With Ironman Texas 2013, or "Ironman 3" as I call my third Ironman race effort less than 13 days away, I will now begin the process of organizing my written and mental notes into a written plan for the May 18, 2013 race day. Whereas last year was a fine-tuning from the previous year, this year is more of a back to basics reworking of a plan. While I have retained and rebuilt much of my aerobic base since the injuries and surgery of last fall, going into training mode late and coming into the race less prepared than I'd like to be. In the end, I know this can't be the race I would have wanted it to be (which would have been a concentrated effort to finish a tough Ironman race course in less than 12 hours) but I am happy to have this opportunity to do the race and still be have a good race opportunity even though I am not ready to be at my best--an opportunity which appeared questionable six months ago.
This race plan will begin with a more conservative base than the last two times out at this race. For the swim, I merely plan to perform at a solid and steady rate that doesn't overtire me. This may put me in the 1:40-1:50 swim time finish range but the few minutes I lose with a slower swim are minimal. If I am feeling good on race day, I may push a good bit faster than that time range. The bike will be about maintaining nutrition and heart rate at appropriate levels and not about speed, which is actually pretty much much what the previous plans were for this part of the race. The first 1/2 to 2/3 of the run will be similar to the bike plan, after that it will be more based on feel. From that point I will concentrate on doing what it takes to get me across the finish line.
With that outline in place, I will also review the last two month's of long workouts and my early April 70.3 race and work out a more specific plan, including writing out an exact measuring plan for measuring out nutrition to be placed into bottles and for water intake, as well as planning for additional nutritional and optional clothing needs.
There's the start of my plan. By next weekend I will have it worked down to more exact numbers and be ready to start putting powder into bottles. Fortunately, there is plenty for a obsessive Ironman to obsess over in planning for the race.