I learned a lot from and have had TONS of time to think about what happened at Syracuse 70.3. It's led to me approaching my training differently (not everything has to be an all out effort), rest days (actually taking them as opposed to not) and food (increasing my caloric intake isn't a bad thing). Hopefully all those things will contribute to a more successful and even more hopefully, enjoyable race come Sunday. So that being said I wanted to capture my "race plan" to put me in the right frame of mind and give me something to review post race.
The swim: The only thing that DID go well at Syracuse was the swim. A 2:23-100 pace for my first 70.3 swim wasn't bad (wasn't great either). I'm no Andy Potts so I don't expect to take a ton of time off my swim in a couple months but I have been working hard on form and not fighting through the swim. I'd like to do the 1.2 mile swim in 42 minutes flat.
T1: Make sure I catch my breath and settle down coming out of the water. On the run into transition, sight where my bike is, get my wetsuit down to my butt and get to my spot. Focus on staying calm, getting my wetsuit off, getting on my helmet/sunglasses/shoes, unrack my bike and get to the mount point for the bike.
The bike: my goal here is to constantly take in a steady steam of fluids, calories and salt tabs to stave of dehydration or caloric deficit. I know there's a killer hill at mile 11 so it's key to get into a good rhythm/pace, get through that hill and maintain 23 or 24mph out on the flats by the speedway. I need to make sure I'm drinking plenty of fluids (refilling my aero bottle with water grabbed from aid stations) and prepare for the climbing on the way back. A 21mph average pace would put me at a 2:40 bike and set me up well for the run.
T2: The key here is to dismount the bike safely, and get to my spot without incident. Grab a gel for the run, shoes on (socks and shoes seated properly because if not 13.1 miles will destroy my feet) and get out of transition smoothly.
The run: I know the heads of my quads are going to kill me after that 56 mile bike. It's a 2 loop course so I want to focus on "settling in" for the first mile or two to get my legs into running. The course has a downhill on the other side of the 2 mile mark to the turn so I want to use that to my advantage to get around a 7:45min/mi pace. I want to take on water and coke on early to see how I feel. With the first loop done (you run by the finish) its about maintaining pace to the turn. That last 3+ miles back is all about emptying whatever I have left in the tank. As the course flattens and then declines to the finish I want to be running as fast as possible and maintain good footing on the grass into the finish. An 8 min/mile average pace would get me home with a 1:45 half marathon and a 5:12-70.3 finishing time.
I smile big for the finisher's picture, get my medal and rejoice. That's what I'm hoping for anyway. Let's see what happens on Sunday.