Wednesday, September 8, 2010

IMMOO: What to Expect

I'm trying to piece together in my mind how this next race is going to go.  I'm taking a hiatus (sabbatical?) from the Ironman distance after this one, probably returning in 2012.  That means this one is important - I'll have to live with this result for a long time.  If I go away disappointed with my performance as I did in St. George then it's going to bother me for a long time.  After St. G. I was very frustrated with my race, but I told myself that I would make up for it in Madison.  Well, Madison is here - it's time to put my body where my mouth is.
My Previous Results

I've done IM swims of 1:08 and 1:04 so far.  I expect to be a little bit slower than that this time around, just because I haven't been swimming very much.  I'll be happy with anything under 1:15 which still puts me in the front portion of the main pack.  The swim is unimportant anyway, just need to exit the water without being exhausted or having been kicked in the head too badly.

I really need to work on my IM transitions.  So far both have been about 11 minutes, which might seem appalling.  However, there's a lot to do in T1:
  • Your time starts when you exit the water, so running up the ramp is included
  • You need to get to the wetsuit strippers and have them remove your suit
  • Run through the rows of bags and find yours
  • Run to the changing tent
  • Dry off - it's hard to put on dry clothes on a wet body
  • Change clothes (I always switch to bike shorts for an IM race)
  • Put socks on - I use them, many don't
  • Sunscreen
  • Use the bathroom - I have needed to both times so far
  • Run to the bike racks while wearing bike cleats, and get to T1 exit
So 11 minutes isn't fast, but it's not insane either.  I'm going to attempt to cut this down to 5 -7 minutes this time, though it probably is mostly dependent on whether I need to hit the bathroom or not.

My bike times so far have been 5:41 and 6:50 (19.7MPH and 16.4MPH).   That's a pretty good spread, however the courses were very different.  IMAZ is flat and fast, IMSTG is hilly and at elevation.  A better comparison is power and heart rate.  At IMAZ I was at 163 Watts and 137 bpm while at St. George it was 141 Watts and 123 bpm.  This is actually pretty much in line with expectations since I deliberately went easier at St.G to save my legs for the run.
So what will I do in Madison?  I'm targeting 170 Watts, though I don't know what time that will result in.  I'd like it to be around 6 hours, but my guess is that it's going to be about 6:30.

T2 is pretty unimportant, but it took me 9 minutes and 6 minutes in my previous races.  That seems too long, even with another full wardrobe change and fresh sunscreen.  I'll try to get this down in the 5 minute range.

I've worked on my run a lot this year.  I've PR'd twice at the half-marathon distance, and had my best ever 70.3 run as well.  My two IM times have been less than stellar: 5:19 and 6:16.  Ouch.  I'm running well right now and assuming there's no hydration/nutrition issues I think 4:30 is doable.  Coach thinks 4:00 is doable, but he's out of his mind.  4:20 would be great, since that is 10 minute/mile average.

So it adds up like this:
1:15 Swim
0:07 T1
6:30 Bike
0:05 T2
4:30 Run

That amounts to a 12:27 finish time, two minutes faster than my previous best.  I would love to get that under 12 hours, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen.  Maybe I can still shave a few minutes off of that swim time.  And the bike...

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