I’ve never done the Nautica Malibu Triathlon before, so I can’t set a goal like “go two minutes faster than last year”. Instead, I have to break my goals down for each of different disciplines.
Swim – I have a tendency to swallow water when I swim (no idea why I do that), and that can have adverse consequences for the rest of the race. My primary goal for the swim is *not* to swallow any significant amount of water. One thing that should help with this is to breath more conservatively — to turn my head farther than is necessary when lap swimming. My other goal is to be aware of the waves on entry and exit and not get flipped like I did a few years ago at Strawberry Fields.
T1 – Two goals for the swim-bike transition. First, I need to find my bike quickly — I’m directionally-challenged and lost time at Newport this spring when I had a hard time finding my row. Depending on the layout, I may mark the ground near my row with chalk like Larry does, or count rows from a landmark. My second goal is to get my wet suit off my lower legs quickly. Body Glide hasn’t helped in this area in the past, and I’m not ready to shave my legs. On the advice of a bunch of people I trust, I’ll use PAM (olive oil flavor!) liberally inside the wetsuit. Practicing should help too.
Bike – The bike course at Malibu (18) is halfway between a normal sprint distance (12 miles) and the Olympic distance (24). Based on past performances, my training, and my new (to me) bike, my goal is to average 21 miles per hour on the bike.
T2 – My bike to run transition is usually pretty good… as long as I can find my station. T1 plans should help here.
Run – My goal is to break 8 minutes per mile for the four mile course. As long as my stomach isn’t full of seawater and Gatorade, I should be able to do this.