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).

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The IM Boulder Plan

There are approximately 9 days remaining until IM Boulder.  Hard to believe after the last several months of training that it's finally here.  I've started to taper now there are just a few workouts left to do.  For the most part, these are designed to keep me active and make sure I don't feel too rusty going into the race.  "The Hay is in the Barn" so to speak, so I will present my IM Boulder Plan for the race. Generally, I create a fairly extensive and detailed race plan.  Although IM Boulder is the longest race to date, it's going to be my shortest write up in terms of a plan.  IM Boulder plans to be a long day and so the strategy is fairly simple: Keep moving forward and don't overdo anything.  I want to keep it simple, so that it's easier to remember come race day:

1) Finish.  This is really the only thing that matters. If I am faster, great.  If not, that's okay too.  I just want to cross the finish line and call myself an Ironman.
2) Have Fun.  This seems strange, but I'm really going to seek to take it all in.  I know that there will be some "darker moments" along the way, but the race is my reward for all of the hard work that I've put in during the last year. If you can't enjoy it, why even do it?

A note on Epic, Great, Good, Average performance ratings: I'm leaving these out for Ironman for a few reasons:
1) It's too difficult to predict the impact that an "epic" performance in one area will have on another aspect of the race.  For example, if I swim the course in 1hr, 10 min that would be an "epic" performance on the swim to be sure.  However, if that causes me to have a 7 hour bike ride and a 6 hour marathon, then I haven't really gained anything.  Is it really "epic" then?
2) I've simply never done anything like this.
3) Just finishing will be an epic performance for me.

What I can do is estimate a range of time in which I expect to finish.  Allowing for  20 minutes of transition, aid station/ special needs stops, and based on the training I've done this year, with all other things being equal, I would anticipate that my finish will be somewhere between 12.5 to 14.5 hours.

1) Finish the swim somewhere between 1:15 & 1:35.
2) Concentrate on getting into a steady and easy rhythm.  This is a long swim and I will save energy by staying relaxed and concentrating on a solid technique. The sooner I get the "routine" going, the less energy I'll expend.
2) Complete the swim feeling "good" (meaning that I haven't expended all of my energy).

1) Finish the bike somewhere between 5:50 & 6:30.  This should be well within my comfort range based on the previous rides I've done this year.
2) Remember to take it easy at the beginning of the race.  The desire will be to "hurry" in the early part of the ride.  I have to fight this urge and focus more on getting a steady rhythm and pace going.  It will be deceptively easy to feel like I can go faster early on in the race, but that will be wasted energy.  Better to be a touch slower on the bike and have a stronger run, than to have a speedy bike split and blow up on the run.
3) Remember to hydrate and take nutrition throughout the ride.  Stopping to refuel (or even a pit stop) won't make a big difference in the final outcome.

1) Finish the run sometime between 4:30 & 6:00.  There's a wide variety of time there, but based on the running I've done, I think this is where I will shake out.
2) Don't push too hard at the beginning of the race.  It will be tempting to run stronger at the beginning, especially if I feel good off of the bike.  But it will be better to save that energy for later in the run.  If I feel great after 20 miles then by all means, I'll give myself permission to go for it.  More likely however, is that I'll be exhausted and I will be thankful for any additional energy I've managed to conserve earlier on.
3) Stay hydrated and stay cool.  No telling what the weather will be like.   Keeping temps down will be a major factor in my overall performance.

That's it. The plan (as it is) for Ironman Boulder!

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