Iron Dad’s 12 Hour Ironman goal…can it be done?

On November 27, 2010, now almost 9 months ago, I wrote a post that established my goal for Ironman this year as 12 hours…well at least a ‘training goal’, to establish my goal race pace in each discipline, and therefore my training target metrics

…in part:

In my end of season wrap-up with Coach Gale a few days ago, we were discussing the goals for the season ahead.  Her view was, without going into all the details of why, was that my current ‘top potential’ with lean body weight, my body holding up, training dialed right in, and a great race day, and great day at the race, was most likely an 11:45 Ironman…I was leaning more to the ’under 12:30 range’, so think that I’m going to settle on a 12:00 ‘training goal’ for 2011…I could have said, 12:15, but 12:00 is a nice round number.

It feels _very_ ambitious to me, and therefore a good starting point…considering that my fastest Ironman to date was a 12:57 in 2008 (first Ironman in 2007: 13:31), followed by a 13:22 in 2009, and 14:29 (wetsuit zipper split lead to a taxing 02:03:16 swim) in 2010.

sooo, with Ironman Florida now 12 weeks away this weekend, it’s now time to start to firm up my actual ‘race’ goal

A 12 hour goal still feels _very_ ambitious to me…but actually not as pie-in-the-sky as when I first wrote those words…so I’ll take a closer look at _exactly_ what I’m going to need to do to have a shot at getting there

There are a number of ways of accomplishing a 12 hour Ironman…although for me quite frankly, I have a pretty narrow path…I would just have to _nail_ each sport and fly through transitions, and have nothing go wrong, and get lucky with the weather and conditions.

…but I can see how I could do it…it’s like this:

PaceTimeCumulative Time
Swim1:55/100 yards1:20:57
Transition 18:00
Bike19.5 MPH5:44:36
Transition 28:00
Run10:35 min/mile4:37:1711:58:50

You can play with the numbers yourself for your race here:

In a post over the weekend, I’ll look at each of the elements in details, summarize my training to date, and goals for the next 12 weeks…and may end up making some adjustments 🙂

Suffice to say a few things now though, with earlier post references as applicable:

Swim: I’m really going to need that great 1:15-1:20:00’ish swim…without killing myself…to have a chance…a 1:40:00 swim like I have been doing just isn’t going to cut it…no place to make up that 20 minutes if I leave them in the water again

Bike: I _could_ _maybe_ squeeze out a 19.5MPH average out of 190’ish Watts in perfect conditions…210’ish Watts would be safer…not sure yet whether my bike fitness will be high enough to allow me a relaxed 70% of FTP (Functional Threshold Power) to get there

Run:  theoretically at the bottom edge of doable…would need that great, relaxed, bike ride in front of it, to have any hope though, and a bit more running speed in the next 3 months…and hopefully losing that few pounds will help

So the good news is, that it still feels doable…like in ‘exceeds’ doable…like in, not entirely impossible

My initial primary race goal was to set a PR (Personal Record) this year, so under 12:57:00…this led to wanting to have a bit of a time mattress, so to get my training results to a point that I could ‘reasonably’ see a 12:30:00 finish, which led to having a bit of a time mattress, and an ‘exceeds’ goal of 12:00:00…

Of course, to actual accomplish it, I’m going to need to have a lot more confidence to bite off those race paces on race day

…so I have 12 weeks to get whatever my final race goals end up being, embedded in an unshakable place in my brain, that will remain untouched by the ‘stuff’ that happens on race day

…oh…yeah…our picture today hasn’t happened yet…just my mental image of my ‘exceeds’ goal finish this year 🙂

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