TRI for FUN Triathlon #1 - TriathlonSprint

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Herald, California
United States
TBF Racing
75F / 24C
Total Time = 1h 41m 47s
Overall Rank = 136/421
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 22/29
Pre-race routine:

Got up at about 5:10 am. Ate some sunbutter (like peanutbutter but made from sunflower seeds) and drank a glass of milk. A quick shower and shave and then loaded the bikes onto the van and headed for Rancho Seco.
Arrived a little later than planned. Waited in line for sign ups (we didn't pre register for this one since I was coming off a knee injury and didn't know if I'd do the race for sure). Got body marked and then found transition spots. Things were pretty crowded in transition, but people were very nice and made room for us.
Event warmup:

Kissed my wife (she was starting in a wave 15 minutes after mine) and got into the water about 7 minutes before my wave started, just to get used to the water temps. Swam easy over to the start after the wave before mine left.
  • 15m
  • 880 yards
  • 01m 42s / 100 yards

I started wide and tried to stay there. My wave had about 115 swimmers starting together and the middle of that was mayhem. Even trying to skirt the edges I was run into several times. I still can't seem to get into a good rhythm during a race. I swim for maybe a dozen strokes and then sight. That messes up my rhythm and it takes a bit to get it back. Then I repeat the process again and again. My goggles did leak a bit during the swim but it wasn't too bad, I'd roll onto my side or back every so often to drain the water out. Halfway through the race I felt pretty wasted. My breathing was off and I actually thought to myself "there's no way I'm doing the Olympic in July". I checked behind me and saw that I was near the middle of my wave, that gave me a bit of a mental boost. Not long after that I started passing guys from the wave before mine. Another mental boost. I didn't feel great about the swim as I finished, but looking back at it I am very happy with my time.
What would you do differently?:

Try to be a bit more aggressive and swim in the pack a bit more to make the route shorter than swimming the outside line.
Transition 1
  • 02m 35s

I got out of the water with 4 or 5 others. I walked a few steps while trying to locate the zipper pull (it was up over my left shoulder for some reason). Once I had the suit unzipped I ran up the hill to transition. I passed quite a few guys who were walking all the way up.
Suit off, glasses on, helmet on, socks on, shoes on, sucked down half a vanilla bean Gu gel, and sprayed on some sunscreen. It all seemed to go very smoothly. I stood there staring down at my transition spot thinking "what did I forget" for a couple seconds, then grabbed the bike and off I went.
What would you do differently?:

Practice transition a couple more times to get the time down a little more, but overall it was a good T1.
  • 54m 47s
  • 16 miles
  • 17.52 mile/hr

I had hoped to average 16 mph overall pace for the race. I started well and the first time I checked my speed I was up over 20 mph. The start is pretty flat or slightly downhill, then in goes downhill steady for the first 2 miles. I was passing a few guys and a couple of guys on really nice tri bikes went by me. One guy I passed was on a Scott road bike similar to mine, but his is black and yellow and he had clip on aero bars. There are a couple of turns/corners during the first 2 miles and those are a blast when hammering along at race speed with other riders nearby. The course flattens out for a mile or so and the guy on the Scott bike I passed earlier went by me while down in the aero position. At 3.5 the course starts uphill for a couple of miles. I tried to stay 3 bike lengths back from the guy on the Scott but it turned out he wasn't a quite as strong on the climbs as I was. I passed him again at about mile 5 and steadily pulled away. A little past mile 6 it starts back downhill and then flattens out a bit more for the last half mile to the turnaround. At about mile 7 the first of the gals passed me. I figure I was at about 20 mph when she went by. She was flying. The turnaround is basically on a flat stretch and there was a Highway Patrol officer holding auto traffic back for us while we turned around. There was a little headwind on the return trip, but I tried to keep my cadence at around 90 and I felt like I was doing well. At 12 miles I was still above 17 mph average! The climb back towards the park and the headwind made it tough to keep the speed up. I rolled up to the dismount line, jumped off, and ran past a couple of guys who were trying to dismount.
What would you do differently?:

The bike was great. Just need more training.
Transition 2
  • 01m 38s

Found my transition spot easily and racked the bike quick. Helmet off and hat on, then swapped bike shoes for run shoes. I put on my heart rate strap and Global Trainer watch during this transition. Nice smooth transition into run gear and I was off and running while clipping on my race number belt.

What would you do differently?:

Spray on more sunblock for my shoulders.
  • 27m 47s
  • 3 miles
  • 09m 16s  min/mile

I started out too fast. I came out of transition doing a 7:30 pace. My heart rate went up and I had to back it down to keep it under control. I had expected to be in the 9:30 to 10:00 per mile range and that is where I ended up. I felt very flat, not much energy during the run. I walked one of the steeper hills on the way out and I did walk the aid station at the 1 mile mark to drink some Gatorade. I was conscious of my slower pace and it was frustrating that I couldn't go faster. I did think about forcing myself to go faster, but I was honestly afraid of bonking because my energy felt so low.
What would you do differently?:

Because of a knee issue I had for all of May my run fitness is way off right now. I had figured on something near 10 min per mile pace, so the results of this race are about as good as I could reasonably hope for. Hopefully no injuries before the next race.
Maybe a Gu partway through the bike would have helped with the low energy feeling. Maybe I just went too hard on the bike.

Post race
Warm down:

Walked around and grabbed some water then back over to transition to cheer on my wife as she came in off the bike and out onto the run course. Then back to the food area for some fruit and cookies.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The lack of run training due to injury was big. I need to focus more on bike training to bring my average speed up without using everything up and killing my run.

Event comments:

This is not a chipped event so my times for each segment are based on wearing a stopwatch, bike computer, and GPS watch. Final time is based on official clock time. This is a great event and I plan to do a couple of more Tris here this season.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-01-17 12:00 AM
00:15:00 | 880 yards | 01m 42s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/29
Overall: 0/421
Performance: Average
Suit: Synergy Adrenaline
Course: wading/treading water start next to the swim beach area. Straight out from shore towards an orange sighting buoy then on to a white triangular buoy. Right turn and follow another long leg past another orange sighting buoy to the last white triangle buoy. Right turn then straight on in to shore near the swim finish arch.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 02:35
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
00:54:47 | 16 miles | 17.52 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/29
Overall: 0/421
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Out and back along the park road and then onto hwy 104. A little vehicle traffic, but the drivers were careful as they passed. CHP monitored for safety. Roads in the park were ok, a little rougher than I remembered from last year. Several speed bumps to cross. Areas with many small round pavement markers near pedestrian areas in the park also. Once onto hwy 104 the pavement is more rough, but very few potholes. Some low rolling hills but no big climbs. Turnaround is very tight in the middle of the roadway, but well manned by volunteers warning riders in advance.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:38
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:27:47 | 03 miles | 09m 16s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/29
Overall: 0/421
Performance: Average
Course: Out and back course. Starts flat across grass in the park and then out onto a local dirt fire road / fire break. Several rolling hills. These are a bit steeper than those on the bike portion. A lot of rocks if you get outside the "wheel" tracks.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5