August 17, 2007

Post Race Analysis

So my first race is behind me and now is time to sit down and do analysis of my performance so I can use the Steelman and a spring board for the half iron in September. Monday night I downloaded the Olympic distance results, eliminated all the DNFs and started looking at how I did compared to complete field, only mens and my age group. I focused mainly on the age group analysis as that should help me determine what I need to focus on to move up in the ranks. Here is the result of the analysis:

  • Complete field (306 finishers)

    • Swim 125
    • T1 204
    • Bike 74
    • T2 108
    • Run 172
    • Finish time 94

  • Mens (231 finishers)

    • Swim 97
    • T1 149
    • Bike 65
    • T2 82
    • Run 133
    • Finish time 79

  • Age group (31 finishers)

    • Swim 14
    • T1 23
    • Bike 12
    • T2 14
    • Run 20
    • Finish time 15

After this initial placement analysis I looked at how much slower I was in each discipline compared to the age group winner and also to the person who did best in that particular leg in my age group. So here we go, the first time is the age group winner and the second one is the person from my age group who did best in that particular leg in the race. All times are shown in min:sec format:

  • Swim 4:41, 9:06
  • T1 1:08. 1:35
  • Bike 7:54, 7:59
  • T2 0:13, 0:33
  • Run 7:41, 11:47
  • Finish time 21:37, N/A

So what can I read from all this?

  • I had pretty good bike and fairly fast T2.
  • Although I scored fairly high on the bike I could have done better. That bio break cost me good minute or two and if I improve my aero position (I suspect that my seat position is not optimal) I can shave off few more seconds maybe even minutes in the 56 miles ride that is in the next race.
  • My T1 time is horrible - almost twice the time as age group winner (only 25% of my age group peers were slower than I was in T1).
  • My swim was not great, but I did not have a bad time even though I did more than 50% of it doing back stroke and breast stroke. Wow that is a surprise.
  • My run is little on the slow side. I'm slower than average runner in any group (e.g. I'm in the slower half of the field, not by much but anyways in the slower group).

Now that I know how I did what does it mean for the short term training focus - read next 3 weeks until the Quakerman Half Ironman. I will continue with the training schedule, but I need to re-focus or insert additional practice in specific disciplines:

  • Swim - need to continue working on my swim including pacing and breathing. I will need at least one open water swim at Bethlehem Dutch Springs to have a real long swim practice. Pool practice does not prepare you for a long swim - hey tri-newbies listen to this - go find a lake before your race and have at least one long swim in the open water. The visibility in the water is different than in the pool and also it is a different feel to keep swimming for full 40 minutes without hitting a wall.
  • T1 drills are a must - I'll need to practice getting wet out of the pool in the wet suit, running around the pool and getting into my bike shoes, helmet and running with the bike. I did practice the run with the bike in my bike shoes before the race, but it was not enough to get me fast through T1.
  • For the bike leg I will be getting a better fit on the bike - I already scheduled appointment for Monday. I'm also expecting a new aero bike helmet early next week so I will have at least one long ride with it next Saturday. That should help during the race. And also more time on the bike will help me get even better speed especially for the hills. I'm not a very good climber.
  • T2 - few practice drills may help to get few seconds off of my time, but this is really not such a big deal.
  • Run - I wish I had more time to work on the speed, but that is not the case. For few weeks now I have tried to stay within the recommended pace for each run as the FIRST running program dictates it. But my tri-training plan does not have 3 weekly runs every week so I'm not 100% following the FIRST plan. I adopted the pacing recommendations for my runs and I try to stay as close to the recommended pace as possible. I can see some speed gain already - e.g. my 10k time during tri race being better than my 10k time in February. But the speed gain is not enough to help me move up in the run placement. I may also look into my race pacing plan for the run leg and be little more aggressive in my pacing than during the Steelman. I may have been a little conservative not knowing what my legs will feel like during the race. This is definitely an area that I will work on in the next months.

Thanks to doing Steelman I now know what are my weak spots. Before then I was only guessing. Now I know that next year is going to be mostly about running speed and swimming.

1 comment:

Who is SLB+? said...

Great analysis, it's always nice to come away knowing what you need to work on. The new "pointy hat" will help. No good for now but I have a great speed workout I can email you, just PM me you address.

LOL I see you have the dreaded Italian Whippet Guippino in your challenge!