Friday, September 9, 2011

My First Tri Race Plan and Training Summary

I haven’t been nervous for a race in a long time until this week.  It is the fear of the unknown of competing in my first triathlon (Lake Geneva sprint triathlon).  My heart gets thumping just thinking of it.  I am as ready as I will ever be.   I have prepared all I can for the race in the past 6 weeks since I hurt my foot and decided to compete. Truth is I am a runner, all healed up now, and looking forward to getting back to running. Triathlon training has served as a good motivating bridge to getting past my foot injury. All that is left to do is race. I am both in fear of and looking forward to the experience of this triathlon.

The event day weather forecast looks very promising.  Perfect for running, cooI for swimming and cycling.  Good to know so I can dress appropriately.

My race day plan starts Friday night. I plan to have everything packed and get to sleep early. I will wake up Saturday at 3:00 AM get in some coffee and food and leave the house by 4:00 AM for the 1 hour drive to Lake Geneva. I have packet pickup and transition area setup to knock out and will wait for the 7:30 am start. I am sure watching the strange breed that are triathletes will pass the time quickly.  I can do a national geographic like voice over for my wife while we observe them.

The swim goes in waves of 50 spaced 3 minutes apart. I can confidently place myself at the back of the pack. If swim times work out like they did last year I will be part of the bottom 1%. It is a good thing putting on a wet suit is not part of the race, it takes forever. I am glad I bought the wet suit though after seeing the weather forecast and experiencing how easy it is to swim in one with the added buoyancy.

The swim results from last year’s race.  Someone has to have the worst time, perhaps it will be me?
Start line placement is about where my deep thought race strategy ends and instincts take over. There is not much else I can control but there will be thousands of decisions to make during the event. The bike run bricks I have tackled in training put me in the top of the field when I look at last year’s results. It is hard to say how my performance compares, I have never led a bike run brick with a swim and elevation changes and weather differences exist between my route and last years results. I suspect my performance will take just over 1 hour, thus hydration and eating will be largely unnecessary during the event.  I can run faster when I am thirsty because all I can think about is finishing and getting a drink.  A horrible race strategy for longer runs and hot weather but for about an hour event on a cool day, no problem.

I have taken it easy this past week with just one full intensity work out, an 11 mile 6:57 pace long run on Wednesday. Every other swim, run, and bike was of low intensity or duration. My six week triathlon preparation came out to 40 hours of training. Running took up 15 hours -105 miles, not bad for recovering from injury. Swimming took up 15 hours and more if you count watching video and reading up on technique. Six weeks ago I could not swim 25 yards without being out of breath, 500+ yards is quite the improvement. Cycling suffered – I had to learn to swim after all, and I knocked out 9 hours, 134 miles.

Six week triathlon training summary courtesy of Garmin Connect
I don't know what to expect tomorrow but can say I want to compete and have a good time doing it.  These events are meant to be enjoyed in addition to challenging ourselves.  Lake Geneva is a beautiful area and the biggest reason I do any of this training is to spend time outside.  When training and racing stops being fun is when I will stop doing it.


  1. Looking forward to hearing how it went

  2. Oh boy, I love and hate those pre-race butterflies.

  3. As an athlete myself, I have deep respect for you. Cooking often seems to be one of the common denominator of fellow athletes. Look forward to reading more of your blog.

  4. Hey! Found your blog through britt and also looking forward to seeing how this goes!! Good luck! It sounds like you have a great attitude about it! I am working on the have fun part right now too and will remember this in my first race since my injury next weekend!!! Thx!!

  5. Congrats! I transitioned from marathons to tri's and am so happy I did. Tri's are great fun!

    Get Up & Go