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Friday, June 18, 2010

Fritton Lake Olympic Triathlon

The weekend off the race I was having a bit of a wobble that my younger may bet me in the race due to the amount of training he was doing compared to me.
However after refocusing on what is in my control and a sub 21 minute parkrun 5km I was back in control just the day before the triathlon.

On the race morning it had been raining but stopped before getting to the venue but more rain showers were forecast for later that day. I had brought a few warmer layers for the cycle just in case.

The transition there was no number places so you found your own space in either of the two parallel stands in the dip along a incline. Strangely there was a big gap opposite one tree with red leaves, all the other trees nearby had green leaves. So I thought that was a good spot to pick to help with spotting my gear in transition.

I was in the second of three waves which gave me a eight minute head start on my brother so I hopefully would not see him during the race. We had family there to support us but I am not sure if it was fair of my niece and nephew to be eating a cheese roll as I went in to the lake to swim!!

I went for the thick swim hat with my race colour hat on top of that. For the start of the race I positioned myself in the middle of the pack of about 50 just for practice for the start of the ironman swim. It was a busy start when the air horn started the wave which continued for the first 200m to the first buoy. I coped ok with this even getting hit a few times with the occasionally keep my head up to help with sighting and spotting a better placement in the swimmers. After this 130 degree turn to the right the swimmers started to space out but there was still the odd hit from the swimmers mostly when getting near another buoy. On the way out section of the swim my positioning was really good but on the shorter way back section I was going off to the right of the course and back in the middle of the lake. On the last section of the swim when I breathing to the side I was noting the cloud conditions to make a decision about what to put on for the cycle leg in T2. for the last few swim stokes I was getting ready to get my wetsuit off.
My swim time for the 1500m was 30:46 which I was pleased with as I felt my pace stayed about the same all the way round.

On the way in to T1 I got my wetsuit half way off while running up the incline to the transition area. I thought that the weather conditions was not too bad so I decided just putting a short sleeve cycle top on but with my winter cycle shoes and shoe covers. My time for T1 was 4:52 which was quick for me especially taken in to account the 200m from leaving the lake until the bike mount line.

For the bike section my aim was to use the aero bars as much as possible, maintain a high cadence and get the nutrition right before the run. The course is a two lap (20km each) which I had done a number of times in this race and as a training ride when back in the area. Within the first mile there was the major climb of the loop which I maintained my cadence while changing gears accordingly. After this I got in to my aero position for the next few miles until the next down and up hill section which on the up hill section I noticed I only slowed down to 19 mph!! I was ensuring that I ate and drunk stuff regularly based on time leaving a bit of time after the swim and not eating much in the last 5 or so miles before the run.
The only issue on the first lap was about 2/3 the way round through a village where it got a bit of a pinch point with cars parked on either side and cars driving were not sure what they were doing which I was catching up and had to stop and wait for. I then had a another few miles on the aero bars along the top section of the loop before the start of the second lap. Just a few hundred meters into the second lap there was already cars getting in my way and to make me more frustrated it was on a faster section after a downhill but at least it gave me a bit of a breather and have some food and drink. The rest of the lap was ok until the turn at the far end of the lap which turned in to a slight head wind for the way back with a few light rain showers.

For the 40km cycle I did it in 1:18:51 which is an average of over 18 mph and an average cadence of 75 rpm.

In T2 I decided to keep the tops on to save time and just change hats and shoes plus putting on my Meningitis Trust Running Top and GPS watch and take a sports drink with me. My time for T2 was 2:19 which was really quick for me. From the information my other brother told me was my brother made some time up on me in the swim and T1 but that had just about gone by the end of the first lap of the cycle and my best part of the triathlon was still to come.

The run had been changed just at the weekend to a different two lap course from previous races their.

After leaving T2 and along one of its side you were only a few meters away from the finish line but you turned left to start the first lap. After a few hundred meters on grass and woodland paths you reached the swim exit point but carried on round the lake. I decided to go off fast and see how long I could maintain the pace. Looking at my first mile time on my GPS I was close to my 5km race pace after about 2 hours of exercise. The next mile was nearly 1 minute slower due to some off road inclines and a quick pit stop. I then maintained my high pace overtaking a number of runners at this point. I was faster than expected my family was not ready to cheer me on and only noticed as I went zooming past to start the second lap. These two miles were at identical mile pace and still fast. The next mile I slowed down a bit for the hill section but as this section you saw runners going the other way I saw my brother so I knew I had a good lead on him event with the early wave start time that gave me a bit of a boost. I even had energy left for the last mile which was my fastest pace, perhaps it was the go faster running top I had on.

My run time was 45:36 which was under 8 minute/mile pace for on off road route which I was very pleased with and I felt I could do more which is a good sign for future races this year.

My overall race time was 2:42:27 this is a few minutes quicker than I had previously done here but is based on a different run course.

Overall it was a great race for me and the things I had focused on in each area worked really well.

I think that deserves a really large meat feast pizza to myself and a diet soft drink to help with the recovery process, mmm :-)

Large Meat Feast Pizza

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