Monday, October 28, 2013

Race Goals for Ironman Florida

by Meghann on October 28, 2013

When you’re training for a race (ANY race) you always get two questions:

  1. How’s training going?
  2. What are your goals for race day?

Well, right now training is going great. I mean, I could get used to this whole tapering business. Sleeping in? Only working out once a day? Brilliant!

Now, about those race goals. Hmmm….

If you would have asked me at the beginning of training what my goals were for race day, I would have had no comment because I honestly had no idea. I had never trained for a full Ironman before and had no idea what to predict time-wise for either my swim, bike, or my run. Now that some time has passed – and I’ve gotten to learn a little bit more of what my body is capable of over the last 24 weeks – I have slowly narrowed down some time goals for myself. I’m not looking to break any records (hellz no!) or qualify for Kona (HA!!!!), but I am looking to push my own personal limits and see what my body can do.



Alright, alright, this one is a no brainer, but my first goal is to make all the cut offs. Not only do I have multiple cut offs to make for the swim, bike, and run, but I have to cross the finish line under 17:00:00 or I will not have the pleasure of being called an Ironman. If I cross at 17:00:01 I’m toast.

GOAL #2: Finish under 15 hours.

This goal is actually the realistic fingers-crossed one that my coach and I came to based off of my training and current abilities.

This would break down to:

  • Swim: 2 hours

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My coach is actually predicting more of a 1:30 for the swim, but I’m a little worried about the conditions of the water. Panama City is known for being a little choppy at the start and I haven’t had a lot of training in choppy waves. I also plan to stand back a little at the beginning and let the crazy, competitive swimmers a chance to plow themselves over before I make my own attempts of entering the water. This time would also include the time for T1.

  • Bike: 8 hours


Let’s face it, I’m slow on the bike. It’s my least favorite of all three and the motivation for speed has never clicked with me. However, it is a “flat and fast” course that I can use to my advantage. My goal is to maintain a 15 – 16mph pace and not let all of the “on your left”s I’ll hear persuade me to go faster than my goal pace (any faster and I will eventually burn out). As long as I limit my stops to emergencies and special needs, I should be good.

  • Run: 5 hours


Running will always be my first true love. I’m sure I’ll spend the whole race telling myself “just make it to the run! just make it to the run!” (that’s what I always tell myself in triathlons!) I felt surprisingly good during the run portions for my two 70.3s and I’ll take the great run I had after my 100 mile bike ride a few weeks ago as a good sign. I plan to do a run/walk for the run, which usually works well for me during tris. This race will probably be my slowest marathon to date (my current slowest was my first marathon in 2009 with a finish time of 4:29), but I’ve also never run a marathon after a 2.4 miles swim and 112 mile bike before ;).


So those are my time goals. I guess my other goals will be to keep crying to the minimum (each time I imagine what it will be like to finish each of the three sports, I start to tear up) and enjoy the race. This may be my one and only Ironman attempt, I need to soak it all in!



I’m not 100% sure what my siblings’ goals are, but I can guess how it’s going to play out… Basically Ben will kick mine and Kelly’s booties in both the swim and on the bike. However, there’s a chance either of us will catch up to him on the run (depending on what his lead time is, more than likely he’ll build such a large lead that he’ll finish before we have a chance to catch up). Kelly will kick my butt in the swim, but I may catch up to her on the bike or the run. Kelly and I have caught up to each other during both our 70.3s (we even finished our first one together). However, Kelly is so competitive that I can see her pushing harder to finish first.

Either way, I know we’ll all finish!

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Wouldn’t it be cool if we all finished together?!

If you want to follow us on race day, I’ll post a list of friends and family members that will be on site later this week. You can also follow the hashtag #IronSiblings on Twitter and Instagram.

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