the ocean, and that time was by far the slowest time of the season, we were probably swimming against the tide. 6:30 is sort of middle of the road, that puts me at about 1:35 per hundred pace, which is doable even with hardly any training (I hope :)

The bike, last year's bike course had a mile of steep climbing in the middle, 1/2 mile up, 1/2 mile down, and then turn around and do it again. So I just shaved a little time off, part of me really wants to shave a bunch off because that hill was killer, but the other part of me knows that the bike is probably my weakest part now. And since each uphill was followed by the same downhill, the hill didn't do much except make me tired. The goal time puts me at a 17mph pace which seems fast.

The run, I just did a 26 minute 5k last month, and I'm feeling good on my runs, so I'm thinking 27 after 40 minutes of going hard is doable.

Transition - I haven't been focusing on transition times. I know they are pitifully slow, and that 6 minutes in transition is an eternity. If I thought I'd be within striking distance of the podium, I'd worry about it, but for now I'll be happy to keep it under 6 minutes total.

Closing Comments
I'm probably going to end up going into this race with more swims than any other of the triathlons I've done, so I'm hoping the swim doesn't destroy me like it normally does. Then I'm going to just keep chugging, these goals are all within reach, and I'll be very happy to start this year off better than I finished last year.

No comments: