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SimplyStu Podcast Series

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I'm learning

Jun 27, 2007

I was ready to race. A bit nervous, but ready to race. Than it happened. Coach Mike sent all the people doing the High Cliff triathlon an E-Mail that was straight to the point. “I want you to write a race plan for the triathlon.?

What? In the past he gave us a general outline. This time was different. We had to tell him the plan. Not just any plan, but a detailed plan for the race. This was difficult for me. This was the first time I actually put my race day on the line. Out in front of Coach Mike. I always think this makes you stick to it when things start happening on the actual day. So here it is. This is what I wrote to Coach Mike and the details that followed.

NOTE: So you can see the PLAN (P) that I gave Coach BEFORE the race, and the ACTUAL (A) of what happened during the race.

Friday night:

(P / A): Watch Ironman Kona. The “Blazeman? one. Life is good. Safety tabs off. (P / A): Pack. Write race plan. Relax.


(P / A): AM - Help move the house. Yes, I’m moving to a new house. Mow the lawn. Balance the checkbook. Recheck my packing. This should take until about Noon. I hope to leave for the race about that time.

(P / A): Noon - Drive to race site with an extra emphasis on hydration. - Once at site I will meet Tracy , Michelle and others. I will register, eat and get in a short ride to check out my bike. (P / A) I will take a short run and bike at race location if possible. (P / A) Try to relax and get a few good hours of sleep.


(P / A): I will wake and eat a bit more than in past races. Just like Wildflower. (P): Dress warm, relax, and get a good attitude. Believe in today’s race plan. (A): This was the first thing that did not go to plan. I was NOT 100% confident that I could pull the bike power that Coach Mike had suggested. My goal was to BELIEVE that I could do it. I did NOT believe, but I was at least going to trust the plan. (P / A): Get to race, lay out transition area early and stretch, relax, and ENJOY.


(P / A) Relax. Enjoy. Get at 29 min. No faster, no slower. (Note: My official race time was 31, but you had to walk about 25 yards as the water was so shallow and run up a hill, so the swim time was actauly 29:48.


(P / A): This is the focus of the day. I was going to “take the safety tabs off? even at the expense of the run. (P / A): First 30 min will be at 150 W with a cadence of 90+. My plan worked perfect. Even at the start where there was a HUGE hill, I just let everyone pass me and stay in my range. I felt horrible at the start of the bike. I was not sure I could even hold 140 watts. I was wondering what the heck was going on. I had to trust the plan, so I just stayed at 150 and 90 cadence. The plan was working. I started to feel much better after about 20 min. I think that is one of my keys. I need to keep my watts lower for about 20-30 min. It just helps me get in a rhythm without blowing my lungs.

(P / A): At 30 min, up the power to 160-170 for about an hour. 90+ cadence. Ok. I did NOT think I could do this. On race day, it was no problem. I was feeling great, and having no problem keeping the watts about 160+. This route was easy, but watts are watts, and I was pushing it. My average ended up to be 168. Yeeee Haaaaa!

(P / A): At 1.5 hours, move to 170+ W. This is when I have to believe. Make sure I do the last 1.5 hours at 170-180 W. Again 90+ Cadence. Again, I was having a great day on the bike. Good nutrition. The plan was perfect. Now was the test. I started to go above 170. I was now flying past people. I have NEVER had that happen. This was something new for me. I was doing the passing. I had about 10 people that I passed say the same thing – “Nice bike man.? At one point around mile 40, I looked to see my average MPH. It was 19.6. Wait. 19.6? I can do this. I can make 20. I will tell you that I have NEVER averaged 20 mph in a race longer than a sprint. Ever! Today was going to be the day. I had a group of 3 pass me (no drafting) that rode together. In that past I would let them go. Not today. I wanted 20 mph. I wanted to call Coach Mike and tell him so I hung on. And you know what? It wasn’t that bad. I was starting to believe for the first time on a bike that I belong here. I belong with these guys. I ended my last 1.5 with an average wattage of 171 with an overall average speed for the 56 miles of 20! Double yeeee haaaa! My work all Winter on the bike finally paid off.


(P / A): Smile, and think how excited I am to call Coach Mike about my bike ride today. I did not think I could ever average over 165W on a bike ride and I just did. My plan and actual to this point were spot on.

- Ok.... The run. (P / A): Try so hard and to get that heart rate down to about 145 (140 ever better) for the first 4 miles at 145 max. Well….this was hard as the first mile of the run was straight up a hill. So I did my best to get the heart rate down. I did NOT feel good at all, but I got my HR down. I was running at a good pace, but did not feel as good as Wildflower on the run.

(P / A): Next 4 miles at 140-150. My plan and actual were spot on, but I was not running as fast as I could at that HR. My planned HR was on, but the pace was way slow. It was not the legs, but the core. Not sure how to explain. I was just not going very fast.

(P) Last 5. Do it for yourself. You did it. 150 - 165. Time to take off the safety tabs. (A) This was really the first time in the day that my plan and actual did not match. I just did not have the legs or core to move faster. I was getting passed by everyone. Argggg. With 2 miles to go I looked at my watch and figured I needed to run 9 min pace to break 5:30. I picked it up and took the “safety tabs off.? I tried, I really did, but I just was not moving very fast. I did NOT in any way bonk. I just did not have “something? on that run. I still do not know what that something was.

Post race:

(P / A): Call Coach and tell him he was right and I really could do it. Yep, I did call Coach Mike and Bolder. I always think about them during a race. I do it for ME, but I can’t wait to tell them. As we all know, there is nothing worse than telling your buddies you had a bad race, so It is much easier to have a good race!

Closing thoughts:

All in all the race went great. In past years, I had always “peaked? the end of June and beginning of July. This year, I do not feel that way. I feel great about the bike, but need work on the swim and run.

My nutrition plan is solid, but I do think I might add some variety in the plan. I just get bored toward the end of ½ Ironman races, so I’m sure I will at Ironman as well. I have a few ideas that I will try at WIBA. After talking with Coach Mike total, he feels I was dehydrated and did not get enough nutrition. After telling him how I was feeling, he thinks that was the issue on the run. The plan is to rework a few things and test again at WIBA.

The swim will get better as I will add a few more long lake swims. The run will get better with Mikes help. I think he realizes I need work on my run as well. What is so exciting is that I feel like I can compete now. I hold my own on the swim. I hold my own on the bike, and now its time to put it together. I still need to work hard on nutrition. Fine tune for Ironman.

almost fourteen years ago


Fab job on executing the race plan. Even if it all did\\\'t go as planned you learned mucho and that, my friend, is always a bonus.

Looking forward to seeing you in Madison!

Stay tuned...

Coach Adam
thirteen and a half years ago

Great race report! I love the insights and the perspectives. I agree with Mike about the dehydration. This was also the first time you\\\'ve pushed this hard on the bike so you probably blew through additional glycogen stores and as such had to work of a more scarce supply on the run. That balance of fuel to hydration is critical and as you titled this thread: You\\\'re still learning. Great job! I am so excited for IMOO for you and the gang.

almost fourteen years ago

Nice report and great job on the bike! You stayed really close to the plan and learned some things as you continue to prep for Ironman.

Iron Pol
almost fourteen years ago

Look, a blog I can access. Great race report. Given the heat of the day, dehydration is totally possible. I know I was getting there toward the end of the run, despite all the fluids consumed.

And 20 mph average on the bike is a great place to be. It puts you squarely under 6 hours on the bike, which is a good thing.

almost fourteen years ago

Stu...any race where you gain more knowledge and experience about your body and your performance is a winning race in my book. There are so many environmental factors that can throw a wrench in a plan that you just have to adapt as you go.

That being said, it looks like you had a great race and congrats on the avg. bike speed. The 20 mph must be the mecca of bike numbers. It\\\'s the same one I\\\'m shooting for as well.