Well Saturday saw the National Club Relays take place up at Holme Pierrepont in Nottingham. I woke up to find that there was raining pouring down and the sky was very grey. I did not like the thought of competing, especially cycling, in the rain. Had it not been a team event I would have gone back to bed and laughed the event off. However, it was a team event so off I set. When I arrived the rain had pretty much stopped so things were looking somewhat better although still very wet.

The event consists of teams of 4 people doing the three legs of an almost super-sprint distance (actually 500m swim, 15km cycle and 5km run) race consecutively. The first person sets off on the swim, completes the swim and hands the baton (rubber band) to the second person who sets off and completes the swim and hands the baton to the third person. This continues for the bike and run legs too. Watching it looks like organised chaos with the competitors all fighting for the space to hand over the baton.

My swim went OK. The time was about 10 minutes (forgot to start my stopwatch) based on the clock time. I think I could have pushed slightly more but I was trying to pace myself for the Olympic and half-Ironman races I have coming up. The bike went well – round the rowing lake 3 times which meant a flat course. The down leg was with the wind so some impressive speeds were possible but the return leg was tougher as we were going into the wind. The run was only slightly more undulating than the bike course but for the most part flat. I pushed quite hard on the run and am convinced I couldn’t have pushed much harder. In hind sight I figure I should perhaps have eased off slightly as this is realistically only a C race for me this season.

So the swim was 500m and took roughly 10 minutes. The bike was 15km but I measured it at 14.2km. I took 26:29 for the bike giving an average speed of 32.1km/h. Average cadence was 92 with average HR of 184. The run was 5km and I took 22:25 with a average HR of 188 (94% of Max HR!!).

All in all a fabulous day with the sun coming out at around 10h30 or so. The afternoon was spent watching the second wave of races and chilling in the sun.

On Sunday a group of us then went on to cycle the Vitruvian bike course as some of the group are racing in the Vitruvian (a 70.3 distance race) in a few weeks. We knocked out the 82km in a touch under 3 hours giving an average speed of 27.4km/h. I had average HR of 150 with average cadence of 87.5. We did a 20 minute run off the bike to get those legs turning over. It was a good day out too with the sun out for much of it.

All said it was a good weekend of training ūüôā

Well Sunday saw me complete the Bedford Half marathon in a personal best chip time of 1h43:52! Yippee!

The day started off badly with me not getting up at 0645 like I had planned but only dragging myself out of bed at 0715. I had planned to leave home by 0730, but was clearly running late before I had even managed a shower.¬† I was very tempted not to go.¬† I was out the door at around 0745 only to be called by work (I was on call) about some problem that turned out to be due to planned changes.¬† Anyway I only left home at 0810. 40 mins late. Long story short I eventually got to¬†the¬†bag drop area (after missing my motorway junction- don’t ask…) about 1 min before the race start. The race had started once I got back to the start line.

Anyway I managed to make up a good number of places in the first mile and even stayed on my 8 min mile target. Race was going well for the first few miles until the wind picked up and brought some drizzle. Not too bad I thought… until the rain came. And boy did it pour down.¬† Combined with the wind the rain drops were stinging my face.¬† Anyway having had a training session in these conditions I figured I’d cope and just head onwards.¬†Shoes squelching and shirt clinging I trundled on.

I felt quite strong going up the hill leading to the final descent from around mile 8 or 9. I was going quite well for most of the race and feeling ok even though a number of the runners I passed were puffing and panting heavily.

The last mile did me in though. Up until mile marker 12 I was feeling comfortable (albeit very cold and wet) and relatively pain free. Past mile maker 12 however, my hamstrings started to give up and my pace dropped off. The last mile was closer to a 9 min mile, compared to a steady 8 min for most of the other apart from mile 10 which I managed a 7 min mile, unfortunately. I did finish and eventually hobbled back to the car.

I was cold and my legs were sore and I was tired. Not a good combination. Anyway car heater on with dry clothes did help but my lunch at a motor way services with a coke and a coffee definitely got me on the mend.

Right now my legs are still sore. More so than from Palma and Nottingham. I do wonder if the cold weather played a part in my legs not feeling so good, or maybe it was the lack of a warm up prior to the race. Either way, I’m pleased with my time but am surprised by the pain!

Well this morning’s Jekyll and Hyde Duathlon¬†went well. It was a chilly start¬†with a few spots of drizzle.¬† 142 people started and 137 finished.

The first run leg set off with a blistering pace and I was quickly relegated to the rear half of the field, finishing ranked 98th. Run1 consisted of two laps around the Serpentine for a total distance of 8km. My HR was around 90-94% max the whole way.

The bike kicked off well – it was 6 (that’s 1 2 3 4 5 6!!!) laps totalling 19.5km. I managed to keep up a good pace along the way,¬†and overtaking more people than were overtaking me, while counting the laps. I got to lap 6 or was it only lap 5?¬†So I¬†wasn’t sure if I skipped lap 5. So not wanting to be disqualified I threw in another lap. Based on the splits and the fact I dropped to 120th rank in the bike section I’m convinced I did 7 laps ūüôĀ What an idiot!! (If I remove roughly 1/7th of the bike leg – about 6 mins I’d have ranked about 80th in the bike and then I’d have jumped to around 87th or so over all). The only really scary moment of the bike was on lap 1 went I went into the turn into North Carriage Drive slightly fast and nearly lost it… The front tyre¬†started skidding¬†out from under me, but somehow managed to pull it back under control- that corner got much respect after that! Again HR was up at around 90% of max.

Anyway the second run leg was painful with a couple of twinges of cramp in the calves which I managed to trundle through and was ranked 95th on the run2 time .  HR was again hovering around 90% of max, but I did see it dip down to 88%.

Overall I posted a time of 1h41:27 with an overall rank of 109.¬† My max HR was high, very high, and I’m surprised I could sustain it for as long as I did… Anyway, my legs are achy now and I’m feeling a lot more knackered than last weekend!

  • Run 1 (8km) : 36:01 (Ranked 98th) (4:30/km)
  • T1 + Bike + T2 (19.5km)¬†: 47:24 (Ranked 120th)¬† (24.6km/h)
  • Run 2 (4.2km) : 18:02 (Ranked 95th) (4:18/km)
  • Total: 1h41:27 (Ranked 109th)

Lessons learnt:

  • learn to count and concentrate on the lap counting
  • take corners with less pace in the wet
  • practice tri-shoes and transitions
  • sort out the HRM/foot pod/bike speedo. GPS?¬†*
  • Incorporate some anaerobic (HR at around 90% max) training for these shorter distance events

¬†* The foot pod pace was totally off. The bike speedo didn’t work or didn’t link with the bike. I bumped the stop watch so don’t have any HR data past the first lap