That's right the Gauntlet has been thrown down for 2009. Bjoern and I have committed to an Ironwar in Arizona next November. While we are friends and training partners it still doesn't mean we like losing to one another any better. So I have come up with my plan for the 2009 racing season Introducing OPERATION SCHOOL BJOERN
1. Improve Bike Split
2. Sub 5-hour Half Ironman
3. Sub 1:45 Half IM run split
4. Sub 6 Hour IM Bike
5. Sub 53 min. IM Swim
6. Sub 3:45 IM Marathon.
7. Beat Bjoern!
Going into our Ironman I have come up with a comparative analysis or strengths and weaknesses:
Bjoern has been doing tris since his soccer career ended in 2006. I've been racing tris on and off since 2002 and as my main focus since 2006. I've done 2 marathons and have an Ironman under mybelt. I'm no expert on all the little things, but going into a race knowing what to expect definitely takes a bite out of pre race nerves.
Let's face it I was freaking born in the water. I spent 7 years as a Competitive swimmer, and usually rank in the top tier of the field getting out of the drink. Bjoern's strong and his swim skills are greatly improving..but I'm still confident that I can beat him out of the water.
Bike: Bjoern... by a lot.....
Normann Stadler and Thomas Hellgiel ( I'll just call him Hell on Wheels, because I can't spell his last name to save my life.) proved that you can essentially win an Ironman on the bike. In 2000 Hell on Wheels had 12 min. over Cam Brown at Ironman New Zealand and managed to beat the fast running Kiwi by 4 min. Normann Stadler..well we all remember how Kona 2006 played out against Macca, man if he only had one more mile....
Bjoern beat my bike split by 3 min. over 56 miles at the Nutmeg State Half Iron in 07. If things had kept stagnant...I could assume that it would be a 6 min. advantage going into the Marathon. Things have not been stagnant..Bjoern has made himself even more of an animal on two wheels, and while I've improved, he lives on two wheels, so his lead off he bike could be anywhere from 3-10 min. If I want a crack at him I need to work the bike leg and work it hard.
Run: It's a crap shoot.
While some people would tip the run leg in my favor, Bjoern and I have about equal splits. The x-factor for him is his knee, if he stays injury free, we may be re-enacting the famous photo of Ken Glah and Pauli Kiru making a mad dash for the line. All those years of soccer definitely pay off for him.
Mental Attitude: Bjoern
If you've been a long time reader, you know life crap tends to get me down..especially when it comes to family crap. Bjoern just takes thing in stride, definitely the best attitude to have in 140.6 mile /226km sufferfest, in the middle of the desert, surrounded by nothing but Cacti and sand....
Except for a case of "wrong shoe type" shin splints, and a strained shoulder from incorrect swimming technique back in my NCAA D-1 days, I've been pretty healthy. Bjoern has that blasted knee issue that keeps popping up but with sensible training and the proper preventatives he should be ok.
Sexy Equipment:Toss up.
I'm a gear whore...I admit it. Bjoern's bike has better wheels and components and I'm jealous....but I've got sexier running shoes...
Alright now that I've outlined the our strengths, I will now outline my plan on getting in shape.
Winter 2008-09 Training plan:
I plan on training like I did last winter, hopefully the weather will co-operate a little more and I'll actually do some hill work along with trainer sessions, and base rides. The cycling must improve!!!
Swimming a lot at harder, faster, stronger intervals. Stef said she was coaching masters so I will have my dominatrix of the lane lines.
Running, well same as always, maybe some speed work if the track's not covered in ice.
Lifting, I need to lift heavy things to increase strength, power, and overall manliness. Does this mean I'll be doing curls ..No that is a deadly sin...although I might be committing other deadly sins...such as bench pressing and pec-flys with free weights, but for the most part extreme core work, medicine ball crap and squats will be the standard of my routines.
So that is the winter training plan. The race plan /spring plan is a little more intricate and will fill a post on its own.