Going into this race there was one goal and one goal only and that was to go under 5 hours. As with most preparations, there were positives and negatives but overall the training had gone well. I placed much more emphasis on race specificity during this build and it paid off this time.
I still massively struggle open water. I’m swimming the best I have in the pool since learning to swim a couple of years ago, but open water is a different beast. I got caught in no man’s lands pretty much the whole swim and couldn’t find any feet, when I did they were swimming slower then me. I think if I actually tried to take triathlon up as a sport rather then a challenge, I would need to be more confident to swim with a faster group. I was really disorientated in the water as I couldn’t site, my goggles seemed to steam up easily and the sun was really low. Same for everyone I know. My watched clocked me at averaging 1:52 / 100m which is ok, but something I would like to improve on.
Transitioning onto the bike was a bit of a disaster (05:50). I was right at the entrance to transition so didn’t have time to take down my swimsuit and put my tri suit over my shoulders like usual. I got to my bike and thought “what the f**k am I supposed to do hear again”. I fumbled about a bit but managed to get myself organised. It was then a long run with the bike as had to go the full length of transition. Once on the bike I felt so comfortable, however strangely I was cramping in the calf’s pretty much from the offset. Really strange, not something I have experienced before so early, I was well hydrated and had plenty of electrolytes in the system. It did ware off after about an hour. I could have biked at that pace for a lot longer which gives me confidence for a sub10 Ironman in 12 weeks. Being a poor swimmer comparative to my bike means that there’s never anyone to ride or push with. I think with some faster riders around me would have given me a couple extra minutes. I held 251w NP for the duration which was the pace at which I had dialled in over the last 12 weeks.
The run was a total gamble. I haven’t ran properly for 4 weeks and recently was only able to manage up to 20 mins duration for about 3 weeks due to a niggling injury. The run felt smooth, I was having so much fun with the atmosphere but I just didn’t have that extra gear to have confidence in pushing the speed. Whether that’s a lack of training or the fact I haven’t really done much speed work under fatigue but it was still a relatively pleasing outcome. With one lap to go, a lot of apprehension around the calf and knowing I had banked a lot of time for the sub5 I really just tried to enjoy, soak in the atmosphere, reflect on the training and wait to go down the finish line with my son rather then pushing anything crazy.
4:40:34 - and a finish line with my son. I averaged about 8 hours a week of tri training with 2 hours a week in the gym over the last 12 weeks I was talking so some guys in the tent after the race who train 15-20 hours consistently which is seriously impressive but I just don’t have the time to commit to the sport of triathlon in that way. That being said, some of those athletes are incredible and a great credit to the sport.
It’s now just 12 weeks away from Ironman Copenhagen and training now transitions into much longer workouts in the hope of building on the fitness I have gained and adding the endurance.