I was using that as well for about a decade. It worked alright for local races. But the problem that I ran into with with IM brand races is that when youâ€™ve got the 300th swim split but the 10th best bike split (both not including pros of course...), you have to pass a shitload of people. While passing is fun, itâ€™s a PITA when people are riding two or three wide or or just not staying to the right when not passing. Yelling â€śon your leftâ€ť takes energy and slowing down and speeding up to pass through the crowd takes more energy vs just riding goal watts.
But what really nailed me was that the last 70.3 I did I was focused so much on passing slower riders so I could get into some â€śopen roadâ€ť that I didnâ€™t take in any lytes, water or calories until mile 24 on a hot day. This led to cramping on the last climb on the bike (lost time there) and then cramping on the run that was so bad I had so lay on the side of the road for 3-4 minutes massaging both hip flexors before I could stand up and start moving again. Obviously me not paying attention/following my plan was the culprit, but if I could come out in at least 30-31m that would put me in the 50-80 range. So lots of less people to pass meaning more mental energy to my own race nd hopefully less dumb errors.
So even though it seems counterintuitive to currently spend 1/3 of my training hours on swimming since it might only represent 1/8 or 1/9 of my race, I think at this point I need to try something different than the old way to break trough to that next level. So from October until March itâ€™s swimming 1hr on M-F mornings before work.
Yep same kinda of spot. I am normally 10-20th in my AG out of the water in WTC races. But losing minutes to the front end guys and I dont run fast enough to make up the time. Locally I lose enough time out of the water I take myself out of any contention to win automatically no matter how fast I bike. So I am like you have said committing 1/3 of my training time in 2019 to Swimming and trying to close that gap down. I have decided its worth it plus its getting harder trying to find places to gain time.
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2019: IMTX, Rookie, 70.3 Worlds, Lifetime Oly