19th May 2013 - Tri time

Its been a difficult week of training recently I've been trying to increase the distances and push myself on longer but this week has really been focussed on getting ready for the Fareham Sprint Triathlon on Sunday, which due to the relatively short distances and fast pace it's a very different style of training especially when I'm keen to give it my best shot so I also want to get plenty of rest in.
Monday: Was feeling very beaten up after a hard weekends sailing, I had great intentions of cycling upto Basingstoke but settled for the more sedate cycle to Winchester although it was a tough ride after I found out I had a slow puncture,  went to the gym in the evening for a swim session in the outdoor pool.
Tuesday: Rest day
Wednesday: Cycle to Winch and back, then 5km run at the gym focussing on pace and trying to run sprints at 16 - 18kph, followed by a swim session and the all important relax in the jacuzzi.
Thursday: Rest Day
Friday: Cycle to gym, outdoor swim in trisuit, cycle back.
Saturday: Swim session, with a focus on speed and time estimation for the race, which appeared to be about bang on 7mins.
Sunday: Race Day!  Finally the time had arrived and Paul and I were there at the crack of dawn for the mandatory registration taking place at 7:30, at which point we annoyingly found out our start times were around 11am, which actually ended up being more like midday, not ideal when you're in the zone and want to get started!  We spent the morning with the NCCA team, chilling, taking photos, doing videos (can't wait to see the finished product, but it felt like a pro having a video crew there to film us!) and supporting the other competitors that were starting in early swim waves.
To break the race down in to my own recollection
I was in the penultimate swim wave and pleased to see that had been put in the lane closest to the exit, everyone was assigned a lane, with 3 people per lane, I was first off with the other 2 starting at 10 second intervals behind me.  I was really happy to be the first off, since this was my first triathlon like this I was a little aprehensive about how fast I would be, what if I had to over take or was in the way.  I do quite a lot of swimming during the week and I think this really showed, I seemed to have a great pace compared to those in my lane and felt strong with out putting into too much effort and quickly found myself lapping the others in my lane.  Swimming behind someone is a lot like slip streaming on the bike so after I caught them up I actually swam there for 2 lengths to have a short rest before over taking and powering away from them.  Really pleased with the swim time of around 7mins because this also includes the run from exiting the pool and across the field to the transition area.
Transistion was a little rushed and fumbled but went pretty well and I was soon on the bike.  Cycling is my strongest discipline but it was a little strange racing on the roads when you've still got to abide by the highway code and the course involved 2 sets of traffic lights that were both on red and a number of T junctions and tight bends as well as traffic to negotiate, I think my general bike handling helped here and if I was honest with myself I didn't really push myself too hard on the bike, that said it was still one of the faster times but I really wanted to ensure I was inpretty good shape for the run.
As I approached the second transition on the bike I spotted Paul out on the run, he'd started a wave in front of me so had about a 12min lead so this was a massive motivation to get on the run and chase him.  I started the run feeling very dehydrated and the fist kilometer is uphill so it was tough going but I managed to get into a rythm and settle into a good stride and it wasn't until the last half a km that I saw Paul out in front of me nearing the finish line! I had to work hard to reel him in and it made for a perfect finish when we both turned into the last corner together and headed to the finish line.  I was actually pretty shocked that when Paul noticed me he really picked up the pace, resulting in a gut busting sprint finish to the line.
It was a fantastic race and I really enjoyed the fast paced challenge it's literally a different sport to doing an Ironman distance which to me is more about pacing yourself and simply finishing, definitely got a hunger now for another triathlon.  It did leave me broken for the rest of the day and my stomach was in pieces and took a look time to recover before I could eat anything, not sure whether I pulled a muscle or it was dehydration but something I need to work on to improve.  It was little annoying that we had to wait around for around 5 hours before starting and this did make it difficult to stay well fed and watered and to be honest would put me off doing this event again when there's so many to choose from and they generally start and finish early leaving you with much more of the day to enjoy with your family...
Lessons Learnt for next Tri:
1) My Transition times were poor compared with those around me on the results sheet and I did feel very amature when I came in from the bike section, took of my cycle shoes, picked up my trainers and the laces were all done up with double knots.  If only my Mum had made this benefit clear when she used to tell me off for not un-doing my laces when kicking my shoes off!  Probably need to look at the best foot wear to speed this bit up, but basically looking at the results I could have saved around 1 minute and come 5th if my transition times were better.
2) Tri-Bars, I think I need some triathlon bars for my best road bike, I did use them for the Ironman last year and I reckon it does give you the extra power and speed on the flat, my bike time wasn't slow but I reckon it would shave time further.
3) Hydration and Nutrition, I'm still very poor at taking on the right amount of water and calories both before hand and during the event.  I had everything there in transition but in my haste forgot to drink and started the run feeling very thirsty.  I really need to focus on doing this in training so it becomes second nature.  Also because the start of this event got delayed and delayed I should have taken on much more before the start however I always seem to get quite nervous and generally don't feel like eating.
This week I'll finish with a pic of my results slip and here's a link to the results, hopefully they'll be a lot more pics and video to follow which will all go on FB.