OK, I'm going to start recording my workouts again. I should add as a disclaimer that I'm going to include tennis and raquetball in this log, so calling it a "triathlon" blog is a bit imprecise.
The last few months have been a bit sporatic. I did almost zero swimming and running, but still managed to do better than I've ever done in both the swim and run legs in my last triathlon
Let me ramble about my races, while I'm at it. I only did two races this year. In the first, I finished 3rd/9 in my age group. In the second, I finished 7th/26. In both races, I had big gaps over the people one place behind me. In the first race, I could have had 2nd/9 if I had ANY run skillz, but in the second race I would have had to make up almost four minutes to go up one place. So... I seem to be stuck in no-mans-land, better than the Average Joe racers, but not able to bridge the gap to the Studly Studmeister triathletes. I think that I could crack the top 25% with good training, and maybe even the top 10% at big races if I were really at the top of my game.
My weight/body composition are not hugely out of line, but I'm 10 pounds heavier than I was this time last year (when I was as lean as I've ever been... This time last year I was lighter than I had been since my junior year of high school!)
My key limiters, as I see them now, are:
- Injuries. I can't seem to bump up my run volumes without getting injured. All of my problems are on the back side of my right lower body, mostly in the right glute. I think the issue is hamstring flexibility, but who knows? I'll probably see a sports doc about this sometime this fall. I'm going to focus on stretching for a month or two and see what that does.
- Run speed. See above.
- Weight / body composition. Nothing impacts run speed more than weight. There is a rule of thumb that a given % drop in body weight gives the same % speed increase while running. I think I can safely lose 10% of my bodyweight. If I got a "free" 10% run speed increase, and combined it with some gains from TRAINING, I would be exactly where I want to be with my runs (my goal is a 20 minute 5K off a hard bike.)
- Swim. I can shave at least minute off my 750M swim time
My strenghts continue to be:
- The Bike. In my first race, I was 2nd/9 in my age group on the bike, way behind 1st place and way ahead of 3rd place. In my second race, I went a bit easy on the bike, but placed well in the bike leg. As happy as I am with my bike, there is still room for improvement. I can buy some speed with equipment changes (more agressive position would cost nothing, and I could get a wheel cover and aero helmet for a combined $130 or so... cheap speed!)
- Transitions. I'm almost always in/near the top 10% of the field in my transitions. I see transitions as 4th leg... the "thinking man's" leg, because speedy transitions have nothing to do with athletic ability. I often make up a minute or more of some of my competition, which is the same as knocking 20 seconds per mile off my run speed!
So... my plan for the rest of 2006 is to get my weight/body comp back to where it was last year, keep the bike volume up, and fix any remaining injuries which are run-related. I'm not going to think about my 2007 race season until the end of the year, but I strongly suspect that I'm going to continue focusing on sprint races. There is a social pressure in the triathlon world to do longer races, but frankly... I like short races. I can't explain why, and I don't care why.