Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Spirit of Racine Race Report and Flipping the Switch

Spirit of Racine

  • New HIM Bike Split PR 2:14:05 (25.1 mph)
  • 2nd Fastest Bike Split out of over 1200 people
  • 2nd Place in the AquaBike
  • No taper and resumed normal training the next day

That pretty much sums of the race for me. I'm not sure if it is fair that I claim the 2nd fastest bike split since I only did the AquaBike and didn't have to run 13.1 after, however I did run afterwards anyway and I also crushed myself with a 3 hour bike workout including FTP intervals less then 24 hours before the race.

Either way, I've very proud of the split and it was a great way to finish off my racing before I put my head down and focus on the big race in 8 weeks.

Even though the run is my strength and usually where I make up time, I decided to do just the aquabike to allow me to focus on my weakness (swimming) and get a final race in without interrupting my training.

Swim: 26:57 (it was short)

The swim was actually really brutal, by far the worse swim I have been in for a while. The first couple hundred yards I just got kicked and hit over and over. Plus it didn't help that the water was 3 feet deep and guys were dolphin diving and running. Finally I had enough, gave up on looking for a draft and swam to the outside. I got into my grove and had a strong second half of the swim. I was a little wide and was passing people pretty much the entire second half until the guys from the wave after me came through.

T1: 1:45

Not much to say other then the only thing worse then a long run in the sand after a swim is when you drop your swim cap and have to go back and get it.

Bike: 2:14:05

My goal for the bike was to start on easy and just keep pushing harder until I didn't have anything left. First half hour went exactly as planned, relatively easy effort and cruised along at 24.2 mph, placing a ton of people that were better swimmers then me and even quite a few people from the elite wave that started 3 minutes earlier.

The next hour was much different. I went from passing someone every minute or so, to only seeing people every 5 minutes. I also noticed quite a few more motorcycles and officials around. I kind of got into a lull and my power dropped a little and I wasn't feeling to strong, but I just decided to practice being smooth and riding by feel. Ends up the "middle hour" as I'm call it was pretty good for me as my power was lower, but my VI was 1.01 and speed was 24.8.

The last 45 minutes was different again, I started to see a few more people on the course, but these were all guys in the elite wave with low race numbers. The combination of taking the middle hour easy and then getting a little excited that I could be catching up to some of the pros motivated me and I hammered the last 45 minutes averaging over 25 mph.

The coolest part of the day had to be when I was leaving T2 and the announcer said the 10th place overall male just entered T2, meaning I was in 9th place at the moment and I started 3 minutes back.

I really really wanted to keep running as I felt great and knew I could pull of a decent run, but the plan was to do the aqua bike. So I found the finish shoot and was the first person to cross the finish line of the day...and then went for an easy run.

All in all it was a great day and I learned a few more lessons to keep in mind and re-enforce things I already knew but don't always do.

I also have a new found respect for the guys at the front of the pack ... it's hard, much harder then I thought. Back in the middle of the pack, you have lots of other people to feed off of and you can legally ride behind someone and benefit from it. It's really lonely up front and a lot harder to just push on your own constantly. Plus, I had no idea where I was going half the time and had to slow down and look for arrows on the ground or yell to the volunteer at the corner which didn't see me coming.

Flipping the Switch

Since November I have been training to get fast. I have obsessed over my FTP, VDOT and Weight. Tracked them constantly and worked hard to improve them. Overall it has been very successful as I am over my FTP goal, under my weight goal, and very confident that I am at my VDOT goal or maybe a little over. Plus I've had some great races and even qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, but it's time for a change.

I'm now 8 weeks out from my A race of the year, therefore I celebrated my success at Racine and throughout the year with some ice cream on Sunday night, but was back to work with a new focus at 6 AM on Monday.

From now until September I am solely focused on getting to my A race prepared and in great mental and physical shape. No more switching workouts, testing myself or any other of the things I have done. The FTP, W/KG, VDOT, and weight are what they are now and it's time to train myself to get the most of them.

It's all about consistently doing the workouts as planned, focusing on recovery every single day, and eating right every single meal.

I'm the strongest I have ever been and feel great but I have to wait until September to see if it is good enough.


  1. 25mph...yowza. I usually need a little gravitational assistance to hit that speed. =)

    Can't wait to see how you do in WI...we will be pulling for you

  2. Great Job! I know you're pretty aero. What did the power look like for the ride?

    Best of luck in the coming weeks......

  3. Thank You. My power was actually much lower than my goal for this race. I don't have the file handy but Normalized Power was almost the same as I held in Kansas 70.3 (around 235), but my VI was lower as the course is so flat and I was riding by myself for a good portion of the ride.