I have yet to set out all of my triathlon goals for 2014 - still working on those. But I am ready for a new mantra. "This is where you want to be" got me to the point of coming in 4th overall out of the women in quite a few races this year which was a big improvement over 2012's results. In 2014, I know where I want to be - on the podium (race-speak for coming in 1st/2nd/3rd in a race). To be competitive with the women who are winning overall in races locally AND with the women with podium finishes in my age group at nationals AND with the top 10 women finishers in my age group at Worlds, I will have to shave at least another 5 minutes off of my best sprint tri time. The World Grand Final in Edmonton is less than 8 months away. This year....Every Second Counts.
Sprint tri's are relatively fast/quick races in the world of triathlon. Just to put it in perspective, the race is over for me in less than 1 hr 20 minutes. At Nationals this past year, I came in 11th in my age group - separated from the winner by 4:51....that's the origin of that 5 minute goal. If I was just 30 seconds faster in my first transition (my T1 in that race was a disaster), 90 seconds faster on my bike, and 60 seconds faster on the run - for a total of just 3 minutes - I might have been in the top 5.
For the upcoming season, I have some time to gain on the swim but not sure that it will make a huge dent in the 5 minutes. T1 improvement should be relatively easy - just more practice/learning technique. The improvement on the bike is doable, but will be a lot of time/effort to get there. I'm still a relatively novice cyclist so it stands to reason that experience and more time in the saddle will equal improvement...and maybe a pair of borrowed race wheels...if all else fails, buy speed on the bike :) Improving my run is going to be the toughest - my relative weakness on the bike has a tendency to ruin my legs for the run - that and I'm not certain how much faster running I can get at this point (you know - aging 40-something lungs and muscles and all - throwing that in there before my husband or Coach can comment).
To drop those 5 minutes, I will need to:
- ensure every training session is focused and purposeful
- get more sleep/have better recovery during training
- add strength training
- have better nutrition before, during, after training/races
- improve my transitions
- be better on the bike
- remind myself that whether it's sleep, time spent eating, hydrating, running, biking, or swimming....Every Second Counts