Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Race Strategy: 4 days to go!

Talked to my coach yesterday and have my race strategy.

The swim is all about staying relaxed, focusing on form and drafting the entire swim. I'll go out fairly fast, focusing on my best and most relaxed form and look for swimmers of similar pace to draft off. If someone passes me gradually, that's a good choice. This will require focus for the entire swim when it comes to drafting. Historically, I have had trouble keeping a good line on the way back into the harbor, but if I draft well perhaps I won't end up off track. I do have to maintain a solid effort, but the effort will be focused on keeping good form and rotation. I've got to hit 32 minutes, and would love to go lower than that.

I can't run at top speed through transition, but I won't walk through either. Coming out of T1, my focus on the bike will be to get my Heart rate down below 150 and closer to 145. If this means going slow, then I'll go slow. I'll watch both my HR and my wattage and keep in zone 3, with my HR in the 140's and wattage close to 170 (or higher if the altitude is my friend), until I get to the hills, where I can push a little harder, perhaps wattage to 200 and HR to 150. Of course, I can recover on the downhills (remembering to come strongly over the top of the hills). I will push the last 10-15 miles and even let my heart rate come up a bit depending on how I feel. So long as I don't push too hard, I can run off the bike finishing hard! This effort will get me close to 2:40, and hopefully faster than that.

Nothing to worry about with T2, these are never a problem.

And finally, the run. The key for me is to do the first mile relatively easily, breathing every 5 steps. Whatever pace this is, will be, but I expect it to be between 7:30 and 7:45. The next few miles will be increasing the effort and pace to try to maintain at least 7:30 pace. Breathing will be every 4 steps, with progression to breathing every 3 steps towards the middle miles. I expect to hit the last turnaround (3 miles to go) and push hard breathing every 2 steps. This will all be mental. I can keep the leg turnover and the pace, my body is capable of that. I just need to will myself to do it. If I do the run in 1:40, I'll be happy, but I think I'm capable of going at least a couple of minutes under.

Goal-4:55 to 5:00 and it will be a successful race. If I hit all cylinders, 4:50 is possible.

My taper is going well. I'm already getting giddy. My tapering workouts are going perfectly.


Fern said...

I enjoyed reading your Maryland blog, I am glad we are able to keep you company the day before your races in California
Your Fav.<3

Fern said...

Enjoyed your blog