Old, slow guy race plan for Ironman Syracuse

Posted: June 22, 2012 in cycling, Running, Syracuse Ironman 70.3, Training, Triathlons, Weight Loss
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Old, slow guy race plan, and I forgot to mention still overweight. Not like I was, but I still have my goal of 160 that will still hang in front of me as my carrot after Sunday. Trust me, I’ll get there. I am stubborn enough to make it happen. It is a big deal that I lost 54 lbs, but that is old news, and I have to keep at it. I was hoping to be 170 something on Sunday, but it looks like I will come in at 184-186. No real loss of weight, in the final weeks of training. One mistake I made was over fueling the big workouts. The whole issue of what will work for me to lose weight, and train for long course and or full ironman events, is a high priority come next week. Have to focus on the next 46 hrs.

What I have planned for Sunday comes from the focused training of the pass twenty weeks and what I have learned as an Endurance Nation Team member. I have whatever fitness I have, and Sunday is the day to execute a well thought out plan. I was not able to follow the training schedule 100%, but I got most of it, especially the key workouts. Coach Rich and Patrick guided me through the minor setbacks and how to move workouts around or amend to get the best return on investment (ROI), something they are very big on. Since joining the team, I have seen big gains. My VDOT went from 32 to just shy of 41. Cycling cadence jumped from low seventies to low nineties. Bike speed on the flats back near 19-20 mph, up from 16-17mph. I spend more time in the aero bars, and climb much better seated. Swimming is still my weak spot, and that is showing glimpses of improvement. No excuses, I need a swim coach. If I step up to full ironman distance, my swimming form will not cut it.

Today is my admin day. I’ll head up to Syracuse, get my stuff, cruise the expo. This morning I tried the new wet suit in the pool, and I am liking it. All good there. I will drop off the old sleeveless to get fixed while I am in Syracuse. Always good to have a backup. I do have the full wet suit, but the water is getting warm for that.

Saturday is all about relaxing and eating right. My wife is planning perogies for an early afternoon dinner, yummy. Also have to drop the bike off to the transition area. After that, stay calm, and get what sleep I can. Getting nervous already, so we’ll see.

Sunday- Race day! Early, early morning. Plan to be there by 5am. My wife and my sister Kim, signed up to volunteer as wet suit strippers. Should be a story from that all by itself.  Have to be sure when I come out of the water that I find a burley dude to pull my wet suit off, and not a bay watch babe, could be trouble  J

Swim- My wave goes at 7:10. I will be in lots of company for the entire swim. Goal: happy thoughts, swim my own race, my own pace. Keep steady, keep smooth. I found recently that I am picking my head out of the water too far while breathing, need to do better at turning to the side to breath. Also need to focus on my pull, and not being sloppy. Breakfast will be light, thinking maybe some peanut butter rollups. Before the race, a couple of GU gels, and diluted Gatorade or Roctane. If I have a great swim 45-50 minutes. I am hoping to at least to break under 55 minutes.  Either way, as long as I stay relaxed, no panic, and especially no calf cramps, I’ll be ecstatic.

Transition (T1)- I will have my tri kit on under my wet suit, along with chest strap (heart rate monitor). Towel off, swig down some water, turn on the garmin, socks, shoes, helmet, sunglasses, go. There is a fairly long sprint from the beach to transition area that will add a few minutes. My guess, I should make it out on the bike 3-5 minutes

Bike- strong and steady, not full out. Need to set up for a good run, and not empty the gas tank. Ease into first hill by Jamesville Prison, relaxed and smooth at the crest, get a nice spin/rhythm going. Smooth and steady up Sweet road. I know where the breaks are up the long climb, stay focus, and in the aero bars as much as I can. Stay in the seat. No out of seat climbing.  Having done the bike course several times, I know where I can gain lots of time, and were I should just conserve effort.  The back end of the course is fast with only a few rises. No big efforts after turning on to Route 13, other than the wear and tear of the miles themselves. The last ten miles, just spin and enjoy the down hills. Nutrition: my speedfil holds 40 oz, plus I have two bottle holders behind seat (they’ll be empty, but I can grab bottles on the course if needed) I will have the speedfil loaded with GU Roctane, and I can add  water as needed. I’ll down a powerbar after Sweet hill road, then one or two GU gels (or Roctane Gels) per hour. I will also have Lava Tabs (salt) that I will take (two max per hour). Still debating what wheels to use. Narrowed it down to a disk in the back, and either a trispoke, or radially laced semi aero front wheel. Time goal: 3:20-3:25

Transition (T2)- Dismount, rack the bike(unless the volunteers take it for you), helmet off, shoes off, swig of water if needed, slam a gel, running hat, running shoes on, go. Time: 1-2 minutes.

Run: First three miles 9:15 pace (may drop to 9:30-9:45 if hot). First mile may be iffy, and if I need more time to get my legs under me, then I biked harder than I should have. In training, 1st mile has not been terrible. Having nursed my right calf all week has me a little nervous. Yesterday’s training run went very well, so feeling better about it. First trip up the big hill to the turn around, I will likely slow to 10:00-10:30. Save it for the return trip down. Not a bad hill, but it hits you hard after coming off the bike. Pick up the pace to mile 10 to 8:45, depends on the heat. Second trip up  to the turnaround (2 loop course), push it to 9:30 if I can. Last three miles, if I have it in my legs, race it. With my goal of just finishing it, and looking good in the process, this will be where I will push it if no trouble with cramping, and I executed my plan properly. Walk 30 steps each water stop, gel every 3-4 miles, water and or coke as needed. Water over my head most likely, I’ll take ice as well.

If all goes well I’ll finish and seize the day. Time wise, I am looking at 6:20-6:45, slower if I have problems or calf forces me to walk.  All the training, time, and money spent, I plan to enjoy the day to the fullest.

Big thank you to Endurance Nation for the guidance, and helping me to have a solid game plan. What I have learned has paid back with big gains, and I can see it working.  Come Sunday morning, I’ll have my game face on. It’ll be “go time” and I have to trust and execute the plan!  That’s my story and I am sticking to it!

  1. Good Luck Mike, see you out there!

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