My first triathlon of the year and my first triathlon out racing for the triathlon team I am a member of, Team Freespeed.
I had no idea how this race would go, given only two weeks after the London Marathon. I've kept some fairly steady training over the past couple of weeks, so I didn't exactly feel lethargic or out of shape on the line, but I had no idea how I would fair at each of the disciplines, reason being out of practice, out of practice, and legs battered for the swim, bike and run respectively. On reflection, I thought my race quite well.
I am clearly out of practice on the swim, finishing down in the overall standings for the 750m swim, however I got on the bike and felt really good. The 20k bike course was 9 laps of a 'crit racing' style course, with a gradual hill for about 800m, followed by a descent for the rest of the lap. After 3 laps I realised the best strategy was to work hard up the hill and then take it slightly easier on the descent given the surface was not amazing and there tended to be quite a few other riders on the course after a few laps. As I started the run, my immediate thought was 'where has any leg speed gone?' as I felt very sluggish. There was no one that I could see immediately ahead of me, although I new that Danny Russell was somewhere up the road as he'd started about 1.5 minutes ahead of me in the pool. I didn't feel I pushed it too hard on the run as aerobically I felt fine, but my legs were in complete disagreement with that.
The running part of the race finished with 1.5 laps of Crystal Palace Athletics Track and, when I came on to the track, Danny Russell was just over 400m ahead of me. I did the maths and realised it was going to be close, in fact VERY close....just 6 seconds between first and second! Well done to Danny for taking the win, and I now know that I need to concentrate on swimming over the coming weeks.