Kinetic Half – The importance of consistency year after year

Mike Stevenson’s Race Report: Overall time 4:18, 4th place overall

This was my 4th time racing the Kinetic Half in Lake Anna. The race has proven to be a great way to measure my overall improvements from year to year. There is tremendous value to repeating the same race each year. Many pros choose this strategy with a high degree of success. There is something about course familiarity that helps on race day. Below are the times from previous years that show the steady improvements over time:

2011: 4:43, 43rd overall
2012: 4:33, 18th overall
2013: 4:18, 4th overall

SWIM TIME: 30:08, 3rd Overall: The swim started off smoothly. I pushed hard for the first 200 yards and quickly got out into smooth water by myself. I was in an early wave and there weren’t many other athletes to move around. Everything went according to plan and my Blue Seventy Helix felt great. I had good visibility, minimal zig zagging and made it to T1 as the first in my wave.

BIKE TIME: 2:21, 11th Overall: The bike course at Kinetic is ideal. A nice mix of gentle rollers and flats that allow you to use a mix of leg muscles without burning out. I held 230 watts throughout the ride and left plenty of strength in my legs for a good run. My teammate Kelly Williamson passed me at mile 40 in his usual polite and friendly manner. He would go on to win the race by a wide margin.

COMBINED RUN AND T2 TIME: 1:26:51, 8th Overall: The run course is a challenging 3 loops through a state park with a couple of mild yet painful hills on each loop. If you are not physically and mentally ready for these hills, then you are in big trouble – as many athletes learn the hard way. In the weeks prior to the race, I did hill repeats to practice climbing and cresting hills. I wanted my body to be familiar with the pain of having to sustain a climb and then recover afterwards. I had never had a successful run at Kinetic because the hills always crushed me. It was a huge breakthrough to have such a great run.

I crossed the finish line and was greeted by Kelly who was several minutes ahead of me. I knew I had a great race and my finishing time was solid. This race was an ideal way to kick off the 2013 triathlon season.



About Mike

Mike is a USAT Level I Certified Triathlon Coach and ASCA Level II Swim Coach based in Arlington, VA. Mike is a top tier Age Group triathlete and coach for the Arlington Masters swim club. A lifelong athlete, he has competed in more than 30 triathlons, 10 marathons, 5 Ironmans, and numerous open water swims and endurance cycling events. He races as a member of Ignite Endurance.

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