Thoughts/Predictions/Goals for the Upcoming Cannon Falls Duathlon

>> Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My family and I have done this race a lot in the past (2 mile run, 14 mile bike, 3 mile run), but it’s been 4 years since we’ve been back. We raced it with a big group of family members in 2009 which was a pretty nice year, except my brakes were rubbing for part of the bike. Then in 2010, it was pretty windy (24.3 mph average at the turn-around, 19.4 average once back at T2). In 2011, it was damp and rainy (my pregnant wife was there to cheer me on!). And finally, in 2013 we had a nearly perfect morning to race, and I set a big PR because of that.

Windy (but pretty) race in 2010.

Here’s a list of 8 possible goals with the most important/practical being at the top, and the more far-fetched goals at the bottom. Let’s see how many of these I can check off this weekend:

1. Finish without getting injured. Always the first goal.

2. PR on the bike. This is partly dependent on the day, but it’s also practically a given. I’ve logged sooooo many more miles this year prior to this race than I did in past years. Unless conditions are just horse crap, I should be able to set a personal best on the bike. My Gamin said 21.2 mph in 2013, and the official results said 21.5 mph. If the wind isn't too crazy, I'd love to be a full MPH or 2 faster. (That'd be 1:45 - 3:30 faster, which is substantial.)

3. Set a race PR. In the 4 years I’ve done this race, I’ve only gotten faster: 1:18:03, 1:13:14, 1:12:56, and 1:08:56. Let’s try to keep up that tradition.

4. Place in my age group. I’ve only placed in my age group 1 out of 4 times that I’ve done this race: I’ve been 5th, 2nd, 4th, and 6th in my age group. With so much bike time recently, I really hope to place here. (But it’s been a few years since I’ve raced here, and I don’t know if their level of athletes registering for this race has changed.)

5. Crack into the top-10 overall. Again, this is more dependent on who shows up to race. Even though my race times have gotten faster (see #3 above), my overall place has hardly moved. I’ve placed 12th, 12th, 12th, and 11th overall the 4 years I’ve raced Cannon Falls.

6. Don’t set any “personal worsts” on the runs. My run splits have been a bit all over the place at this race in past years as my bike split has only gotten faster. In the first 2 mile run, I was pretty consistent the first 3 years at this race, and then I was a lot faster the last time raced in 2013: 11:32, 11:35, 11:27, and 11:04. My final 3 mile run split has been a bit more all over the place: 18:14, 17:39, 18:19, and 17:26. I’m not in the BEST running shape right now having done VERY little speedwork (and no bricks or two-a-days), so I expect that final run to be a tough one. Let’s see if I can keep my runs faster than current PWs of 11:35 and 18:19.

7. Hit 5:45 pace for the first run, and sub-6:00 for the second. That would make my last goal possible.

8. Set PRs on the run. Now I’m just dreaming. Yeah, that’s not going to happen. But here’s something to shoot for if all else is going well!

Soggy buns post-race in 2011.

(The 5 "x-factors" that could throw a wrench in some of my goals are: (1) not sure how the level of competition has changed over the last 4 years [it was getting more intense as we were doing this race years ago noted by my faster finishing times yet constant overall place], (2) such a nice late winter/early spring that lots of people might be in good shape, (3) too much wind on the bike, (4) not having done any brick workouts or even 2-a-days, and (5) not having done much running speed work. We'll see how any of these affect my goals.)

Alright, time to go race! I’ll probably be back with a quick pic on Saturday afternoon, and then a hopefully a full race report on Monday. Here goes nothing!


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