Sunday, May 24, 2009

Race Report Swing into Spring Duathlon

This week my main focus was on getting a good week of training in. As part of that I wanted to race the Swing into Spring Duathlon in Davenport, IA. It has been 3 years since I did this event. They had about 100 people entered. I warmed up a little more than normal so I could get the extra miles in towards my weekly goals. I rode 7 miles on the bike and then did 3 miles of running including my speed drills and strides. I was feeling pretty good considering the tough week I've had. The race was very short- 3k run (little less than 2 miles), 9.8 mile bike, and 3k run. They had about 100 people entered in the event. My big goal for the race was to simulate what it will be like at the Pigman Triathlon in 2 weeks by pushing the bike portion incredibly hard and then trying to finish up with a solid 2nd run.

Run 1- I began the run staying very relaxed. A 1/2 mile into it I was in fourth but was catching the leaders. Just before the turnaround of the out and back course I took the lead and continued to hold my pace. It felt very relaxed and I wanted to keep it that way for the remainder of the first run. On the way back to transition I began to lengthen my lead. I entered the transition with a run time of 10:34. 2nd place came in at 11:04 and he was part of a relay. This race would be a milestone for me in the fact that it was the first time I transitioned to the bike with my shoes already clipped in. I've been practicing it quite a bit and didn't want to race with this new transition method until I had it mastered. It worked very well as I posted the fastest non-relay transition of the day.

Bike- Out on the bike course I quickly got into my shoes. The new Shimano Elite tri-shoes I got from Healthy Habits make this very easy. They have a bottom strap that stays closed at all times and when I get my feet in I can ride very strong without pulling the top strap on. This allows me to get up to top speed before I have to reach down and strap my shoes on. It all leads to a faster transition. I nearly screwed the race up right away by starting to take a wrong turn. I'm not sure why because I rode the course last night and mentally told myself not to take the first turn. Half way into the turn I realized it and got back on course. I began pushing very hard. I wanted to average over 25 mph on the bike. The first half was mostly into the wind with the exception of one straight for a mile and a half where we had the wind at our back and I was rolling along between 30 and 32 mph. Once we turned after that stretch it was about 3 miles into the wind before we turned to come back. I glanced down at my computer before turning to come back and my average speed was only 23.5 mph. I was a little frustrated with myself and picked it up a gear with the wind once again. I rode the rest of the course pretty much between 27 and 29 mph and finished with an average speed of 25.3 mph which happened to be the top bike split of the day among individuals. My time was 23:17 on the bike. The 2nd best split was a little over a minute back. Today was my first time riding the Zipp 1080 front combined with my Zipp disc rear wheel. It made for a very fun ride. Entering transition I did my first ever running dismount and it was tons of fun. The picture above was while I was dismounting the bike. It was definitely my quickest dismount ever off a bike. It helped me to the fastest non-relay 2nd transition time.
Run 2- The 2nd run was tough. I was trying to push hard because I need to improve my running before the Pigman Sprint Triathlon in Cedar Rapids on June 7. I wanted to hammer the run but my legs were feeling the strong bike effort. It took me awhile to get into a rhythm. By this point I had about a two and a half minute lead and that made it a little tougher to go fast. I ended the 2nd run (which is a little longer than the 1st due to the start being in a different spot) in 11:15. This wasn't what I was looking for but all in all it was solid. My 2nd run was the fastest of the day by 30 seconds. I crossed the finish line in 45:58. It was 3 minutes faster than I raced 3 years ago. The 2nd place finisher was David Thatcher from Cedar Rapids with a time of 49:37. Congratulations to him and 3rd place finisher Paul Kulas who posted a great bike split. David beat me last year in the Quad City Triathlon by about 3 minutes so that gets me excited about the improvements I've made over the past year.
It was great seeing a good representation from Team Tri-Fit at the race. Congrats to all of you on great performances. It will only get better from here! The overall women's winner, Jessica Imm is also a Team Tri-Fit member. She had a great race and I'm very excited to see the club so well represented. This picture is with my new summer training partner Jared Dammann. It has been fun for me to watch Jared's improvements. He finished 4th overall today with a time of 51:23. Complete results of the race can be found at

Goal Setting: I began this entry with a goal of making this one shorter than last week's but I'm not sure that will happen due to something I was thinking about today. Yesterday I went to the pool to finish up my weekly goal of swimming. I needed to get in 2,800 yards. My wife is out of town in Las Vegas so I got to spend a lot of time with our daughter Payton. It has given me a new appreciation for how much my wife does to allow me to train as much as I do. She is definitely Super Mom! I dropped Payton off at the Fitness Center Daycare and was almost done with my workout when one of the staff members came in to tell me that Payton was screaming and they couldn't get her to calm down. I exited the pool 250 yards short of my weekly goal of swimming 10,000 yards. I have a checklist each week of all the things I want to get done. There are 23 boxes for me to check off and one of them is for my weekly swim yards. I knew I would have to go back to the pool today after the race to get in my last yards if I wanted to check that box this week. I drove to the fitness center today to finish up. Luckily for me Payton was spending the night at grandma's so I could race this morning. When I got to the fitness center at 4:50 the desk attendant told me they were closing in 10 minutes. I said I only needed to swim for 5. Of course...the pool closed at 4:30. I thought about the YMCA but they also close at 5. My next option was the Deerbrook neighborhood pool where my brother lives. I called answer. I called his answer. At this point I could have gone home but I kept thinking about the box that I wouldn't be able to check. I decided to drive to my brother's house in hopes that he was home but not answering is cell phone. I drove there and rang the one home! I was in a panic. I began to drive home when I went past my cousin's house. She also lives in Deerbrook. I stopped and saw her husband. I explained to him that I was in jeopardy of not reaching my swim goal and he gave me his key to the pool. I swam for 6 minutes and 39 seconds, 350 yards just to make sure I didn't cut it short. I returned the key and proceeded home excited to be able to check the box. The point of my story is that when you are committed to achieving goals there is always a way to get things done. There was no reason for me to miss this goal. I should have gone to the pool right after the race. When you miss a goal, even if by a small amount, it becomes okay to miss them again later. Pretty soon you miss more goals and then things add up to lack of performance on race day. I had lots of reasons to not get in that last swim this week. I believe there are two good reasons to miss a training goal. One is if you are overtrained. In that case doing more to reach the goal will have negative consequences. The other good reason to miss a goal is for injury. If something hurts and you do more you'll make it worse. None of those applied to me today. I had a coach that told me one time, "There are two kinds of people in this world...ones who get things done and ones who find reasons not to get things done." I have a lot I want to get done and there are no shortcuts to that. I want to know when I toe the line in Cedar Rapids for the most competitive wave I've ever been in that I've done everything possible to be ready. For the week my total training time was 20.5 hours. I had my highest bike total yet with 165 miles. I ran 45 including a tough interval workout on Wednesday, and I swam 10,100 yards. I did speed drills and strides both 4 times as I attempt to get my running back to where it was pre-injury. This week will be tough before I freshen up for Pigman. I can't wait! Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!


Joe Mann said...

Jeff, I know what you mean by reaching goals. When it comes to bike riding I am very goal oreinted and have a goal for each day of the week. If I only have a weekly goal I will wait until the weekend to reach it. Chris enjoys following your training as he goes through his own training. You are a great role model that proves hard work pays off.

Joe Mann
Race Across the West #908

Jeff Paul said...

Thanks Joe! I enjoyed looking at your blog also! I knew you were a rider but I didn't know you did such crazy long rides! That's incredible! You ride more in a day than I do in a week! Good luck! Chris is in outstanding shape and will have a tremendous summer!