Seven days before the Ironman Triathlon, I thought it would be a good idea to do a race.
(How is that a good idea?)
I wanted to road test my plans & see if there were any kinks to be worked out.
The plan was to keep it in zone three.
There are five zones of exertion. My plan for the Ironman is to race in zone three, so it made sense to race a smaller race like the NYC Tri in that fashion.
(What is "zone three"?)
Simply put, if zone one is walking & zone five is running as hard as you can for 30 seconds, zone three is in the middle.
You are racing at marathon pace.
(Or say Ironman pace?)
Now you've got it.
PROBLEM # 1- SWIM PACE
Last year at Ironman Lake Placid (IMLP) I swam the first lap in 40 minutes & the second in 45 minutes. That means...
(You are getting old?)
That I lost momentum in the second loop
(You are old, so you got tired)
This year, I did swim workouts that were much longer than
the race swim to work on my endurance & build up my speed. The only way to know if this worked was to swim in a race.
(So how did you modify a 3,860 meter swim to a race of 1,500 meters?)
I resisted the urge to sprint. Instead I focused on swimming at my practice pace.
I wasn't going to wear my wet suit, but since this was a full dress rehearsal, I had to. Somehow, when I scooted my butt off the pier & into the water, an air pocket got trapped in my wet suit & gave me extra buoyancy.
(Is that you in the picture reaching behind to open your wet suit?)
Leave it to the NYC tri to find this one picture of me from the swim.
PROBLEM # 2- BIKE PACE
Last year at IMLP, I raced through the first 56 mile loop & was feeling dead on the second loop. This year I used a power meter in training. So during the NYC Tri I glanced at the meter to make sure I was in zone 3 as much as I could. It kept me from sprinting forward
(Which would have been bad since you need your legs to be rested for next week).
I wanted to break my course record of 1:21:23 (18 mph), but in zone three I finished the 25 miles at 1:31:39 (16.2 mph).
No it doesn't. If I can hold that 16.2 mph, for 112 miles, my finish time will be an hour faster than last year.
(Huh? Did you say something?)
The ADD part of me needs to focus here.
PROBLEM # 3- RUN PACE
At IMLP last year, & at the NYC Marathon last year my run pacing was off. At both events, I had to walk part of the way.
(Now the NYC Tri is not a marathon...)
But it is held on a very hot day, after biking & swimming.
Instead of sprinting, I ran at an 11 minute pace.
Yeah, it's slow even for me, for a 10k (6.2 miles),
but for a marathon, that's much faster than I have ever held.
(I still don't understand)
I had to hold that pace running up hills from Riverside Park to 72nd St. & across 72 when I knew I could sprint. I continued to stay in zone 3 through Central Park as others passed me.
I was even able to run up the "Harlem Hill" section of the course in Central Park.
(I guess all that running in the middle of the night paid off)
I got stronger & I was home when the kids were home.
(Which might be the reason you cry every time you see them waiting for you at a race).
Like I'm doing in this picture.