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Sunday, 29 April 2007

Lymington Triathlon

400m swim, 27km bike, 7km run.

Approx time 1 hour 25 mins.

What a lovely day to be racing. Well, it would be if it wasn't at stupid o'clock in the morning!!! Left home at 4:45am and arrived at Lymington around 5:30am, and there were loads of people around at that time! That said, it was a good race , a lot of fun, good atmosphere and friendly people.
My swim time was 7am. So for an hour before I got myself sorted. Registered and marked up, then spent 25 minutes on the turbo trainer( I took it with me this time, and what a difference, really got me properly warmed up) . Set up in transition which was find yourself a spot on the racks. I like to get near to where transition goes in rather than near to transition out. It's a mental thing! The quicker I can get to my bike the better I feel.
So off we went on the swim, rather strange set-up. 4 lanes, 2 lengths in each then get out at the end and walk back to lane 1 and do it all again!! But I posted a quick time considering, quickest swim so far for 400m.
I was quick through T1 and on the bike, but then, yet again, problems getting my right foot in my shoe on the bike! Left foot great, straight in and sorted, right one, I couldn't get hold of the heel tab to hold it level and slide my foot in. I was fiddling with it for what seemed like ages and I lost any momentum through T1. Eventually after I had been passed by a fellow racer I got sorted and tried to settle down, but the first section was all twists and turns round a residential estate. Two problems here, my confidence since my bike accident has given me a knock and I'm not attacking the bends as I should and two, new wheels added to the uncertainty, even though I tried them out yesterday. A lot of bends on the next section of the bike course and road surface not the best, and my legs were tired again. Not sure what that is about, but it's taking me a good 20 minutes now on the bike leg for my legs to move easily and not be tired. They felt dead for the first 20 minutes, which was when I really needed them most to get up a good head of speed, as it was an uphill section, albeit very very gentle, but just enough to notice a difference, with a slight headwind. So I was slower than I wanted to be and did not feel great. But, the second half of the course I flew, the legs woke up and the new wheels did their stuff! Magic, incredibly quick and smooth. But again, at the end of long straights I was very slow into the turns and wasted lots of momentum and energy. Was held up by marshall at a junction for oncoming traffic which didn't help.
Eventually hit T2 and got into run shoes pretty sharpish. (note to self here: resist temptation to pick up and have a swig from bottle on bike!) I had a 2 gels on me, had one out of T2 with some water, and I set off at a good pace on the run, which I held together for most of it, felt tired around 3 miles but then picked it up for the last mile and a half. I finished very strong with a spring in my step, and felt like doing more.
All in all another successful race. I left it knowing I had more to give, and could push harder. I know my bike handling needs to come back, but hopefully that will come in time. My swimming is definitely improving and I was a lot stronger on the run today. The most positive thing is the underlying knowledge that I am good for going the Half Ironman distance. I know I can go hard on the bike for 3 hours and get off it and run. I know I can do the distance on the swim. The main key for me will be getting my nutrition right. I got it pretty much spot on today, and the main difference was that I was better hydrated. More water consumption yesterday, carbo loaded better, had 3 PowerBar gels today, 1 bottle of water and 1 bottle of energy drink. That was plenty and to be honest I could have gone without the energy drink, or left out a gel. But the water I will need more as we get into the warmer months.
For feelgood factor, today was the best race of the season so far. Not necessarily my best performance, a little disappointed to not go faster on the bike, but my focus for the race was on the run this time, and it worked.

Race results to be posted in a couple of days.

Saturday, 28 April 2007

It's all about the bike!!!

There she is, the love of my life, and what a beautiful set of....wheels!!
Scott Plasma Pro 2006 model, Shimano Ultegra Groupset, Easton Tempest II Carbon tubular wheels, Arione Tri saddle, Polar 250 CAD bike computer, T2 wing handle bars with Carbon Stryke aero bars with Shimano Dura Ace end-shifters.
Very fast machine. Well, it would be if it was in the right hands!!!
First time out for wheels tomorrow, after having tried them out today on a very short ride. And it's like having gone from a BMW to a Ferrari!! Fast and the most comfortable ride ever!

Friday, 27 April 2007

Friday training

About an hour ride into work this morning, nice easy 30km, via Wimborne. Weather good again.
Swam at lunch, 1km and then did some work on stroke with pullbuoy. I feel so slow in the pool at the moment. I think it's while I'm trying to rebuild my technique, changing the way I'm doing things, it's bound to slow me down a little until I get used to how things should feel, and then I'll get quicker. At least, that's the general idea. Will have a gentle 3 mile run tomorrow, easy pace and turn my legs over for an hour on the turbo, just to be fresh for Sunday's triathlon.
Pick up my nice new wheels tomorrow!! I have been to Bikelab to check them out already. One has the tyre on and they were waiting for a delivery of rim tape before they put the other tyre on. An Ultegra 25 cassette is being fitted. I'll take my bike in tomorrow, get them to fit wheels and they'll be ready for racing on Sunday!!! Excellent, cannot wait!

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Thursday training

Long bike to work today, via Swanage and Studland. About 40km altogether, via the chain ferry over Sandbanks. Nice ride, felt very strong and would have ridden for 3 or 4 hours today, but for th fact I had to be in work!
Will do this ride more over the next few weeks as I need to get some more miles in my legs and it does take in the long climb from Swanage to Studland, about 2 miles uphill.

Swim at lunchtime, really more of a light recovery session, not massive effort, trying to work hard and keeping my body straight and high in the water. Improving, but very slowly! But my 'swim coach' did remind me - 'Steve, you've only been swimming front crawl for 7 months!' Yes, I keep forgetting, it's going to take a while for me to improve.

Will bike home the short route, nice and easy pace. Gentle 5k run planned for tomorrow, and easy biking on Saturday, want to be fresh for Sunday at Lymington, as it's a vey early start. My swim starts at 7am!! No photographer on this one though, will have to make do with just the write up!

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Lunchtime swim

Had a good little swim today even if was only 25 minutes. Did some work with a pullbouy, focussing on keeping my legs close together and not all over the place like they were. And what a difference, much quicker through the water. Will continue working on technique. I don't have aproblem with endurance and swimming the distance but technique is key. Did a couple of lengths with kickboard, and my kicking is lousy! Very slow! So my next goal is to improve my legs and kicking, even if I don't use my legs much, at least get them out of the way and stop dragging me backwards!
Think streamlined, and swimming in a tube, keeping my body long and torpedo-like.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Lunchtime run

After a full day of rest and, at last, a decent night's sleep, almost 10 hours!
Felt re-freshed. Time to get back out on my legs.
1 hour and 7 minutes for just over 8 miles. Was an easy-paced run today, was more about running time rather than breaking records! Felt good, no real problems. Was steady and gets me back into the groove, maintaining aerobic fitness level.
My running plan for the next 5 weeks is 2 mid/long runs a week of 8-10 miles and 1 short run of about 3-4 miles. That's it. No need for me to go the full 13 miles distance in training. And I'm not looking to improve on my speed, just merely to strengthen my endurance. My short run, however, will serve to keep me at a decent pace.
So for the rest of the week, it's a swim wed, thurs, fri. Bike to work thurs and fri, which will only be about turning my legs over, and a run on thurs. Saturday will just consist of a very gentle bike ride of about 50 minutes and a very gentle run of 20 minutes.

Oh, and my new wheels have arrived at Bikelab!!! Look at them up there on the right!! Lovely!!
Just waiting for the tubular tyres to arrive and then I'll take in the Plasma and get them fitted!!

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Pictures from Tidworth Tri

Nearing the finish line!

Posing for the camera!

Setting out on the run

Working hard holding up the traffic!!

Total focus in the aero position. Well, it's that or - 'I'm totally knackered and need more air!!'

Tidworth 'Fast Twitch' Triathlon

400m swim, 15 miles bike, 4.5 mile run.

Well, today was hard. I was a little jaded, even after a reasonable pre-race night's sleep. Got there nice and early to get organised. Changed into tri-suit and got marked up and went for a 15 minute ride along part of the bike course, looked ok, good road. Back into transition to set my stuff out. Rummaging through my bag I panicked, where's my race belt! I am always well organised, and check and triple check everything, I knew it was there, but I must have forgotten it. Striaght to the stall where tri gear on sale. Yes they had a race belt, £5. Paid my money, opened it up, and what was the next thing I saw in my kit bag...... yep, my race belt. Typical! Not a good start! Anyway, panic over, I got set and then ambled over to the swim.

I just wasn't focussed enough on the swim, and didn't really put as much effort in as I could have. That said, my time was 7 mins 57 secs, so no major problems, slow and steady, my target time was 8 mins. Getting out was hard as the raised diving start blocks were built into the end of the pool and all along it, so it was a long way to climb out, which everyone struggled with!
Then into T1 for what was a reasonably quick transition. I was 8th out of the pool in my wave, and 2nd onto the bike. But alas, one elastic band which holds my shoes in place did not snap, so I had to slow down after setting off to snap it free with my fingers. So not a great start to the bike leg. And after a steady climb in the first 10 minutes, my legs felt dead! No life in them at all. Really quite sore when I tried to put the pedal down, and that continued for a good 25 minutes. It was until the last almost 30 minutes had gone by until I started feeling my legs were working as they should. That said, I did 39 minutes approx for the bike leg, averaging just over 21 mph, which was reasonably ok. But again, could have gone much quicker were it not for tired legs.

So into T2, quick this time straight out onto the run. And boy I really felt my legs hurting by this stage, and I was tired. And this was no easy run either, very hilly. A long slow climb for the first mile, which really sapped my strength, then downhill for the next mile, steady for another mile, then hit another long slow climb, and then downhill to the end. By this time the sun had really come out(it was around 10am when I finished, and I was glad I was finishing when I did. Still managed to finish ok, with a spring in my step. And to be honest, I felt reasonably ok after the race. And now 10 hours later, I feel fresh and well recovered, and my legs don't feel too bad.

Times were ok, nothing special, although, yet again, very good bike time. Run was a little disappointing, but would have been better with fresher legs. This race was done on the back of two long training weeks, so I'm not too concerned with the result. Just pleased to get another race under my belt. More experience to take with me on my journey!
Overall, finished 52nd in over 200 racers. I was 16th quickest on the bike of those that finished. There were a few DNF and DQs. All in all another good race, if a little disappointing time-wise. But I put it down to experience and will consider it a damn good training session!!

Nutrition was a bit hit and miss today, did not have a lot. Some electrolyte drink, 250 ml energy drink on the bike, 1 PowerBar gel towards the end of the run.1 PowerBar gel before the swim.

Finishing time - 1 hour 23 minutes 16 seconds.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Half Ironman UK

At last I have found somewhere to stay!! Everything has been booked up, but I have managed to get accommodation for 4 of us. Wife, little boy and nanny are coming along as my back up team! Chief cook, chief masseuse and bottle carrier, and race tactician!!
I've got 5 days leave booked off work, 3 days before the weekend and two days after, give me time to recover. Although I shall be resting/recovering for at least 2 weeks after.
Really getting excited already about doing it, and it's only 8 weeks away now. Well in my build phase of training now, incorporating races, which will give me confidence going into June. Last hard training session before 17th June is on 3rd June, when I am running in Poole 10k. I will be using this as an extended training session and doing a 1km swim followed by a 30km bike early in the morning and then run in the afternoon.

You can make a donation to Rotary International, as I am competing for their charities in this year's Half Ironman UK. Just go to my sponsorship page.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Wednesday Evening bike

77.9 km (48.4 miles)
2 hours 59 minutes. This incorporated two 5 minute stops at the end of two loops.
ave hr 140 bpm
ave speed 28.9 kph (17.95 mph)

I rode over to Southbourne to join up with riders from Zoom tri club. They do 3 laps of a 7 mile loop from Boscombe Pier to Hengistbury Head, along the coast. A nice route. Fairly easy paced ride. Stop at the end of each lap to re-fuel. I got there late and was playing catch up, eventually got them at the end of the first lap. Rode strong tonight, felt good. Certainly did not overdo it, not really pushing hard, but riding well within myself. I'm conscious of turning up fresh on Sunday.
Will swim tomorrow, run on Friday and rest on Saturday - maybe a gentle bike ride just to turn the legs over.

Note to self - cut back on the milk shakes with added protein powder. I have put on a little weight, albeit only 4 pounds, but I need to be around 13stone 7 when June comes along. I'm 13st 12 at the moment. Incredibly really, when I think back to 15 months ago and I was 16 stone 3 lbs!!

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Tuesday evening gym and swim

15 minutes warm up on treadmill. 15 minutes of intervals on the rower. 30 minutes steady easy pace on the treadmill. 25 minutes swim, broken into 200m blocks, finished with good 400m swim.
Good session, fairly easy on the legs although when I pushed it on the rower they did feel a bit tired. I think my legs still feeling the after effects of a hard week of training last week. 2 big weekends in a row. But should be ok tomorrow. Out for a bike session tomorrow evening, but will not go hard, just easy session, saving legs for Sunday's race.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Sunday brick in the sun

Another good brick session today, and what lovely weather. Chance to try out my new tri-suit, and great, feels good to ride in, good to run in, a little warm I think for in the full-on summer, but very comfortable nonetheless, and will be ideal for early morning swim starts with these pool-based sprint tris I'm doing.
Stats first.
Distance 18.6 miles
Time 52 mins 11 secs.
Ave Speed 21.4 mph (34.4 kph)
max speed 32.9 mph (52.9 kph)
ave cadence 88
max cadence 105
No heart rate measured.

Legs tired to start with, as this was done straight into it, using first part as a warm up. After 30 minutes I started pedalling smoothly and speed went up, legs felt good and I took off. First 10 miles in just on 30 minutes, crosswind and generally uphill. last 8.6 miles in 22 minutes. Next week's Tidworth Triathlon is a similar distance bike and I'm hoping to go quicker then, as I know I have a lot more in the tank to push harder and I will have fresh legs, as this week I will taper gently, ready to go hard on Sunday 22nd.

I came off the bike and changed to run shoes and set off on a short 3 mile run. The bricks are just for me to get used to running off the bike. I'm not concerned with doing mega long runs after coming off the bike, I'll save my legs for the longer training runs to come. 21 minutes for just under 3 miles, so my pace is increasing. The warm weather is definitely helping as my whole body feels more fluid and flexible.

Bring on June 17th!!!!

Note to self - book accommodation for Half Ironman UK.

Saturday in the sun!

At last, some warm cycling weather!
Out I went , all fuelled up and plenty of liquid for a 94.1km loop, which I have done before. See previous post from January for the route, Blandford, Dorchester, Weymouth, Wareham loop.
Well, I got as far as Weymouth feeling strong and began the climb out of Weymouth towards Wareham, and bang, Everything felt tired. I had only a bit of energy drink left and a fruit bar. Had the fruit bar, most of which broke off and fell on the floor, and the rest of the drink, just not enough. I bonked big time. Just didn't take enough nutrition with me and I think I was not hydrated enough from the day before. For the last 10 miles I couldn't get my heart rate above 120 bpm, that's how tired I was feeling.
That said, stats for the whole ride were not too bad:
time - 3 hours and 4 minutes
distance 94.1km(58.5 miles)
Ave hr 144 bpm
Ave speed 30.6 kph (19 mph)

On the whole a reasonable ride, but I hate feeling like I don't want to be cycling, which is what I felt with 10 miles to go. I just wanted to climb off and go home, especially when there were a load of time triallists flying past me in the opposite direction. And I wouldn't actually have been that bad if I wasn't pedalling the last 15 miles into a headwind!
But I recovered well, had lots of fluids and my legs felt ok. Good rest in the evening and had lots of good food, back to normal.
2 x 750 ml SIS Electrolyte. 1 x 750 ml SIS Energy. I SIS Go bar, 2 Power Bar gels. I nutrigrain bar, bit of a fruit bar. This was on a warm day, 23 degrees and bright sunshine in middle of day.
I had less nutrition than on the same ride in January - see post for comparison.
Still I know for next time.

Note to self - Look back over records regularly, especially to see what nutrition has been used.

Friday, 13 April 2007

Friday training

Good day of training today. Run this morning, in my new Skins leggings, and what a difference they make. Legs felt fresh all the way on my run and at the right temperature, not overheating and not too cold. I highly recommend them
So was a nice easy paced run of 5 miles this morning. I then biked easy to work, legs feeling fresh, spinning with better pedal technique.
Lunchtime did 1600m swim in around 34 minutes. Nice and steady, pushed not too hard, but a good workout nonetheless, feeling it across my back and lats. Cycle back home after work. Good day of training, feeling strong. It helped reading Tom Holland's 12 week triathlete last night, saying how it's ok to train on sore legs, sore is ok. It's knowing the difference between good pain and bad pain. Obviously not pushing too hard on sore muscles, but sore is ok! It's when it turns to pain that is not just a result of a hard session and more of an injury-type of pain.

On another note, my race details came through for Tidworth Fast Twitch Triathlon on the 22nd April. Week on Sunday, not long to go. Some good triathletes doing this one. Trying out my new Tri-Suit, a Camaro Speed One, should be better for the swim as it has soft touch neoprene legs which will help keep me moe bouyant in the water, and should shave off some time on the swim. Also a bit warmer for this ime of year and the early starts, as it has short sleeves, and is a slightly thicker material than most other tri suits.

Note to self: work arms harder when running uphill. In fact, work arms a bit more on shorter runs at all times!

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Wednesday Training

Sea swim today down at Swanage, water was lovely and flat and a nice cold temperature. After 5 minutes in the water, I acclimatised nicely and swam for about 25 minutes. That was enough for me. Took in some sun for a couple of hours on the beach and then headed home to change for a run.
Was out for 55 minutes at a good pace, roughly 7.5 miles. Good recovery.

I have just got hold of Skins compression wear, top and leggings and what a difference they make. I ran with the top and it kept me nice and cool, wicking sweat away. I have the leggings on afterwards as they are supposed to help with recovery, and I must admit, my legs feel very good with them on.

Cycling to work tomorrow and will cycle longer in the evening. Swim and run on Friday, long bike on Saturday, and a brick session on Sunday.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Revised Hungerford Tri results

Here are the final results from last week's Hungerford Sprint Tri.

Finished 18th overall, 4th in my age group category and 10th quickest on the bike.

Lunchtime swim session

Good 40 minute session today, broken down into varying blocks of 100, 200, 400 and 800m.
Timed myself for 400m - best time yet, 7 minutes 11 seconds. Swimming with much better technique now, greater rotation in the water and stronger 'catch'. And I'm much more efficient in the water, a better feel for the water and the feeling of propelling myself through the water, not 'slipping' through it.
Will rest for today and run tomorrow. Legs on the mend, still a bit tired from all the weekend's cyling.

Monday, 9 April 2007

Easter Monday long bike

Took the Plasma out for a spin today. Nice ride, took in Blandford, Dorchester, Weymouth and Wareham in a big Loop. Stopped off in Weymouth and caught some sunshine on the sea front. Very nice day, although still a cold wind. Legs tired a bit after 2 hours in the saddle. In fact, they were really tired and for about 10 minutes I really felt like giving up! However, I got to Weymouth and recharged my batteries. It was 18 miles home from there, with a long climb out of Weymouth for 2-3 miles. Enjoyed the ride back more and managed to do the last 12 miles in 32 minutes. And that's on tired legs. So it's looking good for Sprint tri on 22nd, which has a 14 miles bike leg, over similar terrain.
Today wasn't so much about stats, more about time in the saddle. Was roughly 65 miles in all. Approx 3 hours of riding. No bike tomorrow, just a swim session at lunchtime and a run in the evening. Won't ride to work much this week, maybe only thursday and friday.

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Sunday Long bike

Oh how good to get back on the bike for a long ride. And today I conquered my darkest fear. I went back to the scene of my accident and came down the hill where I fell( albeit very slowly) but I'll get a better feel for it the more I ride it, and it felt good!
I can tell the weather is better. I went at a good pace today, but not too hard, and didn't feel as tired , felt stronger on the climbs. Still a cold wind, but the sun was lovely and warm when sheltered.
did 55.2 miles in 2 hours and 50 minutes. Don't know exact average speed as bike computer went a bit screwy, will have to look at that, I think it wasn't mounted quite securely enough. Got the route and distance by using
Around 31.4 kph(19.5 mph) average for the whole ride, was good and I didn't push too hard. Average hr 143bpm, max 166. Not sure if lower heart rate is down to improved aerobic fitness levels, or just a bit tired. It certainly took me a good hour and a half to get into the ride, my legs felt a little weary up to that point, but then found a new lease of life and I was ok. Recovery was good.
Route - Holton Heath - Sandford - Wareham - Studland - Swanage - Langton Matravers - Kingston - Corfe Castle - Steeple - Lulworth Castle - Coombe Keynes - Wool - Warmwell - Crossways - East Dorset Golf club(via Bovington) - Wareham - Sandford - Holton Heath.
That's a regular ride that I do, roughly Half Ironman distance, mix of long and short climbs and undulating in places, few flat sections. Does flatten out for last 10 miles, can pick up a bit of speed.
Nutrition -
750ml SIS Electrolyte, 750ml Torq Energy and Electrolyte drink. 500ml water. 2 Power Bar gel sachets. 1 banana, 1 nutrigrain bar. Spot on for today's ride, had energy all the way to the end, even if legs tiring a little. 750ml SIS Recovery drink post ride.
More of the same next weekend, and a mid-week ride with Zoom tri club.

Friday, 6 April 2007

Fuel goes in here!

Schedule has been revised with a rest day tomorrow!
Went for a run, and again my own fault, stopped after 15 minutes, no energy. Didn't fuel up enough after this morning's swim and paid the price. Jogged gentle back home. Feel ok, just starving hungry. Came back, ate half a large melon, 750ml SIS recovery drink, 2 nutrigrain bars, 1 pack of jaffa cakes, and 1 large chocolate milkshake.
Will have my tea soon, and go to bed early and sleep the sleep of the dead! Lots of rest and eating tomorrow, let my mind relax more than anything. Body feels great, but I have had a stressful week at work and other stuff has taken it's toll on me.

Positive thing is that I'm recognising when I am genuinely tired and need to recover and when I'm just a bit lethargic and can't be bothered. The former I need to lay off the training, the latter I need to drag my backside off the sofa!

Happy Easter!

Well, my Easter weekend got off to a fine start. This is a good time to get in lots of training, in amongst all the household chores that need doing, not to mention the garden needing a spring tidy up.
2500m swim in the pool, after a 10 minute warm up. Just wanted to do a long swim to make sure I can go the distance. Time not really much of an issue. I still had energy to really push on the last 10 lengths, so I know I can go a lot harder when I do the 1900m for Half Ironman. 53 minutes it took me, 100 lengths of 25m pool. Started to tire a little at around 80 lengths but got it back for the last 10. Good recovery, and a great upper body workout. Some gym sessions needed to really build up my upper body strength.

Will go for a run later in the day, easy run for an hour. Again, it's about going the distance now, and making sure I have the aerobic capacity and endurance strength to go the distance. Long bike tomorrow. Long bike and run on Sunday. Sea swim on Monday and bike. Rest day Tuesday.
So my Easter weekend should be a productive one. 2 weeks to next race, which I am not really focussing on, I'll just use as a high intensity training session.
Happy Easter to all my readers!

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Swim at lunch

Back in the pool today.
20 minutes and 47 seconds for 1km. Big improvement, didn't push very hard, nice easy swim. This is the last day of these short swims. Going to do some more structured workouts and build up to doing longer endurance swims.
Generally this week is about recovery from the last 2 hard races and geting my legs back in shape with some shorter workouts. Long distance starts this weekend. Bike rides of 2-3 hours, runs of 1 hour plus and swims of 45 minutes. Will get back to recording stats for bike workouts. Throw in some gym sessions to improve strength.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Back to normal

Back to riding to work now, and planning my next 3 weeks of training.
Got in from work and went for a 25 minute run. Legs feeling good and recovered from Sunday's race.
This week is still a fairly easy week, just recovery and base before the next 2 weeks. Endurance rides on the bike over Easter and a couple of long runs, maybe a sea swim, and a pool session thrown in for good measure.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

results posted for Hungerford 'Fast Twitch' Triathlon

Results now online for this race.

Overall position - 18th out of 138 finishers.
3rd in my age group - 35-39.

Very pleased with result, and fills me with confidence as we step up the training.

Hungerford 'Fast Twitch' Triathlon

First tri of the year, and what good fun it was. 120 plus competitors,, on a very cold and blustery morning. Nobody was looking forward to a revised bike course, which was basically an out and back of 19 miles.
Early start again, set off at 5:30. Hour and a half drive and then got to leisure centre to register. Got myself together, bike into transition easily enough. Went with the shoes in pedals this time, elastic bands on tabs on heel of shoes, attached to bike, to keep shoes in right position for when setting off. Lot quicker, makes a big difference, saved me about a minute in transition. Water and gel beforehand, and then lined up for the swim at 8:35. It was a pool swim, 400m, 4 lanes, two in a lane, 8 in each wave. I was wave 7 of 15. I felt a bit tired really, and not tip top, but I set off first and soon got into a nice steady rhythmn, not at all too fast. After 8 I was caught by a girl behind, who was obviously quicker, but cannily enough I drafted in behind her and the next 8 lengths were easy swimming. I only wanted to get in my goal time of around 8 minutes, so was not all that keen to push too hard, seeing as the bike leg was going to be tough, hilly, windy and cold.
Into transition, I had to put a top on, a nice Scott top, that is close fitting and does cut through the air rather well. Grabbed helmet, glasses and bike and off we went. Well pleased with Adidas clima cool glasses, anti-fog. Was expecting them to mist, coming out of the heat of the swimming pool, but they stayed crystal clear.
Again, very strong on the bike, and was conscious of not going off too hard to start with, as I knew I would be back into a strong headwind. That said, my time back was not too bad. I averaged 22.5 mph on the way out and by the end average speed was around 20.4 mph. Similar speed to last week, but more effort required, so all in all, a good bike. Approx 55 minutes for 19 miles.
Very quick transition 2, picked up a bottle of electrolyte drink off the bike onto the run and left it at a convenient place for when on lap 2! I was conscious of avoiding the cramp episode of last week, because of the cold weather, but all ok today. Run was very good, got stronger as it went on. 4.5 miles in around 31 minutes 30 seconds. For me, that is very good.
All in all a very pleasing performance, raced harder today than last week, which is what I wanted to do. I can rest up now for a couple of days and now focus on some endurance training.
Next sprint tri is on 22nd April in Tidworth and one after that on 29th April in Lymington. Then 6th May and 20th May. These will purely server as racing experience and high intensity training sessions. Focus is Half Ironman UK, I'm looking forward to going the distance, particularly on the bike, as I feel strongest on that. Running is improving loads. Just the swim needs to get better, but that will come in time, and more focus needed on swim stroke.
So far so good, I'm off for a bit of an afternoon nap to recharge my batteries!
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