We all know that in Ironman, it's all about the bike.
Interesting...Coeur d'Alene's bike course is anywhere from 6,600 ft of climbing to 8,800 ft of climbing (and just as much descending) from the different sources I've come up with (Motionbased Garmin reads...funny how the same course can come up with such varying Garmin data...). It would be nice if it's "only" 6.6k, but lets just use 8,000 ft of climbing as our assumption.
Now, lets assume that there is just as much descending as there is climbing. So, if that were true, then for 56 miles you are climbing and 56 you are descending. 56 miles, climbing 8,000 ft makes the average slope 2.7%. I've used this power calculator to figure out what kind of watts are required for different speeds and different weights. Check it out:
Now I don't have a power meter, so what does this mean in numbers I can understand? Well, I did the calculations with weight and power on flat roads, so that I could use my speedometer to get a gauge of my watts - after all, most of my training is on flat roads. So that's the last number on the chart. As this winter progresses, and I get my bike mileage in, I can gauge my expectations at CdA based on flatland speeds and the weight I lose.
Take the Florida Challenge as an example - at the bottom of the chart. 2700 feet of elevation in 58 miles at 250 lbs at an average speed of 18.1 - the average slope was 1.76%, to do it, required 212 watts on average. It's fairly accurate, 'cause I know I can ride fairly hard on a flat course at 20.5 mph for 60 miles.
So, 2 things have to happen - of course...first I need to be able to push more watts, which I'll be able to do, but to save some for a marathon, I think staying in that 210 watt range will be appropriate. In training, however, I'd like to get my century rides up there in the 21 mph average speed range. Second, again obviously, I need to lose weight. Look at the difference between a 170lb person on the hilly course and a 230lb person. Pushing the same watts, the 170lb'er gets done with the bike an HOUR earlier. That's huge. 230lbs would be my minimum weight goal...220lbs would be "OMG" outstanding.
Does all this math sound logical to you "Watt Hounds" out there?