My thoughts on racing the Boulder Peak TriathlonFirst I‚Äôll discuss the newbie to slightly experienced racer. Towards the bottom are my thoughts on how the experienced racer should approach this race.
Swim ‚Äì take out the first 500m (first turn at BPT) very easy ‚Äì think long/strong on your stroke, just feel smooth ‚Äì once you turn that corner sight on the last buoy and swim steady to that one. Don‚Äôt be out of breath, just feel as though you can go a little faster, but don‚Äôt back off that really hard effort and just go ‚Äòhard‚Äô. Start to back off last the 200m, and ease into the end of swim.
Bike ‚Äì start out in a gear you can maintain at 90 RPMS, remember you have a hill at the start, right out of the gate, best to sit on this hill and spin up it. The first 8 miles of this race are up hill ‚Äì so you can waste a lot of energy trying to go fast. You won‚Äôt be able to go that fast unless you have a super tailwind ‚Äì but this early in the morning the wind is usually from the West right where you are going. From 36 you make the turn onto Lee Hill, and you can feel the grade turn up just slightly. Keep your head and stay steady here ‚Äì no need to kill it ‚Äì you still have Olde Stage to climb and the race hasn‚Äôt even begun yet. Once you go past the Lee Hill Trail head the road grade picks up a bit more and you make the hard right turn around the corner and there she is: Olde Stage. I like to take this hill in 4 sections:
1 ‚Äì From the bottom (mile marker on the right) to the turn off for Lee Hill. I stay seated here ‚Äì you can stand if you need to loosen your back, but for the most part, sit and spin (just like the toy you had as a kid ‚Äì ‚ÄúSit and Spin‚Äù)
2 ‚Äì The next section of this climb is from Lee Hill to the sand barrel up on the right. Continue to spin, stand if you have to, but don‚Äôt give away any heart beats, you don‚Äôt get those back ;-)
3 ‚Äì The next section is from the sand barrel to the crest ‚Äì get over the crest and you really have made it. Once you make this you go down into the dip, gain some speed and try to really get going up the next section, it will be much easier.
4 ‚Äì This last section is really a sustained grade, not too hard, just annoying. If you have a good cadence, are back in your seat and really using your leverage, this will be a lot easier.
Once you crest this part, the hardest part of the day is over ‚Äì so enjoy the downhill and be careful. There is a sharp right at the bottom of Olde Stage and once the road flattens out, there is another sharp left that will take you onto Left Hand Canyon.
Down the canyon you go, river grade the whole way, stay aero, and use the downhill, it‚Äôs to your advantage. At the end of Left Hand you will turn left onto US36 ‚Äì watch for traffic here, it‚Äôs a dangerous intersection. After you turn left, go up and over the hill, and you descend until you hit Nelson. Now you have the fastest 4 miles of the race ‚Äì just put your head down and let it rip. After 4 miles you turn right onto 63rd ‚Äì watch the corner, and you hit two little rollers. Get back on your seat and spin up these. Don‚Äôt get caught grinding, you will be giving away seconds per mile on your run if you do grind. You stay on 63rd and roll along, up and down, nothing too hard, just spin up the hills, don‚Äôt grind. Once you hit the Diagonal ‚Äì you have a few more miles to go. Stay aero, and cut through the wind like a knife through butter. You will ‚Äòprobably‚Äô have head wind ‚Äì so stay down on the bars and spin. Once you hit Jay Road you turn right, and then another quick right, onto 51st- and back to the Res. Stay aero, keep spinning, and don‚Äôt grind going up the last hill that will take you down the Res. Once you hit the gate at the Res, ready yourself for transition. If you leave your shoes on the bike, then this is the time to start taking your feet out of the shoes. Slow down as you approach the dismount like (if you go over it without dismounting your bike, you will be disqualified!) ‚Äì run your bike to your transition and change into your running shoes/hat. Yep, you need a hat, there is no shade on the run, and the sun will be hot!
Run ‚Äì First mile of the run, is essentially up hill, so go easy out of T2 ‚Äì grab some water, slow down and get your HR down ‚Äì ease into the run. You want to run the 2nd half faster so pick up the pace ever so slightly, check your splits/effort the first two miles, and if you feel comfortable then pick up the pace. Mile 1-2 is flat and then downhill and then uphill to Mile 2. Mile 2-3 is flat to an uphill, downhill, uphill and then flat to slight grade uphill. Once you hit mile 3.1, at the halfway mark, it‚Äôs time to GO! The race is really downhill from here. You can go fast back to Mile 4, only one hill, faster to mile 5, only one uphill, and then fly from 5 ‚Äì to the finish, it‚Äôs ALL downhill! Let it fly just like you were running a 5k. If you paced the race right, here is where you can make up a lot of ground and just go by people like they are standing still. Run ‚Äì It‚Äôs only a short period of time so push for all you are worth.
Experienced Racer and how to race BPT:
Swim flat out TT speed ‚Äì maintain, form, but swim upper steady effort, back off last 200m, and ease into the end of swim.
Bike ‚Äì start out in a gear you can maintain at 90 RPMS, warm-up for at least 5 miles at a steady effort, and once you feel your breathing is more regulated you can start to push the pace a bit. Ride steady to moderate hard until 15 miles and then after 15 miles, you can drop the hammer. This should be about 85-90% of LT effort- hard but not so hard your legs are getting fried or that you can‚Äôt run.
Run ‚Äì easy out of T2 ‚Äì grab some water, slow down and get your HR down ‚Äì ease into the run. You want to run the 2nd half faster so pick up the pace ever so slightly, check your splits/effort the first two miles, and if you feel comfortable then pick up the pace. At the halfway mark, time to GO! Let it fly just like you were running a 5k. If you paced the race right, here is where you can make up a lot of ground and just go by people like they are standing still. It‚Äôs only a short period of time so push for all you are worth.