Monday, June 13, 2011

Race Week: Patriot Half-Ironman - Day 1: Goals

I've come up with a new format for how I want to relay and record my thoughts as I prepare for my "A" races from now on. There will be a topic for each day, so I can stay organized and talk through what I am thinking. Monday is about my goals for the race. I'll use comparable races, current fitness, and some  other measurables to set challenging but realistic goals for the race ahead.

Patriot Half-Iron is set in a very picturesque area of Massachusetts, not far from Cape Cod. The central point of the race is Cathedral Camp, a Catholic summer camp on shore of Long Pond in E Freetown MA. I've never raced Patriot Half before, but we did race the Minuteman sprint triathlon thats held at the same time and was a spectator at the Cranberry Trifest last year, which uses many of the same roads for the bike course. I reviewed my results and race report for Minuteman Sprint in preparation for my goalsetting.

Obviously my most comparable race is the blogs namesake, Timberman. The difference being that Timberman has a few long very difficult climbs on the bike with the remainder of the race being mostly flat, while the Patriot course is a lot more little climbs, mostly with lower difficulty throughout the span of the bike course. Across the 2 laps of the 28 mile course at Patriot, the elevation gain indicates it's close to the same overall amount of climbing, which will be a challenge but with shorter climbs hopefully momentum will be in my favor.

I honestly don't remember the run very well at Minuteman other than to say it was hot and humid, and I was tired afterwards. My running has progressed some, so hopefully I'll have the legs left after the bike to show that.

Based on all of this plus my recent training, here are my goals:

Swim - 52 minutes. Since our gym membership ended, I haven't been able to swim as much as I'd like, but at least the swiming we are doing has been outside. Frankly, with the limited swimming we've done the past couple weeks, I'll be happy with any swim that gets me in before the cutoff.

Transition 1 - 5 minutes. Getting out of my wetsuit, getting my tri-top on, eating a quick bite and getting on my bike, even with the longer run out at this course should not take more than 5 minutes. But I'm still at the point where I'd rather slowly do this right than miss something.

Bike - I'm shooting for 3:30 here, which is a 16 MPH average. My cycling has been strong for the past month plus, and we've done longer training rides for this race than we did for Timberman last year.

Transitions 2 - 3 minutes. Parking the bike, switching my number around and getting my shoes on shouldn't take very long.

Run - 3:00. I don't know how hilly this course is, but I'm shooting for a half-marathon PR at this race. Maybe I'll be nowhere near this, but I'm setting a goal that lets me push myself for a chance at a really good overall time.

Overall - a 7:30 70.3 would be over an hour improvement versus Timberman so I'm really going to shoot for this goal, and if it means I have to dig deep during the run, then I'll just have to dig deep.


  1. Those sound like great goals, Ben! Keep up the positive visualization of you acheiving those goals. You can do it!

  2. Those goals sound reachable and you're probably underestimating yourself on the swim. The only thing that could hold you back is that we're supposed to be creeping up to 80 degrees Sunday which could hurt your run. I would guess that a 70.3 is just too long to burn your matches on the bike to lower your overall time though.

  3. Thanks! It's going to be a lot of fun, and I believe those are attainable goals. I really think it would be awesome to PR the 1/2 mary at the end of this race, and I'm hopeful I can do it!