February is here, and that means that my first tri of 2016 is exactly nine weeks away. I committed to an early-season race for the first time this year, and I'm really looking forward to it. Here is my rough schedule of races in 2016 - ones with a * I've registered for:
April - Florida 70.3*
June - Patriot Half* (fun local race that's pretty fast)
July - Mass State Olympic and/or Nantucket Sprint
August - Timberman 70.3*
September - Pumpkinman Half
November - NYC Marathon (qualified, and registration is still pending)
After a big run focus to close out 2015, I've begun upping my bike mileage, as well as trying to get in at least two swims each week. From September through January I ran a total of 1112 miles (222 avg. per month). I was quite surprised how my increased run fitness carried over to the bike. I biked on average once a week from the end of October to December, and only after a few harder sessions was able to put out 355 watts at an indoor TT in January.
My goal in terms of biking is getting in around 5 hours a week between 3-4 rides. Yesterday morning I got in a 2:15 ride and averaged 271 watts, a bit under what my likely power goal in Florida will be. Since I'm not going to be getting in a ton of biking, I've decided that virtually all rides will be at or above HIM goal power. This has been doable so far, and I'm confident that it will result in a good bike time in two months time.
The translation of fitness to swimming has not been as dramatic! I've been getting to the pool around twice a week over the past few weeks, and will need to get that up to around three times a week for the the foreseeable future. I've lost around 3-4 seconds per 100 from the summer, but I'm confident that swim fitness will come back with a solid eight weeks or so of swimming prior to our trip to Florida in mid April.
I have three main goals for this season related to triathlon. The first is to go under 4:20 in a HIM, which I feel I'm capable of if I execute a solid race. The second goal is qualifying for 2017 70.3 worlds with a good race at Timberman. Since the 2017 race will be in the US, I'm pretty sure I won't be the only one shooting for a slot, so I'll need to execute a solid race in August. I finished in 4:35 two years ago at Timberman on very limited training due to an injury, so I'm confident that if healthy, and with some solid training, a great result and a qualifying spot is within my reach. My third goal for this year is maintaining my health. I've had both ITB and Achillies injuries in the recent past, so I need to listen carefully to my body and be wise in my training.
The next test of my fitness will be an early March half marathon. My goal in that race is to go under 1:20. If I am able to have a fast half, I'll feel confident about my run heading into Florida 70.3.
Finally, I'm pleased to say that I'll be a party of Team Zoot in 2016. I've always been a big fan of Zoot gear and shoes, and I'm psyched to be able to be a part of their team and represent them this season. Here's to a great 2016 season!