Friday, December 08, 2006

The Bar

Triathletes are known for their competitive nature and Type-A personalities. While broad strokes rarely do everyone justice, we must admit that many of us fit the bill. The goal is finding a balance.

While I am keenly aware it is unlikely I'll win any races, I do like to collect data for comparison with future performances. My training log includes times for every training session, and I pay attention to how my performance is tracking. I know what my personal bests are before I step to the starting line of any race.

On the other hand, I am rarely worried about a single "bad" performance. Off days are a factor of life, and it takes more than a slow pace to ruin my day. Just as you won't have a PR every time you enter a race, you won't have a PW (personal worst) every time, either. In any race, find the lessons there are to be learned, and find out how to improve for the next race.

Today, I set one of those bars. As of this morning, I have a rough idea of what I am capable of in an Ironman swim. The initial placement of the bar is at 1 hour 41 minutes. It's not a high bar, so there is plenty of room for improvement. It is, however, far enough off the floor (of 2 hours 20 minutes) that there is also room for a bad day.

And there are a great many factors that must be considered. First, this mornings swim was actually 4400 yards, or 2.5 miles. It was easier than figuring out the laps for 2.4 miles. So, that's 1:41 with an extra 176 yards (about 4 minutes for me). This was done in a pool, and included 179 turns. That will definitely be missing in Louisville. I should also be going with the current in the Ironman, and wearing a wetsuit. I will, however, be in open water with a few thousand others. Those factors might tend to slow me down.

My co-worker has asked several times if I believed I could complete the entire 2.4 mile swim. The response, in the past, has always been, "I think I can." The "think" has been turned into a "know." Of course, as I've also told him, completing the swim is really only a minor detail. Much more important is how easily I can jump on a bike after the swim.

This morning, that would have been VERY difficult. Fortunately, it's December. I guarantee that will change in the next several months.

15 comments:

Triteacher said...

Ahh... doesn't gaining confidence that's based on solid training rock? Ironman is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Bigun said...

See that?!?! It's all about perspective - and your perspective just changed significantly. Awesome job - and I'll bet that with a wetsuit (you haven't done any wetsuit swims yet, have you?) your PE will go way down and in the heat of the race, well, you're going to do awesome! Keep at it, IP....

Bigun said...

See that?!?! It's all about perspective - and your perspective just changed significantly. Awesome job - and I'll bet that with a wetsuit (you haven't done any wetsuit swims yet, have you?) your PE will go way down and in the heat of the race, well, you're going to do awesome! Keep at it, IP....

Bigun said...

See that?!?! It's all about perspective - and your perspective just changed significantly. Awesome job - and I'll bet that with a wetsuit (you haven't done any wetsuit swims yet, have you?) your PE will go way down and in the heat of the race, well, you're going to do awesome! Keep at it, IP....

Bigun said...

See that?!?! It's all about perspective - and your perspective just changed significantly. Awesome job - and I'll bet that with a wetsuit (you haven't done any wetsuit swims yet, have you?) your PE will go way down and in the heat of the race, well, you're going to do awesome! Keep at it, IP....

Bigun said...

See that?!?! It's all about perspective - and your perspective just changed significantly. Awesome job - and I'll bet that with a wetsuit (you haven't done any wetsuit swims yet, have you?) your PE will go way down and in the heat of the race, well, you're going to do awesome! Keep at it, IP....

Bolder said...

the first time i swam 2.4 miles ever was at IMFL.

think about how far ahead you are.

you are SOOOOOO money!

Duane said...

Great way to look at things! Don't you just hate doing all those turns in the pool! (my PB is 90 lengths). I wish I could afford one of those Endless Pools! Maybe I could buy one and rent it out to other triatheletes to train in, might be a good way to help pay one off!

iron-mark said...

Congrats on the accomplishment! You are definately on your way. The swimming will only get easier and that will let you hit the bike with a lower heart rate and more energy.

Deb said...

Of course you can!

tarheeltri said...

That really is awesome! You'll only get faster and build more endurance from here.

greyhound said...

I managed about 1000 meters of drills and that's it. Long time until the big day.

Cliff said...

IronPol,

I am right now swimming only up to HIM (1.2 miles?) distance.

However, what i notice is that I am getting more comfy in the water. Over the next few months i will be ramping up th eswim distance to the 2.4 miles.

My goal is to feel super comfy in the water so when i start doing open water, I will be more comfy there as well.

That must be a lot turning for those dsitance :)

TriBoomer said...

That's great progress at this point in your IM training. Keep building your base now and work on speed as the race approaches.

You're gonna do fab!

Stay tuned...

Lisa said...

You are going to ROCK the swim! :) You're doing so well!

Say, remember when you asked about doing some long runs together? I've got 20 on Friday and 22 the following Thursday..... (sorry, work prevents me from long runs on weekends, and I've learned the hard way not to run long and then work 8 hours. It hurts!) If it helps, I'm a slow runner! :)