Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The C-Man Aqua Velo plan

Plan the race, race the plan!

In my way of thinking, the race begins a week or two before the actual race. People say that they "forget" to taper, "forget" to sleep, "forget" to fuel right - which are simply acute symptoms of lack of pre-planning. It's like forgetting to train and forgetting to put air in your tires. Kinda mucks up the race, doesn't it?

Part of my plan is to use the day, especially the bike leg, as a dress rehearsal for Ironman Florida. With that in mind, I'll be taking on board a lot more calories during the bike leg than I would if I were riding like my race were actually over at the end of the bike (which it will be on September 30th - I guess I won't need much supper!). I'm also using a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in mostly "real" foods - I know from experience that works well for me on the bike as long as I'm not too overheated. Having only gels and sports drinks for 5 or 6 hours leaves me feeling shaky and irritable and with a nasty burn in my stomach, as if I had been eating candy for that entire period of time.

Here are my thoughts about the next 3 days:

Thursday: Finish packing my race bags so I don't fret about them and lose time and sleep at the last minute. I'll have four bags: 1) Swim start, 2) Bike start gear, 3) Bike special needs (mile 70), and 4) post-race. (Which will be reviewed with my packing list in hand, of course). I'll be certain to plan and get an extra-extra long night's sleep, because I usually sleep poorly the night before a race, and I don't want any accumulated sleep deprivation affecting me. Eat well and ignore the scale for a few days.

Friday: Rack the bike, attend the pre-race meeting, fuel extraordinarily well all day, and get in bed by 9PM.

Race day Saturday, pre-race nutrition: Breakfast on the 45-minute drive to the race site, probably to include a bagel, a hard-boiled egg, some V8 juice, and lots of coffee with whole milk and Gatorade. (OK, OK, I meant coffee and Gatorade separately!)

Swim: Go out at a comfortable pace, settle in for the duration, and stay relaxed. If you have extra zip, crank it up a notch after the bridge (halfway). If you get too bored, try alternating 25 strokes hard, 25 strokes moderate. Plan a few long songs for mental amusement in your mind in advance. If you hit sea nettles, pretend they're other swimmers at Ironman Florida. Enjoy the practice and the beautiful day.

Transition: Calm but brisk. Don't waste time, but don't hurry and forget anything. Smile and thank the volunteers. If you have sea nettle stings, take the extra time to treat them.

Bike, first out-and-back (to Mile 21): Settle in and maintain 145-150 bpm heart rate. Rehydrate. Start watch beeper and begin feeding plan at the 10 mile turnaround: Every 10 minutes drink and stretch and nibble some trail mix (craisins, apricots, cashews). Every 30 minutes take some gel or eat a portion of real food (half a Powerbar, half an Uncrustable PB&J, or half a Nature Valley Sweet 'n' Salty nut bar; or a piece of string cheese). This sounds like a lot, but I'm sure I'll choose to skip eating several times during the ride, too. Every 60 minutes or full water bottle (whichever comes first - it's probably going to be under 70*F and low humidity most of the ride) take 1 Succeed salt capsule. Stay on bike throughout without dismounting unless it's a dire emergency.

Bike, first loop (Mile 21 to Mile 67): Continue hydration, stretching, and feeding plan. Alternate water and Gatorade. Bring effort up slightly to 150-155 bpm heart rate. Pick up special needs bag and replenish as needed. Note downwind stretches where you might profit from going harder on the 2nd loop.

Bike, second loop (Mile 67 to Mile 112): Anticipate having a low point on this loop. Continue hydration, stretching, and feeding plan. Bring effort up very slightly to maintain 155-160 bpm heart rate through mile 95 (Maple Dam Road turn), then turn off HRM and go for broke for miles 95 through mile 112. (Note: based on weather reports, I expect that we may be picking up a tailwind at the 95-mile turn and riding it all the way to the finish. I hope.)

Finish: With nothing left. No run after the bike leg - try not to think about that long run you're doing tomorrow! Thank the volunteers and cheer on the other finishers.

Any thoughts on my plan? Recommendations?


Comm's said...

my only thought about your plan is to print it out and put it my 'Nancy's Plan's' wall with all the other ideas and lists I have stolen from you over the last two years.

nancytoby said...

But... but... the mile markers only work for THIS race!!!

So glad to know that I have added to your home decor. I'm proud.

Flo said...

You put Gatorade in your coffee ;)

Mr Steve said...

Thanks for posting your plan. I see I have a lot to learn. I too will be printing out your plan and keeping it. I hope you have a great race

Shelley said...

Wow, you are good at this stuff!!! I wish I could be so organized like you!!

Melissa said...

Nancy: My goal will be to stay near you if at all possible in the swim and on the bike. My only advice to you is that, if you're planning to go all out in this effort, you reschedule your long run for another day. You're not doing yourself any favors doing a long run the next day and risk injury. Other than that, your plan is very well thought out. I also wonder what impact heat will have on your dietary choices in Florida. I am fond of full calorie fuels that are easily digested; my favorite is Perpetuem but there are others. Good to have something as a backup or in special needs bag in case your stomach decides in the heat that solid fuel won't go down. These are not sugary drinks like gatorade but mild. Just a thought.
Melissa (see you tomorrow night or Sat. in the water)

Brad said...

Melissa, I'm with you. I love perpetuam.
Nancy, good luck and have a great race!
Houston, TX

WADDLER26.2 said...

No advice- just good luck wishes.

triathlonmom said...

Hubby is doing a century on Sunday and I told him about your apricots and cashews. he tried them on a long ride last week and loved them. So, thanks for the idea. Don't know where you get yours but I buy the unsulfered kind of Turkish at the healthfood store. They are brown instead of orange, but I don't mind because they taste so good. They are well worth the added expense.

IM Able said...

A couple of things...

One: You are a total preplanning ROCK DIVA!! I love how well thought out this is (especially the list!) and will be keeping it in my 'file' for next year.

Two: Being from the area, I'm *way* jealous that you're doing this. My tri season is over, but maybe I'll come down for a ... er ... "fix" this weekend!

Three: Your checklist rocks. Period. Smart. Lady.

***Good Luck***

nancytoby said...

Good luck to Hubby! Yeah, I don't usually eat cashews and apricots, just because they're way too dense in calories - but I love them, and that makes them perfect for riding!!

Definitely come down! Great volunteer shirts! :-)

jeanne said...

you must have been a girl scout! Be prepared!! My only worry, with all that food (and dairy, yikes) know what.


Dianne W. said...

I suggest that you eat on schedule whether you want to or not. Skip it if your stomach really says NO. But you need to get the food into energy before the 'run' starts - or you'll be running on either a full stomach, or no energy.

Dianne W. said...

Derek adds that for practice purposes, you should stop eating solids and stick to gels or liquids for the last 20 miles of the bike.