Where the hell is this year going? Being acutely aware I had my first race of the season soon, I looked at a calendar this morning. I sometimes need a visual reference of what my schedule looks like. And it turned out that March 7th is 2 weeks away!! What the hell happened to February?
Clearly I'm not on a 16 week training plan for this race. Otherwise, I'd probably know to the minute how long I had until my wave started. Truth is, I've not been much for plans. I have my own "I'm going for 2 swims, 2 rides and 2 runs this week, with some weight and core training thrown in for good measure" training schedule that I am more or less able to stick to week to week. I know this plan ignores virtually all of the basic principals of training (except maybe volume), in that there is no speed work, interval training, nor any scientific analysis of data. But it works for me, at least for now. I'd actually rather be writing here then going through HR data. I know what VO2 max is, but only to the extent that I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night. That said I started recording split times on my Garmin a few weeks ago and funny enough I perform the best in the last 3rd of any run or ride. Weird? Dunno. And I digress anyway.
However, due to my "business as usual" training and a week out of town, this race sort of snuck up on me. I'm inside two weeks now. Don't get me wrong, realizing how quickly the race date was coming is hardly bad news. It's just that I like to get into "the zone" as it where about a month out.
So I'm taking stock now, and here is where I stand.
The swim is 500 meters. Shouldn't be a big problem. Though my speed has not improved much in the off season, my endurance has. I'll now do a 1000 yard set regularly in my swim work-outs. I just want two things out of the swim - Sub 2:30 minutes per 100 yards and no side stroke. Honestly, I'll settle for just no side stroke. I'm saying 13-14 minutes, though I should be able to beat this.
Here is the funny thing about the bike. Since I've started working on cadence and stroke, I've slowed down. How does that work? Not really sure. But anyway, this 14 mile course is supposedly flat so I'm just going to go into the big ring and mash it out. I've ignored the aero bars all winter so I'll ride without those as well. I think I can average 20 MPH, so I'll call the bike 42 minutes. Further work on technique will now have to wait until March 8th, I guess.
The good news is that this is my strongest discipline. The bad news I'm hardly built like a gazelle, so I don't think I'll ever be super fast. I've run a couple sub 25 minute 5K's and felt I still had fuel in the tank. Granted, this has never been a 5K as part of a triathlon, but I think I'll just go out expecting it to suck and go for 7:30 miles. That means 22:30 for the run. Though as I read this back, that number looks a little scary so I'm going to hedge my bet and say 24 minutes. By the way, racing flats do make a difference, so I will wear them, but only for this distance.
I finally broke down and bought a tri-suit. And I'm going to roll sockless. So T1 is wetsuit off, helmet/glasses on, and shoes already attached to the pedals. (Note to self - I should probably practice the shoes already on the pedal bit a few times, huh?). T2 is shoes off still on the pedals, helmet off, racing flats on, race belt on, and out the gate. I'd like to say 2 minutes or less per transition, but we will see.
So there you go. We'll see how it goes soon enough.