Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Goals Update

Late last year I posted about my goals for each event. Some were modest, others overly aggressive. As I get ready for the first of my brick workouts, now seemed like a good time to post my progress.

The Swim

Swimming started out as something of a source of frustration for me. Even though I had read a great deal about not being able to just power through as you would on a run or ride, I still approached it that way. What can I say? I come from a running background.

Eventually, I learned to make a few improvements to my form that in turn made my power more efficient. Specifically, I rotated my body more smoothly through each stroke and I made the pull stage of my stroke more complete. The result was an improvement that put me ahead of my goals: 

The Bike

It’s hard to make anything truly meaningful out of the bike. There are multiple reasons for this. First, I changed bikes back in February from my reliable but old and heavy Trek hybrid to the sleeker, lighter and much faster Cannondale. Second, there’s a great deal of disparity between my speed on the trails and my speed on the trainer…especially with the new bike.  Third, in order to keep things interesting, I’ve been doing a lot of different courses. I live in area that offers everything from steep hills to flat straight-aways.  As a result, you get a pretty odd looking chart:

I’ve found the most reliable indicator to be my most recent outdoor MPH average which is presently 15.9 which is below my goal of 16.7 but can also be chalked up to some pretty long hills on my last ride. My first event, the Summer Open Sprint Triathlon boasts a fairly flat bike circuit (three times around a four mile loop) so I hope to take advantage of that. If I can ride the 20K course in 40 minutes or less, I’ll be happy.

The Run

I may not be giving myself enough credit here. Given how slow I was running when I established these goals, a 9 minute per mile average seemed fairly ambitious. I’ve also considered that my pace may be slower after swimming and riding and I still think that’s valid. This Saturday’s brick ought to be my first indication of how fast I can run after the stress of a ride. In any case, I’m doing better than I thought I would:

While the trajectory looks pretty good (especially after doing 5 miles at just over 9 minute pace yesterday) I still think it’s going to level off. I’m not a fast-twitch guy and I think a sub 30 finish in the run leg of the first tri would be just fine with me.

April is always a pretty dicey month from a weather stand-point. Even though we’ve had a pretty dry spring, you never know when ambitious plans to get outside will be doused by a spring snow storm. Hopefully I’ll get to do most if not all of the bricks outdoors. While the trainer and treadmill are
adequate substitutes, I also look at the brick as transition practice. If the weather keeps me indoors, I may need to practice transitions in addition to the actual workout.

This Saturday is looking pretty good. I plan to be out in the morning well before we reach the mid 70’s high that’s in the forecast. I’m pretty excited about the workout. I’ve done a lot of prep work, but this feels like my first real foray into multisport. If I find the time and am not too tired, I’ll do a post talking about it.

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