White Lake Spring Sprint Triathlon - Triathlon

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Elizabethtown, North Carolina
United States
Set Up Events
Total Time = 1h 30m 25s
Overall Rank = 33/123
Age Group = 41-45 Men
Age Group Rank = 6/12
Pre-race routine:

First some background. This is my second race with an open water swim and first with a wetsuit. The first was the same race last fall which was not wetsuit legal. All of my training this year has been centered around the upcoming 70.3, so I wasn’t sure how a sprint would go. My goals were pretty modest: (a) improve upon the 1:38 time I turned in last fall, and (b) finish in the middle of the pack in my age group. Considering this time last year I hadn’t ridden a bike in over a decade, these seemed like good goals.

White Lake was about 1:45 from my house, so wake up was at 4:30 AM. I had the car fully loaded the night before, so I stumbled out of bed, filled two travel mugs of coffee, and was off. Got the race site, checked in and set up my transition area. The race was well run and I was there earlier than most people, so no concerns over port-a-potty lines ;)
Event warmup:

Swam a few minutes in the lake, trying not to hit others doing the same head-on.
  • 17m 14s
  • 750 meters
  • 02m 18s / 100 meters

Open athletes and men under 45 all started in the first wave at 8:00, so I was up first. Last year, I entered this race as a masters novice and started last. Even still, people passed me left and right last year. The start was in the water and there was a fair amount of beating and banging going on. Honestly though, I didn’t really mind because I was surprised to find myself holding my own. Given I was in group 1, this really surprised me as I consider myself a slow and poor swimmer.

Typically when starting exercising, there is a time where I feel pretty lousy before finding my groove. This is considerably more alarming when in the middle of a lake than running or biking. However, I found my groove and carried on. For some reason, some other guy and I continued to swim basically on top of one another all the way to almost the second turn buoy. I checked his cap and sure enough, he started in my wave so again I didn’t really mind so much - just happy to be keeping up with the pack.

I glanced at my watch coming out of the water and was thrilled to see something like 16-17 minutes (last year’s time was 21:46). The wetsuit definitely helped as did much better sighting. Last year, a guy on a kayak had to tell me to turn back on course. Still, it was awesome to see so much improvement on the swim. It was a long run from the dock to T1 and the timing mat.

Time 17:14 which was 6 of 12 in age group and 60 out of 123 overall men. At least a minute of that was running from the dock so I was very pleased!!!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. Sight more at first as I did veer a little more than I should have.
Transition 1
  • 03m 45s

I hadn’t practiced transitions since last year and it showed. This was my first wetsuit transition and had a new mat and towel as well. The area was pretty dirty as well, so I eventually bailed on trying to get much of the dirt off of my feet. I eventually just sat down and got it done, but it was slow.

Time 3:45 which was 9 of 12 in age group. Slower than last year :(
What would you do differently?:

  • 45m 15s
  • 14 miles
  • 18.56 mile/hr

I had a great T1 spot and the course at White Lake is very flat. However, the bike continues to be my weak point. I feel like the swim is mostly technique and the run is mostly cardio training. The bike is mostly my weakness - sustained strength. Years of strength training made me OK at producing max effort for maybe 30-60 seconds at a time, but has not served me well for endurance strength needed on the bike. I didn’t really pass anyone (except slower racers on their first lap when I was on my second) and got passed a few times. This is also where the lack of sprint training caught up with me. I was feeling tired by the end.

45:15 which was 10 of 12 in age group. Last year was 47:08 so some improvement, but not a lot.
What would you do differently?:

I'm not sure. It went about as well as I could hope, I just need to train more.
Transition 2
  • 01m 37s

T2 was much quicker than T1. I was the only one in my area of TA and no bikes were on the rack. I just ditched my bike shoes, slid on my running shoes, popped on a hat, and was off. There was some confusion on where to go to get out onto the run course but it was OK.

1:37, 6 of 12 in age group. Last year was 1:55.
What would you do differently?:

  • 22m 36s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 07m 17s  min/mile

So a lot of people get into Tri from a running background. That was not the case with me. For whatever reason though, the run continues to be my best event. I kept an eye on my watch with the goal of keeping my pace at 7:30 or less. I reeled in and passed the enormous Masters Clydesdale that had passed me on the bike as well as several other people. I didn’t have anything left for a kick at the end and also the idiot volunteers pointed me in the wrong direction coming to the finish. Still, I was pretty happy with my time overall.

22:36, 5 of 12 age group, 33 of 123 men overall. Last year was 23:56, so I was pretty pleased with the run, despite feeling like I might throw up coming down the home stretch.
Post race
Warm down:

Waddled to people removing time chips. Then made my way over to the finish area for water, banana, and pizza.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Bike. Most of a tri happens on the bike, and I am consistently near the bottom. I think I should modify my training to have more bike time and less run time.

Event comments:

Overall time was 130:25, shaving about 8 minutes off of last fall’s time. White lake is a beautiful location. The bike is flat, the lake is as clear as you will find in the southeast, and SetUp Events does a nice job.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2016-01-04 12:00 AM
00:17:14 | 750 meters | 02m 18s / 100meters
Age Group: 6/12
Overall: 60/123
Performance: Good
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 03:45
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:45:15 | 14 miles | 18.56 mile/hr
Age Group: 10/12
Overall: 0/123
Performance: Below average
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:37
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:22:36 | 03.1 miles | 07m 17s  min/mile
Age Group: 5/12
Overall: 33/123
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4