Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Rubicon 70.3 triathlon

The last time I did a middle distance triathlon was in my build up to my Ironman back in 2010. Since then, my triathlon training has stepped up significantly and I felt that, certainly this season, I'd done sufficient endurance training to warrant doing a 70.3. I thought I'd give the Rubicon Tri in Yorkshire a go, a relativity new event and were there was some good competition in the form of professional Joe Skipper (2nd in UK ironman 2014).

The swim followed the river Ure downstream 1700m, before doubling back upstream for the final 200m. I found I was able to get on the feet of other swimmers which helped pull me along and maintain a relatively good pace. Despite being my weakest discipline, I was pleasantly surprised by my swim, finishing 8th and only 2 minutes down on first.

The bike was on a fast 2-lap course, mostly going up and down A roads, and with only little wind. After 5 miles on the bike, a group of 4 of us was strung over 50m on the road (to avoid the drafting) and we periodically took it in turns to take lead and help maintain a reasonable speed. Up ahead a couple of minutes was Joe Skipper and one other, whom I later found out was part of a relay. I managed to maintain a consistent pace, averaging about 24.5mph for the 51 mile course, and finished the bike feeling relatively ok and about 4-5 minutes off the 

I started the run with a skip in my step with a 5:17 mile followed by a 5:13 mile. This was probably not the wisest idea to start with and I paid for that as I detonated at about 9 miles....but I felt I needed to give it everything on the run to have any chance of reeling in the leaders. At about 6 miles I realised the deficit on first place was too large, but I was comfortably in second. In the end I finished 2nd in 3:51, 3 minutes behind first. I have lots to learn here across pacing, race nutrition (I only had one gel and half an energy bar during the whole race, which is probably not enough) and specific training sessions. That'll be it for triathlon for 2014. I'll give the Ballbuster Duathlon a crack in November, and then consider my 2015 race plan sometime early next year.

Myself, Joe Skipper, Sam Village


  1. Nice one Andy, good going. But you haven't answered the big question- why is the winner wearing a pink skirt?

  2. Thanks Martin. The winner just wanted to show off the very latest in triathlon leotards.

  3. Hi Andy, Great event and a great result. I hope you don't mind heres my take on the Rubicon: E-coli instead of recovery and a 10th place at Rubicon?
    So I started of the day in a river (check out the video coming soon from the functional fitness website) came out of the water way down the field in 60th then worked my magic on the bike up to 18th or 19th. Overtaking Amy Forshaw in the process. I hit the run by which time Andy Greenleaf and Joe Skipper were already firmly in position to get some medals. I had a lot of work to do so I put the feet to work and started averaging 6 minute mile pace around the half marathon course. First point: I will definitely hydrate a little more efficiently, that means take on albeit smaller but more often, amounts of water! I will also work on my nutrition so that on the first 5k my stomach isn’t wanting to leap out and head to the bushes. Too many gels perhaps? Laps 3 and 4 were fine although a little hotter and more thirsting than the first two. I clawed back 8 or 9 places which put me in 10th place over all. 1 place being a relay team. However chuffed with my result and a 04:14:25 half ironman. I headed to re-fuel and recovery, had a cold paddling pool-ice-bath dip for 10 minutes where I think I lost the movement of most of my body, well certainly the use of my legs and my back. I soaked up the atmosphere, put some effort into bending the legs again and headed home. So to cut a long story short I decided to treat my body-is-a-temple to a plate of fish and chips with a Chinese dish on the side. Big mistake. I made it to work Monday feeling fine and accepting the new 70.3 muscle aches. By lunch time I decided to call it a day and agonizingly dragged my soulless body back home on the train of 25 miles where I collapsed in bed for 3 days. Now my girlfriend has my sickness. I can only say that if you are going to treat yourself to anything after an event, a) make it yourself, b) go gourmet, c) go somewhere nice d) get sponsored by a decent sports nutrition company that can help you and your body get what it needs after the race and during? So if there are any companies out there that feel like they could help. Drop us an email before we email you!
    ps. Thanks for the RANT Andy! Good luck with the next season.

  4. A nice report Nathan and a great result to finish 10th place overall. I completely sympathise with your illness as I have found myself in the same position for the past 3 days. I went to work on Monday and was absolutely fine. Then since Monday evening I've been ill, not really eaten much and have been permanently shattered. I slept almost 30 hours straight earlier in the week! I wondered whether it was just all the fatigue built up from the summer's training....although perhaps it was some dodgy water in the River Ure. I hope you and Emma recover soon and take the break as a week of enforced rest.