Friday, June 7, 2013

2013 Ironman 70.3 Kansas triathlon preview

It's coming and I'm not as fortified as I have been...
Ironman 70.3 Kansas is coming this weekend. 70.3 miles of fun and excitement.

The early buzz was water temperature. Everyone was freaking out when we were getting 12 to 8 inches of snow at a time in March and April. As I suspected, we have warmed up, but I'm pretty sure it will be wetsuit legal without being in danger of having to cancel the swim with water that is too cold. Bonus.

Then, we were looking down the barrel at a 50% chance of strong storms and rain for race day. Now we are down to 10% chance and winds around 8 to 10 mph with a high of 86 degrees. Weather wise, it's shaping up to be a great race day minus some outside changes at rain.

At this point in the past I've had at least one full triathlon to test my off-season training and meddle. Kansas 5150 was rained out of the swim, and I opted to not ride and run the swim-deleted course. So, I've only been in running races up to this point and IM 70.3 KS will be the first real triathlon of the year. It's an interesting way to start a season jumping into a half ironman as your first race of the year. But, at this point, I've finished 4 HIM's and 3 at Kansas. I know the course, I know the area, I know what the weather can do. I'm pretty sure I'm prepared even without the early season tri's under my belt.

In the past...
I've raced 4 HIM's and 3 of them have been at Kansas.  I did sign up for Branson 70.3, but had to bow out for the birth of my son.  I also DNF'd Kansas in 2010 for bike issues.  Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to ride due to a flat you couldn't get fixed.  Learned some lessons there for sure.

Last year at Kansas was my worst HIM. Ironically it was my best overall and AG finish.  At least I was not the only one suffering with 30mph winds, 90+ degree temps and 2 foot rolling waves.

Also ironic is my best HIM time came with my worst bike split, but my best run time and only 3rd best swim time.  It just goes to show that you need to manage the bike leg over the 56 miles so you have something in the tank to finish off the 13.1 mile run.  Whether is be nutrition, hydration or energy conservation, don't throw away your plan on the bike if the speed isn't coming like you thought it would.  You can always run faster to make up time.  You may sacrifice a minute per mile running to gain 5 minutes on the bike because you wanted to hammer the hills and save time.

Goals... yes I have some.
I would like to get under 6 hours.  That's the boldest goal.  I'm treating this as an A race since I have plenty of time to recover and be at full steam for IM Lake Tahoe.  It's a good indicator of where I'm at and if the suffering on a better diet plan and workouts is paying off.  I see results in the mirror, just hoping it shows up on the time sheet.

I'll be pretty generic, because I'm more concerned with heart rate and cadence.  Plain and simple.  My body will only allow me to do what it can.

On the bike, stay below 155 bpm to get to the run and stay 90 to 100 rpms.  Drink early and often and eat solids early on the ride and taper towards T2.  On the run, stay below 170 bpm and stay hydrated and cool.

With those parameters, I'm gunning for a 35 to 40 minute swim (excluding wind factor unless it gets insane like last year), 1:50 or less on the run and the bike is the wild card.  I broke 3 hours in my first HIM and paid the price by shuffling to the finish line.  Under conservative and windy circumstances last year, I hit 3:05.  I think a safe assumption would be under 3:10.  Anything less is a bonus.

So, conservatively I'm gunning for 5:40 if the weather holds, roads are dry and wind is below 10mph.  All bets are off if conditions change.  That would be a best by 9:55.  Is 2013 the year for a PR?  Time will tell!

I'd like to thank the partners of IM 70.3 Kansas adventure:
Kokua Multisport - Coach Bob helped me in the off season with some great ideas and getting me going on the path of quality over quantity.
TK Muscle Therapy - Kent keeps me functional.  All the aches and pains of long workouts, high intensity and all of the other things I do to myself, Kent works it all.  He's even flexible when you're running behind on appointments.
Heritage Family Chiropractic - I had worked with HC to get my spine going in the right direction.  We had a few months of multiple sessions and now that I have been on my 3 hour bike rides, I can honestly say that the back and leg pain I have had in the past has been greatly reduced.  It will still flare up at times, but the therapy has appeared to mitigate the reaction my spine would have being in aero for hours at a time.

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