Race review Rubicon
At the beginning of the 2015 triathlon season I sat down with Steve for a season review and goal-setting session. Whilst chatting over coffee, it became clear that the events that I had enjoyed the most in previous seasons were those where I could compete with friends and family, the key things for me being support, a social aspect, not too much pressure, and a fun element as well as trying new venues and races. With lots of changes and stresses upcoming and ongoing in my personal life, but still a desire to keep training, enjoying and improving at triathlon, Steve advised me and helped me to choose events that met my strengths and my goals, and fitted into my life.
The Rubicon Middle Distance triathlon was the most recent of these. A relatively low-profile event for me, as it was away from home, it offered free camping, a pretty setting and a kids’ race that meant the whole family could get involved as part of the deal.
Most triathletes who are also parents know that training and healthy eating can be scuppered at best by the interruption of school holidays shaking up the usual routine. This was even more the case for me this year as I was working hard in the summer holidays on training camps, so my normally predictable training schedule was particularly disrupted. I was lucky enough to get some bike miles in in the Alps while on the Absolute Tri training camp, so I was not particularly worried about the flat Rubicon bike course, but I wished I had done a bit more swimming as I dropped into the Ure river at 7:05 am.
I’m not sure if tiredness from a busy summer, lack of confidence on the final few weeks of training or the tummy bug that I succumbed to immediately after the race spoiled my enjoyment of the race but I didn’t feel my cheerful best on much of the course, despite the lovely setting and the best racing weather of the year. However, I did cheer up a bit each time I passed the support team picnicking by the road to Newby Hall and got a heartening cheer and some hi-fives from the kids. Happily, the multi-lap route made this a frequent occurrence.
That said, I was happy with my bike split on a fast flat course, and it is thanks to the consistency of sticking to Steve’s training plan that I felt strong on the run, and ran a consistently (if not fast) paced half marathon.
The results (as always!) showed me plenty of room for improvement, but in a way it’s nice to go into winter knowing where you need to do the work. For me -as always- it’s the run. And no doubt I will be sitting back down again with Steve for coffee soon to discuss what I can do about that.