Friday, September 11, 2015

Triathlon Prep & Goals

(Last year's prep post and race recap post of my first triathlon.) 

So, I'm doing a sprint triathlon this weekend at Best in the West. (Abe is doing his first half ironman!) Taking a half day off work so we can beat traffic and arrive in time for practice some open water swimming/wetsuit wearing, and be at one of the athletes' briefings. 

Sprint distances aren't 100% consistent race to race (though always similar) - this one is slightly shorter than last year's, with swim and run the same (500m and 5k, respectively), but the bike is only 12 miles (15.5 officially and 13.7 per my Garmin in last year's).

In my past 8 weeks of half-assed training, I have not done any brick workouts. I've swam a total 10,810 yards, including 600 straight a handful of times. Sort of attempted open water swimming when we were at the lake, but not really, and hopefully we do get a chance to get in the water tomorrow, and remember what the constriction of a wetsuit feels like. I've biked 89.8 miles, with the longest on the road being 10.25 - not quite race distance, but reasonably close. And I've done way more running than anyone should ever do in preparation of a 5k, so at least that part should be ok.

The stuff

Wearing to start for the swim: 

  • Tri short
  • Sports bra
  • Swim cap
  • Goggles
  • Garmin
  • Wetsuit

For the bike:
  • Helmet
  • Gloves and glasses (in helmet, hanging from bike)
  • Shoes (no socks)
  • Bike jersey (unzipped and ready to put on)
  • Towels to wipe off feet

Water bottle with coconut water on the bike. Planning to eat some shotbloks or nut butter quickly in transition with some coconut water, and not eat anything during the bike. (Have not worked on my handling skills, so would have to actually stop to fuel during.) Also have some electrolyte tab thingies that I haven't used before, but since it will be a bit hot might be useful (though the coconut water will also help with that.) A bit more coconut water at least after the bike as well. (I know it's a short race, but at my speeds it's long-ish, approaching 2 hours. I do need to fuel somewhat.)

For the run:
  • SPI belt with bib pinned on
  • Hat

Swim (500 m)

Last year goal: 12:00
Last year actual: 15:55
This year goal: 15:00

The few times I've timed my swimming this year have been about the same, maybe a touch faster than last year. Wetsuit gives speed, but anxiety slows me down. 500 m in the pool should absolutely not take me more than 12 minutes, but open water is different, and I think anything faster than last year will be completely satisfactory.


Last year goal: 4:00
Last year actual: 4:30
This year goal: 4:30

Depending on race setup, this can include some running between swim and transition areas. Have to peel off wetsuit, goggles, and swim cap; dry off feet; and put on shoes, jersey, helmet, glasses, and gloves. Eat and drink something.

Bike (12 miles)

Last year goal: 1:02 (15 mph)
Last year actual: 57:12 (16.3 mph official; 14.4 mph garmin)
This year goal: 55:30 (13 mph)

I've only been doing about 10 mph on the road, but that includes neighborhoods with a fair amount of stop signs; on a closed course I believe I can get closer to my trainer speeds in the 13 - 14 mph range. The bike is still by far my weakest of the sport, and I really didn't do anything to improve it since last year.


Last year goal: 2:00
Last year actual: 1:33
This year goal: 1:30

Just have to rack bike, take off helmet and gloves, and put on race bib belt (and hat, depending on how sunny it is), and at least drink some coconut water.


Last year goal: 37:00 (12:00)
Last year actual: 39:10 (12:36)
This year goal: 34:15 (11:00)

Of course the run at the end of a tri will never be as fast as a standalone 5k. But at this time last year my standalone 5k PR was over 2 minutes slower than it is now. I think 11:00 miles (PR is 10:00s) sounds reasonable, but anything under 12:00 will be ok. 

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