Well, the first ďrealĒ triathlon of the year is in the bag now and I did pretty well considering that my training ahs been hit-and-miss all spring. It really shows where my weaknesses are and what I need to concentrate on. My goal for this year is to set a new PR, but Iíve only got two more shots at it!
I felt Ėgreat- on the swim. I went out with absolutely NO expectations on finish time for the swim. My goal was to stay calm and practice bi-lateral breathing. That usually means I have to slow down to stay aerobic in order to hold my breath long enough. Usually Iím pushing pretty hard in the swim and need to breathe on every stroke. So this time, I just stayed relaxed and swam. I didnít do any bi-lateral breathing but I completely forgot about racing and just swam. I didnít pay attention to when the first group of people from the wave behind passed me (I usually do) and I didnít try to draft off of anyone that passed me (I also do this). When the swim was over I still felt VERY fresh and I was only 44 seconds off from my ďidealĒ swim time!!!
Iím still not fast in transition. I suspect that I never will be. I feel like this is about as streamlined as I am going to get. My wetsuit practically fell off. I probably might have been able to save a few seconds putting my bike shoes on, but only a few seconds. I might save another second or two doing a moving mount of the bike, but I donít think that shaving those seconds is really going to buy me much.
This is still my weakness. A few years ago I was doing bike-centric training and set my PR. Since then Iíve really been run-centric and have struggled on the bike. I really need to get back into the habit of riding my bike regularly and start doing focused bike skill/speed drills. The farthest half of the out-and-back bike course was all brand new smooth-as-glass asphalt and my overall bike speed Ėshould- have been close to 20MPH on that surface. But alas, my legs just didnít have the conditioning. I pushed really really hard on the bike to come up with the split that I got, and it isnít all that impressive.
One thing though: I normally count the number of people who pass me. When I pass someone I decrement it so that it ends up being the number of overall places Iíve lost on the bike ride. Not really, but sorta. Anyway, it is a nice metric to measure my performance. This time the count was only four. So, Iím getting conflicting information here. Clearly, my bike times are not as good as they have been (and, truth be told, the bike route ďfeltĒ short) and yet Iím holding my own with the pace of the riders around me.
It doesnít matter in the long run. I need to get faster on the bike and thatís all there is to it. This is one aspect that I can definitely work on and get some concrete benefit from.
Again, slow transition. My setup was in a poor spot for a speedy T2 and I bobbled a few items while changing from bike to run. Iíd like to see this go under 3 minutes, but clearly not likely.
This run time is actually pretty kick-ass. Itís only 21 seconds slower than my fastest ever run split. I honestly think that if I focus on my bike training Iíll get faster on the run too Ė at least that is how it has worked out in the past. If I can knock 6 or 7 minutes from my bike split, I should be able to drop a minute per mile from my run times. That would put me in position to beat my current PR by a whopping 7 minutes!! Iím not going to count on that (or even try for it)Ö just beating my current PR by a few seconds would be gravy as far as Iím concerned. But I could see that happening with a little consistent training effort.