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Lehigh Valley Steelman Triathlon - Olympic Distance - TriathlonOlympic

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Quakertown, Pennsylvania
United States
Total Time = 2h 49m 58s
Overall Rank = 169/344
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 29/43
Pre-race routine:

Ate a pasta meal the night before. Drank water and electrolyte before going to sleep at 9PM. Woke up at 4 AM; drank water. Did my morning hygiene and consumed a gel pack and water.

I was in a hotel and did not plan well for breakfast. Therefore, I had a granola bar at the hotel and then grabbed a banana and sports drink at 7-Eleven on the way to the race. While I purchased a cup of coffee, I resisted the urge to drink it on the way knowing full well the effect it has on my system.

I knew we were in for some precipitation as soon as I left the hotel as it was already/still raining - albeit lightly. It would continue to do so for nearly the entire race, right until the finish.
Event warmup:

I only warmed up in the water. I did not run or bike.
  • 34m 42s
  • 1600 yards
  • 02m 10s / 100 yards

Start was not very hectic. Very little bumping or swimming over each other. I wanted to start in toward the rear and outside, but ended up in the middle and on the inside edge. The start was easy and I settled into a good rhythm and was able to spot the buoys. I did drift inward on a couple of the buoys and had to correct outward. I turned right next the buoys on the three turns. I felt good when I started to catch some of those in the waves ahead - and then not so good when the lead swimmers of the wave behind began to pass by. All-in-all, I think I swam well for the level of training.
What would you do differently?:

Focus on stroke efficiency, spend more time in my stroke rhythm and spot less. I will also resist the urge to get into swimming "battles" and swim my own race.
Transition 1
  • 02m 26s

All-in-all I was not too upset with T-1. I did take in some electrolyte before pulling the bike off the rack. I sat to put on my bike shoes. Transition site was set up well, I was able to get to all my things easily.
What would you do differently?:

Learn to shoe-in on the bike.
  • 1h 20m 23s
  • 24.6 miles
  • 18.36 mile/hr

Overall I felt good on the bike. I tried to keep HR in the Z2 to low Z3, but the hills pushed it up. I was surprised at the 18 mph pace; I thought it would be slower. I did get caught up in the atmosphere and rode a little harder than I wanted to.

I did not hydrate or fuel enough. I filled my large water bottle with electrolyte and had nearly 2/3rds left when I returned to T2; this would create problems later. I did - as planned, take a gel back as I entered onto the highway. I did not take any fluids from the aide stations.
What would you do differently?:

Race my race and know that I have the run coming up. Hydrate much better.
Transition 2
  • 01m 44s

Felt very smooth in T2. As with most events, I was MOP here as well.
What would you do differently?:

Train more on transitions. Learn to shoe off coming into the transition area.
  • 50m 45s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 10s  min/mile

Not hydrating enough hurt me on mile four or so. I developed a cramp in my right calf that knotted up pretty good. Legs were spaghetti for the first two miles or so, normally I get my legs back at 3/4 to 1 mile. I had not done any bricks for about three months leading up to the race (I moved from Germany back to the States during that time). I actually had a better run time than I thought. I figured I was doing 9 to 9 1/2 min miles, so I was pleased. I did hydrate well on the run, but by this time I think it was too late to avoid the cramp - maybe.
What would you do differently?:

Lose about 15 - 20 pounds; it really slows you down. I will also hydrate much better on the bike. I will also keep a close eye on HR and keep it Z2 to Z3 - especially on the upcoming HIM.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around to get my HR back down. Stretched legs and calves and started working the knot in my calf. Drank plenty of electrolyte, ate a bagel and peanut butter.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

This was my first OLY and only second TRI. I set out to keep it real and to take in the race atmosphere and learn the sport. That said, my training volume and quality of training was affected by my summer move and really hindered me from doing better - even considering what I wanted to do. I don't see myself ever being on podium, but I think I can finish in the upper 1/4 of age groupers and even better in my age group.

Event comments:

As this is only my 2nd race and the first in the US, I was pleasantly surprised. Lots of volunteers who seemed genuinely proud of their race. From what I understand, this race is growing and reaching the point of evolving from a "club" race to a mainstream event - which is the source of my only criticism. The end of race award events were a bit amateur and lacked a professional "snap" that I witnessed at a smaller, club run tri in Germany. Overall though, I enjoyed myself, as did the others at the race. A lot of work went into it and the organizers pulled off a safe, fun, and competitive race.

Last updated: 2009-08-12 12:00 AM
00:34:42 | 1600 yards | 02m 10s / 100yards
Age Group: 22/43
Overall: 165/344
Performance: Good
Suit: None
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:26
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
01:20:23 | 24.6 miles | 18.36 mile/hr
Age Group: 31/43
Overall: 165/344
Performance: Below average
153 HR Avg: 169 Max.
Wind: Some
Course: Closed highway. Stiff climb out of T1 onto highway, right turn to first turn-around, rolling hills with some level areas to second turn around. The oly racers did the loop twice. Turn back into the transition area was back down the hill where braking was paramount. Brakes heated up toward the end.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:44
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:50:45 | 06.21 miles | 08m 10s  min/mile
Age Group: 30/43
Overall: 167/344
Performance: Average
Avg 160; Max 170. Higher than I wanted to run at.
Course: Blacktop trail under forest canopy which provided good shade. Rolling hills with several turns, one fairly sharp on the down hill. Two laps for the oly distance.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
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] 3

2009-08-12 9:39 PM

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Monument, Colorado
Subject: Lehigh Valley Steelman Triathlon - Olympic Distance

2009-08-13 6:48 AM
in reply to: #2345338

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Ames, IA
Subject: RE: Lehigh Valley Steelman Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Very nice first Oly.  Congrats! 
2009-08-15 11:28 AM
in reply to: #2345338

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New Brunswick, Canada
Subject: RE: Lehigh Valley Steelman Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Really nice race for your first Oly, congrats.
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