Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Time trials

This morning my pal Steph had on her blog a link to help predict your time in a triathlon. Of course I checked it out because who likes surprises? Apparently, as much as I think I do, I guess I don't. So once I figured out how to correctly plug the times and distances in it came up with a predicted time of about an hour 14 for the Hansgrohe triathlon.

My predicted swim was 7 minutes, the bike 42 minutes and the run 22 minutes. I guess the extra 3 minutes was for transitions. Not trusting this or the times I plugged in I went to the gym this morning and did some time trials.

I did the bike first and the 13 miles came in at 36 minutes and 6 seconds. I set it for a level 8 hill ride. This is probably the least accurate of all my time trials but I think the bike will come in under or around 40 minutes.

Oh, and the bike at the gym has heart detector and when I finished I had finally gotten my heart rate up to 120. Seems like it should be higher but I have no idea how to get it higher since I feel like I am pedaling pretty hard. For comparison-- on the treadmill, after a sprint I am usually at 165 but I have seen as high as 179. I think I max out somewhere around 185-190. If anyone has any thoughts or knowledge on this I'd like to hear it but please dumb it down for me. Also, while you're at it, can someone one please tell what the hell watts are. On the bike today I saw a wattage (is that right?) range of 65 (for the flats) up to 135( for the hills). RPM's ranged from 150 (flats)-115 (hills).

So after the bike I hopped on the treadmill for a 5k. First mile came in at 7:28. I hit the 2nd mile at 13:56 and I finished the 5k at 21:06. I think I can go faster outside. Typically I run training runs slower outside than I do on the treadmill but I am always faster in a race than on the treadmill. We'll see. I do think this is pretty accurate for what I can do give or take 30 seconds in either direction.

Next I changed and got in the pool. I did an easy 200 warm up. Then I timed a 400. 6:29. Okay--honestly I was hoping for closer to 6 minutes. I rested a minute 30 and gave it another go. This 400 felt a lot slower so I was quite surprised to find that I finished it in 6:29 too. How's that for consistency?

I do think I will be slower than that for the tri because I think my flip turns pad my time. I have to be careful when I push off the wall otherwise my goggles fly off. Which brings me to my other question. Should I wear goggles for the tri? Are they necessary? I have successfully finally figured out how to get all my hair into one of those pretty swim caps. I also have masted getting my goggle strap under the cap too. Only took me all summer but I figured it out.

Okay, so according to my very scientific time trials today I can plan on a finish of 63:44 and then however long it takes for me in the t1 and t2? I am giving myself 7 minutes for the transitions so that comes in at 1:10:44. So maybe the prediction of 1:14 isn't so far off. We'll see. Come on race day magic.

Thoughts? tips? Educate me oh experienced and gifted ones . . .


  1. Wattage is much like HR, it is an indicator of how much power you are generating on the bike. It helps provide a consistent level of effort.

    A cadence of 85 to 90 is considered optimal on the road, FYI... But I never have calculated mine, and I don't have a bike computer.

    Flip turns do pad your time, and you absolutely should wear goggles. The water is very dirty. It is also recommended to put your goggles on under your cap, just to make sure they don't come off should you get kicked or bumped.

    I'll try to ride the bike route soon and let you know how it goes...

  2. you've also got to factor in that you're not the only one swimming. Unless you're out in the VERY front, your swim time will come down because of all the other (slower?) people in your way.

  3. You will want to wear goggles for sure.

    7 minutes for transitions is way too much.

    My T1 time (swim to bike) should be around one minute

    My T2 time (bike to run) is always less than one minute. Usually around 50 seconds. I don't wear socks and that makes a big difference.

    Like I said before, pool and lake swimming aren't comparible.

    If your cadence at the gym is that high you need to crank your resistence up big time. Your spinning your legs out. You should be around 70-100 on the flats and 45-65 on the hills. Anything less that 45 is reserved for mountain-like hills.

  4. Definitely need the goggles. I've never had luck with the smaller ones staying on my face, but my mask-like ones are a dream. I have rings on my face post-swim, but they don't fly off.

    Doug has been researching about heart rate, etc. We've found that even when you are sucking it and your thighs are about to burst into flames, the heart rate does not go up like it does on a run. Same with the swim.

    I checked out last year's race times for Hansgrohe and you could easily win our age group and possibly overall.