Thursday, August 18, 2011

Let's talk race goals

It is time to talk race goals. Mostly so that it has time to sink in and that I pump myself up a bit.

Michelle suggested that I do not race with watch. But I really would like to have at least something to gauge my effort by. Last time, I had no idea what I was swimming, then I used bike computer for bike and then had no idea what I was running. It was not too bad but I think that if I had known half way through the swim that I was swimming 2min/100 pace I would have picked it up a notch. I do not think that I would have done run differently because I knew I was in 2nd with zero chance catching the 1st. But since this is the same race, I would like to know how I compare to last time.
I am not going to use bike computer this time (not that I do not want to, I am not going to use it because I lost it couple weeks ago and still do not have a new one) and I am not going to use Garmin for run (last time I wanted to but I forgot to put it on in T2 and I think that it will be the case this time around as well so why bother).
However, I am going to use a simple watch, start it when swim starts and then because all swim, bike, run are 2 loops I am going to check my half-way splits to see how I am doing compared to last time. Although I am sure that I will forget to check my watch once I get caught up in the competition.

So my goals? Very simple:
Improve on my swim from last time.
Have the fastest female bike split.
Have the fastest female run split.
And hope that that would be enough to have the fastest overall female finish time.

You see, simple, I told you. It is not that I am that fast. It is mostly that it is just a small local triathlon therefore competition is very limited. But such races are very good for building self-confidence and huge ego :)
My previous splits:
Swim T1 Bike T2 Run Total
29:44 2:25 1:11:48 0:48 42:45 2:27:28

Swim: I truly believe that I can improve on my swim. At least by 2 minutes. So my goal is somewhere around 27:30. Also depends on whether they let us have wetsuits or not. Now water is ~80 degrees and days are warm so looks like not. I really do not care.

T1: Also depends on whether they let us have wetsuits. I do not think that I can improve by much there if I wear a wetsuit, but I should be able to shave off few seconds by locating the bike-out exit properly. Not like last time. However, I will have to run in cleats, so that might add few seconds.
If wetsuits are not allowed, then it should be a very fast transition. 1-1.5min max. I hope at least.

Bike: Let’s see. I have real biking pedals and shoes, I have a new fast bike, and I know that I can push it harder than I did last time. Thus I am looking into major improvement. Maybe 1:08ish. If I mount my bike without any major embarrassment because I have been practicing flying mount in past few days and although I have not wiped out it was not very efficient or pretty. Still have few days to practice though. But I am ready to push hard on bike. 100% and see what happens.

T2: Should be easy. Will be slower than the last time because I will run with cleats and then need to change into running shoes. But last time I missed my rack by 1 rack and thus had to do small extra loop, so that added some time. This time, I need to be better at that.

Run: Hm. Should improve simply because I have been training. And my running has been going pretty well recently, which is a plus. However, I am going to push bike hard, which might trash legs way too much. Who knows. Last time I ran 6:54 pace. On Sunday I did a training 5miler at 6:55 and felt good. So I should improve. I am hoping for sub-41min, which is 6:40ish pace. It might be a huge overkill but if I pushed really hard... Well, I will not have Garmin to see what pace I am running anyway so it probably does not matter. I just need to push hard and stop being a pussy.

Ok, honestly, I have no idea. I am just putting those numbers here but I have ZERO idea whether they make sense or not. I think that triathletes’ approach (don’t care about splits, just placing) is rubbing onto me or something.

And "other" strategy?
It is probably going to be warmer than last time, thus I am going to try to drink more than I did in May (which was probably 1/4 of water bottle) and I will try to eat 2 gels on a bike. One on a first bike loop and then second one close to the end of the bike.
I will try to eat one on a run as well. I tried to eat a gel on Sunday while I was running and I had no GI problems. It was a nice distraction, plus gels are like candy. I love candy. But it will be hard to swallow it while breathing heavily. Oh man, that run is going to hurt.

I also need to think where I am going to put those gels since I have no bags or anything on a bike and no pockets on a swim suit (if it is not wetsuit legal race). I need to look up how people tape their gels to their bike frames.

Good thing about this tri is that it is one of club races and therefore there will be some people from the club to hang out with. So it should be fun.

Also, if I get a flat I might be in a huge trouble beucase I have never used CO2 cartages to pump the tire thus if I have to do it, I am not sure how that's going to work. Although my mountain bike tire is blown so I need to change that, so I will very likely waste one CO2 on that just to practise it.

If my ITB starts to act up, I am going to drop out. No bargaining. Stop.

I did not have any workout today. I was supposed to do 30min on a bike but my to/from work and to/from library commute counts for that.

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