Well the London Triathlon has come and gone. My wave was the Male Open heat which got started at 07h00 without any rain! A couple of days ago, rain was forecast but this changed yesterday – phew! Upon arrival I was a little startled by the scale of the transition area. In a word: HUGE. I was expecting it to be big but seeing it in person was a sight! 

The swim went reasonably smoothly. I would like to request that swimmers atleast have an attempt at seeding themselves correctly. Why-oh-why did breast stroke swimmers think that front row starting positions were appropriate? After less than a minute I was having to navigate around them- LESS THAN A MINUTE! Anyway, after that there was a bit of bashin’ and bumpin’ on the first half of the swim while we all fought for some space in the water and tried to get the pacing right. After the turn around the swimmers were spread out better and hence there was less bashing!

The start of T1 was bad – I couldn’t get my feet out the wetsuit. It’s not happened to me before but maybe I didn’t put enough body-glide on my ankles. With the wetsuit off and in the bag and the cycling shoes put on the bike leg started.

The bike went well. No major drama apart from a slight shortage of drinks on the bike. This was in part due to a fair amount of drink sloshing out of my aero-bottle – damn those bumpy London roads. I did see a fair few riders with punctures though.  Touch wood, I escaped that fate! I was cautious on the bends and corners and avoided painted lines and metal covers as there was still some moisture on the road. I was desperately trying to avoid skidding off unnecessarily in the wet. (I later saw someone who must have come off. He was covered in big plasters, 5×3 inches, down his back, on his right arm and left leg).

T2 was fairly smooth. I slipped off the cycle shoes and socks and slipped (OK, tugged and pulled) the running socks and then shoes on.

The run consisted of two laps out and back around the dock. It was fairly flat apart from the entrance and exit climbs to the ExCeL first floor. There were some cobbles on the run leg which were a little annoying.

All in all I was a happy camper! The race director’s offical distances were 1500m/38km/9.8km. My chip times for the swim, bike and run were: 29:40 / 1h15:54 / 49:43. Overall time, including transitions, was 2h44:07. I am very happy with my sub-30minute swim and ecstatic to be well below my 3 hour target.

I did some analysis of my times in each discipline. I calculated my position in the Men’s Open Olympic category for each of my times.

  • 289th for swim time of 29:40
  • 845th for T1 time of 5:25
  • 391st for bike time of 1h15:54
  • 902nd for T2 time of 3:27
  • 644th for run time of 49:43
  • Overall 465 out of 1083 for time of 2h44:07

I am surprised that I am now relatively strong in the swim. I thought my bike would have been slightly better positioned. To maintain 289th on the bike I would have had to knock off 1:24 or go 2% faster (less caution in the wet?). I’m not surprised by my run time as I was not pushing my hardest in an effort to protect my knees. I did run a negative split however (25:58 vs 23:45). So, based on this, I need to maintain my swim and work my bike training smarter and hopefully a bit harder. I need to strengthen my knees and associated muscles for the run in order to have confidence that my knees won’t let me down.

Transitions times were too slow. To maintain 289th after swim my T1 would need to be 3:42 (I did have problems with my wetsuit and did have to put a cycle sock on twice as it was not comfortable) which is saving almost 2 minutes. T2 289th time is 2:11 – again I was 1:20 slower. Thinking about it, maybe my slowness is due to wanting to get things perfect (no wrinkly socks, dry feet, HRM in place, etc) rather than suffer with socks that rub or missing glasses.

Getting away from the analysis (HR data to follow soon), I must re-iterate that I am chuffed with my time and performance. There is always next year to improve 🙂 I must remember to keep focused on the “fun” and “enjoyment” factor and not get bogged down on how to improve!

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