This was the end of short 6 week block building towards the Joyuda triathlon. This race features a 1.8k swim , a 65k hilly bike ride and a challenging semi hilly 16k run. I had several goals for this race even though I was on short prep coming to it. I wanted to improve my overall time, cycle under 2hrs 5min, test out my improved race nutrition plan and avoid walking as much as possible.
Getting to the race was a cool adventure getting there at 8pm on the night before the race and preparing for a 5.45 gun off. Race morning was uneventful with my usual P&J sandwich breakfast and away to transition area at 4.30. I set up my spot pretty quickly and I was ready to go with 5min before the start.
I’ve experience cramping early on in the swimming before on longer races from going out too fast and I wanted to improve on that. This time I didn’t swim SO easy as I did at SJ70.3 and decided to settle into a controllable but hard effort and try staying on some dudes feet for the majority of the swim. Around the first buoy I got gapped and decided to maintain my own pacing focusing on taking a good navigation line and not sighting too much. At the last turn buoy I was with 4 other guys and decided to just swim the remaining part with them. So with no cramps and with good company out of the water I was in about 10th position, So far so good.
T1 went smooth and I was on my bike before the other guys.
I always feel like the bike is my strongest discipline because I work hard at been as aero and efficient as possible. My plan going into the race was to be a little bit more aggressive than the half ironman and stay at mid zone 3 by hrt. Unfortunately my monitor got crossed or something and just didn’t work correctly giving me all sorts of readings from 50bpm to 225. So on RPE I was and not confident at all. I always feel like I don’t know my body and can’t gauge my efforts at all. If I was going too slow or too fast I just don’t know, all I know is that some 10 dudes got to me and passed me during that time. One thing I am REALLY happy with is my head position. I made it a statement to correct my posture while aero and apparently I did. My other concern was my nutrition plan. After analyzing all kind of data from past long course races I knew I wasn’t consuming enough and not replenishing my electrolytes during the cycle which could help a little bit with the cramping. I make the changes and ended up with a good outcome and not much of GI issues. Bike was finished and my goal of sub 2.05 was not reached, ending up with a 2.09. (18.5mph avg)
T2 was a normal one with me just taking it a bit more easier giving myself time to settle in and reduce cramping by stressing too much.
Starting the run my hamstring started acting up quickly and I thought Ohh No! This is the end of the race for me, cramping again. I decided to take a quick walk and about 1min later I was feeling ok and running according to goal pace. Another negative aspect I had affecting me technically was that no matter how slower I tried running my Heart Rate was simply not going down. Goal was to stay under 166bpm and I never go under 1.70. Mile kept going through and I was ecstatic realizing that I was RUNNING not much walking any more . Four miles completed and I am in the low 9’s per mile pace. I took it easy on the aid stations and the 4-6 mile hilly stretch and kept the cramping under controlled. Again I was getting passed my some more mature runners but I was feeling ok and running as fast as I could and was prepared for. My longest run week in this block was 28 so I couldn’t ask for more. Approaching the last mile and running it on 9.36 was just the icing on the cake on a very GOOD day consider it all. In the end new personal best for me at this race 4hrs 22min, 6 minutes faster than 2009.
It’s obvious that I am making some good strides towards greater improvement and that amuses me. I finally know what kind of training I have to do for my body to respond and how to pace myself in each event. To get to the next level I will have to increase weekly volume to at least 11-12hrs weekly including longer bike rides in the trainer going from 1.2hrs –>2hrs, hitting swim sessions greater than 3km and running 30-35 miles per week. After I make those changes then the competition can finally be crushed!!!
Swimming:[2hrs 22min (6650mts)]
Cycling: [3hrs 59min (65km + trainer time)]
Running: [3hrs 52min (39.3km0]
Totals: 10hrs 13min [includes triathlon]