Ok, I’d love to go sub-11 at IMKY…not happenin’, that is not unless someone slips me some manner of potent performance enhancing drug(s).
I would be thrilled with a sub-13, totally unlikely and I won’t include that range in my pace estimates.
Something between 13 and 14 hours, doable and here is how.
Swim – looking at swimming easy, starting slow and then building slightly to the half-way point then pick it up to my half IM pace. I am hoping this will result in an overall pace no slower than 2:00 per 100 meters.
Predicted time – 1 hour 17 minutes 14 seconds.
T1 – check HR and allow it to drop into my biking zone 1 heart rate, about 102 to 117 bpm. I hope this takes me no more than 8 minutes to clear but the governing principle will be to move calmly, efficiently and do not leave without haven fallen back to biking zone 1. I know from past experience that when my HR is higher than it should be I feel more excited, less focused and am more likely to depart from my plan.
Bike – I am also looking at taking it easy on the bike, easy enough that is to maintain a constant pace from beginning to end. I plan on starting the ride at a pace of 16 to 16.5 mph and maintaining that for 30 miles and then reevaluate. I should be maintaining a zone 1 HR then I will pick up the pace until I am in zone 2, about 117 – 133 bpm, and maintain that for the next 60 miles only going into zone 3 on climbs. My zone 3 is about 133 to 148 bpm. For miles 61 to 90 I will be shooting for an upper zone 2 average HR and then miles 91 through 112 I’ll be looking at upper zone 2 to mid zone 3.
Predicted time – between 7 hours and 6 hours 47 minutes 16 seconds. This may be modified based on my speed at given heart rates. If the winds are super high like they have been in EVERY ultra distance race I have EVER done then I will probably be more like the 7 hour mark. If the weather cooperates I know that I am able to maintain an 18 mph pace at my planned HRs so that would be a bike of more like 6:13:20.
T2 – again move calmly and efficiently and allow my HR to drop to my running zone 1 heart rate, about 105 – 121. By the time you hit T2 your HR is usually a little more resistant to dropping because of cardiac drift. For those who may not already know cardiac drift is when your HR gradually climbs simply because of the prolonged stress (exercise) and not because you are excreting a higher degree of effort. The drift tends to be minimal when you are in better shape, are not ill and have been working at lower heart rates from the beginning, another reason it is important to maintain low heart rates during long races. Drift tends to be greater when all the opposite is true. Again, hoped for time is 8 minutes.
Run – It’s all about the run…ok, it’s all about EVERYTHING in an IM but when you are seriously looking at limiting time losses, at least this is the stance I’m taking today…for this race…sacrifice a bit of speed on the bike for a lot of “speed” on the run. I know I can maintain a high zone 3 average heart rate for distances of 20 miles and still have gas left in the tank so it will be my goal to move quickly into low running zone 2, between 121 and 138, and then try and maintain mid to high zone 2 for the first half of the run. During the second half of the run I plan on shooting for high zone 2 to mid zone 3, which is about 146 bpm (Z3 = 138 – 154 for me). It is my sincerest hope that these zones will have me running a 12 minute to 12: 30 per mile pace.
Predicted time – 5 hours 14 minutes 24 seconds to 5:27:30.
Total predicted time – 13 hours 34 minutes 54 seconds to 14 hours 44 seconds. Either of these would be a new PR for the Ironman.
No all this talk of paces begs the question, “What will you do if your heart rates don’t match your hoped for paces?” In theory I will stick to my heart rate plan and bag my pace predictions, this is after all my IM reset race. In practice…who knows, I can be a bit prideful and a bit stubborn and that causes me to push when I shouldn’t. I will really try and stay on top of this because, of course, the main goal, the prime directive, is to finish the race and have a good time.
Oh, one final word. My theme word for this race, the word that I will keep in mind as an easy way of summarizing my approach to the race, the word I center myself on…Spock, yes the Star Trek Spock.