Friday, July 25, 2014

2015 IBR Goals and Objectives

"A goal without a plan is just a wish." -- Antoine de Saint Exupéry

My goal is to complete the 2015 Iron Butt Rally as a Gold Medal Finisher.  I will strive for a personal best by scoring better than my IBR 2013 16th place position.  

In my opinion, successful Iron Butt Rally riders are those who safely reach the final check point on time and with enough points to achieve their goals.  A rider applies his or her knowledge, skills, and abilities using the tools of the sport, in a balanced way among several interacting performance elements to achieve success. See "LD Riding on the Clock -- An Organizing Framework"

Goal-setting involves establishing specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bounded (S.M.A.R.T.) objectives. Once these objectives have been set they become the gauge by which goal success can be measured. To achieve my goal I have identified specific objectives for each leg of the Rally.  These objectives are based on my analysis of the Ride Pace of previous IBR finishers.  This analysis reveals two significant metrics which help me identify the specific objectives to reach my goals:
  1. Point Spread:  Gold Medal finishers achieve total points above 145% of the minimum to attain Finisher status.
  2. Ride Pace:  Gold Medal finishers have an overall average around 45.0 MPH
Point Spread:  There is no way of knowing the minimum points to be considered a finisher until it is announced just prior or at the start of the leg.  This typically occurs at the opening banquet the night before the start of leg 1.  And, at the 6:00 AM  rider meetings for legs 2 & 3.  When the minimum is announced I can determine the point target (objective).

Specifically, I want to know how many bonus location points I must plan for to reach the 145% target over minimum.  Not all of the points will be bonus location points, or points I earn by successfully reaching a location and document the stop as called for by the bonus listing.  About 20% to 30% of the minimum bonus points can be derived from admin bonuses; tracking, rest, call-in and others.  By subtracting the points of the admin bonus from the 145% over minimum value I can then determine the target amount of location bonus points necessary to achieve the leg goal.  This becomes my bonus point target for the route selection task.  I will select bonus locations with the highest value for the calculated achievable miles and the available time.

Ride Pace:   Normally, I can maintain a 45-48 MPH overall average (Ovg) while riding on the clock.  My moving average (Mvg) varies depending on the geographical area but are generally 65-70 MPH in the western US and 60-65 MPH in the eastern US.  Apply these metrics with the announced leg hours and the rest is basic math.  ReferenceRally Leg Plan Tool -- Profile

Listed below are the planning standards/assumptions  I use to calculate the number of possible bonus locations and bonus location total time for each leg.  Combine the number of bonus locations with the target points for the leg can lead to selecting a route that meets objectives:  145% of leg minimum at a sustainable Ovg around 46 MPH

  • Planning on the Clock:  Zero for Leg 1, 2:00 hours for Legs 2 & 3
  • Fuel Endurance Distance (FED) -- 350 miles of usable fuel range with small reserve
  • Average time per Pit Stop -- 0:10 minutes each
  • Rest hours per 24 hour period -- 8 Hours to earn full value of the Rest Bonus with 6 hours for each remaining 24hr period.
  • Average time per Bonus Stop -- 0:10 minutes each or multiples of 10 min for bonus stops that require a specific amount of time greater than 10 minutes.

2015 Iron Butt Rally Leg Start/End Date/Time -- Starting and Ending in Albuquerque (ABQ) NM

Leg 1:  10:00 MDT 29 Jun, ABQ NM 82 hours to end 20:00 MDT 2 Jul, ABQ NM
  • Route Selection:  0:00 planning on the clock
  • Planning Miles:  3,772 miles = 82:00 Lhrs X 46 MPH Ovg 
  • Moving Time:  55:28 = 3,772 miles / 68 MPH Mvg
  • Pit Stop Number:  10 = 3,772 / 350 FED (rounded up)
  • Pit Stop Time: 1:40 = 10 Pit stops X 0:10 per stop
  • Rest Stop Number:  3 = 82:00 / 24 hours
  • Rest Stop Time:  18:00 = 6:00 standard (day 1), 8:00 Rest Bonus (day2), 4:00 day3
  • Bonus Stop Time:  6:51 = 82:00 Lhrs - 55:28 Mvt - 1:40 PSt - 18:00 RSt
  • Bonus Stop Number:  41 = 6:51 / 0:10 per standard bonus stop
  • Slack Time:  To be calculated after route/bonus number is determined

Leg 2:  06:00 MDT 3 Jul, ABQ NM 60 hours to end in 20:00 EDT 5 Jul, Kingsport TN (EDT)
  • Route Selection:  2:00 planning on the clock
  • Planning Miles: 2,760  (at 46 Ovg)
  • Moving Time: 40:35 (at 68 Mvg)
  • Pit Stop Number:  7
  • Pit Stop Time:  1:10
  • Rest Stop Number:  2
  • Rest Stop Time:  12:00 (4:00 day 1, 8:00 RB 2 day, maybe)
  • Bonus Stop Time: 4:14
  • Bonus Locations:  25 (at 0:10 standard each)
  • Slack Time:  To be calculated after route/bonus number is determined

Leg 3:  06:00 AM 6 July, East US 100 hours to end 08:00 MDT 10 July, ABQ NM
  • Route Selection:  2:00 planning on the clock
  • Planning Miles:  4,500 (at 45.0 Ovg)
  • Moving Time:  69:13 (at 65.0 Mvg)
  • Pit Stop Number:12
  • Pit Stop Time:  2:00
  • Rest Stop Number:  4
  • Rest Stop Time:  22:00 (split among 4 days maxing the RB)
  • Bonus Stop Time:  4:46
  • Bonus Locations:  29 (at 0:10 standard each)
  • Slack Time:  To be calculated after route/bonus number is determined

After the route is selected I will use the computed route miles, computed Mvg, pit stops, planned rest time and number of selected bonus locations to determine the slack time to the checkpoint. 
I fully expect the plan and objectives to be challenged by the operational environment as I ride the leg.  But, these organizing measurements will help me to make better decisions about changes to the plan.  Understanding how the allocation of total leg hours among the various uses aides me in maintaining a consistent ride pace and manage resources.  Once the slack time is determined I will spend it dearly.  I will seek efficiencies doing bonus. pit and rest stops.   I am committed not to purchase bonus stop time with the currency of excessive moving average MPH (speed).  Also, I am determined to get the quality rest I need during each leg, as it will pay dividends when making decisions as problems and/or stress occurs. 

During training rides and rally practice I will seek to validate the performance objectives I have set for the IBR.  Chief among them are the overall average and moving average MPH.  By training to and being able to maintain these ride pace objectives I achieve the best guard against falling behind plan.  I expect to ride in extreme heat during all the IBR legs.  I will practice riding in the heat, adjusting my riding gear and establishing a hydration regimen that sustains the ride pace. Ultimately, maintaining a balance among the performance elements while riding on the clock will guide the training and preparation activities. 

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