A race report from 1 of our athletes after changing direction when the first goal wasn’t met
After my season plan didn’t get off to the start I wanted and I didn’t qualify for the AG world
(sprint) championships I knew I needed a new focus for the season, something equally as big to
work towards towards. The 70.3 distance at Weymouth, the challenge would be I’d have 8
weeks to convert from sprint distance fitness to being able to cope with 4 times that. After a
quick chat with Steve he felt that it was possible, I was already not far off with the bike volume,
some longer stuff and increasing the long runs.
Training went well, and I went into race week with following a brick set that left me feeling
confident in my abilities. A discussion with Steve before the race on strategy and goals and I
had a plan, that should get me off the bike in good shape for a strong run.
Race morning came and the forecast was looking much more promising. I set my bike up before
transition closed, at which point it chucked it down. A couple of hours later, after the full distance
athletes, it was my turn to start. The swim looked good from the promenade. I lined up near the
front on the outside, klaxon went, went out hard for the first 150m then settled into my swim
rhythm, well tried to. The waves although small were just the wrong size and period for me to
punch through properly and it felt an awful long way to the turn buoy. 400m later another turn
and I was homeward bound with lovely following swell.
T1 went exactly as I’d visualised it, and I was out on the bike much quicker than I’d expected.
My goal was to keep about a 220W average, and not go above 260W too much. Unfortunately
the course had other ideas. After a brief flat it was up up up out of Weymouth, and try as I might
I just couldn’t get my power low enough and maintain cadence. My normalised power was
245W for the first 10K, things settled back after that as the course became more rolling, and I
started playing leapfrog with some riders. Power was telling me I was maintaining a steady
effort, so I raced my own race. I could feel the wind building, mostly a cross wind though so not
too draining. All the climbing out of Weymouth at the beginning meant the last 5km were
essentially downhill, which gave the legs a nice break for the run.
T2 came and again went nearly as smooth as I had visualised. The only exception being the
time dilation factor that happens in races where it felt far slower than reality. The run was my
goal. Run strong and put in a split more representative of my abilities than my past attempts at
going long. The aim was to hit just about 5 min/km pace and ramp towards the end if I had the
energy. The reality is I started just under 5 min/km then as fatigue crept in it slipped a bit, but
managed a 5:04 min/km average, so pretty much where I wanted to be.
Overall a great race for me, I stuck pretty close to the plan, and it paid off, now the immediate
pain has subsided I might even have enjoyed it.