Monday, August 27, 2012

It's All About the Bike

I've heard people say that triathlons are all about the run.  You know, "Bike for Show, Run for Dough".  Many races are won on the run.  Of course some of that is due to the fact that the run is last.  Similarly as the swim is first, I've heard "You can't win it in the swim, but you sure can lose it".  Probably just an old golf expression when talking about the first round of a four round tournament.

But in this Olympic year, ITU style draft-legal racing has gotten a lot of attention. Those races always come down to the run.  But I believe it was Javier Gomez (2012 Olympic Silver Medalist in the Triathlon) who said you have to be really strong on the bike so you can maintain the pace with everyone else, and then still be able to kill it on the run.  Bike hard (or harder) than everyone else, but still have gas in the tank to have a good/great run.  Plus, you can train like an idiot on the bike and not get injured all the time.

So obviously in the past 2 week training block, I've gotten a lot of miles in on the bike:

16,100 yards, 6 swims, 6:21
Some good, some bad.  Endurance is there, just slower than molasses.

417.9 miles, 8 rides, 19:05, 21.9 average
Pretty evenly split between the weeks 208/210M.  Got some great rides in the first week.  Averaged 22.1 mph for the entire week.  61M on Tuesday night and then a 35M tempo ride on my FLO's at a 24.3 mph avg.  The second week, my hill workout was a bit of a bust on Tuesday, but the Friday night tempo ride on the FLO's again did not disappoint as I did 36M at a 24.2 avg with a 15M block at 25.5 mph avg. Then I did a 90M ride on Saturday at 21.7 avg.  Sunday's 50 miler was tough, but slugged out a 21.2 avg on that.

47 miles, 6 runs, 5:23
The first week I only managed 15 miles.  Four miles into my 13 miler on Tuesday, my right upper thigh pain came back.  First flared up while doing 16M run in the mountains.  I think I strained it as there was 1,800 feet of elevation gain on that run.  So I took a few days off, but ran 8 that Saturday and felt ok.  Saw Dr. Kahn the following Monday and he didn't think anything was too bad.  So the second week I did the 13 miler, then some intervals on Thursday.  I had a good short brick run after my 90 mile ride on Saturday.  Just 3 miles at 6:19 avg pace.  Sunday afternoons tempo run finally went well.  I didn't try and kill it in the first mile.  I did two miles warmup at 6:50's then did 6 miles of tempo.  First mile was a little fast (6:02) but felt good.  Ran through Baxter so there were hills.  Still had gas left in the tank at the end as the final 2 miles were 6:15 and 6:05.  Averaged 6:15's for the 6 miles, which was my goal.

6 Lifts, 2:00

474 miles, 20 SBR workouts, 32:49

Now we have a rest week.  I won't ride much as we'll be gone over Labor Day.  Starting to feel ready.  Starting to get some more confidence in my run.  I better, though.  5 weeks to Augusta

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Stumpy Creek Race Report

I kind of threw in this race late for me.  Didn't really have it on the schedule, but since I hadn't raced since the third week in June and Augusta isn't until the end of September, a good Oly distance race the first weekend in August was perfect.  Especially since it was just an hour away in Mooresville, NC.

I did this race last year and felt it was kind of a breakout race for me.  I wasn't dead last for an OWS for the first time in that race last year.  Quite a feat for me!  So I had high hopes for this non-wetsuit swim in 90 deg water, especially coming off my 32 min time trial last weekend.

So Stumpy Creek Park is in Mooresville, NC along the shores of Lake Norman in a cove in the northeast part.  Ample parking and one transition area make it a pretty simple logistical race.  This year they had Friday night packet pickup at IOS in Charlotte, so I didn't have to fight I-77 traffic on a Friday night to get my packet.  I like getting my packet early, I guess.

Setup was pretty easy.  I had a bagel, a banana and some fig newtons.  Put my shoes on my bike with the rubber bands.  I hadn't done that in quite some time, but thought I would try it again.  Grabbed my goggles and cap (and nose plug) and did a short warmup swim.

Officially 36:03, 37/55 AG, 172/255 OA
I was in the second wave at 7:05am with basically men 30-44, so there was about 109 of us starting.  I started out hard for the first 200 and then relaxed.  I felt pretty good, I felt like I was holding a good pace.  My sighting was OK, as there were a few times I couldn't really see where I was headed.  I got off heading a little before the first turn, but other than that seemed ok.  So I was quite deflated when I got out of the water and looked at my Garmin:  35:39.  Same as last year, well officially 4 seconds slower than last year.  I had a heard a rumor from the previous year that this course was long.  My Garmin had 1.14 miles.  I can expect about a tenth of a mile long due to not swimming straight, but this course is still long.  Regardless, my swim rankings tell me all I need to know: I stink at swimming.


Officially 0:55, 6/55 AG, 41/255 OA
Pretty quick due to no wetsuit and shoes on the bike.  No issues.

Bike 27.1M
Officially 1:07:19, 1/54 AG, 4/250 OA
Actually tied for 3rd overall bike split, averaged 24.2 mph.  First race with my new FLO 60 front and 90 rear.  I've only gotten about 65 miles on them previously (still kinda scared to ride them with the potential for rain!).  From last year's race I know the first 10 miles were a little hilly (where 10 to 20 you had a chance to make some time).  So I tried to push as much as I could in the first 5 miles and was happy with a 22.7 average.  The FLO's rode great.  They really increased my top end speed and handled flawlessly.  No wind to speak of but there were some rough roads that the Michelin's did well on.  On the 10 mile stretch from 10 to 20M, I averaged 26.0 mph.  Dominated my AG as second place in the bike was 4:20 behind me.  I saw a lot of expensive bikes and wheels out there today, and only 2 of them rode faster than me!

Officially 1:06, 14/53, 62/249 OA
Always a little slow in T2 as I put on socks, but still only 25 seconds behind the tops in my AG.

Run 6.1M
Officially 39:39, 1/53 AG, 8/249 OA
A little disappointed here as I just "didn't have it".  Wanted to run 6:15's but ended up in 6:29's.  Maybe the bike took a little out of me?  Nahhh!  Hills are still getting me, but not as bad.  Overall times were a little slower this year (I was 2:00 slower) I think due to the humidity being higher.  It wasn't really that hot.  A little surprised to have the fastest time in my AG by 2:10.

Officially 2:25:00, 1/55 AG, 19/255 OA
Good finish on the run to seal the AG win by 0:42.  Top 20 finish overall after my horrible swim definitely says something about my bike/run.  I was down by 7:19 after the swim to the eventual 2nd place finisher in my AG. See Overall results here.

Need to get faster in the water, but honestly it won't affect me as much at Augusta with the downstream wetsuit swim.  Rev3 FL may be a different matter, but I'm not really worried about that.  Seven weeks to Augusta.  My bike will be there, just need to start getting some quality runs in.  Time to put the head down and grind out 5 hard weeks of training before getting ready for the big one.