Monday, 31 August 2015

70.3 Champs didn't go to plan, but got to move on and plenty learnt along the way

There was a line in the middle of the road on the bike course, and I crept over it with 5 miles to go thinking that I was taking the safest route. Unfortunately this was not shared by the race referee and I was immediately 'red-carded' meaning that I was DQ'd and out of the 70.3 Championships. I can analyse, or assume that others did the same, or claim that I was taking the safest route, but rules are rules and I broke them. Gutting given most of the summer has been geared towards this race, I was only a minute behind the leader and was ready to unleash some speed on the run. I have deliberated over again for the past 24 hours, but these things happen and I now need to look forward to the next event and try to finish the season on a high. It is however only the 2nd year I've really been taking triathlon seriously and there is still a huge number of positives that I've gained from the whole experience.

What went well:
1. The 3 hour bike, 1 hour run sessions that I did once (or occasionally twice) a week throughout July. Aside from trying to replicate the 70.3 distance, these sessions were valuable in allowing me to work out the speed I could run off the bike. In Luxembourg 70.3 I started the run at 5:10/mile pace and detonated; after a few of these sessions I was comfortably winding things up to 5:30/mile at the end and much more aware of the run pace I could maintain.
2. Regents Park bike laps. Good fun, a good set of people to train with, and the opportunity to raise my heart rate for intervals of up to 6-7 minutes (until you're stopped by a traffic light).  Helped to appreciate riding above pace for periods of time.
3. Week in the Alps. Meant that even if a course has a 15-20k climb in it, I would not be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the ascent. Plus Alpe d'huez triathlon helped appreciate (a) a brutally fierce swim start (b) how I would feel after 6 hours of effort.
4. Run commute to/from work. Efficiency more than anything, but a lower intensity run meant I could build up a decent mileage throughout the week without succumbing to injury.
5. Winter Wattbike and Spring marathon. Given that my bike mileage at the end of April was close to zero, the 2 times per week 2*20 minutes watt bike session must have helped cycling tick over. Obviously the spring marathon helped build up general endurance and run speed that would be used in the 70.3

What would I change?
1. Do more swimming. Given time constraints and an inclination to be outside cycling, I've only really managed to swim 1-2 times per week. And all of that is at a metronomic pace. So I would try to add a couple of swims per week solely focused on intervals.
2. Spend more time on the TT bike. In the days leading up to the race when I was practising and cycling at 35mph on the aerobars, quite frankly I was lacking in any confidence. In the race, any worries disappeared, but some more time on the TT bike beforehand would probably have helped.
3. Continue to do running interval sessions. Since April, I have hardly done an interval session, taking my speed from races, general tempo runs or from my marathon build up. I reckon an interval session once a week of 10-13k would probably have helped.

What next?
I was rather hoping the 70.3 would have been a successful end of the triathlon season, as I could then have had couple of easier weeks before preparing for the 6-stage, cross country and road racing season. However, I'd like to finish on a high, so will see if an event in September could let me in last minute and continue to train through accordingly. I'll more than likely have another crack at Ballbuster duathlon in November, but once October comes, running will most likely be the primary focus for the Winter.

1 comment:

  1. Very unlucky indeed Andy, hope you get a place in a another decent race to finish off your season. I've got 2 weeks till Ironman Wales, bricking it somewhat now :-)