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Heat and Altitude - How to adjust race plan?

 

   


ryans

Aug 7, 13 9:50

Post #1 of 14 (718 views)
Heat and Altitude - How to adjust race plan? Quote | Reply

Preparing for IM Lake Tahoe in late Septmeber. I have been racing half iron distance races as a prep and have done two, with a third coming. Trying to nail down my effort on the bike, fueling on the bike and leaving myself prepared for the run.

July 20, Duluth Triathlon
Bike - 2:47:47 (56.64 miles), TSS 262.1, NP 194, VI 1.02, 685 feet of elevation gain
Run - 1:48:45, 171 feet of elevation gain
Notes - ran training wheels, road surface average to below average, 68 degree high temp, base elevation 1200'

August 4, Boulder 70.3
Bike - 2:31:21 (55.92 miles), TSS 251.1, NP 200, VI 1.04, 1348 feet of elevation gain
Run - 2:05:10, 240 feet of elevation gain
Notes - FC 808 w/disc cover, road surface average to above average, 88 degree high temp, base elevation 5340'

So, I know heat is my own personal enemy. At Boulder, I maintained 8:30 miles on the run until about mile 8/9. Then I just needed to cool down and was trying to take in more and more water. At the Duluth Tri I was on the edge at mile 12, but with only a mile left I pushed through it.

Any thoughts on what role the altitude played on Sunday in Boulder? At this point I am thinking I should have slowed ever so slightly on the bike, and also a little more to start the run if I wanted to stay steady. Maybe I would have been able to hit a 1:55 run time.

More importantly, looking ahead to Tahoe... I am trying to plan how to attack the bike course. Right now I am thinking I should shoot for 190 as my upper limit on the watts unless I am going uphill. This should yield a NP of around 180-185. Is that too much?

I live at 1200' of elevation as a point of note...

Ryan
http://trinorthmn.blogspot.com/


heliskyr

Aug 7, 13 10:10

Post #2 of 14 (702 views)
Re: Heat and Altitude - How to adjust race plan? [ryans] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

What metrics do you use to pace your runs (i.e. run pace, HR, etc)? I've found that both altitude and heat affect my heart rate by increasing it for a given effort level. Altitude increases it due to the additional demands of oxygen delivery and heat as more blood is shunted to your superficial capillaries for cooling. In those situations I focus more on running to my target heart rates than my target run paces which helps prevent me from blowing up on the run. Since both altitude and heat are increasing my heart rate, I end up running a bit slower as a result, but likely at the most appropriate pace given the conditions.

So in summary both the altitude and heat will slow you (and everyone else for that matter) down, but using a HR-based pacing on the run can help you have the best run you are capable of in that situation.


ryans

Aug 7, 13 10:58

Post #3 of 14 (675 views)
Re: Heat and Altitude - How to adjust race plan? [heliskyr] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

For my running I have been going by feel and pace. In local (not altitude) races that are longer I work out a planned pace and try to work with that. For shorter races it is by feel. At the Duluth Tri my goal was to hit 8:00-8:30 miles. At the start I was right around 8:15 or so and went with it. Slowed a little in the last 3-4 miles, but felt that it worked out ok. Maybe I will have to drag out the HR monitor and see if I can work with that at my next half to learn something.

Ryan
http://trinorthmn.blogspot.com/


fartleker

Aug 7, 13 11:01

Post #4 of 14 (669 views)
Re: Heat and Altitude - How to adjust race plan? [ryans] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Based on your HIM bike pacing, 180 W might be too aggressive. 190 definitely is.

And you need to adjust your FTP in whatever system you are using. 250 TSS is 2.5 hours isn't possible for anyone.


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(This post was edited by fartleker on Aug 7, 13 11:02)


heliskyr

Aug 7, 13 11:09

Post #5 of 14 (662 views)
Re: Heat and Altitude - How to adjust race plan? [ryans] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Relative perceived exertion ("feel") is definitely an important factor to consider in a pacing strategy and I agree its a good idea to use that as one of the ways you decide if your pacing is on track. What I often do is use 3 metrics for bike & run for my pacing and let "majority rule", meaning I want at least 2 of the 3 metrics to be on plan to maintain appropriate pacing. For bike, I use Power, HR, and RPE; run: Pace, HR, and RPE. My rule is if all 3 are to plan, then I'm at perfect pacing. If 2/3 are to plan, than I still stick with that pacing (ie. Power and HR are fine but I'm feeling like I'm working at bit hard). If 2/3 are off plan (ie. run pace faster than plan, HR higher than plan but I feel fine), I back off a little. That strategy has worked well for me in races at all distances and a variety of weather conditions, from wet&rainy to hot&humid, and helps me avoid overreaching and later blowing up.


summitt

Aug 7, 13 12:26

Post #6 of 14 (640 views)
Re: Heat and Altitude - How to adjust race plan? [ryans] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Two things to consider:

1) the swim at elevation can take more out of you, which could have impacted your run later in the day. Don't cook your self on the swim to gain a minute or two.

2) the road at Boulder with dirt and gravel isn't very fast and the two "hills" on the second lap (mile 7/8) add up and can take their toll later in the day when its hot, setting you up for a bad last four miles at Boulder. I think the second hill on the last lap the breeze seemed behind you and that was a fairly hot part of the course. I'm surprised it was 88 on the run. I thought it was cooler than some of the past years.


ryans

Aug 7, 13 12:36

Post #7 of 14 (632 views)
Re: Heat and Altitude - How to adjust race plan? [fartleker] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

The TSS was from training peaks. I simply use training peaks to get the data from my running watch. I have never really updated my zones or anything else. I guess I should do that instead of throwing weird numbers around...

I have not done a FTP test this year, but last year when I (in my mind...) was in similar shape my FTP was in the 270 range. At Duluth Tri and Boulder I wanted to go at 210 on the bike and not over. I felt that would be conservative enough to give me a good shot at running well.

Ryan
http://trinorthmn.blogspot.com/


ryans

Aug 7, 13 12:40

Post #8 of 14 (631 views)
Re: Heat and Altitude - How to adjust race plan? [summitt] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I was very concerned about the swim at elevation. In fact, that is a big reason I signed up for Boulder in my prep for Tahoe.

On race day, I did not even notice the elevation in the swim. That is not to say it did not affect me, but I did not really notice it. My swim time was right where I expected it to be and I never felt like I was pushing hard on the swim (by choice).

I actually like the dirt run. The Duluth Tri also had a dirt portion (fewer miles of it though). I do not think it slowed me down much being dirt. The hills on lap two were tough. The no shade was also tough. The temp is what my car said when I was leaving about 2 hours after I finished.

Ryan
http://trinorthmn.blogspot.com/


An Old Guy

Aug 7, 13 13:18

Post #9 of 14 (609 views)
Re: Heat and Altitude - How to adjust race plan? [ryans] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

ryans wrote:
I am trying to plan how to attack the bike course.

Attacking is a dangerous tactic.

Take life easy. The race is going to last most of the day. Put some time in. Then make a decision as to how much harder you want to work.


ryans

Aug 7, 13 13:38

Post #10 of 14 (602 views)
Re: Heat and Altitude - How to adjust race plan? [An Old Guy] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Maybe "attack" was a poor choice of words. I figured my race times would help folks realize the only thing I attack is a plate of donuts.

Maybe "plan" my Tahoe bike portion is what I should have said. Right now, I plan on taking it easy in the swim. I do not want to torpedo my day in the first 90 minutes. Then, when I get on my bike I am tyring to put together a decent plan for how to handle the middle portion of my day. Where whould I cap my power at? How do I handle the hills? With the goal being that when I get to the run it is not a death march. I am planning that due to altitude and heat on the run I will be going with a run from aid station to aid station and walk the aid station plan. Make sure I keep drinking so I do not get totally dehydrated.

Ryan
http://trinorthmn.blogspot.com/


Eileen

Aug 7, 13 13:39

Post #11 of 14 (602 views)
Re: Heat and Altitude - How to adjust race plan? [ryans] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

You shouldn't have to worry about heat in late September in Tahoe. You WILL have to be prepared for cold in the mornings and at night. Temps at or below freezing are not uncommon early morning that time of year, and it takes quite a while to warm up.


ryans

Aug 7, 13 14:19

Post #12 of 14 (581 views)
Re: Heat and Altitude - How to adjust race plan? [Eileen] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I like the cold... I am from northern MN. I did a sprint tri two weeks ago with a high temp of 48 degrees. It was raining and windy also. The lake felt like a freaking hot tub even though it was only about 70 degrees.

This weekend I am doing a 2 mile open water swim in Lake Superior. Currently they are measuring 59-61 degree water temps. Brisk, but doable.

If it is chilly on race day, I have gear to handle that on the bike. Just how hot will it be at 2:00 in the afternoon when I am trying to keep it together out on the marathon...

Ryan
http://trinorthmn.blogspot.com/


Eileen

Aug 7, 13 14:57

Post #13 of 14 (558 views)
Re: Heat and Altitude - How to adjust race plan? [ryans] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

It will probably max out in the mid 70s. Low 80s if it's a very hot day, and that would be very unusual in late September.

I just looked up the average high and low for September 22nd in Truckee -- avg high of 73, avg low of 34. Heat will not be a problem.


Pedalhead

Aug 7, 13 15:15

Post #14 of 14 (550 views)
Re: Heat and Altitude - How to adjust race plan? [ryans] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Good advice from heliskyr about using HR to adjust your pace. Set your target HRs the same as at home. However, HR will be higher for the same pace at Lake Tahoe. So, slow your pace to hold the target HRs. Also, adjust pace if HR drifts upward due to heat stress, hypohydration, fatigue-related loss of efficiency, etc.

   
 
 
 



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