Trinona: Flashing Back & Racing Ahead

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Looking ahead to my third Trinona this Sunday, I thought it would be good to look back at my previous two times and set an overall goal.

Trinona 2014

Trinona 2016

Swim

11:29

9:27

T1

4:44

4:07

Bike

45m 35s

43m 40s

T2

1:21

1:07

Run

27m 17s

27m 54s

Total

1:30:25

1:26:13

My Previous Trinona Times

In 2016, I beat my 2014 time by a little more than four minutes. I was really proud about that. Here’s how I did it:

  1. First, I actually practiced swimming. In 2014, the first time I got in the water was about three days before the race. Bad idea. Especially for my first ever triathlon. Growing up in swimming lessons and on the river, I overestimated my swimming skills. In 2016, I went to the gym and swam laps two days per week for a about five weeks before the race. Not a ton of practice, but a lot more than in 2014. Considering the two-minute improvement, I’d say it paid off.
  2. Transition times. Definitely better in 2016. Interestingly enough, I added a wetsuit in 2016, which one would think would slow a person down trying to get the darn thing off after the swim. Somehow, I was still faster with that added task than with not having one in 2014. I’ll chalk that up to having a year of experience in knowing what to expect in transition.
  3. I think I practiced cycling less in 2016 than in 2014, but overall I had an increased exercise regimen overall which contributed to more cycling speed and efficiency. I also knew a little more of what to expect having one year of Trinona under my belt.
  4. My run time was slower in 2016 than in 2014. I’m really not sure why. I made running a focus both years. It seemed like an obvious to focus on to build endurance. Nonetheless, I was slower in 2016. No good reason here folks.

Looking ahead to this year, I tried to identify areas of strength and weakness to determine a goal:

  1. Swimming: Much like last year, I’ve practiced swimming leading up to this year’s race. The consistency has been a little more spread out with only about seven to eight swims over the last two months, including one open water swim, but looking at times in the pool, I think I’ve at least maintained my pace from last year. I also feel a little more comfortable in the water, which should help from a mental standpoint.
  2. Transitions: I might skip the wetsuit, pending water temperatures. This should save on transition time for sure. I’m also wearing my tri top during the swim, with or without the wetsuit, which will eliminate the need to put it on during transition, again saving time. I think there a few places to improve here over last year. However, if it’s cold, I may wear the suit. Either way, I’m going to keep urgency top of mind in T1 and T2.
  3. Bicycle: I have a road bike this year. It’s lighter and geared faster than the mountain bike I used the last two Trinonas. This is where I think I can improve the most. I’m hoping to increase my average speed by at least 3 mph and shave multiple minutes off of my previous bikes times. A lot to be optimistic about here.
  4. Running: I’ve kept-up on running to some extent throughout the offseason. Over the winter, against my personal surface preference, I knocked-out runs on a treadmill. I got back to running outside early in the season due to favorable weather. I also ran one 5K this spring, averaging seven-and-a-half-minute miles. With that said, I’m hoping that after swimming and biking, I can improve upon my nine-minute miles from 2016. I’d love to drop down to around eight minute miles, which could save me three total minutes over last year. I ran sub-eight minute miles in both the MPLS Tri and Maple Grove Tri last summer, so this is certainly realistic.

Overall, in 2014 and 2016, I was starting from scratch at the beginning of the year. I hadn’t been training prior to registering for Trinona those years. Heck, in 2014, I had never even ran a 5K before. I just jumped right in to triathlon.

This year, I’ve tried to keep up on conditioning since completing the Maple Grove Triathon in August 2016. Sure, the training wasn’t quite as consistent as I thought it would be at the end of last year, but it was there nonetheless. With one three-race season of experience under my belt, and solid training efforts this spring, I think there’s much room to be optimistic.

Given my improved swimming confidence, ideas to reduce transition time, new bicycle and running optimism, I’m setting my goal for Trinona 2017 at one hour and seventeen minutes (1:17:00). That’s more than nine minutes faster than last year. That’s a pretty big improvement if achieved. Maybe even lofty. But I think it can be done. This is the first tri season where I’m not starting from scratch. I have a base built up from last year, and I’ve added to it with training this spring.

The goal is driven partly by data and realistic opportunity, but it’s also driven by a gut feeling. I think I can do it. So with just a couple days to go to race day, cheers to setting goals and busting ass to achieve them. Cheers indeed fellow triathletes. Let’s go get ’em this weekend!

5 thoughts on “Trinona: Flashing Back & Racing Ahead

  1. Hey, Josh what a great blog post. I wish there were more picture though. I’d like to see more of what you do to prepare yourself. I’m actually writing about the YMCA Got Energy Tri in West Salem this month. Triathlons are a lot of fun to cover, but I’ve actually been thinking about training for one this summer. Any advice for someone starting out? Maybe that can be your next blog post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading and for the photos tip, Tobias!. It’s been hard to keep that in mind while training, but there’s a lot of summer left! If you’re thinking about it, you should go for it. I’m sure you can find one to register for later in the summer. Great idea on a tips for beginners blog post! I’ll probably write on soon. If you’re free on Sunday you should swing up to Trinona. It’s a fun atmosphere!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Race Recap: Trinona 2017 | JoshAverbeck

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