First big Triathlon of the year. I’m super-pumped as you can imagine. I got the fever and the only cure is more triathlon… (or cowbell)! And as an added bonus, I’m on vacation next week. Can it get any better. Just have to survive call this weekend without going mentally insane as usual. It’s a small victory, but otherwise I’m just watching my hairline recede.
First Triathlon of the year is in the bustling city of Columbus, Ga. Just a 3-4 hour drive from home. I plan on driving down Thursday. Race is Saturday early. Wanted an extra day to review the course. I’m still deciding on gearing and though there are no steep climbs, there are a few hills. This is a new race. TriColumbus put on an Olympic and Sprint last year to good, but limited reviews. The logistics of putting on a Half-Ironman would seem to be more difficult, but the course shares alot from the shorter distance races.
The swim is in the Chattahoochee river. Wave start by age-group, then down river about 1300y around a buoy and back up river for 800y. You never know about swim distances, could be short or long. Hard to estimate swim times but I’ll be happy to finish in the low 30s. It’s going to be wetsuit legal so that’ll speed times. Locals say there isn’t much current in the river. Should be a fun swim if not too crowded. Hopefully, my age-group goes off early.
The Bike course looks interesting. It’s an out-and-back. First on the paved Riverwalk, then winding out around Fort Benning. There’s a few short hills scattered early. Miles 22-26 are uphill, then a quick steeper down hill to turn-around. We have to climb back out but then it’s mainly downhill back to transition.
My plan for the bike is to have a great run. In other words, this bike split may be quick but it won’t be a hammerfest. It gains an average of 21ft per mile. That’s on the flat side. Hopefully, the wind will be down. There are a few rough guidelines I use for race pacing. One recommends racing a Half-Ironman at 80-85% of your CP60(FTP). If you’re a strong runner, you can bike at the higher end. As I want to have very fresh legs, I’ll be conservative and ride about 80%. That should get me to T2 with reserve in the tank. If I nail the run this race, I’ll have more confidence to push the power % next race.
I’m looking forward to this 13.1 mile run. My Half-Ironman run splits are improving but the times are still slower than my open run times. It’s a good course to divide up. The course is a two loop 6+mile route. I’m considering this run more mental than physical. It’s going to hurt this time because I have some time goals. We’ll have to see what the day brings.