Ironman New Zealand 2010: Taupo’s Targets

It’s time I put things on the line in fact it’s over due. I know over the past month there’s been times I’ve not looked too focused or on my A game. I definitely suffered a little from confused motivations. Racing without needing to earn a Kona slot? Why? Fortunately I’m passed all that and ready to go.

Starting in the water my aim is to break one hour. I’m told that the swim here tends to be fast so hopefully that’ll prove true for me. Far more importantly I’ve put a lot of work in at the pool this past month and I’m seeing improvements. I should be taking those into the open water and that means a better swim. Put it this way, if my swim is slow I will be disappointed. Very disappointed.

I suspect I’ve been guilty of mental sabotage in the swim. Either psyching myself out or not taking the time to plan or visualise the race. I enter the water already expecting it to be tough and that one hour mark to be a challenge. This time I’m getting in that lake knowing that one hour isn’t a problem and that if I don’t make it I’ve done something wrong. No excuses!

The bike is an interesting one. I’ve something like six thousand more kilometres more in my legs since Busselton. A lot of those have been pretty hard. Recovering after Epic Camp, then building back into training in February was so thick with fatigue I honestly thought I had nothing on the bike. The last week or two has rebuilt my confidence.

I’ve seen some good riding in tough conditions. My heart rate appears lower for a much better power output than I’m used to. I’m feeling strong. The forecast is potentially strong winds and I’m happy with that. I’ve lived in Wellington for a few months, I know winds. If the bike is tough it’s going to work in my favour.

Given I’m expecting better power on the bike than previous races I’m aiming for somewhere in the 5:05 region. A very solid split and perhaps those winds will knock that on the head. Whatever happens I’m aiming to push hard and work myself the whole distance. This isn’t going to be a conservative effort. Let’s see what I can do.

Then the run. Training has been going pretty well, though not spectacularly. Just like cycling it’s only been in the last fortnight I’ve felt I was getting somewhere. Ironman pace is feeling comfortable again. The reality is I’m not sure if I’m capable of going faster than recent races, but believe I can go fast.

The aim is to run another 3:10 split. Conditions shouldn’t be as hot as the last couple of races which will work in favour of that goal. I just have to keep focussed on hydration, nutrition and good running technique. Hopefully I can pull out a decent run and close with a fast race.

Overall we’re probably looking at going 9:20-9:25 if I hit my targets. Achieving this should also make my age group podium, at least based on previous results. It does feel ambitious – potentially a tougher course than Busselton, but a similar time. If you don’t aim high…

As ever, we’ll see tomorrow and I’ll be sure to get a mini-report out as soon as I can.