This is a plan I wrote more or less just as notes to myself, but I posted it here as an example of how I plan before a race.
- smile & have fun!
- make sure my Garmin settings are what I want for a race & garmin is ON (auto multisport, speed instead of cadence, run time instead of cadence)
- bike and run shoes open, helmet open
- bike in a good gear
- make sure brakes aren’t rubbing, wheel is on straight
- memorize the location of my spot (use the flags), be oriented w/r/t getting in & out of T1/T2
- start dryland warmup 25 min or so before my wave start
- dryland warmup (jog and stretch cordz, then arm circles & jog in place to stay warm while in chute), get in the water as soon as they let us & do one good swim out and back, get behind the aggressive people; NEED TO BE WARMED UP!
- Smile and relax– I love this stuff!
- start- start my watch; don’t go crazy, draft, BUT DO NOT TRY TO FOLLOW FOLLOW SOMEONE WHO IS TOO FAST! TRY TO DRAFT THE WHOLE WAY,
- sight often! (off course TONS last year, lake can have currents, so don’t assume I’m swimming straight); If I’m not breathing bilaterally, then I’m going ABOVE my hard pace, so slow down! My swimming hasn’t been great lately, so aim for an efficient & precise swim (good sighting and drafting), instead of speed. Don’t pass someone I’m drafting unless it is VERY EASY to swim behind them
- WAY BACK IN – take diagonal back to land (don’t follow buoys);aim diagonally to be inside the last houseboat; don’t sprint to the finish
- Smile and Relax– I love this stuff!
- take a few steps up the boat ramp then take my wetsuit off (no point in doing long run in wetsuit unless it’s cold); jog EASY up the boat ramp, even walk if I feel like it
- jog easy through transition to my spot (use the flags to navigate)
- socks, shoes, glasses, helmet and GO!
- jog out
OUT OF PARK & BEACH HILL
- smile & relax & have fun on narrow curvy road out of park- let HR drop, beware of other riders!; DON’T GET CAUGHT IN WRONG GEAR on short uphills before Beach Hill (shift down when going down hill next to transition)
- chill out on Beach Hill (try to keep wattage relatively low, definitely below 290, aim for lower); should be able to chat with the people around me
ROLLERS (2-12.5 – SETTLE IN)
- have fun- I love this race!
- hold back some, don’t need to max out my wattage caps, unless it feels SUPER easy
- be sure to take advantage of coasting once I’m up to speed, use downhills to let my HR settle after beach hill; GET AERO at high speeds
- only drink water until HR is reasonably low
- once HR reasonably settles I can start taking in liquid calories
- this is the opportunity to really let the HR settle; once it does then I can eat my cliff bar(s) (1/6 every 10 mins); BE AERO (head down, eyes & chin up)
- should feel fresh and ready to rock when I start the next section
12.5- 40 (MEAT OF THE RIDE)
- 250w cap on flats, BELOW 290-300 on hills; BE AERO, ESPECIALLY WHEN MY SPEED IS HIGH (head down, chin and eyes up); if I feel good, then ride close to my caps, if not, then ride more conservatively
- COAST & SOFT PEDAL AS MUCH AS I CAN (ease off when speed > 25, completely coast when speed close to 30)
- NUTRITION: 1/6 cliff bar / 10 min + 150-200 cals liquid nutrition mixed into aerodrink / station; switch to just liquid nutrition if stomach doesn’t feel strong
40.5 (Nasty Grade- takes about 15 min to first top)
- start a little easier & be up to FTP by the top (don’t do all 15 min @ FTP!)
- recover after first top and ride strong over second top (takes about 2.5 min)
- long FAST downhill after (with ambulance at bottom), followed immediately by next hill
- definitely switch to all liquid nutrition at this point
46.5 & 51- 2 more decent hills
- first hill (46.5) takes about 12 min, more gradual than nasty, get a dip after a couple of mins for rest, becomes flattish/ bumpy at top
- second hill (51) takes about 6 minutes, pretty steep, tiny double top
Mile 53- tiny spikes until back into park
- take feet out of shoes when back into park
- relax and enjoy the rest & speed riding down lynch hill, try not to kill the leading pro
- helmet and glasses off, hat on, garmin on, shoes on, grab bottle & go
- don’t SPRINT out of transition
- smile and relax! I’m finally at my favorite part of the race!
- hold back until first aid station- find my form (BOF/ cadence)
- look at GPS to make sure my speed isn’t ridiculously fast
1-4 Flat / Rolling / Spiky along the water
- fall into my pace, get into a rhythm, DRINK (try to drink at least half of my bottle during this section)
- have another gear or two in reserve so I can handle the steep hill w no problem
4-4.5 Uphill into the Park, then short downhill
- hold a gear in reserve for the big hill
5 Steep Uphill followed by downhill
- hold back, leave enough in reserve so I can FLY downhill
- if I feel good once I’m up this hill, stop pacing and start RACING
- FLY downhill- fast cadence; remember my trail running skills – call them up from the deep recesses of my muscle memory!
5.5- 9 “Top of the Heart” (the course is heart shaped)
- the warmup is over, now there is a 10k race to the finish
- finish my bottle in this section, get a couple of cups of gatorade into my bottle for the last part of the race
- I’ll know exactly what to do here, no need to write about it!
9-9.75 – Down Into the Pit
- high cadence! very easy to pass people here
9.75-10.5 – out of the pit
- max sustainable effort; very easy to pass people here
- get angry! do not doubt myself. Tell my body it does not have permission to slow down and that I will be ignoring it’s danger signals for the next 15-20 minutes, so it should stop sending them.
10.5-11.7 – half mile mostly down followed by a half mile mostly up
- fast on downhill then max effort (last year HR was 195!)
- get very angry! this is the true test of my mental strength! do not doubt myself here. override my body signals. have no fear. remember that I only need to get to mile 11.7!
- SUPER easy to pass people here if I can keep up the effort
11.7 down, then down beach hill!
- let go! relaxed, fast cadence– no braking! (braking causes soreness)
- INCREDIBLY easy to pass people here if I can keep up the concentration
- strong sustainable pace
- no sprint unless I’m with someone from my AG or unless my time is very fast and I think I might be placing well
- long chute, HARD to pass people here, best to stay on their shoulder and go for a late pass if I’m in a duel
- eat, ice legs in lake for at least 20 min
- apply more sunscreen!
- grab a burrito & a coke at the festival to fuel for the hardest part of the day (walking the bike back up the hill)