SuperSeal Olympic Triathlon – 19 March 2017

This was my first Olympic of 2017.  I came into this race with considerable fatigue from the Solvang Tri Camp (March 4-10) and a week of good training.  I managed to PR, and considering this was a non-tapered “B” race, I’ll take it.

Game Plan – I had made some cursory goals in January regarding this race and coach approved so here they are:

Superseal Olympic – 1640 yard swim / 24.8 mile bike / 6.2 mile run – 19 March 2017

i. “A” Goal – Swim 26 minutes (1:35/100y), Bike 1:03, Run 39 minutes: <=2:10

ii. “B” Goal – Swim 27:15 minutes (1:40/100y), Bike 1:06, Run 41 minutes: <= 2:16

iii. “C” Goal – Swim 28:15 (1:43/100y), Bike 1:09, Run 43 minutes: <=2:21

I had also loaded in the bike to Best Bike Split.  I used about 90% of FTP based on 260, so the watts were supposed to be in the mid-230s.

BBS link here

Pre-Race – I swam hard on Friday and biked about 30 miles on Saturday, so I was coming in already tired.  Work has been stressful this week so my sleep wasn’t perfect either.  I got up pretty early Saturday morning to head to ERO Sports to tweak up the fit after a snafu at Solvang, so I needed to re-adjust the aerobars slightly.

Friday’s swim here

Saturday’s bike here

Pre-race nutrition wasn’t ideal either.  I had McDonalds for breakfast and lunch, then a big pizza and Root Beer for Dinner – not great, but I needed fuel and was too busy running around.

I also stayed on one of the Navy bases in San Diego, and navigating that was a pain, so that added additional stress and time.  I managed to get to bed at 10pm Saturday night with a 0330 wakeup.  I had coffee and 2 bananas then left and arrived at the race venue around 0520.  Setup was smooth and I was racked and ready pretty quick.  After setup, I warmed up with bands for awhile then headed over to swim start on the beach, and managed to swim around for a good 5-8 minutes to loosen up.

Swim – Nothing too special here.  Tactically, I think I did well – I let the masses go then started picking apart draft packs and hopping forward.  Sighting was on point here and I never had any issues.  In terms of fitness, I was pretty tired.  My lats, shoulders, and forearms were pretty tired from training so I just cruised the whole time.  I can usually negative split the latter half of the swim and start picking things up, but this was just a relaxed jaunt today.  I’m not too thrilled but it’s about what I expected for swimming with fatigue.

Final Swim – 27:51 – link here

**Note** – My Garmin time is a bit different than the official time on the website.  I hit my watch as soon as I touched the sand and began running, but it looks like the timing chip portion was a little further ahead.

T1 – T1 at this swim is a big pain.  We have to run through a tunnel under the highway.  Compounding this misery was the fact that my bike was all the way towards bike out, so it took me a minute to get there.  I managed to get the wetsuit off pretty quick (liberal use of body glide beforehand), then get helmet/sunglasses/shoes on very quick and go.  The mount line was a decent way ahead of bike out so that added more time.

Final T1 – 3:13 – link here

**Note** – My Garmin time is a bit different than the official time, see note above.

Bike – My legs were on fire as soon as I started.  I just focused on staying in aero and “tucking” as much as I could until my legs started to come around.  It took me about 15 miles until my body decided to finally wake up.  I started to throw down a little bit and keep the head low for tucking.  On the last stretch in, it’s a single road with both inbound and outbound bikers, so I had to slow down while getting my feet out of my shoes, so that cost me about a minute until I hit dismount.  I wasn’t too pleased with this time but it’s about what I figured I’d be considering how I felt.

Final Bike – 1:04:17 – link here

T2 – This was pretty quick since I was racked right next to bike out / bike in.  No real issues here, very smooth.

Final T2 – 1:24 – link here

Run – I started the run and my legs had a little snap left in them, so I figured this would be a good one.  I kept the pace even and started hunting down everyone in front of me.  I took in gatorades and waters, but started to get side stitches so I just stuck to waters after that.  I managed to drop about 7-8 guys then laid the hammer down towards the end.  The run is pancake flat but the end has 2 left turns and a decently long straightaway to the finish line.  I turned it up for the last bit to make sure no one surged, but I was good.  I had checked my watch on the way in and saw I was close to a possible sub-40 minute 10K, so I surged pretty hard but was unable to close the time gap, so I need more work here…but I’ll have my revenge!  I felt quite strong throughout and I could have held that pace for awhile, so I’m quite pleased with this run.

I had 2 guys come up to me after the race and they said they tried to keep pace but couldn’t hang, so I was quite pleased with how I tactically executed.  There’s an old saying in triathlon – “Bike for show, run for dough.”  These guys started with me on the swim and bike and put some good time into me, but you always have to save some gas in the tank for the run and know when to push and when to cruise.

Final Run – 40:27 – link here

Overall Time – 2:17:12 – link here

Results – 16th AG, 47th OA – link here

Conclusions

Based on my goals going into this, here’s the breakdown:

Actual Swim – 27:51 – Between B and C, so I give it a “B-”

Actual Bike – 1:04 – Between  A and B, so I give it a “A”

Actual Run – 40:27 – Between A and B, so I give it an “A-”

Actual Total – 2:17:12 – Between B and C, so I give it a “B”

I’d give this race an overall “B” ranking my actual times vs. predicted.  I managed to PR my Olympic time by roughly 3 minutes, so I’ll it considering this was a non-tapered “B” race coming off a triathlon camp with heavy cycling.

Here are some takeaways and actions for upcoming season:

1. Weight – this still needs to come down, so it’s back to cooking very soon.

2. Recovery – My quads are still loaded with heavy fatigue and I haven’t been getting as much sleep as I need and my physio / mobility work has gone downhill, so those are the focus until Oceanside.  I need to shed all the residual fatigue or I will break down and not improve.

3. Aero – I think my tucking and positioning is good, but it’s time for a new helmet.  I’m using an original Giro Advantage that I bought in 2010.  It has been a good helmet, but I find that when I need to slightly pop out of tuck to sight the road, the tail pops up, and I think I need a different style of helmet vice the long-tailed version.

I also use an XLAB Torpedo BTA bottle.  It’s good, but I still use a sponge to not get any water in my face, but they’ve come out with an upgraded lid that negates the splash, so it’s time to invest.

I’m tempted to get some type of aero testing done this year.  It’s a significant investment, but I think it will be useful while I still ride my current setup.  It’s hard to turn down free speed on the bike.

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