At this time of year it is important to look out over the horizon, you know, big picture stuff. Questions to help me assess include:
1) What are my strengths? Weaknesses?
2) Compare my performance at Ironman vs top 15 - where can I can make most gains?
3) Is my equipment optimal?
4) Do I have any imbalances? Potential injury sources?
5) Do I have a good life balance?
6) Am I looking after recovery properly?
I'm sure there are other questions but you get the idea.
1) I have improved my swim (1:07 in 2011) but I need to be 1:03ish. Lake Placid is a fast swim so I need to get over the cable line as soon as possible and get into a fast group of swimmers. The challenge is seeding accordingly and putting up with the rough contact of the cable area especially over the first kilometre.
2) I have been too conservative on the bike. I've gone under 6 hours easily and certainly am capable of going faster without compromising my run. I want to be under 5:40. I did 5:53 in 2011 (minus the bogus drafting call!)
3) My run is solid but I faded in the last 8 miles - Duh! My last 2 Ironmans I've gone under 4 hours (3:57 and in 2011 3:53). I'm confident that I can go under 4 again. I would like to shoot for sub 3:45. In 2011 I started to fade around 18 miles. It is inevitable that pace will slow however I would like the falloff to start a little later, after the 20 mile mark to be exact.
4) Transitions - don't waste time. Controlled urgency to limit lost time.
If I check all my boxes and looked after the small details I will have success. Will I meet all my goals? Hard to say. A lot can happen - injury, equipment failure, etc. At the end of the day our training should put us in the best possible position for a great performance. More importantly, even Ironman, is just one day in the life - not the be all, end all. The sun will rise the next day - enjoy, relax, and take a risk!