1:07:52 – Swim 12:40, Bike 35:54, Run 19:16
My last triathlon was April 2014, so it’d been almost 3 years since I’d toed the line. I hadn’t done any specific training for this race, and no taper – it was really just a reintroduction to triathlon with a view to racing the Mooloolaba Olympic distance in March (7 weeks away).
That last race was also a sprint distance triathlon (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) and I’d done a PB of 1:06:55. I was pretty pleased to get within a minute of that time!
Swim – 750m in 12:40 – 33rd/59 in AG
Didn’t go out too hard and started on the far right. Lost the main group almost immediately. It was pretty messy swimming down to first turn trying to draft some zig-zaggers, then there was a bit of chop along the back section, but I managed to find some space and get my own tempo and pick up the pace to the end. Need to work on my fast starts and finding feet, and need to get some clear goggles that don’t leak!! As per usual, the race was over for me by the time I exited the water, almost 4 minutes down on the age group winner.
Bike – 20km in 35:54 at 37.8 kph (includes T1 and T2) – 8th/59 in AG
According to Strava, my actual ride time was 32:38 at 37.8km/hr – almost identical to the bike split from Luke Harrop 3 years ago (although this time I had a Venge with race wheels).
The night before the race I put my aero bars on the bike, and put on my rarely used (never previously raced) race wheels. The race wheels don’t have the PowerTap, and my Garmin was in the shop getting replaced, so I was riding completely by feel. My philosophy was that if I wasn’t puffed out then I wasn’t pushing hard enough.
My recent hill climbing training where I’d been trying to hold fixed wattages for 6-12 min intervals had given me a good feel for when I’m slacking off. I felt I’d kept a pretty steady effort right through the ride, so was surprised to see that the 4 laps differed so much: (7:firstname.lastname@example.org, 7:email@example.com, 8:firstname.lastname@example.org, 7:email@example.com). Average heart rate was pretty equal across the laps with 157, 159, 159 and 159. I suspect the difference is that the first lap was slower because of mounting and clipping in, and the last two were slower due to the wind picking up. I would love to be able to see the power to see if it dropped off at all. I might need to look at a crank based power meter for future races – or not use the race wheels.
I was only passed by 3 riders so it was a bit disappointing to see I only came 8th in my age group. There were some sharp riders out there ahead of me! On the plus side, there was no glute or hammie pain.
Run – 5km in 19:16 at 3:51 min/km – 4th/59 in AG
Spent the first 1km trying to get my breath back from the bike (never happened) and trying to find a rhythm. Had a guy on my shoulder keeping me honest for first 2km, then chased another guy for the next 1km, then on my own to the finish. Felt like I was missing a gear – maybe due to my lack of run training, and maybe a lack of spadework and parkruns. Another bonus is that there was no pain from ankle during or afterwards (another niggle that has been refusing to go away).
This graph appears to indicate that this race was a backwards step – my slowest race since 2011. That’s not really surprising as it was my first race back, but I also believe that the relative position metric might have been screwed a bit by this race having a stronger quality field than usual due to it being the Australian Sprint Triathlon Championships.
Onwards and upwards!