T’was a nasty one

Following The Cowman the cold I had turned out to be a nasty one.

It knocked me for six on the Tuesday and Wednesday although I struggled into work both days, but I then paid the price and was in bed and slept for most of the Thursday and Friday. The weekend wasn’t much better and I was pretty much a coach potato.

The ‘highlight’ of the weekend was Fast and Furious 5, 6 and 7 back to back on the Sunday. I was hoping that 2 days in bed and 2 days on the settee would mean I would be a lot better the following week, but I was still suffering. I went back to work last Monday and I slowly felt better each day but training wasn’t an option. It wasn’t until last Friday that I started to feel like I could train.

So this weekend I did some training. I opted for a turbo rather than a ride Saturday morning, just in case I felt bad while I was out. So a 1hr 20 minutes turbo Saturday morning on the TT bike with a 10 minute run off the turbo. This was followed by a second 15 minute run later that day.

Sunday I took a bit easier with firstly a lie in and then a 45 minutes turbo before a day out to Brighton. We went to the Sea Life centre followed by sometime on the beach with little Ollie my grandson. There is always an element of training involved trying to keep up with Ols as he darts off to the next fish tank and I am running after him!

We got home about 7pm and I went for a 45 minute easy run. It was good timing as it wasn’t as hot as if I had run during the day.

So I think (and hope) the Cold is behind me. Two weeks of rest isn’t the end of the world and hopefully it means the next 6 weeks of training up to IM Vichy will go well. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for reading.

The Cowman

The lead up to the race was OK ‘ish’. The wife and I camped at the venue and due to a group of noisy Polish people partying all night we didn’t get much sleep. It didn’t affect me for the event but it was annoying. Especially as there was a good vibe at the camping area. Chatting with other competitors who were racing the next day. Comparing war stories on good and bad events of the past etc.

The Swim

A really good, comfortable and confident swim. 270 swimmers for the mass start. I positioned well, stayed out of the fracas and was happy with my 38 mins and 58 seconds. All felt very good. No zig-zagging, good sighting. The time was the slower end of the scale but not too slow to worry about.

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T1

Quite flappy – 2 mins 21 secs – put on a cycle top, socks and cycling shoes, helmet and glasses. Socks took the time. Wetsuit came off in a flash.

Bike

Bike was good – Lap one I did in 1hr 12 (ave speed of 29.79 kmph) I felt very comfortable and fast. I was in the aero position about 60% – 70% and felt good.

Lap two I did in 1 hr 16 mins (ave speed 28.2) I think this was because I was in the aero position less often – probably less than 50%. Legs felt good and riding was OK, just shoulders and neck aching in this aggressive position.

Third (little lap) was an average speed of 27.6kmph. This was the slowest speed and was a harder lap as the cut through road was hillier. Less aero again as noticeably more traffic especially on the fast road back to Emberton Country Park so I wanted to cover the brakes etc.

So ave speed was slower each lap from 29.79 kmph, 28.2 kmph to 27.6 kmph. Total ride time of 3 hrs 10 (same as my current PB for the bike leg) but the Garmin said 91.5K NOT 90K – with the extra 1.5K taking 3 mins so at 90K was 3 hrs 7 mins?

Bike leg felt OK. At no point did I think I was going too hard or had to hold back as tired. Legs always felt fine – was more about being aero. This is not surprising as I am still getting used to riding on a TT bike.

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T2

1 mins 51 secs – again flappy. Rack bike, helmet off, cycle top off, race chip off, calf guards on, timing chip back on, gels in calf guards, trainers on, hat on, Garmin strap on, Garmin computer off of bike and on to wrist and run.

Such a lot to do!

Run

Lap 1 felt strong and comfortable, easy pace all lovely time – 30.14

Lap 2 felt as good and felt fine was still feeling good – 31.40

Lap 3 was hard, more mental challenge (two more laps to do, only half way there, can I keep this pace up etc) time of – 34.06 (slow!)

Lap 4 felt good mentally and hence physically, just this lap to finish and done, felt I could push the pace a bit, went past 4 or 5 other runners – a time of 33.08 but the last 2.5K K was at the pace I started.

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Total time 6 hrs 04 mins and 4 secs.

Vichy was my previous half distance PB at 6 hrs 15 mins – so a big improvement, mainly the run and shorter transitions (as local event not big event with large transitions to run through).

The run was a time of 2 hrs and 9 mins a new 70.3 run PB by 7 minutes. The run training of the winter and so far this year is paying off in a big way.

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It was at the end of the race where I made my big mistake. Sam had packed the tent away while I was on the bike leg, so I got changed in the toilets, put the bike on the car grabbed a coffee and we left. We had said we would eat before leaving, but I had the brilliant idea of getting on the road and stopping at the services.

Traffic was good and the roads were clear so I decided to plough on home and eat at home rather than stop at the services. When we got home I then decided unloading the car and sorting out the camping gear was a better idea then eating so I didn’t really eat (other than a banana and an Oat bar) until almost 3 hours after the race.

Monday I felt like crap and Tuesday this blossomed into man flu and now I have Webola.

So training is on hold and my endurance training is trying to stay awake for more than 3 hours without a little snooze.

Remember people – always eat within an hour of exercise, and ideally in the first 20 minutes, not 3 hours later, after 6 hours of exercise.

Thanks for reading.

I will be a Triathlete again

The last triathlon I took part in was Vichy 70.3 in August 2014. That’s 10 months ago!!

I have done other events since then: The Ball Buster Duathlon Nov 2014, the Brighton Marathon April 2015 and the Pearson 150K sportive. But it’s time to put my triathlon head on.

On Sunday I am competing in the Cowman Middle Distance tri, then in early August is an Olympic Distance tri at Bewl Water. Both of these are preparation for the biggy IM Vichy at the end of August.

My objectives for the Cowman Middle Distance event are below:

Swim

The objective is to see where I am at and see if my swim performance has reduced over the winter due to lack of swim training. I took the decision over winter to focus on running and cycling (in that order) and to neglect swimming. Sunday I will see the impact that has had on my swim time.

My swim times for 1,900 metres are very consistent:

Vachery 36.34

Gauntlet 36.27

Vichy 37 mins

IM Austria 1 hr 14 mins (half that being 37 mins)

So I am aiming for 37 mins on Sunday. If I drop to 40 mins or worse, than I need more work on my swim. I am happy to stick with 37 mins for 1.9K and improve my bike and run.

Bike

I will use the new TT bike and this event is about getting a race under my belt on the TT bike. I am ‘not really worried about’ the time, especially as it’s not a course I have ridden before. I will know if I didn’t ride well and if it was the bike, my handling of the bike or my legs/fitness etc.

70.3 Ride times are:

Vachery 3 hrs 2 mins  (but only 76K but very hilly)

Gauntlet   3 hrs 48 mins (very hard course)

Bedford 3 hrs 17 mins (fast course)

Vichy 3 hrs 10 mins (fast course)

IM Austria first lap was 3 hrs 15 mins (first lap)

So 3 hrs 9 mins or less is a PB but 3 hrs 30 mins and learning more about the bike would be tolerable.

Run

The objective is a strong run off the bike and a strong half marathon time. Ideally slower first 10K and build the second half or at worst an even pace over the entire run. I don’t want to start (too) strong and fade.

So lap one speed of circa 10.5kmph – higher than marathon pace (10kmph) but slower than half marathon pace (11kmph). If I can sustain this pace this would give a run time of 2 hours – so 2hrs – 2hrs 10 mins is the target.

This is obviously linked to the bike leg. If the TT bike is strong and I do a fast bike time then I may need to start the run slower at 10kmph and aim for a 2.10 or 2.15 run. If the bike isn’t a great ride and I don’t feel confident pushing the bike then I will run harder as should have more stored in the legs

Previous 70.3 run times are:

Vachery 2 hrs 23 mins

Gauntlet   2 hrs 31 mins (hard course all fields off the back of a hard bike)

Bedford 2 hrs 25 mins (fast course)

Vichy 2 hrs 16 mins (fast course)

So 2 hrs to 2hrs 10 mins is a big ask but my running has improved so much I think this is doable.

I am also using this event to experiment with Nutrition. Basically trying to use less or no gels on the bike and replace with Cliff Shots, more solids and energy via liquids. Saving the gels for the run.

Transitions I think will be slow as I haven’t practised them – only so many hours in the day!

So this event has clear objectives and unusually for me it’s not all about hitting an, unrealistic, finish time.

I can’t wait to get it on.

Thanks for reading.