My first triathlon of the season is rapidly approaching. The Grand Rapids Triathlon is on Sunday. I’m doing the 70.3 again in hopes of besting last year’s PR (4:58).
I wrapped up last week with some crazy biking over the weekend. On Saturday, I did the 100 Grand Bike Tour. I chose the 145 mile route and if that wasn’t enough, added on an extra 15 miles by biking to and from the race site. I rode pretty much the whole day with the same two guys (one I knew going in, the other I met there) although there were a couple stretches where we joined up with other riders. I was on my TT bike (riding on the horns most of the time) because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be riding solo or not. I’d get aero when pulling but stayed upright the rest of the time. I pulled quite a bit because I wanted any chance possible to stretch out and get aero.
100 miles in, I got a huge compliment from one of the guys I was riding with who is a very good local cyclist. After taking a 5 mile pull into a 25mph head wind, he pulled up next to me and said, “If your running and swimming is anywhere near as good as your cycling you are going to crush your Ironman.” Talk about an ego boost! (Excuse me while I go widen my office door so I can fit my head out – haha).
Note: The HR graph isn’t me. I wasn’t wearing a HRM so I must have picked up other rider’s HRs along the way.
After the ride, I felt surprisingly good. Nutrition was spot on – the aid stations and lunch on the course helped keep things balanced. Despite the miles, I wasn’t really sore at all. In fact, I got up Sunday morning and did an OWS sponsored by the GR Tri followed by a 60 mile ride with some friends. I wanted to end the week on a bang because I knew that I would be tapering for this race this week.
While this isn’t necessarily an “A” race, I really want to crush it. So, let’s call it an “A-“ / “B+” race. Because it is still 11 weeks out from IMMT, I plan on going all out from start to finish even if it means an extra day or two of recovery afterwards.
I’m doing a full out taper this week similar to what I plan on doing before IMMT. I’ve started to get a little bit of the taper jitters, but nothing too serious. I’m going to be busy with some pre-race volunteering for the race so hopefully that keeps my mind off the taper.
So, what’s the plan for race day? Go FAST!
Last year I went:
Bike: 2:32:53 (22mph) (Note: I was stopped by a train so my “moving time” was 2:30:45 – 22.5mph)
Run: 1:48:48 (8:18/mile)
This year, the course is slightly different. The transition area has been moved a little bit further from the swim exit. But at the same time, it isn’t as long as narrow as it was last year. I’m hoping those two cancel each other out and I can have similar, if not slightly faster, transition times. The run course has also changed for the better. The worst hill on the course which you had to run twice has been removed. That alone, should make my run time faster.
With that in mind, my goals are:
Swim: 31:00 – My swim has improved, but I still want to take it easy here
Bike: 2:26:00 (23mph) – I went 2:27:00 at Steelhead last year on a similarly flat bike course
Run: 1:38:00 (7:30/mile) – My most optimistic goal. Realistically, I am thinking 1:41:30 (7:45/mile)
Transitions: 5:00 total (Not just in T2 MattyO)
Where does that put me? Somewhere around 4:40 – 4:45 if my math is correct. I really think it is doable if I am able to nail my nutrition and stick to my plan. Honestly though, I would be happy with anything under 4:58.
Concerns? My number one concern right now is the weather. It is forecasted to be in the high 80’s/low 90’s which is warmer than it has been the past couple of weeks. (Can I defer until next year??? Kidding.). It isn’t that high 80’s/low 90’s is hot (I know it is 100+ in TX), I just haven’t adjusted to it yet. If necessary, I’ll play it safe, slow down, stay hydrated, and live to fight another day.
I’m really getting amped up to officially start my triathlon racing season!
Anyone else racing this weekend?