4 weeks until Vineman 70.3
I am now just 4 weeks away from my first focal race of the year, Vineman 70.3.
My preparation for this race has gone well although, Ill be able to provide a more accurate response after the race. I have completed two preparation races, Harriman Olympic and Rev3 Quassy Half. These two races were both very challenging, offered quality tests of current fitness levels as well as provided valuable feedback on what I can/need to improve on.
Regarding training I feel that I’m on point and where I should be. I have spent a lot of time pedaling because of my injured shoulder so I’m confident that I will have success over the 56 miles. With my shoulder being such a limiter in the pool I have had plenty of time for slow, technique-based swimming that I feel has paid off dividends. My running is progressing and I believe that the next few weeks will allow my run to come into form.
Over the last few years I have become a big proponent of scouting the course prior to race day. Having first hand knowledge of how a course flows; flats, down hills, climbs, aid stations, turns, places to hammer or hold back, etc, holds unbelievable value. The more familiar one is with the course the stronger the athlete is mentally. With that being said Vineman is across the country so there is no way I can swim, bike or run on the course beforehand. No, I don’t have a Computrainer and No, I’m not going to buy one. However this race has been going on forever and as such there is a large amount of information about the course online. I have read just about every race report by elites, age groupers and first time triathletes, I have downloaded and studied Garmin files, looked on Google maps, and spoke with friends that have raced the course. I’m aware of the shallow swim, “open” transition, the short hill out of transition that most people walk up, Chalk Hill (384ft climb at mile 42ish), the net downhill after Chalk Hill to the finish, roughly 1180-1400ft of climbing on the bike (depending on the Garmin), roughly 150-400ft of “climbing” on the run (depending on the Garmin), the half way point on the run comes at the “run through the vineyard”, there is an extremely short time to warm up for the swim (less than 8 minutes), amongst other small details, I have done as much research as possible prior to this race as I can.
I arrive in California the Wednesday before the race. I plan on putting my bike together immediately just in case I run into any issues. Thursday I plan on jumping on my bike and getting a run in, maybe even a swim depending on time. I have reserved a hotel for Friday and Saturday nights with my friend Scott. Ideally I would love to get there in the morning Friday and Bike the run course and parts of the bike course as well as jump in the water. Saturday I would love to bike a few more sections of the bike course, and get in a solid swim. I will also need to figure out the logistics of transition since it is a point-to-point race (two transitions locations) Sunday I will be racing Vineman and leaving everything on the course. Why wouldn’t I? I get to recover in Napa Valley.