Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Long Beach Triathlon Predictions

The Queen Mary is a central landmark for the Long Beach course.
I come into this Sunday's Long Beach Sprint Triathlon 15 pounds lighter and 12 months wiser than last year.  Last year's race was my second ever, and I finished the 1/2 mile swim, 11 mile bike and 3 mile run course in 1:29:33.

I'm still not quite used to this concept, but I'm considering Long Beach a "B" race, as the Orange County Olympic Distance Triathlon is 3 weeks later on October 10th.  All this means is that I'm not really reducing my normal training load until the end of the week.

Despite my less than awesome finishing time last year, Long Beach is a fast course.  The swim is behind a breakwater and calm.  With the exception of deceptively steep bridge (which you cross both ways twice), the bike course is wide, well paved and mostly flat.  The run course is a flat out and back route along the beach and then out onto a jetty.

Here's a breakdown of how I think the race will go down:

 THE SWIM - 1/2 MILE

I have a plan, and hopefully it will work.  Recently, I've been working on two things during swim training - short, all out efforts and active recovery.  The good news is that on my all out efforts I've managed to work up to swimming 45 second 50's.  The bad news is that all I can do is 50's at that pace.  Here's my plan:

Start:

50 Yards all out
50 yards recovery
50 yards all out
250 yards recovery

= 8:30/400 yards;

Repeat above for second 400 yards;

= 17:00/800 yards;

And then I hope to swim the last 80 yards in 1:30 for a total swim time of 18:30.

Projected Swim Time:  18:30; 2:06/per 100 yards (Last Year: 20:25; 2:20/per 100 yards)

 THE BIKE - 11 MILES

I have a plan for the bike too - to go as fast as I possibly can.  And as I mentioned above, this is a good course for this plan with wide roads and just a little climbing.

I've never come into a race with this much bike volume (almost 1000 miles in the last 2 months), so I'll be betting that my legs can handle 11 miles of all out cycling and still have enough left for a good run.  I'm pretty confident that this is a fair bet. 

Last year, the bike course never got congested.  I'm hoping that holds true for this year as well and I'll be able to pick a line and go.  And when I have to climb that bridge, I'll avoid the "staying in aero heroics" that have got me in trouble in the past by sitting up, grabbing the pursuit bars and hammering.

Projected Bike Time: 30:00; 22 MPH (Last Year: 37:31; 17.59 MPH)

THE RUN - 3 MILES

Though it would not be right to call anything in a race "routine", starting the run always marks the point where I know I am going to finish the race without any issues.  I usually rank higher in the run than I do in the other disciplines.  And I will be holding nothing back on Sunday.  I know this run course well, so I'll easily be able to track where I am relative to the finish.  I'm going for a 3 mile PR - This is the perfect place to do it and I am already psyching myself up.  I'm going to negative split this run.  I'm not sure I can get to a sub 7 minute 3rd mile, but who knows?  There's Belgian Waffles waiting for me at Sonny's Restaurant after the race.


Projected Run Time:  21:45; 7:15/per mile (Last Year: 25:14; 8:24/per mile) 

There is a pretty long run from the swim exit to transition, so if I add 6 minutes to cover both T1 and T2, then I am projecting to finish the race in 1:16:15.  That would be about a 15 minute improvement over last year.  I had a 13 minute improvement from 2009 to 2010 at the Solana Beach Triathlon, which is slightly shorter.  So the math for this race seems to add up, at least in my mind.

We'll see what happens on Sunday...

18 comments:

zbsports said...

Great, I was entertained by the post. I learn more things on it. Thanks!!!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Some bold predictions and I hope every one comes true! I'll be interested in hearing how the swim tactic turns out. Always nice to race the same course again.

ajh said...

Good luck meeting those goals. It sounds like you have done your preparation!

TRI-james said...

That is an aggressive swim plan. I hope that you don’t miss a breath or two in the churn while going all out – that could be disaster. I think you heart rate is going to be a roller coaster.

P said...

This sounds like a great, really aggressive, plan. You've done the work, you're totally ready - GO GET 'EM!!! Can't wait to hear how it goes!

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Good plan. Very aggressive bike goals - ride that sucker like you are in a time trial and forget about the run. Good luck!

Megan said...

Nice numbers - looks like you've come a long ways. Since this is my first year in multi sport I don't have anything to compare to, guess I have something to look forward to next year. Good luck!

Diana Tries-A-Tri! said...

Very nice goals! Good luck, it sounds like with all the work you're putting in you'll do great!

Rad Runner said...

We will see what happens? I'll tell you whats gonna happen, your gonna rock it, and blow last years time outta the water (literally) and then you totally going to amaze yourself.. Duh.

Emz said...

I have no doubt that you will meet your goals.

ROck it.

bob said...

My strategy is to stay ahead of you on the swim, watch you blow by me on the bike, and struggle in vain to catch you on the run. See you out there, bud!

TRI714 said...

Nice to have that in your head.Bottom line, you know the course, youve put in the work and it's a flat out tune up for the OC. And you have it in you. Good luck brother ! I'll be checking my Blackberry for updates.

TRI714 said...

Nice to have that in your head.Bottom line, you know the course, youve put in the work and it's a flat out tune up for the OC. And you have it in you. Good luck brother ! I'll be checking my Blackberry for updates.

lindsay said...

22mph on the bike. You make my 14 sound sooo pathetic :)

Great plans and thinking ahead. I liked the reflection on a previous race, a "lesson learned" actually being used!

Good luck this weekend!

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

I think your plans look great! YOU CAN DO IT! Good luck on Sunday! I can't wait to read all about it!

DRog said...

Love the goal setting posts before your races...hit those goals!!
Great luck bro-
Derek

Caratunk Girl said...

Way to go after it - awesome goals, you can totally do it! You got this, best of luck on Sunday!

Glenn Jones said...

Gad! I'm so far behind. Hope the weekend went well!

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