Bike Fit and Marathon Strategy

I got my Argon 18 bike (aka “Therapy”) fitted today. It is amazing how slight adjustments to the saddle and tweaks to the handle-bar make such a difference in the feel and comfort of the bike. I feel like Therapy and I have a bright future ahead.

Bill also talked to me about nutrition, speed and heart-rate strategy for my upcoming Marathon (Tucson on Sunday, December 9). While my chances of qualifying for Boston are very slim, I am going to give it a shot. To qualify, I have to finish the race in less than 3:25; a tall order for me.

So here is the race strategy:

  • Nutrition: Eat normally until Thursday. Starting Thursday, increase intake of complex carbs; nothing too drastic, just a minimal increase is fine. On Saturday, do an early dinner (5PM) and eat lots of complex carbs, very little fiber or fat and go to bed early. Rest if you can. On the morning of the race, avoid coffee and drink when thirsty (do not over-hydrate, else you will waste time at the port-a-potty). During the race, take in about 150 calories each hour.
  • Speed: Try and achive a 49-51 strategy. This means the first half of the race is run in 51% of time and the second half is run in 49% of time. This is a classic reverse-split. To end the race in 3:25, I have to run the first 13.1 miles in a 7:58 pace and the next 13.1 in a 7:39 pace. Ouch!
  • Heart-rate: Hold level 1-2 (less than 146 bpm) for the first 13.1 miles. Lift heart-rate to level 2-3 for the second half. For the last 10k, lift the heart-rate to level 3 and cross the finish line with everything you have.

All of the above seems so easy on paper. We’ll see how many mistakes I make this time!

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