Los Angeles Marathon Pre-Race Info

The LA Marathon makes it hard to find much of the information that racers look for — what’s the easiest way to get to the start and finish, what fuel will be available, etc. Here are a collection of notes, most courtesy of my friend Tod:

Just a little over one week ’til race day!

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2007 Malibu Triathlon Race Report

Finally – a race report/follow up to my goals for the 2007 Nautica Malibu Triathlon. Note to self for next year – sleep at home the night before instead of not-sleeping at the hotel 2 meters from the Pacific Coast Highway.

My primary goal for the swim is *not* to swallow any significant amount of water.

Goal achieved. I swallowed a small amount of water once, but never felt the effects. Overall I felt strong on the swim but ended up with a slower time than expected. During the long middle leg of the swim, up the shoreline, I tended to drift out-to-sea. I wonder if I tend to drift left… correcting that in a pool with lane lines is easy.

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.

It was easy to locate my bike because I was only six rows in from the entrance to T1 — easy as pie. My wetsuit came of super-easy too. Quick tip – spray both the inside and outside of your wetsuit legs with PAM for easy removal.

Bike… my goal is to average 21 miles per hour on the bike.

All in all I was very happy with how the bike leg went. I averaged exactly 21.0 MPH on this fairly hilly course. About two miles in, I dropped my chain down shifting from large to small front chain rings and had to stop to put it back on. This probably cost me close to a minute. Unfortunately, my Nike Triax heart rate monitor shorted out during the swim so I was ‘riding blind’. If I’d had my HRM I may have backed off a little so my legs would be stronger on the run.

Run – My goal is to break 8 minutes per mile for the four mile course.

Didn’t even come close to achieving this one – I averaged 8:41. I think three things negatively influenced the run: being on my feet for something like seven hours on the Saturday before the race with kid-related soccer activities, pushing too hard on the bike, and getting very little sleep the night before the race. I probably should have done more tempo runs leading up to the race as well.

Malibu Triathlon Bike and Run Course Elevations at MotionBased

Here are activity logs (including maps and elevations) for the bike and run course from the 2006 Nautica Malibu Triathlon over at MotionBased. The bike course is much hillier than I expected (miles 9 to 12 gain 200 feet). That’s a similar gain to the hill up the backside of the Rose Bowl — it gains 100 feet in a little less than 1.5 miles. Glad to see the run is pretty flat.

Two Turnarounds on Malibu Triathlon Bike Course

There are two loopy go-under-PCH turnarounds during the bike section of the Malibu Triathlon. The course map is not very detailed so I tried to put the plot the course using Google Maps… results below.

The first is at the very beginning and gets you out of the parking lot and going west on PCH.

The second is just over half way and gets you going east again on PCH:

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&t=h&om=1&s=AARTsJpvbVExSjQMoaay-gyd_pvzZlcwuw&msa=0&msid=105639875977975393313.000439dfebd26e4a47e22&ll=34.045672,-118.933525&spn=0.004267,0.006866&z=17&output=embed
View Larger Map

Malibu Triathlon Goals

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.

Let The Swimming Begin

The Nautica Malibu Triathlon is one month away, which means its time for me to start swim training. Relative to others, I’m a much faster swimmer than cyclist or runner. Unfortunately, the swim leg of most triathlons is by far the shortest (in terms of time to complete) of the three legs. For strong swimmers, triathlon swim training is the most expensive (pools fees, travel and overall time spent) with the lowest payoff (its much easier to train to go a minute faster through transitions, the ride or run). That’s why I limit my swimming at the Rose Bowl to three days a week for the month leading up to a race.