Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sans Feedback


I am thinking about racing my next ironman with no feedback (power meter, Garmin, etc...), except for maybe a watch but only so that I can keep track of my nutrition. Though I think feedback is generally useful, where it can go wrong is when you are having an off day, or a bad patch on the course. If you aren't hitting your wattage or holding your pace, what good is it to quantify how bad you are doing? Racing for most people is about getting to the finish line in the least amount of time, and for those chasing championship slots, finishing ahead of your competition. At any point in the race, you should be going as hard/fast as you can but still finish the race in the shortest time possible. Also, feedback can lead to self-imposed limits, but what if your body is totally "on" and ready to race to a PR; and in the process breaking previous wattage/pace barriers. I wouldn't recommend racing "blindly" for most people, but for someone like myself, who has had such bad luck at the ironman distance, I'm ready to give this a go. I have yet to nail down an IM distance race, and I carry lots of demons from previous races. I just want to race IM Canada on feel, and just be in the moment with no clue as to how good or bad I'm doing.

I practiced this type of racing during my ride out to Hawi today. I did the entire ride on feel, with my sole goal being to finish the ride feeling strong. I didn't quite nail the feeling strong part, but I found it a nice change to not know how off the mark I was when I was riding tired. I just kept asking myself if I was riding as strong/fast as I can knowing that I have this much of the ride left. So at any point during those last fatiguing 25 miles, I was always trying to ride as fast as I could and still finish in the least amount of time. And the result? I finished averaging just 0.1 mph slower than my PR pace for this ride. I would have never guessed I was that close to my PR based on the way I was feeling. Had I saw numbers, I think I would have just beaten myself up mentally. What's that saying, "Ignorance is bliss?"

I fly home tomorrow, and I have a lot of fond memories from this trip. In typical fashion, I made a video of some of the highlights from the trip. There were definitely more highlights (training with Michelle), but my camera stopped taking pictures and videos.

And finally, I have a new Kona favorite. Check out Basik Acai! I had a nice talk with one of the very young owners yesterday, and the guy impressed me. He came off as a compassionate capitalist, and his desire to feed people good food in a place with a good vibe is worthy of your support. I'm a big fan of wheat grass shots and he told me, good wheat grass, like the organic stuff he sources from Kona, taste a bit sweet and not bitter like the cheap stuff. Basik Acai also has a Facebook page. My favorite is the Banyan Bowl.

7 comments:

Beth said...

Love the video!! :) Sounds like racing sans feedback is a great idea for Canada for you Kiet! I think if we all did that a little more often we'd be better at listening to our bodies instead of just reading numbers off our watches!!

mtanner said...

Whatever your plan to race I'm behind you 110%! When do you get there?

Kim said...

That was such a fun video!! Loved the sound track "moves like jagger"! Maroon 5 I'm guessing! Sounds like you had a blast. I'm going to need to know.. A. what camera you use..I'm thinking of getting a GO Pro and then what video editing software. Thanks!

Michelle Simmons said...

I loved reading this! :) Yes! Stay within yourself, don't stress the numbers, and let it flow. Best way to enjoy the day and surprise yourself with what you can actually do. Let go of the past... be a blank slate Iron-Virgin! :)

Jill Costantino said...

Yeah Kiet! Great video and don't worry I'll be out there making sure you are moving your A$$! You will be great at IM Canada!

Libby said...

can't see the video yet but will watch when I get home. love this idea, I think its going to be solid for both performance and enjoyment! just around the corner now!! that banyan bowl looks fantastic! I'm there!

Teresa said...

Okay, that food looks amazing! Possibly we have a "date" there in october???!!!
Practice with and without data and on race day just let the body do what it knows! Train smart, race dumb (that is what my coach growing up always said so we would never over-analyze race day). If you practice enough (which you have!) your body knows what to do at Canada! you got this!
tn