The Tri Town Times: 7/10/23

The Tri Town Times: 7/10/23

Boise Twilight Crit and Hill Climb; Ironman CEO announces retirement; thoughts on pacing.

Hi all,


Here is your weekly Tri Town Times newsletter:


Weekend race report:

- Team L39ION dominated the pro race at the Boise Twilight Criterium on Saturday, with Skyler Schneider winning the women's pro race and Ty Magner the men's.

- Rachel Tatko of Boise defended her '22 Bogus Basin Hill Climb title, and Joshua Lebo of CX Velo Racing won the men's race.


Industry News:

Ironman CEO Andrew Messick is retiring. During Messick's 12 years at the helm of Ironman, he helped transform the company from a (mostly) licensing company into an event production company, developed the 70.3 series of events, and in the process shaped Ironman into the largest company in the world for mass participation endurance events.


Training thoughts and updates:

The Bogus Hill Climb is a good time to relay a story I've shared before on pacing:


About fifteen years ago, I was training for the Hill Climb, and wanting to break the 1 hour mark for the climb. I had done the race a few times before, each time finishing just a minute or two over an hour. 


The day before the race, I ran into a friend, a professional triathlete who had gone around 56min for the climb in years past. I told him my goal of wanting to break an hour for the climb, and asked if he had any advice for me.


He asked me to explain my racing strategy.


I'll start a few rows back from the starting line, and try to hold an even effort, about 320 watts, from beginning to end. 


That's a stupid strategy. Stop being a pansy. 


Oh, seems like a sensible pacing strategy.


Put yourself on the front line of the race. Stay with the leaders until you blow up. Then, just keep pushing with whoever you find yourself with. 


That sounds like a bad plan. 


It may be. Tell me how it goes.


The next morning I decided to follow his advice. What did I have to lose? I lined up on the front line of the race, mentally committing to stay with the lead group for as long as possible, or die trying. 


The gun went off, and riders began attacking almost immediately. After a few miles I found myself in a select group of about 15 riders. We passed the half way point a couple minutes faster than my prior best record time. I dared not look at my power meter or heart rate monitor. Ignorance is best in moments like that.


We reached the tree line. The group had been pruned down to about 10 riders, with me holding on at the back, but somehow still holding on. At that point, a couple riders shot off the front, not to be seen again until the finish line. 


Over the final miles to the summit, I died a thousand deaths. Yet somehow I stayed with that select group. A couple more shot off the front, and a few more fell off.


In the end, I crossed the line around 57 minutes. A huge PR, all thanks to a friend's advice to throw the idea of perfect pacing out the window. 


I walked away from that race having learned a valuable lesson: pacing has a time and place, but it allows little chance for a breakout performance. You are less likely to be disappointed with perfect pacing, but you are also less likely to surprise yourself.


There are situations that favor pacing, and others that do not: 


When to respect pacing: 

>During long events.

>When you feel underprepared.

>When there is little drafting benefit.

>If you tend to get overly excited and blow up in races.


When to ignore pacing: 

>During short events that you are well prepared for.

>When you are feeling very fit, and may be ready for a breakout performance.

>When there is a draft benefit from other racers (swim, bike, and even some run events). 

>If you have a history of pacing yourself conservatively, always finishing exactly as you expected. 



Quote that struck a chord: 

"I found a whole philosophy of life in the wooing and winning of my bicycle. I finally concluded that all failure was from a wobbling of the will rather than a wobbling wheel.... Summoning all my force, I mounted and started off alone. From that hour the spell was broken; (cycling) was no more a mystery."

-Prohibitionist and suffragist Frances Willard on learning how to ride the 'safety cycle' of the mid 1890's.



Train smart and have a great week!


Antonio Gonzalez

Tri Town Bicycles


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