This Saturday, for the 3rd year in a row, I will be racing at USAT Nationals in Milwaukee. Like the last 2 years, I spent the fall, winter and spring running only and picked up tri training after my spring goal race. The condensed tri training cycle (i.e. starting from scratch in June) has worked out fine the last two years, particularly because this is *only* an Olympic distance race. But when starting from scratch and only training for 10-11 weeks, (versus a full 16 week cycle or even starting with a base), it means that I had minimal room for error and needed to kind of choose a focus and go with it. Whether I really meant to do that the first 2 years or not, it played out that way and the race results pretty obviously reflect it.
2013 USAT Nationals: 2:21:30
- Swim: 23:36 (1:26/100 yd); Yds in Training: 48,775
- Bike: 1:08:57 (21.7 mph); Miles in Training: 627
- Run: 44:30 (7:08 min/mile); Miles in Training: 165
2014 USAT Nationals: 2:20:39
- Swim: 23:04 (1:24/100 yd); Yds in Training: 48,410
- Bike: 1:10:26 (21.2 mph); Miles in Training: 602
- Run: 43:18 (6:58 min/mile); Miles in Training: 350
It was really interesting for me to look back on the volume of the training cycles and compare the stats (this only represents June + July). The run is where I focused in 2014 and 10 second/mile (and a PR!) in the 10k shows it. Last year my fall marathon (Chicago) was much earlier than in 2013 (New York) and this year (Richmond) so the running mileage was much higher as I built up toward my a fall PR-effort. For swimming and biking, there really isn’t that big of a difference from 2013 to 2014, but what the numbers don’t show is that in 2013, those miles on the bike had a great deal more quality. My legs were always so tired from running last summer that I never did tempos or speedwork on the bike. Most of the miles were easy and I never pushed myself to get uncomfortable, which I think is really, really important for me since I hate suffering on the bike. I think that really showed in having a slower bike split in last year’s race, despite getting super fast race wheels.
So how does that all compare to this year?
- Swim: 50,300 yds.
- Bike: 607 miles
- Run: 231 miles
Biggest swim volume yet, primarily because I was swimming in a meter pool all summer, so it naturally meant slightly more distance. I don’t think there will be any surprises on the swim. I had some really good days toward the end of the cycle, particularly a 2400 m straight swim where I averaged 1:25/100 yd. This was a good confidence booster, but nothing groundbreaking.
The bike volume is around the same as last year, but with the quality of workouts more similar to 2013. Being out of Chicago and off of the Lakefront path meant that I could really hammer on the bike and put in some solid workouts. I am really, really hoping this pays off on Saturday.
The run volume is smack dab in the middle of the previous two years. I struggled with the heat and humidity in Virginia this summer and even short tempos have felt like red-line efforts. My running confidence isn’t that high right now…as we all know running strong and getting into running slumps cycles over time. But I am really hoping that slightly cooler temps on race day will make a big impact and training in the heat will pay off.
My goal (again) is to break 2:20. I absolutely think it is possible and hope that the 3rd time truly is the “Charm”.
Swim: I would be really happy to lose those 4 seconds on the swim and dip into the 22:xx range, but anything close to last year will be solid.
Bike: I have treated 22 mph as “goal pace” in my workouts this summer (translates to 1:07:45), but I know it will be a challenge. I fought for mid-21 at the sprint a couple of weeks ago and 2x over the big bridge will definitely affect my overall speed. Ultimately I will be pretty happy with anything under 1:09.
Run: I don’t think I ever go into a race without hoping to PR the run. I am certainly not as fit as I was last summer, but I definitely will be aiming for a 6:55 min/mile that would set me up to break 43:00. Possible? Not sure – but I am not afraid to go after it and risk blowing up.
So that’s it! Transitions need to be quick and efficient and then a sub-2:20 could happen!
For the “other stuff” – I am super excited to see my Chicago crew tonight for pizza before heading up to Milwaukee tomorrow morning. And of course, my girl Char is already on her way up to Chicago from Nashville so I can’t wait to race and spend the whole weekend with her as well. We have a little post-race routine that involves a brewery, an enormous pretzel and lots of belly laughs. Then we will wrap up the weekend with brunch at The Dawson before heading back to Richmond. What else would it be?! We can’t be near Chicago and leave without a little Sunday Funday action!
I hope everyone has a great weekend! See you on the other side of the big goal race!