Race Report: Coach Patrick, Patriot Half, 1st AG, 2nd OA Age Grouper

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Patriot Half Ironman® Race Report


Saturday June 18th, 2011

The short summary is that I placed fifth overall, second overall Age Grouper, first in my AG, and set a personal best with a 4:26 performance. This was a breakthrough race for me and gave me a great deal of confidence heading into the final weeks leading up to Lake Placid. You can listen to a podcast interview about my race with Coach Rich here.


I headed into the race really focused on Lake Placid, so this wasn’t an A race by any means. I had spent the prior weekend in Lake Placid at our free Training Rally, and logged two 112-mile loops as part of my training. That combined with a hard 15 mile run and a week focused on closing on our new house meant that I had a lot of deep fatigue but time to rest.

I was definitely nervous as I hadn’t raced since August of 2009, and I really didn’t know what to expect. During a tune-up workout the day before the race, I had trouble swimming in my wetsuit, suffered a mechanical on my bike and had a blister on my heel — what a great way to get ready!!!

On the ground in Freetown, MA, it was totally awesome to see so many EN members and training plan athletes…what a testament to this amazing community we have built together. I think all in we had 12 folks racing with even more there to support!

The Swim — 30:20

A simple counter-clockwise affair in a nice lake, I seeded myself up front of a the 60+ person wave. When the gun went off things got a bit crazy, but I was able to settle down after about 100yds. I had trouble finding my rhythm, however, and was just focused on staying on course. After the first turn I was able to get loose enough to find some good reach and rotation in the water. I just followed this smooth style for the rest of the swim and exited totally stoked that no one from the next wave (4′ behind) didn’t catch me.

In T1, I saw that I had done well, but there was little time to celebrate as I couldn’t get my wetsuit off! Once I won that battle it was time to get my gear on and run out…but my fancy bike shoes weren’t made for real running. They got wicked loose and it was all I could do to mount my bike without falling over

The Bike — 2:26:XX

My goal was to ride at about 80% of my Functional Threshold Power — that would be about 265 watts. I rode this back in 2009 and had a good split. But I could tell right away that my legs didn’t have any pop on the bike (you can see the details below). Instead of getting frustrated, I just settled in at what I could sustain and set a goal to try and even or negative split the bike. In the meantime I focused on my nutrition and hydration as I could feel the heat coming on. By the end of the second lap, I had only lost a minute, splitting it as 1:12 / 1:13…not too shabby!

Entire workout (241 watts):
Duration:  2:26:52 (2:27:03)
Work:      2127 kJ
TSS:       139.7 (intensity factor 0.757)
Norm Power: 250
VI:        1.03

Min Max Avg

Power:       0 457 241 watts
Cadence:     30 119 81 rpm
Speed:       0 34.9 22.8 mph
Pace         1:43 0:00 2:38 min/mi
Hub Torque:  0 242 64 lb-in
Crank Torque: 0 715 254 lb-in

The Run — 1:26:XX
Heading out of T2, I was told that I was in 11th place overall. I knew that some of the folks ahead of me where in either the Elite or previous wave, meaning they had a 4 to 8-minute head start on me. I wasn’t too worried about placings, I just wanted to run competitively and consistently across the whole course.

I was wearing some new lightweight shoes, and was curious to see how they’d hold up for the longer effort. I could tell right away that I was faster in my shoes and focused on trying to hold back (somewhat unsuccessfully). Within two miles I could see folks lined up in front of me and I started to focus on running them down.

I was smart to walk at each aid station and get in my calories; by the end of the day I had run down everyone ahead of me save for three guys who had an 8 minute head start, and wasn’t physically passed by anyone on the day. I think there were two other guys who ran faster than me who weren’t Elite, but they were behind me.

At the finish line I was pumped to see that I had run a 1:26; only 4 months earlier I had run a 1:24:15 stand alone half marathon, so this was a huge leap for me. Just as cool was to see that I positive split the run by only a minute (42:3X to 43:3X).

Entire workout (6:37 min/mi):
Duration:  1:26:12
Work:      n/a
rTSS:       140.9 (0.937)
NGP: 6:24 (251.3 m/min)
Distance:  13.018 mi

Min Max Avg
Pace         1:36 87:47 6:37 min/mi

Lessons Learned
Racing before Placid was a huge confidence builder for me and really made sure I had my game face on. There are several items I took away from this experience:

  • pre race walkthroughs of gear are critical.
  • technique is all that matters on the swim, period.
  • fix my transition approach with bike shoes.
  • adjust nutrition concentration to reduce burping/increase water intake.
  • improve early mile pacing on the run to avoid implosion.
  • need running form cues for later miles as form was slacking a bit.


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Coach P

All stories by: Coach P

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