Thoughts on Training and Goals For My Upcoming Oly

>> Tuesday, June 01, 2010

So this post might just be for the geekiest of you out there. This is a “numbers” post that isn’t very exciting. This is me trying to look at my numbers honestly and predict what I can do at my biggest “A” race for the year: the Liberty Olympic Distance Triathlon. Here’s the format of this post:

• Races
• Swim
• Bike
• Run
• Oly Prediction

* * * RACES * * *

• April: Ironman 70.3 New Orleans in 2009, not in 2010 (too far away)
• April: Winter BeGone Duathlon in 2009, not in 2010 (race discontinued)
• May: Cannon Falls Duathlon in 2009, and again in 2010
• May: Apple Duathlon in 2009, not in 2010 (gone for a wedding - see last post)

You can see I’ve done fewer multi-sport races this year than I did last year by this time. That’s a bit of a mental bummer. I actually haven’t even done a traditional brick workout yet this year! (I’m planning one for tomorrow.)

* * * SWIM * * *

• Jan - May 2009 Swim Total: 34,362 yards
• Jan - May 2010 Swim Total: 54,478 yards

• May 18, 2009: 1500 yard swim in 25:44 (1:42.93 / 100)
• May 24, 2010: 1500 yard swim in 24:09 (1:36.60 / 100)

My swimming is WAY better this year!! That’s due 100% to Julia and her workouts from Coach Jen. These ladies have been busting my butt all winter. So last week when I swam that tempo 1500, I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was to see such low numbers. I’m usually trilled to be under 1:40 / 100, so 1:36.6 felt GREAT!

And I’ve also already gotten in 2 long and great open water swims this year. Julia and the gang went last week, and yesterday we headed out again. Here are 2 quick photos from yesterday’s swim:

Pre-swim: Steve T looking over the water, Pharmie body-gliding, Steve H helping Mary into her suit, and Julia tucking her neck-flap down

Post swim: Pharmie changing, Steve T in plaid, me with the bottle, Steve H in the hat, and Mary chatting with me

* * * BIKE * * *

Like my races show, I did an early April Half IM last year, and this year I didn’t. That means I didn’t spend the same amount of time on my trainer early in the season this year. Here are my bike numbers:

2009 (Jan - May)
• 18 hours and 15 minutes on trainer / spin class
• 337.8 miles biked outside
• April: 135.2 miles biked
• May: 105 miles biked

2010 (Jan - May)
• 11 hours and 15 minutes on trainer / spin class
• 363.7 miles biked outside
• April: 120 miles biked, and 2 hours on trainer
• May: 208.6 miles biked, and 1 hour spin class

The good news in there is my May biking totals: they are nearly double what they were last year, so I’ve been ramping up the miles this year. Last year, most of those early season miles came from right before IM 70.3 New Orleans in March and April.

* * * RUN * * *

2009 (Jan - May)
• 272 miles ran

2010 (Jan - May)
• 360 miles ran

This is no surprise. I’ve been keeping myself injury-free and putting in more miles. I’ve also set 3 PRs in March and April this year: 4 mile (22:42), 5K (17:11), and half marathon (1:22:51). So I feel really good about my running. That being said, I’ve since been letting my running slide a little to focus more on my weaker areas (swimming and biking).

* * * OLY PREDICTION * * *

Last year at Liberty, I set a big Oly PR. Here were my splits from that race:

Swim: 28:07
T1: 2:06
Bike: 1:12:09 (21.6 mph official, 20.5 computer)
T2: 1:13
Run: 39:33
Total Time: 2:23:06

I should be able to knock some time off that swim (I’d love to be under 27, but who knows). T1 and T2 might be a LITTLE faster this year, because last year I had a sprained thumb, which made it hard to get out of my wetsuit. My bike is the biggest “question mark” for this race: I’ve been putting in more miles this year, but I can’t seem to hold the same pace over those longer rides. And my run time should be sub-40 again (maybe around 39 if I’m lucky).

The biggest goal (as Julia and I discussed on the way back from the swim yesterday) is to push HARD on the bike. I’ve thrown down some good run times in recent triathlons, and I need to make sure I’m going hard enough on the bike and not saving too much for the run. I can make up the most overall time on the bike, even if that means my run time will suffer a bit.

My overall goal? I’d LOVE to see 2:19:59 or lower! (As seen above, I did Liberty in 2:23:06 last year, and then I did St. Croix Valley in 2:23:00 a few months later.) Can I take over 3:00 off my PR? I don’t know. That's a pretty lofty goal, but it IS achievable. I’ll need to have a GREAT day to make that possible. Last year, it was calm and sunny, and I’ll need something like that again.

Looking at my numbers, do you have any thoughts for me? Am I thinking about this correctly? Or am I blind to an obvious fact?

(Sorry for the boring post... Check out some fun wedding photos in the post below!)


GeorgiaSnail 9:27 AM, June 01, 2010  

Monster numbers for 2010! That PR will fall for sure!

JP Severin 9:54 AM, June 01, 2010  

You can run a 37 low to mid easily. Don't be happy with anything slower than this even though you have yet to do it. You are super run fit looking at your half marathon. Run hard, brother. It's in there, just let it out.

Viper 10:17 AM, June 01, 2010  

Knowing you, which I don't actually, I think it's completely reasonable for you to shave three minutes off your PR. As said above, it's in there, just let 'er rip. And I don't mean a fart. Cheers!

Ryan 12:59 PM, June 01, 2010  

Good luck! You can analyze all you want but it all comes down to how race day shakes out, speaking from my own experience. =)

Just make sure to document boob sweat, that's a good measure of intensity.

Cyborg Queen 3:06 PM, June 01, 2010  

I think the biggest change would be the swim times. You have already shaved off 6 minutes of your previous per 100, so I think that's where you'll have the biggest PR. Bike and Run - not so much, sorry Steve!

T1 and T2 - I don't think there'll be much of a change...maybe shave off seconds, but I wouldn't count on it though. :-)

So, to shave off 3 minutes off your PR time, VERY doable. Think of it this way...shave off 1 min per spot, and you got yourself a spanking new PR! Ta da! Easy right? :-P

Colleen 10:45 PM, June 01, 2010  

You amaze me...

You might not be racing as much this year, but your numbers show that you are improving big time! Your swim improvement alone is amazing!

Good luck with the race. I definitely think you have 3 minutes in you!

Betsy 3:03 PM, June 02, 2010  

I have very similar goals for Liberty! An Oly PR (one that's not quite as fast as yours) and to go HARD on the bike and use my killer bike split as motivation to still go hard on the run! I've never puked at the end of the race but my goal for liberty is puking or just under! So stoked for the first tri of the year!

GoBigGreen 3:50 PM, June 02, 2010  

Glad the Brick went well! Steve, your swim is alot stronger, you are swimming with alot more intention and you arent drifting off course:) ( ha, the OWS is young tho isnt it.!) No seriously...go to Liberty, race your heart out and worst case scenario is you blow up. But really. Have you EVER BLOWN UP?
You are going to do great!

TarHeel Tri 5:29 PM, June 12, 2010  

Holy Crap STEVE!!! you KILLED your PR...congrats!

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