Tuesday, July 5, 2011

San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island 2011 Race Plan

Date: July 9, 2011
Type: Olympic Distance Triathlon
Goals (Time):

  • Total: 3:16:40
  • Swim: 36:00
  • T1: 3:00
  • Bike: 1:25:40 (17.5 mph)
  • T2: 2:00
  • Run: 60:00
Goals (Qualitative):
  • Nail transitions -- I've been giving up a lot of time on both T1 and T2
  • Relax in the water and swim mostly with my arms, not my legs.  I'm less interested in the time here and more interested in managing to freestyle the whole way.
  • High cadence on the bike.  This is a flat course and I will be tempted to lower the cadence in a higher gear.  Keep cadence above 85 and save my legs for the run.
  • Spend as much time on the bike in the drops as possible.
  • Finish with nothing left -- I've been training with 12-16 km runs.  I should have enough left to run negative splits on the last 5k.
  • Watch the heart rate.  My lactate threshold on the bike is around 162 and around 172 on the run.  Stay below it for the whole bike segment.  On the run, stay near, but not above until 2k to go.  Then blast it.
  • Stay calm and have fun.
Actual Race Plan:

I will leave the house at 5:15 AM to arrive around 6:00.  On the night before I'll set up the press pot and water boiler to get coffee ready.  I'll  make coffee first thing.  One cup before leaving and I'll drink the rest in a travel mug.  I'll eat lightly -- mostly carbs and fruit.  I'll have the van packed the night before.  I just have to load the bike and go.

Upon arrival at the race site, I'll pick a spot on a rack.  Then I'll Set up the spot with towels, equipment, etc.  I'll  make sure hydration gear and food  is all on the bike.  Then I'll check in, get body-marked, set up my race belt.  If possible, I'll lay down, take it easy and even nap.  I will apply sun-screen generously 45 minutes before the race starts.  15 minutes after sunscreen, I'll grease up my ankles generously and put on pantyhose to go under the wet suit.  I will immediately put on my wet suit.  Then it's time to get ready for Male 35-39 wave.  This is mostly about socializing and just before the start, quieting the mind almost entirely.

For the swim start, I will start wide right and towards the back.  The point is to avoid as much jostling as possible.  I will swim relaxed and keep my mind calm.  Some of the faster swimmers may lap me.  That's okay.  I am aiming to preserve my legs, so I want my swim to be dependent on my stroke.  I will enjoy how much easier it is to swim with a wetsuit on.  I will breathe bilaterally, taking a breath every fifth or seventh stroke.  If I'm not holding my mental line, I will occasionally breathe on the third stroke.

In transition, I will move with urgency.  The goal is to not give away any time.  I'll remember how I've been giving up 2-5 places with my transition time.  I will remember how, at Morro Bay, I did not pass the fat man until a mile into the run. I will get on the bike, follow the rules and peddle smoothly.  I have to do six laps.  I will eat 1/3 of the gummies every 10 km.  The Garmin will tell me when that is.  My  cadence will stay above 85 and I will stay aerodynamic in the drops.  There are no real climbs, so there shouldn't be much gear-shifting.  I will follow proper riding etiquette and rules (no drafting!), but I won't get stuck behind any slow-pokes.  I will finish both fluid bottles by the end of the bike ride.

In T2, I will maintain a sense of urgency.  I'll leave the bike gloves on.  I'll take most of the first running lap easy to test heart rate and pacing.  These should be around 6:00 km splits with a heart rate in the low 160s.  I will key on heart rate, not time.  After the third km, I will bring the heart rate to the high 160s and keep it there.  Hopefully, this will translate to 5:40 splits or so.  I will not force the pace, but watch the heart rate.  After 6 km, I will push the heart rate to the very low 170s.  I want to do the next two km right at threshold.  It would be great if this translated to 5:30 splits, but I will not watch that.  I will watch my heart rate.  Then with 2 km to go, I will forget about heart rate and just push it.  The goal here is to push beyond 5:15 splits for the last two km.  I will push it hard for these last two km, but I will push it hardest on the last km.  I should run the second km 2-5 seconds faster than the one before.

During the run, I will remember that the run is still a weak discipline for me.  I will run my pace and not get worried about people passing me.  I will remember that there are three laps and some of the people passing me are actually lapping me.  I will not chase anyone until the last two km.

I will smile.  Doing triathlons is expensive in terms of money, time, support and discipline.  The fact that I can do this indicates that I have a truly bounteous life.  It will perhaps not always be apparent, but being out there on Saturday is a celebration.

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