This coming weekend I venture out to compete in my third triathlon this season, The Long Beach Triathlon. If you’ll recall in previous posts (here and here), I have experienced two of the extreme outcomes thus far; exceeded expectations, and a literal faceplant. While the joy of doing well and my competitive spirit are urging me to push it to the limit on Sunday, Long Beach is by no means an “A” race. In fact, it’s not really even a “B” race. Since I am training for longer distance triathlons, the sprint distance triathlons to this point have been a means to get myself comfortable with the process. Not to say that I’ve “been there, done that”, as I have a great deal of respect for these races, the sprint is just a different kind of race. Where longer distance races promote patience, the sprints are, as coach Mark Allen says, “fast and furious”.
My instinct tells me to run like hell, but my plan is to get my money’s worth during this race. I plan to take things conservatively, especially on the bike, and whatever happens happens. In most races I tend to want to leave everything on the course, not leaving feeling like I could have given more. Unfortunately in my last race, I left everything on the course, including some of my face and shoulder. This time I guess I plan to take some of it with me. I’ll leave some of it on the course, but I’m going to take a lot of it too so that I will be in good shape for my next races.
Speaking of the next races, I am upping the distance from here on out. In October I will be competing in the inaugural Lifetime Fitness Oceanside Triathlon. This will be an olympic distance race, which is a 1.5k swim, 45k bike, and a 10k run. Then in December I will be competing in the HITS Half Triathlon in Palm Springs. This will be a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike, and a half marathon. That one I am looking forward to because it will be a light field, and it will be much cooler out (I seem to do better in the cold). In these two races I plan to bring my “A” game and leave it all on the course.
So the plan for this Sunday is to do the following:
- Swim as fast as I can with good form – In the previous races I took the swim very conservatively and was able to improve my confidence. I want to push a little harder to see where this puts me. This will probably put me in the front of the middle of the pack.
- Practice smooth and fast transitions, getting in and out in under 2 minutes.
- Bike conservatively, focusing on keeping the rubber on the road, and not playing cat and mouse with aggressive racers.
- Run as fast as I can with good form.