Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Some Thoughts Before St. Anthony's

This weekend I will be starting St. Anthony's for the 5th time. 
A few weeks before the 2009 race I found out about my bad stress fracture.  My plan was to swim, bike, and drop out.  There was no swim due to the weather, so I biked and dropped out.  The swim was shortened and moved last year, 2011, due to weather, so I did not get a true Olympic distance race out of it.  In 2010, I was coming off the stress fracture, so I was slow on the run, and my bike was not that great. 
2008 was my first year at St. Anthony's and my second year of triathlon. 2007 being my first season of triathlon and 2006 my first year of duathlon.  So there is a little history. 
The reason I mention all this, is that my goal for this year is to go under 2.5 hours at an Olympic distance race, any Oly.  I have gone under 2.5 hours, at the Twin Cities Tri, but the Mississippi River swim is ridiculously fast, so I don't count that.  I have gone about 2:31 at St. Croix Valley and 2:34 at Maple Grove.
Going under 2:30 at St. Anthony's is tough, not because the course is particularly difficult, it is nearly flat.  Most inclinces, and declines, are shallow and long, for both the bike and the run.  The challenge is the heat and how early it is in the season.  My run is usually not where it needs to be to go that fast early in the season.  I need to go under 30 minutes in the swim, under 1:10 on the bike, average over 21MPH, and run under 50 minutes.  I have done the bike around 1:10, at St. Anthony's and other Oly distance tris, and I have done Oly distance swims under 30 minutes, so that is doable.  I have run a 10K off the bike around 50 minutes.  The odds of all three being solidly fast this early in the season are slim, along with some fast transition times.  My best at St. Anthony's in 2008, at the full Oly is about 2:42.  If I had the full swim distance last year, I would have gone about the same time.
How do I feel this year, I think my swim is pretty good, and I feel under trained on the bike and run, compared to previous years.  I also feel a little fatigue.  Not too worried about the fatigue, I have felt that before and the rush of race day and some extra sleep the days before usually helps me through. 
So, what do I do?  What we should all do when going into a race, go out and enjoy the race and the day. In this case, enjoy the warm/hot weather, and have the strongest race I can have this earlier in the year.
More to come in about 5 days

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