Monday, April 5, 2010

Ishigaki World Cup!

Check out the start list for the Ishigaki World Cup, on April 25th. 

In three weeks I will be racing in my first ITU World Cup.  I was hoping to get into one before the end of this year but I had been targeting Huatulco in November.  Then the ITU moved Huatulco to the same weekend as my brother’s wedding!  So I am glad that I was able to get into Ishigaki instead.

The ITU will be posting live text updates to this page their website and to their Twitter account. They will also post a race recap video a few days afterwards.

The top 50 finishers can get ITU points as long as they are each within 5% of the winner’s time. How many finishers end up within the cut-off is heavily influenced by whether there is a breakaway, how big that breakaway is and how much of a time gap they can get. I can’t chase a break alone, so my likelihood of getting points will depend a bit on the efforts of other racers. Last year a strong break made it so that 23 guys got points, all running 33:15 or better.  In 2008 the break was smaller and 35 of 38 finishers were within the time cutoff.  In 2007 nearly 50 guys scored points, while there were 16 DNFs.  2006 was another tougher year, with 23 of 36 finishers scoring points.

I’ve heard that World Cup races are “ridiculously hard” and “the most pain you’ll ever feel for two hours,” but it should be a fantastic experience. There is minimal room for error, especially in that critical first half-hour of the race where you need to make a strong bike group. A mistake in the swim, in T1, or early in the bike can torpedo your whole race.

This will be a bit sooner than I was planning to start my ITU season, but my fitness is feeling quite good across the three sports. My splits in the pool have been as good or better than I’ve seen since college. My bike numbers have been good in shorter stuff and questionable in longer TTs, but my on-the-bike performance in pack situations has been better than ever. This bodes well for ITU racing. My run is a bit of a question mark. I’ve done 4 track workouts so far, with solid if unspectacular numbers … but most of those workouts have been after hard swims, so I know that I have another gear in me.

I did a bit of race simulation on Saturday. It was so hard that I almost threw up a few times, but it was great to go through the motions and get mentally dialed in.  The simulation:

  • Set your running shoes out on the side of the road as if it were T2.
  • Ride about two miles away.
  • Lean your bike against a street sign. Make sure that your shoes are clipped to the pedals and your helmet is situated for a fast T1.
  • Walk 100m away … get ready!
  • Drop to the ground and do ten push-ups. If the lake weren’t 48 degrees this would have been a swim & run-out.
  • Immediately jump up and sprint down the road to your bike in bare feet.
  • Put on your helmet.
  • Grab the bike and run about 50 yards, flat out.
  • Do your best flying mount.
  • Ride at 350-400W for at least a minute before putting your shoes on.
  • Once your shoes are on, continue at 300W+ for four more minutes.
  • Get your feet out of your shoes, then do a nice cyclocross-style dismount when you get close to your shoes.
  • Run the bike the last 20 yards and lean it up against … whatever …
  • Put on your shoes while taking off your helmet.
  • Take off at near-sprint pace for 400m, then settle into 10k pace or a bit faster for an additional 600m.
  • Cool down completely.
  • Repeat as desired!

No comments:

Post a Comment