OK, the training is done, now bring on the TAPER! The goal of this week is to train enough so that I peak at exactly the right time! Needing and wanting to feel super fresh and ready to race on Sunday morning! Watching the weather forecast almost hourly, gear checks, watching the water temperature at Noosa, gear checks, avoiding anyone with any sort of sickness (including my kids runny noses), gear checks, packing, more gear checks, visualizing the race, reflecting on the training I’ve banked, eating right and of course one more gear check. This week becomes a little obsessive. But it will be all worth it come Sunday if the day pans out exactly the way I plan.
If you’ve never been to Noosa during the week of a triathlon, I thoroughly recommend it, it is one of the most amazing experiences. The entire town is consumed with healthy activities and bodies, it starts on Wednesday with a Run/Swim/Run, Thursday Charity Golf, Friday is a cycle, a run & an ocean swim, Saturday is all about the Legends Tri, 5km Bolt & Criterium and then the week climaxes with the triathlon on Sunday!
Having raced Noosa for the last three years, my improvement has been very gradual, 2012 was 2 hours 41 minutes, 2013 was 2 hours 37 minutes and last year 2014 was 2 hours 34 minutes. So my target is obviously to continue the improvement, although this year I believe my training has me well placed for a big improvement! I am hoping for at least a 10 minute improvement, I would be ecstatic with a 14 minute improvement, but I am also a realist and look at the changes in swim course and transition layout this year and believe a 10 minute improvement would be an amazing result for me! Breaking it down I will be targeting a 24 minute swim, a 70 minute bike (including transitions) and a 46 minute run, which is a lofty target, given my previous runs at Noosa have only been around the 57 mark! If my run blows out to a 50 minute run I will still achieve a 10 minute improvement and will be extremely happy with my efforts and improvements!
My training over the past 5 weeks has transitioned from long slow steady sessions to intense interval work. I am trusting it will position me well to achieve my goals at Noosa. I have found this block significantly harder than any of my previous training blocks. Interval session are easily adjusted when training solo, both frequency and effort are easily changed when it gets tough. My mantra has been on “get it done”! Hopefully I’ve put in enough of the hard yards to achieve my lofty goals!
All that is now in the past, and there is only little things I can do now to ensure my success. My wife will tell you that in race week I become a little obsessive compulsive. I cannot bank any training that will have a significant impact on my performance in this last week, but I can control a whole bundle of little things, like checking and double checking all these:
- Googles have new anti fog applied
- Is my tri-suit clean & packed & stitching is still good
- Race wheels are on the bike (Thank you V1 Cyclery at Wellington Point)
- Bike has been washed & polished
- Chain oiled and running smoothly
- Gear have been checked
- Helmet has been checked
- Sun glasses are clean
- Cycle shoes and cleats are all perfect & bolts tight
- Drink bottles are clean
- Nutrition is available and ready to go
- Running shoes are clean
- Laces are tight but not too tight
- My running cap is packed
- Toe nails are cut
- Sun cream is in my race gear bag
- Number belt is packed
- Triathlon Queensland membership is paid (not so much an issue any more with the auto function, thank you TQ)
- A last minuted gear check ride & run on Friday / Saturday
Again I will be travelling up with my family and look forward to the kids race on Saturday where Miss 9 will complete her 6th triathlon in a little over a year. Her smile and effort is truly my inspiration on Sunday and one of the things that keeps my going when the racing gets tough! I always look forward to seeing my family and friends out on course, it is the highlight of my day! So if your there watching, cheer loud and encourage everybody, because it really really helps lift the spirits during the heat of the day!
Noosa is also an annual race against a few of my mates (this year we have the newbies Johnny & Emily, the old hand Big Chris, the IM turn cycling pro Little Chris, the rocket man everybody’s favorite meal Mr Curry and of course the ‘i’m a freak who doesn’t need to train to race fast’ Troy). We are all in difference age groups, each with differing levels of experience and differing strengths. We all enjoy the level playing field of ‘Premium Mates’ wave and it makes for a great day of racing. But most importantly we all get to share a beer and BBQ after the race and smack talk about our efforts, while watching the race continue along Noosa Parade.
So if you are interested in following my progress or someone else you know racing on the weekend I believe the live coverage and SUBARU Athlete Tracker will be available at the following link (it may not go live until Saturday):
To everybody racing stay safe, good luck and enjoy the day!
Till next time build consistency, keep smiling and live to Tri!