It’s 12 weeks to go to Ironman Maryland, so it’s time to shift my training to prepare specifically for that race.  So far in 2016 I’ve had some high’s and low’s, and there are definitely some areas I need to address as I head towards the race.

IM Maryland Goals

  1. Sub-9 hour race – My main goal for Maryland is to break the 9:00:00 barrier.  In ideal conditions I’m aiming for a 57:00 swim, 4:40:00 bike, and 3:05:00 run.  Including transitions that would bring me home in about 8:50:00.  Maryland is quite flat, my main concern is wind.  The swim is in the Choptank River, and it isn’t called Choptank because it’s smooth water.  Wind can also slow things down on an open, exposed bike course.  That is why my goal splits bring me home in 8:50:00.  If I’m prepared then I don’t need ideal conditions to achieve my goal
  2. Win – My secondary goal is to win.  Winning is difficult because you never know who will show up (it’s an AG only race).  My main goal is to break 9-hours, but if I’m in a good position on the run I’d like to try to run for the win.
The Maryland bike is about as flat as you can get

The Maryland bike is about as flat as you can get

Positives This Year

  1. Improved Swim – This has been a huge source of confidence in all of my races this year.  I’ve already put in more distance in the pool, and done more open water swims than all of last year.  I still have some work to do on my starts when it’s a beach start, but once we’re in the water I’m able to stay near the front.  I’ve joined an open water swim group to continue to get in weekly OWS, and get some pointers.
  2. Running to win at American Triple T – Triple T is a very unique race, and everyone has their own strategy.  In both the 3rd and 4th races I had big time deficits to overcome, and was able to run to win.  Actually winning the race wasn’t as important as just being able to put together a really solid run not give up on chasing down the athletes in front of me.
  3. Solid Race at Toronto Tri Fest – Across all 3 splits I had a good race at TTF.  I felt I had a really good swim.  I then followed that up with a good, though not great ride.  And finished off with a really great run.  After disappointment in Tremblant I was really happy to bounce back with a really strong race.
Working on my swim

Working on my swim

Areas for Improvement

  1. Race Nutrition –  I had my first nutrition issues at race 2 of Triple T.  I felt like I had too much on the bike and struggled with a full stomach on the run.  Then at Tremblant 70.3 things got really bad.  I took in far too much on the bike and on the run my stomach was in knots.  Nutrition gets more important the further the race distance, so it’s going to be of even more importance in Maryland.
  2. Rest – From March to May my training was really lousy.  I didn’t make any gains on the bike, and was regularly bailing out of run workouts.  I need to better structure my plan to give myself adequate rest and recovery to be able to blast out the next workout.
  3. Sustained bike power – Every race this season I’ve fallen short of my wattage target.  I suspect a big part of that is not doing enough long rides outdoors with long durations of sustained power.  This is something I will definitely need to get a handle on if I’m going to have a chance to reach my goals in Maryland.
  4. Run training – Run training is an area I’ve been slacking at for over a year.  Last year I mostly relied from my marathon fitness from 2014, as I had a big bike focus.  This year I’ve had some good run results (new 5k PB), but that has been on the back of bike workouts as I haven’t had great run milage or run quality.  This is an area I’ve already begun to address.  For the first 3 weeks of my Maryland training I have a run focus.  I hit the track for the first time this year on Tuesday, and Friday I’ll be doing a tempo.