Last year I had a few lessons to learn. It was my first triathlon so no surprises there. Swimming was never going to be a major area of improvement as I had only swum 4 times. I was hoping for a 10 min effort. Next year, if I want to break 80 min I MUST get this down to sub 9 min. Transitions take time – I had practiced transitions this year and I was aiming for a significant improvement on last year’s effort. Run training should include some hill work – sadly running was not a major feature of my training for this race J In the couple of days before the race I had been feeling a bit under the weather. The day after the race my doctor told me I was suffering with shingles and should be on bed rest J
Training up to the day had been good. I was aiming to take a chunk out of my bike time as this seemed the easiest opportunity to save time. Unfortunately, I had taken my eye off the ball a bit and not done enough running. Next year’s effort will include a significant element of running.
The conditions on the day were good. Not too cool and little wind but the valley had trapped a humid atmosphere and this was going to expose my lack of run training.
My swim started at 9.35am and was only made more interesting by the other 2 people swimming in my lane. After several bashes to arms and feet I dragged myself out of the pool in a time of 10 min 22 sec. A bit slower than last year’s effort but not bad for the conditions. T1 went about as smoothly as I could have expected 1 min and 2 sec faster than last year! All working well!!
The bike conditions were fine. The valley that we rode down does cause swirling winds but nothing too strong and it didn’t really hold me back. As soon as I got out onto the road I spotted several of the faster swimmers that I had swum with. They seemed to be doing pretty well but I was feeling very strong on the bike. As this was a no drafting race I called, “on your right” as I approached them and shouted words of encouragement as I passed. This year I had considered the hill at Tal-y Cafn, which is a 500ft rise over 1 mile. I knew what I needed to do with this and overtook 3 people on the hill. Reaching the top I pulled past a lady rider and put it into my biggest gear down the hill. I did use the hill as a recovery and let my HR drop to the 130 area. Pulling through the remainder of the course I regularly overtook other riders. I was feeling very happy as I arrived at T2 4 mins faster than last year. T2 went really well, I had thought about where the exit was and positioned my shoes accordingly. T2 was finished in 50 sec less than last year at 1.01. Up until this stage I was just under 5 min ahead of last year’s time. All I needed was a solid run up the mountain. This was when I found out that my lack of run training was going to kick me in the rear J As my watch started it had not paired with my foot pod so I wouldn’t know how fast I was running. The only data I was getting was my HR and my overall time. As I started pushing the mental buttons to go faster I found there was nothing left to give. I was not passed in the run but I was not feeling as strong as I would have expected. Running down toward the line a was completely spent. As I crossed the line I was not happy to see the time but I was all I had on the day.
Lessons for next time are 1 SWIM 2 RUN J
Next race is the Oulton Park Duathlon in October – never done one before so loads to learn!! PS I WILL be running in prep for this race!!