Who is Ted?

I'm the father of two beautiful daughters and an amazing wife. For fun, I enjoy the long hours of seemingly endless suffering that endurance sports (mostly running, cycling and triathlon)provide. During my "down time" I'm an avid beer snob and self-described gourmet chef (in other words I like to burn things on a stove or grill).

Sunday, June 1, 2014

2014 Boulder Sunrise Triathlon Race Plan


In a little less than a week, I'll complete my second of four planned triathlons this year, the Boulder Sunrise Triathlon.  The first was the OMT here in town that took place a couple of weeks ago.  In late July, my brother and I will do a self-supported 70.3 distance, and then in early September, I will compete in the Harvest Moon Triathlon (also a 70.3).  Harvest Moon is my "A" race for the year.  There are a few other activities planned during the summer, but from a Triathlon perspective, these four races are the only ones I'm going to do.
While this will be the first time I've done the Boulder Sunrise Triathlon, it isn't really a "new" event for me.  Last August I completed the Boulder Sunset Triathlon, which is the exact same course (I also did the Sprint Version back in 2010).  The only difference is the time of year, and the start time, with the Sunset starting about ten in the morning.  I'm hopeful that the Boulder Sunrise, with its 7:00 a.m. start, will be a bit more forgiving in terms of temperature.  I had a good race the last time I was out, but rising temperatures during the run phase, really zapped a great deal of my energy and it took me a little over 54 minutes to complete.  Although I wound up a respectable 6th in my age group, I feel that I can improve on my 2:42:29 finish time if the weather conditions are a bit more favorable.
Fast forward to now, nine months later.  After a bike crash and recovery in the fall, a long winter, and some early season racing, I'm ready to give the race in Boulder another go.  I don't know whether I have quite the same base of fitness as a year ago, but I've done a lot more "intensity" in the last couple of months.  All things being equal, it will be interesting to see if there's any positive difference in my results this time around.  Back in August of 2013, these were my goals for the Boulder Sunset:


After the race, I discovered that my swim time hadn't really changed at all, my bike performance was certainly better, and due to the hot weather, I was WAY OFF on my run by at least 8 minutes.  I also had a fairly ambitious set of time predictions:


In the end, the run really did me in, so I wound up with a less than average final result.  No matter.

Goals for 2014: 
My plan this time means staying consistent with a year ago, with the biggest difference coming on the run:

1) Swim:  I'd really love to complete the swim in 30 minutes or less.  A lot will have to come together to make that happen, but I have done more swimming than I had a year ago (from January to August 2013, I swam about 61,000 yards.  To this point this year, I'm already at about 65,000 yards).  A week ago, I did a 2.5 mile open water swim and while I didn't have a great performance by any stretch, I believe that a 30 minute swim is within reach.  Last year my time was 29:25 for the swim.

2) Bike: At the OMT three weeks ago, I managed a pace of about 21.4 mph over the 12.5 mile course.  According to TriCalc3, that same pace would be about a 1:14:00 overall time.  I would be very satisfied with this or anything close to the 1:15:00 mark.

3) Run:  The run is where I would expect to see the biggest improvement from a year ago.  My average pace per mile then was about 8:49.  If it isn't overly hot, I think that I should be able to average about a minute faster (give or take) with a pace between 7:45-8:00/ mile.  That would put my finish time for the run somewhere between 48:00 and 49:40.

If I can hit most of these targets, especially the run, and have decent transitions, that should translate into a final time that is somewhere under 2 hours 40 minutes. That's a touch faster than last years time, and given where I'm at in my training, this is possible, but it will still require a good deal of effort. Like a year ago, I can't have anything left.  Here's my traditional chart of possible outcomes:


Keys to the race:

1) Swim: Stay relaxed and focused.  The best thing I can do is to relax and concentrate on my breathing and technique.  I can't get distracted by sighting or feeling like I'm off course.  Success means coming out of the water without feeling overly exhausted.  Even a slightly slower swim can easily be made up if there's energy left for the bike and the run.

2) Bike: The bike portion requires me to stay positive and build my pace as I go along.  The first portion of the ride is slightly uphill, but that rapidly changes to a fair amount of downhill.  It will be important not to expend too much in the early stages of the ride.

3) Run: This is where the majority of the time from a year ago gets made up.   To have a great performance here, I don't have to be a speed demon.  Eight minute miles will keep me in the hunt for a course PR, and so I need to remember that.  Assuming that all things are going according to plan, I will see how I'm feeling at three miles.  If I still feel strong heading out onto the second loop, then I can give myself permission to go a little harder to the end.

4) Transitions: My times a year ago were both under 2:00 minutes which isn't too bad.  If I can cut those by about 15 seconds each however, that would be better.  I plan on practicing T1/ T2 a little later this week to that end.

So that's the plan for next Saturday.  Here's hoping it all comes together!

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