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Minato Sakata Oshin Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Sakata, Yamagata
27C / 81F
Total Time = 2h 46m 32s
Overall Rank = 138/264
Age Group = 50-59
Age Group Rank = 12/32
Pre-race routine:

I made the 3 hour drive to Sakata on Saturday. Sakata is a port town on the other side of the peninsula from Sendai. It was a great drive through the mountains with lots of very beautiful scenery.

I drove directly to registration and picked up my race packet. Timing was good as I met my racing buddy there and also the only two non-Japanese ladies entered in the race (one of them I have corresponded with on BT and the other I met at the same race last year). After that I went and checked into my hotel, grabbed an early dinner with my friend and tried to hit the sack early. Nice idea, but I was a little too wired thinking about the race and ended up not getting a very good night's sleep. Anyway, up at 5 and ate a quick breakfast in the room along with a couple cups of coffee. I got to the race area about 6:20 and got a good parking spot near T1. My buddy and I then rode our bikes over to T2 (about 1.5 km away) and dropped off our running stuff, rode back and set up T1.
Event warmup:

3 km bike warmup going back and forth to T2, ran about 1 km and spent about 20 minutes in the water once they allowed us in - I stayed in as long as I could to get used to the water which was pretty cold.

The weather forecast called for a gorgeous sunny day and for once they got it right. In this same race last year, we had a good 45 minutes worth of very heavy rain during the bike leg.
  • 32m 7s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 08s / 100 meters

I decided that my primary goal was to stay calm and relaxed and that the best way to make that happen was to keep my face out of the water. With the wet suit and salt water buoyancy, I knew from previous experience that I should be able to do that. I realize that is not optimal and I lost some speed by taking this approach, but I think it was the right strategy for me. Going around the first two big buoys I resorted to sidestroke and was able to avoid most of the thrashing that was going on. At the end of the first lap, we come out of the water for a couple meters and then head back in. Even though it was only a 30 second break from swimming, I felt much more relaxed going into the second lap and was able to pick up the pace a bit. I came out feeling the most relaxed I've ever felt after the swim. I took my time and jogged slowly for the 100 meters or so to get back into T1.

Last year I had a tough swim and ended up taking 37.5 minutes and coming out pretty tired. So, a 5 minute gain over last year and I came out more relaxed.
What would you do differently?:

I need to keep working on my swim. I'm sure I can knock off at least another 5 minutes next year if I train right.
Transition 1
  • 03m 20s

I took my time and I know I can do this faster if I want to. All went smoothly. I had a some sunscreen on a baby-wipe in a zip lock bag and took the time to put that on my face, neck and hands. Ouch!! It hurt when I got to the back of my neck. Sunburn already? Nope - my first case of wet suit chafing. I'll be buying some bodyglide for my next Oly.

I did put on my socks and shoes in T1 and I did not try a flying mount. I just jogged the bike past the start line and then mounted - nice clean start, but of course a little slow.
What would you do differently?:

Like I said, I could go faster and maybe I will try next time around.
  • 1h 18m 20s
  • 40 kms
  • 30.64 km/hr

I was happy with my performance here, but I know I can come back faster next year and that is very motivating. I was able to stay aero for almost all of the course except for the u-turns which I handled in the drops. I had two packs of powergel disolved in water in a small flask. I drank half about 15 inutes into the course and the other half about 10 minute before the end of the course. I had one 20 ounce bottle containing 50% sports drink and 50% water. I used that to help wash down the gel hits and drank the rest in between.

My bike leg was about one minute faster than last year, but....

according to my Garmin, the bike leg was 41.78 km. My buddy's bike computer said the same thing. Garmin does not use the GPS when the speed/cadence sensor kit is installed, so I am guessing the distance logged was right. But, I am skeptical that the race organizers blew the distance given that this was the 26th running of the race. Last year, my Garmin said 40.00 km. My average heart rate for the course was 8-10 bpm higher than last year and my relative position improved by 57 (25%) year on year. For now, I will assume that they got the distance right.
What would you do differently?:

Ride more....and I will....
Transition 2
  • 00m 36s

The 36 seconds is a best guess estimate based on the time stamp data I had. The race does not split out T1 and T2 times and I did not hit the lap button on the garmin when I was supposed to. My rack position was quite close to the bike entrance and I had no problems getting my bike shoes off (I released the main strap on each shoe during the last 20 meters or so coming into T2) or getting my run shoes on (I always keep my running shoes tied and slip them on and off). I popped the garmin out of the bike mount and carried it along with the wrist band, my FFL hat and another sunscreen infused baby-wipe with me as I hit the run. I sorted things out while running.

What would you do differently?:

I need to give this some thought. If I execute the same way a few more times, I will get a little smoother/faster.
  • 52m 9s
  • 10 kms
  • 05m 13s  min/km

I wanted to hold a 5 min/km pace, but started out a little faster than that. My pace slowly degraded over the course of the 10km and my heart rate slowly climbed as the pace degraded - classic decoupling and I'm fairly sure that it was related to the heat. I drank a little water on the course (8 oz max) and did not feel thirsty.

I was about 2 minutes faster than last year on the run even though it was a little hotter this year.
What would you do differently?:

I need to crank up my running if I want to compete with the guys (my age group) who finished in front of me.
Post race
Warm down:

drank water, ate watermelon and waited for the folks I know to finish

What limited your ability to perform faster:

training for the most part.

Event comments:

I like the course and I like the way they run the race. I will be back and hopefully another 9 minutes (or more) faster next year.

Last updated: 2011-06-03 12:00 AM
00:32:07 | 1500 meters | 02m 08s / 100meters
Age Group: 16/32
Overall: 145/264
Performance: Average
Suit: De Soto
Course: two laps around a 750 meter course that sits behind a breakwater that keeps the swim area pretty calm. There was definitely some current action, but it was not that strong.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 21C / 70F Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:20
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
01:18:20 | 40 kms | 30.64 km/hr
Age Group: 12/32
Overall: 131/264
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Three laps on a fairly flat course. There are 4 very tight u-turn points where you have to slow way down. There was a decent breeze blowing and it got stronger as the big leg progressed.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:36
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal
00:52:09 | 10 kms | 05m 13s  min/km
Age Group: 14/32
Overall: 153/264
Performance: Average
Course: Two laps on a fairly flat course.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2011-06-22 8:19 AM

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Sendai, Japan
Subject: Minato Sakata Oshin Triathlon

2011-06-22 8:39 AM
in reply to: #3561576

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Minato Sakata Oshin Triathlon
Great job Dan!!!  A 9 minute PR is huge. Here's to another 9' next year!
2011-06-22 9:15 AM
in reply to: #3561576

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Subject: RE: Minato Sakata Oshin Triathlon
Awesome race! Sounds like you improved in every part. I like the way you have planned out next years race already!
2011-06-22 9:45 AM
in reply to: #3561699

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Subject: RE: Minato Sakata Oshin Triathlon
Congratulations on an awesome race, Dan!! I love how you analyze yourself and figure out how to be faster the next go-around!! Super job!!
2011-06-23 10:52 AM
in reply to: #3561576

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Guelph, Ontario
Subject: RE: Minato Sakata Oshin Triathlon
Awesome race Dan. You'll have to tell me how you got so fast.
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