Training for a shorter Tri

For those not yet up to IM

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Dustboy    pirate
17/03/2013 at 17:50

Yes, but do come on one of our training rides?

17/03/2013 at 18:09

DB that explains the weather at last years Outlaw then.

I ran and got wet. Pleased with my effort of 2 miles with just a couple of brief walks.

Cortina5    pirate
17/03/2013 at 21:55

OK - so the Marshman was horrendous and Outlaw was a bit windy and damp, though the sun came out in the afternoon. When else has it been shitty?

I had been watching the weather for a few days. Despite raining yesterday the evening forecast promised a dry morning with minimum wind with heavy rain coming in before 12pm.
Upon arrival it was noticeably cooler than at home even though it wasn't too far away. After registering and getting a coffee I took the bike out for a 10 minute spin to make sure all was OK, and then racked the bike. After some more faff I adjusted my rear brake, set up my shoes on the bike and then went for a quick warm up run. Back to the start line for the briefing, and then the hooter went.

The first run is 7.5km - round the sports field, out down Pound Lane (a track), along a muddy path then on to the Thames path. Over the Thames on a wooden bridge then cross country again. Through a low tunnel, round Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre then continuing on the road across the Thames at Marlow. Through Higginson park (grass and mud) then back down Pound Lane to the large gate and across the field to T1.

My target time for this was 30 minutes. As usual it wasn't long before I was hot, even in the overcast conditions - I have raced most duathlons this year in a white short-sleeve base layer, arm warmers and tri-suit. All was well until we hit the muddy track. In past years a cold spell has made this track passable though hard underfoot. Today it was a quagmire, with most people struggling to stay upright, even those in XC shoes like myself. After some effort the path ended and the Thames path appeared. The wooden bridge was slippery on the way up and even more so on the way back down. Up to this point I had been sparing with a fellow Finch Coasters' runner. She had some great XC shoes and made some headway on the mud but I managed to overtake on the road section. Good going on the roads until we hit the mud in Higginson park and then in to T1.
Run#1: 30:44.

T1 was a pedestrian 55 seconds due to running up the wrong row in transition. Found my bike, put my helmet and glasses on and I immediately noticed that my glasses had steamed and would not clear. 

After jumping on the bike at the mount line my feet found my shoes and off I went. Plan was to take it relatively easy on the first couple of km as they were uphill, then I could hammer the downhill and the rest of the course. Then it started to rain, and I struggled to keep my glasses clear. At the top of the hill I got ready to hit the descent though it was hard to see due to my glasses and the rain. I should have used the clear lenses too.
The entire course was waterlogged and the surface water hid potholes - or so we'd been warned. The bike course splits in two quite nicely. The first part is rolling and the second is more up then down.The first part wasn't too bad but the rain got heavier and then turned to hail. I was still struggling to see where I was going and so decided it was better to take it easier than end up damaged. As I approached the second half my kit was soaked, my shoes had filled up with water and I'd lost most of the feeling in my hands, needing to use the entire hand to change gear. There wasn't much to be said about the bike course other than it was hard work in the conditions and completely unenjoyable. Not the fault of the organisers by any means. For me it was also interesting to see how lonely the bike course was. Last year I was further down the pack so there was lots of overtaking and grabbing positions back. This time there was the odd overtake or overtaking and passing those unlucky enough to puncture on the multitude of potholes.

Edited: 17/03/2013 at 21:56
Cortina5    pirate
17/03/2013 at 21:56

One of the best part of the second half is the descent to the turn-round point. Not this year. Lack of feeling in my hands meant taking it easy so I could slow down in time and I lost a few places due to this. After the turn-round it was through a wooded area where the road surface was mostly holes. I noticed the guys in the distance were drafting which annoyed me - it is unfair to everyone else riding within the rules. Towards one of the final turns I passed another punctured competitor and a marshal asked if he was ok. I tried to reply but my mouth would not move - frozen in place. I rolled down the hill in to T2 - again, normally I'd put some effort in but it was hard to do anything.

Bike: 51:11

T2 was faster as I knew where the bike went, though the event photographer was trying to do some artistic shots in my space.

Run#2 , the reverse of Run#1 was about survival, rather than my 30:00 target (run#2 is slightly shorter than #1). The lack of effort on the bike meant I was not going to hit my target so it was a case of do what I could. One thing I did notice was the lack of jelly legs. I hopes this down to all the brick sessions I have done, but in all honesty is was likely down to the lack of bike effort. Like the bike, the run was lonely and cold. I also noticed I was shivering a lot. Shortly before Bisham I was overtaken and we exchanged some banter. He was running off some anger caused by a puncture - and then he disappeared! I heard some footsteps from behind shortly before the wooden bridge and was accompanied across the bridge and along the Thames, then he overtaken me. We hit the muddy path and both of us played Bambi on ice for a mile. Once back on the track I found my legs again but could not catch him. I tried to push harder but it seemed it was too early to kick and I'd run out of power before the finish. A winter of XC racing has given me a good grounding of how early I can kick, and also when to save it. As we approached the final turn in to the sports ground I kicked hard and made the overtake. We both hit the grass on the field and I thought I would lose my lead. Luckily the bad footing affected us both and I crossed the finish line with 3s between us. The previous finisher was 14s before - a lifetime in racing.
Run#1: 32:00

I grabbed my free hot chocolate recovery drink and headed in to the club for my warm clothes as I continued to shake and shiver. The club house had a few people covered in foil blankets and others lying next to radiators. I got on my warm clothes then found my Coasters' friend, who was also suffering. It seems the conditions caused a few cases of mild hypothermia and a vast amount of shivery cold people. Many ended up under hand-driers and alongside radiators in the bar. No long term damage done though.

It is a measure of an event when things like this happen, and the Marlow guys really pulled together and ensured that everyone was ok. Hot tea, coffee and more hot chocolate flowed until the warmth was evident. Well done Marlow.

So after all that I finished 23rd overall, and 7th in AG after 1:55:43. I'll be honest and say I'd hoped for better - somewhere at least 5 minutes quicker overall. Though with hindsight I had really raced last year and this year I struggled to see on the bike so eased off and also suffered from the cold. Then the second run was about getting back rather than setting records.

Time to get som ereal training in and concentrate on the Euros.

17/03/2013 at 22:03

cat - well done, conditions were bad today, one friend of mine had to call someone to pick her up in the middle of a bike ride today and has been ill with hypothermia this afternoon

Cortina5    pirate
17/03/2013 at 22:34

Ta. Warmed up now with help from wine and beer

17/03/2013 at 22:43

Well done Cat. I am feeling a little nervous of my race next weekend, once I know the weather forecast I will be able to work out how many layers will be needed. Might end up wearing pirate cycle jacket to keep warm.

Cortina5    pirate
17/03/2013 at 22:46


If you're looking to complete then take your time in T1 and T2 and put on plenty of layers where needed. No point in getting sick for the sake of a few seconds in transition.

Dustboy    pirate
17/03/2013 at 23:12

Marshman, Outlaw, that bliddy freezing du at Dorney where I dressed up as a trainspotter, today. Cat5 is a one man weather cell. If you ever do Florida IM, it'll be the first one done in an F5 tornado! LOL


Well done today, I must admit, these pothole conditions are beginning  to concern me generally, already cost me 150 notes on a car tyre this year. I really don't fancy race wheels out there.

Cortina5    pirate
18/03/2013 at 09:08

I forgot about that Dorney du. That was positively sub-tropical compared to yesterday!

18/03/2013 at 10:40

Well done Cat. Conditions sounded horrible, glad you took the sensible option of not pushing too hard and come a cropper.


18/03/2013 at 18:36

Had a day off today and actually managed to get my arse in gear and do something. MIght of helped that it was gorgeously sunny and warm day. So, 14.5 mile bike ride it was, very slow but not quite as slow as I expected. 

18/03/2013 at 20:16

aarghhhh!  It's snowing and blowing and it's supposed to stay like this all week up here in Aberdeenshire.  I can't run or cycle in this weather and getting to the pool will difficult if the roads are snowy.

stupid weather!

Dustboy    pirate
18/03/2013 at 20:24

Mountain bike and a pair of Walshes for the run?

18/03/2013 at 20:26

Pete - I'm so glad we don't have snow anymore (fingers crossed it won't return this year), it is such a pain!! Anything you can do at home?

18/03/2013 at 20:46

All I can do is google turbo trainers and drop hints to my wife about an upcoming birthday present...what is a good make for under £100?

Cortina5    pirate
18/03/2013 at 22:07

Thanks Mikasa - where was it sunny? Expensive pothole DB!

Pete - look for Elite or Tacx or something like that. Aim for something on the TrainerRoad compatability list

18/03/2013 at 22:33

I have the Tacx Sirus, with my garmin XT910 I get enough data to know when I am working hard enough.

Oh that reminds me, I need to look up how to set it up for auto-multisport for the Du.

Got a few days off work, planning an early morning coached swim if I get my backside out of bed when the alarm goes off. Mr Steady has suggested a day of retail therapy,wonder if there is an another reason for this kind offer.

Razor51    pirate
19/03/2013 at 10:53
Swam yesterday lunch and 6 mile run last night with Horse, Z2 pace 9.13 min/m. Shins and ankles were really aching at the start then realized I must not run 1/2 mile round a building site with steel toe capped boots on. feeling ok now will run again tonight, can't believe we are half way through Fink already (gulp)

Cat. Great effort given the conditions

Me and horse have got our first Tri of the year on the 31st, hope the weather bucks up.
Edited: 19/03/2013 at 10:56
19/03/2013 at 11:02

Well, nasty nights done. Still feel absolutely shattered. Must try and swim tonight. 
Top report Mr Cat... Sounds as though it was fairly vile on the weather front. Although, rumour is you always take the weather with you! 

Mmm Steady, trips like that usually end up with me 'popping' into the tackle shop on the way home. 

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