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USAT Age Group National Championships - TriathlonOlympic

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Burlington, Vermont
United States
USA Triathlon
70F / 21C
Total Time = 2h 09m 45s
Overall Rank = 158/1988
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 24/144
Pre-race routine:

With being in the 12th wave, and transition open until 7:30, we didn't get up until 5:15, have some breakfast, then leave our hotel around 6:15 to drive the 15 minutes to park in Burlington, then walk down to transition.
Event warmup:

Once in the water, we had about five minutes or so to swim around a bit than get assembled at the start.
  • 26m 28s
  • 1640 yards
  • 01m 37s / 100 yards

Sitting on shore and watching the wind build during the morning wasn't all that reassuring, but I knew everyone had to deal with the wind and chop. My wave didn't go off until nearly 1.5 hours after the first wave, so I sat around with a few teammates and watched the first few waves of swimmers.

The course went out for maybe 100 yards, then took a 90 degree turn to the right. This buoy was plain crazy. 144 guys in my wave pretty much all on top of each other - I'm not sure if I was even in the water or on top of others at that buoy. After the first turn there were two sighting buoys until the next right turn. It was during this section, maybe 500 yards long, that the swell began to pick up. I was staying at my pace, which is really quite pathetic, as I know there really isn't much point for me to push that hard in the swim, only gaining a tiny bit of time, but wasting energy for later in the race.

By the time that I rounded the second turn buoy the waves were quite substantial - maybe 2-3 foot swells, but no real white caps. At points between this buoy and the third turn I went to take a stroke, but a wave lifted me and all I got was some air. This part of the course was also a bit downhill, almost going with the waves, so there were a few times were it felt like I was almost being pushed along.

After the third right turn, it was another straight shot of 500 or so yards to the next turn. This year they added in more sight buoys which helped. This section of the swim was a bit tricky as the waves and wind were coming from the right, trying to push us off to the left. We had seen a lot of swimmers in early waves get pushed way off course, so I did a bit more sighting on this section to makes sure that didn't happen to me.

The last third of the course was pretty uneventful - two left hand turns into the finish area. Going into the race my swim time goal was around 25 minutes, but I'll take this swim in choppy water - not what I wanted but close enough to where I wanted to be. Still, the swim was almost 5 minutes faster than last year, when I was very sick.

What would you do differently?:

I say this after every race, but I really need to get some swim lessons or have someone give me some technique tips. My fitness is there, but my swim still sucks!
Transition 1
  • 01m 39s

Nothing special here - my suit got stuck a tiny bit, but still an average transition.
  • 1h 00m 45s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 24.54 mile/hr

The bike is my strongest leg, and I was aiming for a time around 59 minutes, but it didn't happen. I got my average power to around 300 before the descent back into Burlington, but my average power at the end of the race was 293 watts. I had been aiming for 310-315 as an average. Over the past two months we've gone on trips of 10 and 7 days where I didn't ride at all, I guess that could have contributed to not being able to put out the power that I was planning on. Even so, I was a minute faster than last year, on what I feel was a harder bike course because of the strong winds, especially on the exposed sections.

The bike course had few flat sections, and was mostly uphill for the first quarter, rolling for the middle half, then more downhill for the last quarter. I did my best to push hard, but I just didn't seem to have the power that I usually do. My legs felt fine, but the numbers just weren't there today.

On the bike I passed what seemed like hundreds of riders, and didn't get passed by anyone from my AG or any other ones - at least that was nice.

There were a few sections in the middle of the ride were I was putting out 350 watts into the wind, but only going 21 mph - I knew at that point it wasn't going to be a fast ride.

What would you do differently?:

More consistent training. Traveling over the previous month didn't help with my biking.
Transition 2
  • 01m 9s

Again, another average transition.
  • 39m 45s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 06m 24s  min/mile

The run used to be a non issue for me, and an area of strength, but I'm not sure what's been happening this year. At Mt. Tremblant, and now in this race I've gotten nasty side stitches on my lower right side that have slowed me down. I've been able to work them out, but my pace has suffered. Both at Tremblant and in this race I had a large negative split, which is a good thing, but I know I'm capable of going a good deal faster.

The first mile was pretty solid - 6:52 with the 150+ ft gain up the first hill. Literally, at the top of the hill as I tried to settle into a 6:10 pace it felt as if someone stabbed me right under my right ribs. I had to back off and the second mile came in only a bit quicker than the first. I tried to coincide my breathing in with my left foot striking the ground, which has sometimes worked with side stitches, and this worked a bit.

The side stitch slowly began to dissipate, but I had already clocked in mile three in only 6:39. I was pissed at my pace, as I knew I was capable of a much faster speed. I told myself that I could push through the pain, and I picked up my pace, clocking 6:17, 6:09, and 5:40 in to the finish.

Early in the run, I was passed by around 7-8 guys in my AG - not fun going backwards. In the last few miles I was able to catch a few of them, but not what I had in mind for a run.

I was happy with the way that I finished, but not my overall time. I know I should be able to run a mid to low 38 min 10k off the bike. I guess that'll have to wait until next season, as my focus is shifting to Vegas in three weeks now.
What would you do differently?:

Figure out what's causing my side stitches off the bike. I really don't want this to happen in Vegas!
Post race
Warm down:

Crossed the line, finishing about four minutes back of what I was hoping for. I then waited for Colin to finish up - pretty bad ass of him to race AG Nats just a week after IM NYC! Brent came in a few minutes later, and we hung out before Katie and I grabbed a bit of food.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Time off from biking and a side stitch on the run. Would 'a, could 'a, should 'a..... The time is what it is - training harder and smarter will result in the time I was hoping for.

Event comments:

Overall, I should be pleased with my result. I cracked the 2:10 barrier, and finished in the top 10% overall at Nationals. However, I know if I had my best race things could have gone better. Still, I beat my time from the previous year by over seven minutes.

On a sad note, a racer in his 50's passed away during his swim leg. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. The triathlon family lost a dedicated athlete today.

Now, I've got ten days of harder training before tapering for Vegas. Off for a recovery bike, then a swim later on today.

Last updated: 2012-03-01 12:00 AM
00:26:28 | 1640 yards | 01m 37s / 100yards
Age Group: 82/144
Overall: 689/1988
Performance: Average
Suit: Xterra Vortex 3
Course: Three right turns, then two left turns into the finish area. Some serious swells in the middle of the course from pretty high winds.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: High
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 01:39
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
01:00:45 | 24.85 miles | 24.54 mile/hr
Age Group: 6/144
Overall: 41/1988
Performance: Below average
Avg HR: 166 Avg power: 293 watts NP: 302 watts
Wind: Strong
Course: Out from Burlington, climbing around 400 ft in the first 5 miles, then rollers for the next 15 miles, and then back into Burlington in the last section. A total of 1355 ft of elevation.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 87
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:09
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:39:45 | 06.21 miles | 06m 24s  min/mile
Age Group: 39/144
Overall: 282/1988
Performance: Below average
Avg HR: 163
Course: This course hits you right from the start with a big hill - gaining around 150 ft in the first mile. From there on, it's pretty flat out and back to the downhill finish.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
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] 4

2012-08-19 8:04 AM

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Bedford, MA
Subject: USAT Age Group National Championships

2012-08-19 8:29 AM
in reply to: #4369759

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Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championships

Impressive results and very close to that sub hour....and you are driven to improve.

Good luck training and racing for Vegas.

2012-08-19 4:08 PM
in reply to: #4369759

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Bedford, NH
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championships

Nice Race Nate!  It looks like your swimming has really improved, especially on a harder swim course.  Even though I also watched all the earlier people go off course and told myself I wouldn't, I still found myself off course and disoriented out there and ended up with a poor swim again this year. 

Good Luck at Vegas!

2012-08-20 8:09 AM
in reply to: #4369759

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Extreme Veteran
Lake Effect Snow Country
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championships
I was two waves ahead of you and also found sighting hard on the swim course and was pushed a bit off course too, but actually had great swim. I noticed the rolling waves too. What really got me was the ridiculously aggressive swimming in the last stretch. I was middle of the pack for my age group swim and just couldn't believe that this woman near me was so hard hitting given that none of us were front runners.

I checked your charts, I didn't wear my garmin and felt like the course was short, but your numbers are longer than my sense, so now I'm super happy with the course!

Great job!!
2012-08-20 8:31 AM
in reply to: #4369759

Northern IL
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championships
That's a very solid race, Nate. I've heard it was a very strong field this year. Even ST has had a lot of respect for the depth showing up this time.
2012-08-20 9:27 AM
in reply to: #4369759

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Bradford, PA
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championships
Great race Nate! Best of luck with your training over the next few days and then in Vegas. 

2012-08-20 12:26 PM
in reply to: #4369759

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Norwalk, Connecticut
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championships

nice work Nate!!  Congrats on a large improvement!!! To think that you will still get much faster is kinda scary!!


2012-08-21 7:12 PM
in reply to: #4369759

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