Florida Challenge Triathlon Countdown Clock

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Gameplan

My race is in 2 days and I'm as ready as I'll ever be! My back has just a little bit of stiffness in the morning, but nothing to worry about. I haven't taken the pain meds since Monday, and I've had light, 45 minute low intensity swim & bike workouts just to keep the blood flowing with no problems.

Even though I feel fine, I know I'm not in tip top condition. With that said, I still feel prepared mentally and physically and have my Gameplan ready.

Everyone knows that you swim, bike, then run, but there's 1 crucial aspect of the race that's often neglected: The transition area. Time is of the essence in ALL aspects of triathlon, and much time can be lost if a person has a bad transition.

For example: A person can have a GREAT swim, but if they spend 10 minutes fiddling around in the transition drying off, cathcing their breath, or even getting LOST before they get on their bike, their race could be over. Or, they have a good bike ride, but take too much time changing their shoes or shirt to run in and can't make up that time lost on the run.

So I've been thinking of ways I can cut time in the transition area, seeing how my bike & run will be slower than I want. For the longer races, I usually wear specific gear for the swim, for the bike also, then change into something else for the run. this year I'll try something a little different and wear a new tri-suit I bought:

I've worn it several times in training & it feels good. I can wear this suit for the swim, bike AND run. So, when I finish the swim, I can literally put on my bike shoes & helmet & hit the road. Same with the run. Once I get off the bike, I can change my shoes, grab my running hat & start running. This suit alone will cut 10 minutes off my time. No wardrobe changes. This aint Rip the Runway or America's Next Top Model. I just wanna get my ish & go! lol

The next aspect that I have to focus on is my food intake. If I don't eat (or drink enough) I'll either become dehydrated, bonk, or both. And seeing how it's supposed to be sunny in the high 80's I have to make sure my energy reserves are on full all day. Here's the food that'll get me thru the bike & run (minus my water & Gator-Aide:)

The electrolytes will help me replinish the salt and minerals I lose thru sweat and help minimize/prevent muscle cramps. The Gu is a "pick me up" that gives me instant energy. Not to mention it tastes like chocolate pudding! Soooo good! lol

The Clif Bars are great! They are organic and the ingredients are all natural and made specifically for endurance sports.

Before my swim I will drink water to make sure I don't get dehydrated during the swim, and depending on how long before my swim start and I eat breakfast, I might eat a fruit cup also.

I guesstimate the 1.2 mile swim will take 45 minutes. That's basically 45 minutes of cardio with no drinking or eating. So when I finish the swim, I'll drink some water in the transition area then take an electrolyte 15 minutes into riding the bike.

When I ride the bike, I will ride at an ez tempo, with my mind on saving energy for the run. I will TRY resisit the urge to ride hard, ESPECIALLY when someone 25 years OLDER than me passes me! (Yes, that DOES happen, because those older cats are FAST!!!)

I'll start eating on a ClifBar 30 minutes into the ride, even if I'm not hungry. I'll take my 1st GU 45 minutes to an hour into the ride. I'll sip water & GatorAide continuously because it'll be hot. I'll take another electrolyte 90 minutes into the ride. At this point I'll nibble on a ClifBar every 15 minutes or so and take a 2nd Gu 2 hours into the ride.

I expect to finish the 56 mile bike in 3 hours or so. I can't begin to guess my actual time because I don't know if I'll be tired after the swim, how tough the hills will be, if it'll be windy, or if my back will be stiff. Any of these variables will make me ride slower, because I MUST have energy for the run.

At mile 54-55 I will ease up on the bike & stand more to loosen my legs & back. I want to literally hit the ground running, but this is the true unknown variable. My back feels better, but how will it feel after the ride? I think I'll have to walk for a while to loosen it up before I can run. If so, that's what I'll do, because I won't strain it trying to be hero! lol

My all time best run was in a Half Marathon about 10 years ago, when I ran in 1 hour, 55 minutes. That wasn't in a triathlon. If I had to walk the entire 13.1 miles, it'd take me close to 4 hours. So my time will be somewhere in the middle. My guess is I'll finish the run in 3 hours. They'll have aide stations every mile of the run, so being dehydrated or running out of food won't be an issue, but I'll still carry my own GU, ClifBar & bottle of GatorAide.

so, if I have a 45 minute swim, 3 hour bike and 3 hour run, I'm looking at 7 hours, give or take a few minutes in the transition areas. I know for a fact that if i finish the bike I'm gonna finish, but in what condition will that be??? I have no clue, but I can't wait to find out!

This will be my last blog until after the race. I'll post pics the day before & before the race. There are supposed to be well over a thousand athletes competing from all over the US and abroad, so this will be VERY interesting! Can't wait!!!!

Thanks for reading! Till next time, PEACE!

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