Monday, July 30, 2012

July 23-29: Checking out Louisville

I’ve spent a good deal of the spring and summer worrying about what the Louisville bike course is like. Some say the hills are challenging, others say it rolls constantly, and still others say it is relatively flat.

Only way to figure this out is to go for yourself.

Sarah, Jason, and I all went out to Louisville last weekend to ride the bike course and scope out the swim and run courses a bit, and enjoyed the hospitality of the iAm Tri crew led by Bob.

Conclusion: There are hills, but they aren’t that steep, and there’s no long climbing. A few false flats are annoying, and there’s some wind, but it’s no more difficult than the long rides we’ve been doing all spring and summer. The Ohio River is just fine for swimming, and it’s an a-ok place to run along, too.

More detailed reporting on the bike course coming Thursday; for now, the training week recap.

Monday: Rest day.

Tuesday: A 20 mile morning tempo bike ride, with the 30 minute tempo section at 20.1 mph. Yes, it was at Hains Point, but still, it was fun to hold that speed. In the evening, a 4.5 mile bike commute home and a 3500 yard swim with 50s and 100s.

Wednesday: A 4-ish mile run in the evening, including tempo work and hill repeats, with Mia and Rachel hauling my slow behind all over during the two-mile tempo section.

Thursday: In the morning, a 6 mile run with 4x5 minutes at half marathon pace. In the evening, 4300 yards of swimming at Wilson.

Friday: Rest day, this one used to drive my bike over to Sarah and Jason so that they could drive it to Louisville while I presented at a meeting in Rockville before running to BWI to catch a flight to Louisville myself.

Rest day in theory, at least.

Saturday: Purportedly 1400 meters of swimming in the Ohio River, though, since I finished in 16:30, I estimate that the swim was no more than 1200 meters. Regardless, the main point was to scope out the Ohio River, which I did. 

Once out of the river, we moved right along to 104.5 miles of biking along the IM Louisville bike course, which we finished up at a pace that would put us well within the cutoff times for the bike course on race day, which was a big relief.

Finished up with a 20 minute run off the bike.

Sunday: A two hour and fifteen minute run in the morning along the Louisville riverfront, which required dodging one of those color run things. In case you were wondering, they are just as strange as they sound – there isn’t even a timing system or an official start time. And most of the people strolled through and didn’t even attempt to run. Weird.


  1. I swam in the Ohio earlier this month for an Olympic and it was actually great. My first open water race, my first race swim of that length and my first wave start swim in a race. I had been warned it would be murky, but I could actually see very well. (And I'm terrified of natural bodies of water and wave starts, i.e. other swimmers) I finished very quickly as well and assumed that it was a shortened course, but I may have caught a little current if that's possible. I really enjoyed racing there. So I hope your race goes well too!
    We did the rest of the race on the Indiana side, which was crazy flat. Now I have raced in other parts of Louisville before for running and there can be some hills in places, but it's not too terrible from what I remember.

  2. So glad we went! Now I can sleep the night before the race.

  3. The course preview sounds like an excellent idea. Now you have absolutely nothing to worry about for the next few weeks. Nothing.