Monday, June 4, 2012

Race Preview - Liberty 70.3

At the end of last summer I went to Madison Wisconsin to volunteer for the Ironman race there. It was a good time, and it was helping me gear up mentally for doing a full iron distance event. The plan is to do Madison in 2013, and part of that, for me, is ramping up on the distance. This race is the first step in that plan.

It just recently occurred to me how long this race really is. If you run a slow marathon you will finish in 5 1/2 hours, if you win you might finish around 2 hours. If you use up all the time they give you on a 70.3 you get 8 hours, if you win it still takes 4 hours. That's a ton of time, it's not a sprint.

Physically I think I am ready for this, I feel very prepared to hit all of the individual points on the map, so it's just a matter of doing them one after the other.

Race Info
The race is in Rockford MN, it's about an hour from where we live. So I'll just drive up the morning of.

The swim is a triangle in a lake - since I did a race on this same weekend last year I know that a wetsuit is basically a requirement. The distance for swim on a 70.3 isn't that much further than an Olympic distance swim so I am not worried about the swim at all.

The bike is a large loop followed by a smaller loop. I biked it once already at a pretty easy pace, it's not super hilly, but it might actually be the furthest I've biked in one time, ever.

The run course is apparently an out and back with two turn around points, but I don't see how that's possible from the map they have. That is how it's described both on their site, and in the last email they sent out though. I have not run the course, I did hear that it's a little hilly, but nothing to worry about.
This is from The course is run around the loop twice, except just once hit that little jaunt at 2 o'clock

I realized as I was trying to plan for this race that I have no idea what my goals should be. At this distance I'm not sure that I need to be pushing really hard at any point except maybe the last half an hour. That's a big switch, even on an Olympic distance I think you can be pretty aggressive the whole time. But I suspect if I go too hard on the swim or bike it's very possible that I'll hit the wall long before the end. I now know that if I push too hard on the bike and get one mph faster but then end up walking even one mile of 13 I will loose all that time, and if I run out of steam totally I would probably end up walking more than one mile.

Swim29:551:25 per 100 yards
Bike3:0018.5 miles/hour
Run2:019:15 mins/mile

5:36 puts me firmly in the middle of the pack, but on the south side of my age group. Looking at the results before I made my goals is sort of what got me mixed up about how hard this might be. There are many people who will average the same speed on the bike I averaged on my last sprint, and then they'll get off the bike and run a half marathon in way under my half PR. So I'll just do my race and see where I land.

I'm feeling good about the swim, 1:25 is the pace I held at Trinona last year in a wetsuit, I am probably in way better swim shape this year, so it should work out fine.

18.5 should be doable. I mean I regularly go faster than that on shorter rides, but it's well below the speed I would aim for on a sprint or Olympic distance.

9:15 miles may actually be a little aggressive. I mean I know it's more than a full minute per mile slower than  the half I just ran, but for that race I just got up and went to the run. In this case I will be three and a half hours into a race.

I put four minutes in for transitions. Since a minute or so in there isn't going to exactly break the time bank, I'm just going to make my way though transitions and not worry about it.

Closing Comments
I'm not sure I'm going to pay much attention to time during the race. I'm going to try to just feel it. I think it will be somewhat challenging to remember to keep the pace feeling easy, no pushing, not on the swim, not on the bike, not right away on the run. It will be a challenge both mentally and physically. I think I'm ready for it, but then again I have no idea what it is.

Also, when I think about these times
5:36 to move 70.3 miles - 12.8 miles per hour
Fastest sprint distance - 1:07 to move 15.6 miles - 14.05 miles per hour
Fastest Olympic Distance - 2:46 to move 33 miles - 11.91 miles per hour

I'm in pretty decent shape right now, I think I can hit the goal I set, but I am aware that it will mean I can do my second (longer) race of the year holding a faster pace than the last race of last year.

On a slightly funny note, if this race follows the same pattern as the 10k and half I did earlier this year, it's possible that I'll finish in 5 hours even. I'm not going to hold my breath for that.

1 comment:

Amy said...

This is an early start for a Minnesota race .. You guys are gonna be up early! But you'll do great.