The overarching goals of this race are:
- Pacing, pacing, pacing. No sustained riding above 160 beats per minute and no running above 160 for first half of the run.
- Test Nutrition. Nutrition needs to be tested for the ironman. I have a new strategy for long course racing this year and I need to make sure it works in a race scenario. The problem here is that a half ironman is raced at a higher intensity level than a full ironman. But if I can digest it during a half, I pretty sure it will also go down for the full.
- Run well off the bike and finish strong.
- Gather heart rate data for a well executed half ironman. Use this to tweak my ironman target HR zones
- Leave some in the tank. I need to pick back up with ironman training right after this race without missing a beat. I’m not willing to spend a week to recover.
Swim: Start controlled; find a rhythm and hopefully some feet at the sharp end of the pack. Swim fast and exit the water at the front of my wave.
Bike: Ride “within myself”. Start out easy and let the perceived exertion increase steadily throughout the ride. Try to average above 23 mph if the course, effort and HR allow it. Manage nutrition well. Practice peeing on the bike and maintaining speed should the opportunity arise. Here’s a picture of how I have the bike setup for this race.
- The position is the same as it will be for the ironman race … very conservative compared to the position I use for short course racing. The effective seat angle has been slackened back to about 77 degrees and the bars have been raised by 2 cm.
- Spare tubular tire mounted behind the seat
- Blue bottle on seat tube hold 2 C02 cartridges, 1 C02 valve, 1 tire lever, and one can of Vittoria Pitt Stop along with a poker to tamp the valve stem through the valve extender.
- The clear bottle on the down tube will have 250 calories of Gatorade + maltodextrin
- The Aero Drink bottle will also hold 250 calories of Gatorade + maltodextrin.
- The Profile Design “bento box” attached to the steerer and top tube hold Endurolyte tablets and a gel packet.
Run: Negative split the half marathon. I want those last 6.55 miles of the run to be faster than the first 6.55 miles. I also need to make sure gel and water still works well for me during the run. And I want to finish strong but also feel like I still have some in the tank.
So that’s the plan. I didn't explicitly set any time goals as the course is totally unknown to me, but I know that if I do these things I've outline I'll put up a good number. I’ll write a report shortly after the race and analyze how well this plan was actually executed.
For now I still have some running to get done this afternoon before I bring the volume and intensity down to attempt to get somewhat fresh for the race.