Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tinman Triathlon race plan

My primary goal for this race is to let myself push harder on the swim and run. In the past I was focused so much on just finishing that I held back too much. At least that is how I feel now. Even at the last Honolulu Triathlon where my legs felt tired near the end of the run, I believe that I could have kept going at my mid-run pace. I just need the mental fortitude to keep pushing, and trust my body to hold together to the finish line.

What led me to this new point of view was the Tuesday Tantalus ride. That weekly effort taught me how to control my effort in small gradations, push a little harder, let up just a little to recover, all the while right up at my aerobic limit. It really is possible to be struggling to breath and just keep going, minute after minute, without breaking down. A big mahalo to Sonya for helping me learn that lesson.

My swim is much improved over last year. In May I swam the 1,500M Honolulu Triathlon course at  3:00/100 yards. Last year at Tinman I did 4:40. That's nothing! At last year's Honolulu Tri I did 5:38. Lately I have been getting below 2:45, so that will be my swim goal, to do the 750 yards in 20 minutes. The predicted conditions -- plenty of wave action -- may blow that time right out of the water. Literally.

My Honolulu Tri bike segment was very strong; I doubt I can do much better than that. At last year's Tinman I averaged 15 m.p.h., so I will go with that for a time of 1:30. If I can go faster I will, but I have to save a little something for the run.

I believe I can go faster on the run. By that I do not mean a faster fast. What consumes my time is slowing down as fatigue builds. This time I am going to push myself to keep the effort high and constant. Last year I did the Tinman run in 1:36 for a 15:53 pace. I did the Honolulu Tri at a 15:35 pace, but the first half was at 15:03. My goal for this Tinman is a 14:30 pace for a time of 1:30. Not sure I can average that with the hills, but that is my goal -- a bit of a reach, but I am going for it.

My fuel plan is about the same as before except I was taking on a little too much during the run. I believe this was caused by my concern for falling apart. The thing is, if I eat on the bike I should not need much to complete the run. Taking on anything more than sports drink on the run can trigger stomach upset. I will carry one gel flask, as usual, but drink sparingly and in really small sips.

In summary, my goals are
Swim 0:20
Bike 1:30
Run 1:30

Last year my overall time was 3:55. Allowing ten minutes for transitions, I am aiming for a finishing time of 3:30.

As always, the whole point in doing this is to do it, and have fun. Even the goal of winning my age group is unrealistic. Try not being last. Middle of my age group, maybe. Better than last year, for sure. Nike really hits the nail on the head with their slogan, "Just do it." To be 65 years old and be out every day training for these events -- living the lifestyle -- is all the reward I need. Over and above that are the friends I have made. Within the triathlon community, as well as the individual sports it encompasses, I have found a group of exceptionally friendly and caring individuals who seem much more likely to give someone a hand than to step over them on the way to the finish line. I certainly appreciate all the help they have given me.

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