2013 Arizona Race Report – Steve Dorris Learns a Valuable Lesson In Patience And Execution

Coach P

Previous IM background: Florida 2009 13:40:01, Texas 2011 DNF. Joined EN in 2010, but really only utilized the training plan.  Never really plugged into the forums or dug through the wiki until this year.  First IM with anything close to a race execution plan. Goal for IMAZ: 11:55:00

Arizona Times

Swim: 1:16:32

T1: 8:28

Bike: 6:03:12

T2: 1:24

Run: 4:36:39

Total: 12:06:15

IM PR of: 1:33:46, but missed my goal by 11:15, so mixed emotions about this race.

Swim:  Goal 1:20:00

Positioned myself in the middle between the buoy line and the edge per the guidance of WSM Al Truscott.  Excellent advice, as it seemed everyone else crowded the buoy line or the right edge.  Swim was a little crowded for about 400-500 meters, but then fell into a good rhythm and was able to sight/draft off of a guy to my right.  Made the turn and it thinned out even more, so spent most of the swim back without a draft.  Followed the buoy line on the way back.  On long open water swims I have a tendency to settle into too comfortable of a rhythm so focused on pushing while maintaining form.  Felt good coming out of the water.  Swim time: 1:16:32


Moved quickly through T1, grabbed my bag and into the tent.  Found a seat and began the changing process.  Even though I dried off my arms with a towel, still somewhat time consuming getting the arm warmers on.  Shoved wetsuit and swim stuff into the bag and exited the tent.  Quick stop for sunscreen before heading to my bike.  A little crowded at the bike out.  T2 time: 8:28

Bike:  Goal  6:00:00

Out onto the course and tried to not get caught up in the exit frenzy.  Worked to hold my power at .65-.68 IF for the first 30 min.  Then moved to .70 IF/145 watts for the remainder of the ride.  Stayed on track with nutrition (3 hour bottle of Infinit, with 2nd bottle at special needs at mile 62) and thought I was hydrating well, but only peed once on the last lap around mile 86 and never on the run…so probably a little dehydrated!  Broke a spoke on the rear wheel at mile 32, quick 60 second stop to remedy.  Received a drafting penalty on the first loop, so 4 min in the penalty tent at the turn around at town.  Had my Garmin set to lap at each turn around and display 3 second power and lap power.  I think my lap 2 numbers are a little skewed, my Garmin was not set to auto pause on the bike, so it has by mechanical stop and my penalty stop included.  Felt really good coming off the bike.  Bike time: 6:03:12

Bike Data:

Lap 1 NP 143 IF .694 VI 1.02

Lap 2 NP 146 IF .707 VI 1.11

Lap 3 NP 147 IF .715 VI 1.01

Lap 4 NP 145 IF .702 VI 1.02

Lap 5 NP 144 IF .701 VI 1.03

Lap 6 NP 145 IF .704 VI 1.02

Total  NP 145 IF .704 VI 1.04


Left shoes on the bike and quickly found my run bag in T2.  Skipped the tent this time.  Put on shoes and visor, let the volunteer put my race belt on me and take care of putting helmet, etc in the bag.  Out of T2 in under 90 seconds, 1:24

Steve DorrisRun:  Goal 4:20:00

Plan (based on RRs) was 10:25 pace the first 6 miles, then 9:55 pace miles 7-18, then 9:35 pace miles 19-24, and then by feel for the last 2.2 miles, with 30-60 second walk breaks at the aid stations.  Focused on running slow, but still had trouble getting my pace down to my plan.  After the first 6 miles felt really strong and started to pick up the pace a little bit.  Around mile 12 or 13 began to feel a little tired and realized I would not be able to hold this pace for another 13 miles! Started having some nausea issues in the aid stations, so cut back on the perform and even the water for a couple stations.  At mile 15 slowed the pace to around 13:00 and had to really focus on just getting to the next aid station.  Miles 16-18 were a mental beating!  Lots of negative thoughts trying to take over.  Focused on trying to stay positive and just running to the next aid station.  After several miles I began to feel better.  Started taking on perform and water again and realized I could actually pick up the pace.  Around mile 19 I started picking up the pace with each mile.  Finished strong with the last 4 miles some of the fastest of the day!

Run Data:

Mile 1  9:53          Mile 14  10:47

Mile 2  9:53          Mile 15  13:10

Mile 3  9:59          Mile 16  11:51

Mile 4  10:00        Mile 17  12:04

Mile 5  10:01        Mile 18  11:47

Mile 6  9:52          Mile 19  11:35

Mile 7  9:18          Mile 20  11:18

Mile 8  9:31          Mile 21  11:09

Mile 9  10:08        Mile 22  11:08

Mile 10  9:44        Mile 23  9:31

Mile 11  10:17      Mile 24  9:52

Mile 12  10:38      Mile 25  9:08

Mile 13  10:38      Mile 26  8:43

Lessons Learned:

Patience and Execution! Trust the plan and follow the plan that you have proven during the race rehearsals.  We read about it throughout EN, but it’s one thing to read about it and another thing to execute it.  Was super focused on the bike and felt like I did a good job sticking to my race execution plan, but got stoooopid on the run and let it get away from me.  Absolutely paid for it during miles 15-22 and ultimately cost me what was an achievable race result.  Happy that I was able to stay focused and work through the “mistake” and finish strong, but will be regretting the execution/result until the next one (Wisconsin 2015).

In reality, there are (6) disciplines to the IM distance race; Swim, Bike, Run, Nutrition, Hydration, and Mental Preparation.  The first 3 are obvious and come with doing the work.  You can get a base knowledge of nutrition and hydration through the wiki, forums, etc…but application is learned through trial and error on your long rides and runs.  Mental preparation is the moving target.  IM is a long day and at some point something is probably going to go wrong.  It may be a result of being stoooopid or it may be something completely out of your control.  Either way, you have to be mentally prepared to deal with it.  You need to have the answers to whatever race day throws at you before it happens. It can get awful lonely out there.

Finally, if you are new to EN, don’t make the mistake of thinking the plan is the key to EN.  The plan is the tip of the iceberg.  The true power and genius of EN is the vast amount of knowledge, support, experience, advice, etc…available through the wiki, the forums and the members that make up EN.

 Join Steve and hundreds of other athletes in their drive to become top tier age group triathletes by becoming a TeamEN member. Sign up below to get on our waiting list. Doors open January 6, 2014.



Coach P

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