Jun 06

A Race Plan

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:
Swim: 31:11
T1: 2:54
Bike: 2:32:53 (22mph) (Note: I was stopped by a train so my “moving time” was 2:30:45 – 22.5mph)
T2: 2:27
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?

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2012/06/06/a-race-plan


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  1. Nick Lemke

    Thanks for giving me this info…now its time for me to plan my attack. I decided not to race the GR Triathlon after my win this past weekend. My new race is the “Keep Kevin off the podium” Triathlon. I highly doubt this will happen. Remember, Kevin is actually a machine. In all seriousness I can’t wait to see you kill it. I just hope I can keep up with you during the swim and the bike before you pound the pavement!

  2. Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race

    if you don’t get to 4:58 or less tell them it doesn’t count because of the weather and you want a do over for next year but you will do the race in early April and they can record your stats and post them in June when the others race.

    On a serious note…..I have zero doubt that you can go 4:40-4:45. You biking has been spot on and the BQ training has made you that much faster that you can do that 7:30/mi.

    Crush it brother.
    Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race recently posted..Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series Thoughts

  3. Jeff

    You are freaking beast man!

    Here is to getting some solid weather and you crushing this course. If it is hot make sure to hydrate more than usual and you’ll do great!

    11wks — cannot wait!
    Jeff recently posted..2,160

  4. Colleen

    Um… so I looked at your numbers and thought “yep… he’s got this”. Your training has been spot on Kevin. Just be smart and I think you’ll hit your goals. And with those goals, you might just beat a certain someone! 🙂

  5. Jon

    You keep getting faster and faster! Go for the overall man!!
    Jon recently posted..June’s Race Plan

  6. Matthew Smith

    You’ve got this, Kevin! The training is there, so it’s a matter of you executing which is not a problem for you! The heat looks like the only factor that could stop you. Got get ’em, buddy! I’m rootin’ for ya!!!
    Matthew Smith recently posted..In Memory of "Beryl"

  7. Beth

    Between your PR marathon training and insane cycling you’ve been putting in, I see a HUGE PR in the near future. Have a great race!
    Beth recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: It’s Getting Real

  8. Heather O

    AMAZING! Good luck to you!!!

  9. sarah

    Good luck this weekend Mr. speedy
    sarah recently posted..Fresh Bikes Rematch

  10. DR

    What a ride!!
    total throwdown
    and lolol @ head thru the door hahaha

    GL in ur upcoming half
    love the approach to this race and the IM
    really looking fwd to see what you do in the IM later this summer

  11. TriMOEngr (Christina)

    Excited to read all about it. Have a great race!
    TriMOEngr (Christina) recently posted..Twilight Ride & Roadkill

  12. BDD

    Good luck and have fun!!!
    BDD recently posted..Deer Creek Olympic Aquabike Race Report

  13. Matt Oravec

    So let’s get to the main point of the comments here… blah blah good luck, you will kill it blah blah. We all know you are going to get 4:40’s no prob, you have been beast mode ever since that killer 26.2.

    Like I said, the real point of the comment: Your bike route looks like Marge Simpson. Do you see it? I can’t be the only one…
    Matt Oravec recently posted..I’m Back!

  14. katie

    don’t get stopped by a train! that’s my pro tip. good luck!
    katie recently posted..four things friday

  15. Rachel Keele

    Maybe Donnie and I will run into you tomorrow! We’ll be at the Grand Rapids Tri since I’ll be doing a relay with a couple other girls. Good luck! You’re totally going to nail it!

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