Wednesday, October 22, 2014

To Race or Not To Race

Last week I did another assessment exercise with my coach Michael Stone.  This time it was to establish running pace and zones.  I surprised him--maybe again--with my fitness.  The test really didn't tell us much more than I am fit.  Michael didn't start the test at a fast enough pace to really take me to failure in the test's time limit.

But what it did was start Michael questioning my goal of finishing an Ironman in under 16 hours.  He is starting to think that I should consider racing it.  That is a big leap for someone that hasn't even hit his major marks of running two hours and swimming an hour.

Racing presents several issues.  First, of course, is why?  I can't win an Ironman.  The athletes here are too strong and too experienced.  It would take a sub 12-hour to win and that is FOUR hours faster than I HOPED to do.  I would have to do a 13-hour finish to be second.  Second, I would have to buy a TT bike.  I might get one for $2000 but I haven't even done a spring triathlon so why would I invest two grand in something I might not like (or might not even be capable of).  But I have no shot if I am not on a TT bike.  Third, the training would be ever so much harder.  To go from 16-hour finish (2 hrs swimming, 7 hours biking, and 7 hours running) to a 12-hour finish I likely would have to do 1.5 hours swimming, 6 hours on the bike (which is averaging 18.7 mph elapsed time) and 5 hours running with the balance taken up in transitioning.

The competitive me wants to do it.  The logical me says keep your simple goal which is pretty challenging.  And I can't decide what to do.

This week my long swim was 1450 meters and my long run was 8.5 miles in 1:40.

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