Thursday, August 21, 2014

USAT Olympic Nationals: Attempt at Speed

I had decided at the end of 2013 racing season that I wanted to try to go back to USAT Olympic distance National Championships. I had not raced Nationals since 2008 and I wanted to see if I could pull any speed out of my legs. I always consider Nationals to be the most competitive Olympic distance race in the country and it definitely lived up to the hype. My training journey into the race was very interesting. It was the first time that I experienced significant issues with recovery. My coach, Paul Regensberg, laid out a game plan that incorporated training for my three biggest races of the year, USAT Nationals (Aug 9th), 70.3 World Championships (Sep 7th), and IM World Championships (Oct 11th). The combination of trying to add speed work into my longer strength training left me really depleted at times. The end result was that I just could not hit my Olympic distance training properly a day or two after 5 hour bike rides or 2 hour runs. However, I did feel I was in the best possible shape I could be in considering trying to train for all 3 distances. I was really looking forward to racing so I could find out what I could do. I traveled out to Milwaukee, WI with my friend Chris Swift, 940 miles each way in the RV: 10559660_799554756752160_2847947972111322562_n I had a good wait race morning as I was in the 9th wave to start and we had 20 minute cushion from the wave prior to ours. WP_20140809_07_58_18_Pro. Once my wave started, I tried to get out as fast as possible. WP_20140809_08_47_11_Pro The first 200 meters went great and I found myself in 2nd place. Then I watched as 12 guys swam past me and dropped me. I had made one mistake when I thought I could swim faster than another athlete I had been following. I ended up swimming solo for the remainder of the swim and came out of the water in 21:01 and 14th place in my age group. I had a pretty good first transition and managed to pass 4 athletes before we hit the bike course. However, I did not realize this at the time. My goal for each discipline of the race was: 95% effort on the swim, 100% of FTP on the bike, and 105% of threshold on the run. I tried to get right up to my FTP, but I noticed that I was having a hard time hitting my numbers. As I continued to see my power numbers sit well below my goal, I became pretty frustrated and decided to stop looking at my data. At this point I just went by feel. My new goal was to keep a decent steady effort. I was trying to count the guys I passed in my age group. I came off the bike in 56:25. I thought I was in 5th place at the time. I figured out about half way into the run that I actually had the lead in the age group. In hindsight, I had the fastest bike split and that had put me onto the run course in 1st place. WP_20140809_19_09_11_Pro I was able to have a decent run and finished the 10k in 35:25. My overall time was 1:56:05 1st Masters(age 40+)/ 16th Overall. WP_20140809_10_43_11_Pro WP_20140809_19_56_46_Pro WP_20140809_19_02_37_Pro I had a great time racing with my Timex teammates and seeing Susanne Davis win the women's Masters division for the 2nd year in a row! WP_20140809_12_11_21_ProWP_20140809_16_58_41_Pro

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