Friday, 11 May 2012 14:14

Ironman Texas Goals

[caption id="attachment_5885" align="alignright" width="245" caption="The Real Goal Is To Just Finish!!!!!"]ironman_triathlon_finishline[/caption] Ironman Texas is in 8 days and I am posting my goals post today for a few reasons:
  • I will not be posting over the weekend as I'll be spending time with the family.  Chico is racing his first tri on Saturday morning so I plan on getting on my trainer at 4am and riding for 2 hours then a 15 minute run then off to do the kids tri with him and Karen.
  • Next week may get crazy with packing, checking, re-packing, re-checking, etc and I may lose track of time.
  • I have been thinking about this for 4 months and so I want it off my brain.  There are other thoughts that need to occupy the space that this has been taking up.
As the commercial says:  HERE WE GO! Weekend Goals:
  • Laugh as much as I possibly can.  This is going to be a tremendous weekend and I want to soak it all in and have a great time with family and friends.
  • Meet Susan Lacke, Chloe Efrink, Andy Fernandez, Charisa Wernick, and Chrissie Wellington.  Getting to meet all of them would make that a tremendous weekend.
  • Enjoy dinner with Karen, Shannon,Jeff, Annie and Lesley.
  • Wake up Sunday, pump my fist and enjoy the biggest carbohydrate loaded breakfast I have ever eaten.
Now onto the race.  When I first started writing this post in my head my thoughts were:  Swim Goal:  Don't know.  Bike Goal:  An idea but still don't know.  Run Goal:  Who the f*(k knows what could happen here but the more I thought about it the more I know what I am capable of.  Notice I said capable and not will do because the day will dictate what happens out there. Swim: Based on my HIM times of anywhere from 40:00 to 41:00 I am looking at a time of 1:20 and I am comfortable with this number.  I am taking the point of view of just getting through the swim and not pushing myself too hard.  Swimming 2.4 miles is just something I have to do on race day and consider it a warm-up prior to the race starting when I exit the water. A 1:20 swim averages out to 2:04/100m or 1:54/100y.  This is something I am comfortable with.  Yesterday I swam 20x100y with all times between 1:49 and 1:53 and was not breathing heavy and never felt like I couldn't continue.  I could have swum all day at that pace. Goal: 1:15 - 1:20 (my OWS projections from the past few weeks put me in at 1:16 but since I was by myself I did not have the things that could knock me off my game)   Bike: I rode the course (backwards mind you) back in February when the weather was perfect with little wind and no humidity.  My speed back then for the 92 miles I rode was 19.5 mph.  This would be ideal if I knew that I could run a marathon at the pace I want to coming off a bike split as fast as this for my first Ironman. The forecast for the race is showing winds 2-4mph from S to SSE which is the same direction but slightly lighter than last year.  Having 2-4mph winds is like having no wind considering that I have been doing my training rides in the open with winds in the 15-20mph range and gusts up to 30mph.  2-4 mph would be heaven.  The temps are forecasted to be around 88* which is warm but no different from Puerto Rico.  So the weather, should it hold up, will not be a huge problem. The key will be hydration/nutrition and keeping my heart rate in check.  The biggest goal will be to maintain an average Heart Rate of 135bpm.  If I do that then I will be setting myself up for the perfect run.  A heart rate in that range has shown me to be anywhere between 18.0mph and 18.5mph. Goal: 5:50 - 6:00   Run: The biggest unknown in this entire race will be here.  I have never run a marathon after riding for 112 miles.  I have run for an hour after riding 119 miles and felt great but that was only a fraction of the 26.2 I will need to cover next Saturday.  The key again will come down to how I took care of myself via nutrition/hydration on the bike. I have a strategy for the marathon that I have been practicing since December.  Run the first 4-6 miles about 15 to 30 seconds per mile slower than my goal time.  I want to get my legs under me and running at that pace will only put me behind my goal time by 2 to 3 minutes.  Not a huge time difference.  After that I want to walk 30-45 steps at each aid station.  I am not putting a time on the walking because 30 steps at Mile 2 is going to be a lot faster than 30 steps at Mile 20. Goal: 3:55 - 4:00 (this is ~9:00/mi)   Overall: The goal for any race, but especially 140.6 miles, is to just finish.  As Kevin emailed me earlier this week:  Finishing an Ironman is a PR no matter how fast you go.  I couldn't agree more with him on this.  Each course has a different story and each race, even on the same course, will tell a different story. Goal: If you take the lower end of the times along with transitions you end up at 11:15.  The higher end puts you at 11:30.  Should this go as planned an 11:30 finish time would put me in the Top 15% of finishers and that I will happily take in my first Ironman and shout it from the mountain tops. I also want to point out that my Bib# is 1626 and I have converted that to mean: 1st Ironman with a finish time of 6:26p.  A 6:26p finish time would mean an 11:26 race.  Karma?  Foreshadowing?  


Published in Race
Friday, 16 March 2012 12:44

70.3 San Juan Goals

703_ironman_sanjuan_logoThis 70.3 San Juan goals post has been written and re-written then deleted and resurrected more times than Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees but I'm finally putting it out there.  You saw the time I am shooting for in the Ironman Texas Training Video - Week 12 but I am going to break it down and provide you (really me) rationale for why it will happen.  When you get around to reading this post I will be in the air on the way back to the Mother Land in the anticipation of setting a PR in PR. Swim: The swim is the discipline that I have worked the hardest at and the one in which my improvements I'm most proud of.  Since December 11th I have swum a total of 61 miles.  I have been focusing on my form and being long and straight.  A few days ago I focused on pushing my chest down which would allow my feet to raise and my paces picked up by 4 seconds with LESS effort.  I should have been doing that ever since I read it but better late than ever.  My times were 1:38/100y and when you convert that to meters it comes out to 1:47.  Assuming I cannot swim that fast in the open water and history has proven itself to be true.  My times were about 1:55/100y when I did Austin and swam a 2:04/100m so add 10 seconds to 1:47 and you get 1:57/100m. The 1:57/100m translates to 37:30 for the 1.2 mile swim. Goal:  35:00 - 37:00 (previous PR 40:07) Bike: [caption id="attachment_5503" align="alignright" width="300" caption="99% Flat I Would Say"]ironman_sanjuan_bike_elevation[/caption] After the ride on the Ironman Texas course where I averaged 19.5mph for 92 miles my confidence of being able to meet the 19.85mph I averaged at 70.3 Austin soared.  Then I looked at the elevation map of the Puerto Rico course and that confidence went sky-high and made me think about whether or not it was possible to go faster than that.  If you look at the elevation map you notice there are what appear to be two huge peaks, but look closer.  Do you notice that it goes from 30 feet to 60 feet over the course of ~1 - 1.5 miles.  We call those Texas Hills and I'm used to riding them but really that is a roller.  Total gain of less than 400 feet over 56 miles and I am thinking that going 21 mph is a possibility.  Like California and Austin it will be wise to control myself out of the gate and get a feel for my legs.  Of course the wild card here is the wind, but that I cannot control. Goal: 2:40 - 2:45 (previous PR 2:49) Run: [caption id="attachment_5504" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Looks Daunting But Look At Distances And Climbs"]ironman_sanjuan_run_elevation[/caption] The one area that I always felt was my best discipline has bitten me in the a$$ in my two Half-Ironman races.  Like any other race I have to control myself out of the gate and I have not done that previously.  After reading how to run the marathon at an Ironman all of my training has been focused on running at a pace that would allow me to PR the distance in a triathlon, but leave me feeling strong enough to bury my head and push as hard as I can instead of struggling to finish. I did not pick my goal time out of the blue but instead studied how I had performed in Cali and Austin along with what my PR in a stand-alone half marathon has been.  I then also ran the Stonebridge Half-Marathon with that pace in mind and executed my perfect race. My goal is to go out at 8:15/mile pace for two miles, re-asses and figure out if I need to hold that pace or if I can drop down to 8:00/mile and in the last 1-2 miles go like I watched Jeff and Kevin do at The Woodlands Marathon.  No Guts, No Glory. Goal: 1:42 - 1:45 (previous PR 1:47) Transitions are going to be the key to getting a good time.  The run from the water to T1 seems to be a long one and thus I am adding one minute to my T1 pace from Austin, which nets out to my average from California.  In California there was a weird exit from the water and wrap around rails to get to T1.  Overall I expect to have around 6 minutes in transition. Overall Goal: 5:03 - 5:13 My goal is to be in the Top 30 and to do that, based on last year, I would need to be in at 5:10.  No Guts, No Glory  
Published in Race
Saturday, 17 September 2011 09:41

Analyzing Race Results

I am very guilty when it comes to analyzing race results and getting down on myself.  I expect a lot and am my own worst critique.  You may recall my near breakdown when I reviewed my results at CapTexTri at the race site.  Instead of enjoying the PR that I just laid down, on a more difficult course, I criticized myself for my place.  I did not take into account that I cannot control who is in the race and just thought to myself that I worked so hard for that race to just place where I did.  I did not say to myself look at the 7 minute PR I just laid down. [caption id="attachment_4154" align="alignright" width="259" caption="The Finish race goal!"]ironman_triathlon_race_finish[/caption] With two triathlon races left in my 2012 season I have grown a lot since that day.  I only compare myself to myself and think about how I can improve in all facets of triathlon.  I analyze my swim times, bike times and run times to each other as separate disciplines.  The problem is that I am not comparing courses.  I am not comparing conditions.  Even if you race on the same course the next year you are looking at different conditions so it is near impossible to compare A to B, as there are always variables. I bring this up because on October 2nd I will be racing the US Open Championships in Rockwall, Texas and then on October 23rd I will be in Austin for the 70.3 Longhorn race.  I raced in Rockwall last year and finished in 2:53.  This was my first Olympic distance race and since then I have lowered my time to a PR of 2:38.  I am of the mindset that I can go below 2:30 in Rockwall this year.  Why do I think that?  I say that because I know I have improved year over year and my PR was a 2:38 without a wetsuit on the swim and a horrible run in extreme heat.  I know that I can take 3-4 minutes off of my swim from that race because of the wetsuit.  More importantly, I know my run will be faster because my nutrition/hydration has been dialed in. Then the last A race of the year will be three weeks later.  70.3 Longhorn is so different from 70.3 Oceanside that comparisons are nearly impossible yet I have a time of 5:29 in my mind.  I want to go sub-5:30 at this race and all signs point to me doing so, but again these two races are so different even though the distances are the same. This begs the question of how do you analyze your races with all the different variables.  Lucky for me, and now you, has an article to address this.  Here is the article for you to read in a condensed form.  If you wish to read the entire article click [HERE]: ====================

How to Measure Your Triathlon Race Results

By Eric Kenney EK Endurance Coaching

With racing season well under way, many triathletes are analyzing race results and assessing their performance. This can be a tricky process. Whether it's simply a training race or a more important event, there are many things to consider when looking at the numbers...and some things should simply be left on the course. With times, rank in each event, overall placing, wattage, run pace and more, how do you analyze your results and performance correctly? The first rule of thumb: Measure you and only you. Forget about everyone else.

The Hard Data

When it comes to the data, running pace is a big one. I recommend going by your GPS watch—it's the most consistent tool race to race. Plus, run course distances can be off more than you think which can skew times quite a bit. Be careful with swim times as well. I have never heard of an open water swim course that was perfect. Wind, choppy water and other extenuating circumstances can all affect your time. Which is a similar story on the bike: You should never use time to measure your performance on the bike. Miles per hour means very little when things as small as a gust of wind or new pavement can affect your average speed. Learn to measure your wattage and evaluate your performance based on that.


Even when you have all the correct data, are you analyzing it correctly? If you are upset about your run time because "it was slow", have you assessed your goal pace recently? What pace are you really capable of running off the bike? Avoid choosing an arbitrary time: Set a realistic time goal for you.


Look at your year-over-year results. Race times will vary throughout the year because of issues like the ones described above. Comparing results race to race within a year will not be as telling as looking at your results from years past.

Keep An Open Mind

Things don't always match up 100 percent. That is why we prefer to use well-executed races—and more than one—whenever possible. The more reference points you have the better.


Break down your goals. Create specific goals for each race? Then choose bigger goals for the season or year? Finally, have fun and do your best. Everyone should have the goal to execute the race to the best of their abilities on that day! If you did your best, that's all that matters. ==================== I have my goals for both races and both are broken down by discipline.  As we get closer to the event and I enter my taper training I will unveil my goal times for each race. For now I have to go run for 2 hours and 30 minutes in a very different way than I have ever run before.  Coach has included some different types of training workouts for me and they have all gotten me prepared for these last two triathlon races before we convert to marathon training for a shot at a Boston Qualifying time.
Published in Train