Oakland Triathlon is coming up on August 18, 2019 so it’s time to make a plan.
Race performance is an expression of your reaction to the conditions not only on race day but during the training period.
I hurt my left ankle quite badly in May. It held up through Folsom Lake Triathlon and for most of the Tilden Tough Ten. I kicked the last fifty yards of Tilden and absolutely jacked my foot. I was smart about it and took time off, went to the Physical Therapist, and did my homework to rest and recover.
The good news is that particular injury is almost completely healed up. The bad news is that there is a host of other shit going on with my feet that I’m managing and I took a few weeks off of running during the build up for this race. I’ve been back to it for a few weeks and I’m feeling great. I’m still being very careful of my ankle and foot health.
During the summer school break I have my daughter Friday night through Sunday night. This means I don’t get out for a three hour low intensity ride with a transition run on the weekends. The summer has had a lot of trainer rides – especially during my ankle rehab we filled the gap with more trainer work. That, combined with not being able to run has resulted in a lack of big training days. I do have a lot of fitness from the rest of the year so I’m not un-fit. I haven’t done many bricks and I need to get a bit of transition sharpening in.
Swimming has been going very well over the summer. This is the first time I haven’t taken a four to five month break and it shows. I’m faster and more importantly have a done a lot of work on getting more comfortable and confident with hard efforts in the water. I was unable to push as hard as I wanted at my last two races so I under-swam my fitness. I want to get closer to what my pool times say my open water time could be and I think I’ve done a lot of the work to get there.
With all those factors in consideration I’m going to be very reasonable in my expectations for Oakland.
Swim – 1500M (1640 yds)
My last race at this distance I went just under 40 minutes. That race was fresh water and very choppy so I think I can cut a pretty good chunk off. I definitely want under 40 minutes and I think I can get below 38. Super stretch, “I’m having the best swim ever plus this swim always goes with the current” goal is 36 minutes. (EDIT: I just checked the tide table for race day. The tide will be ebbing and almost slack at race time so the benefit will be minimal).
T1 – The transition from the swim to the bike is very long and includes running up and down three flights of stairs. I always drop shoes at the swim exit and take my wetsuit off right after the swim rather than after I’ve run for five minutes. The last time I did this race I did T1 in 8:25 which includes getting out of the wetsuit, grabbing shoes, and a bathroom visit. I will still do all of those and I’m aiming for 8 minutes.
Bike – 40K (24.5 miles)
This leg has a power target, so I will stick it there regardless of speed. I’m thinking it will be between 16 and 17 mph average so somewhere between 1:27 and 1:33.
T2 – 1:45
I will not be prideful. I will approach my transition with humility. I will focus on execution rather than speed. (This is my way of saying that I usually do this very quickly but I don’t want to get caught up in making this fast and sacrificing my overall effort. They don’t give out podium places for transition times)(Also, I’ve been running in socks lately and that’s gonna slow me down)
Run 10K (6.2 miles)
Running has been coming along. More than feeling fast, I’ve been feeling steady and controlled. This leg has a heart rate target, so regardless of speed I’m going to set the effort and sit there. Training suggests I should be able to run 12:30 – 13:00 per mile and that would give me any where from 1:14 – 1:20 and I’ll be happy if I’m under 1:30 because I haven’t run that far in almost three months. If I’m feeling strong after the halfway point of the run I’ll try to put in a push but I’m going to be the daintiest little flower ever coming down the stairs after the overcrossing. And no kick at the end (or a very, very gentle one)
Overall – My PR for the course is 3:37:35 and my training strongly suggests that I can meet that and maybe beat it a bit, which would be very, very cool but anything at 3:45 or below will be just fine by me.