Ok, I did my mock Sprint Triathlon this morning:
10.8 mile bike
3 mile run
Total time: 1:16:18
THAT is not too shabby, my friends!
I'm pretty excited about it, because I know I can improve it over the next couple of weeks before the race.
As with anything we do repetitively, I learned a few things I can change that will shave off at least another 2 minutes in transition times alone.
Here are some things I can change:
~ A zip-up shirt rather than that frustrating slick, pull-over biker shirt. It kept rolling up when I pulled it over my head, and was hard to pull down since I was still all wet. I guess that's why a lot of the Elites swim with their tri-shirt on.
~ Have bike shoes already clipped into pedals and get a running start on the bike. This rather than hopping around on one foot trying to get each of my shoes on, then walking the bike carefully out of transition. (You can't ride inside the transition area, you MUST be on your feet). I don't wear socks while on the bike so this will be easier than it sounds.
~ Get out of shoes while still clipped in, and jump off bike at a run when coming back into transition. These last two tricks will need some practice, but they really do save time.
~ Having a real transition area with bike rack and all of my gear set up properly.
~ No more stretching in transition area.
My coach was there for the swim and timed me. I think he said 8:15 time on the swim which is pretty good. He was giving me pointers as I frantically tried to dry off and get my shirt on so I could move on to the bike. Breathing at the end of the stretch will be the key to coming out of the water fresh.
My average bike speed was not as fast as I had hoped for, maybe 18 mph, but at this point I really don't think I can improve too much because my heart rate is just up there by the time I come out of the water. It seems like I fought the wind the entire time too... but then, those may be the same conditions on race day. One thing for sure though, I won't have to stop for red lights and traffic which was a little heavier than I thought it would be at 5:20am.
I can probably improve my time on the run a bit too, just because I haven't ran on concrete since August! I need to lengthen my stride once I've warmed up from transitioning from the bike. If I manage to get two more of these Sprints in this week, it'll help.
The only real time comparison I have is from the Sprint we did last year. The race was a little different though:
13 mile bike
5k run (3.3 miles)
Total time: 1:34:02
That time put me in 180th place out of around 400 racers.
My current time, if it were applied to this race, would put me in 44th place. Even if I add a few minutes for the 3 extra miles on the bike that would put me in 63rd place, still a respectable finish, but all of the distance may actually be compensated by the extra 200 yds on the swim.
Anyway, I can crunch numbers all day, but the general fact is there:
I'm MUCH faster than I was last year, and hope to get faster still.
Have a happy Monday!