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The Desert Sprint Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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La Quinta, California
United States
58F / 14C
Total Time = 1h 12m 24s
Overall Rank = 46/378
Age Group = M50-54
Age Group Rank = 7/22
Pre-race routine:

I woke up extra early, 3:45, and killed time at the house. I rolled at 4:45, and parked at the lake in time to be in transition at exactly 5:30. In transition, I set up right away (on the wrong rack), trotted the ins and outs to stay warm, and chatted with friends.
Event warmup:

I did some easy running, and was in the water to get used to it about 15 minutes before the wave.
  • 10m 17s
  • 500 meters
  • 02m 04s / 100 meters

The lake was a warm 68F, so I wore a sleeveless wetsuit for the first time in the open water.

I lined up on the left side of the chute about 4 people back, using a tip from a pro (Chrissie?) to put the group on the side you breathe to, to be able to easily see it. I've tried the middle and swimming wide, but this worked this time.

I was ready to fight my way through the turns on the inside lines, but there was room at the buoys.

My internal compass was working, and I was on a straight line every time I looked up. I sort of drafted a guy to and around the first buoy, but he disappeared as the field blew apart and went wide.

I kept my stroke going all the way to the shore, and ran well, blowing by people, right out of the water.

What would you do differently?:

Every thing worked. It would have been nice to draft a faster swimmer, but I didn't get lucky with that.
Transition 1
  • 02m

This was fairly fast. The only surprise was that for the first time ever, the rack was empty all the way to my bike since there were 7 guys in the ag sub 9:00.
  • 38m 9s
  • 14 miles
  • 22.02 mile/hr

I intentionally hammered this at full power, which the 34th overall shows. Yes, I'm still a cyclist, although I barely train, and am becoming a runner. This wasn't a PB for me at La Quinta, but it was close.

The race was uneventful. I didn't see any crashes or draft packs. Cyclists responded very well when I'd say I was passing.

I continually passed people, mostly from earlier waves, and got passed once, by a fast young guy as we entered the park.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, except ride a lot more miles per week.
Transition 2
  • 01m 15s

This was speedy enough, 6th in the ag, and I barely gave away a few seconds.
  • 20m 42s
  • 3 miles
  • 06m 54s  min/mile

This was fun, and looks like it might have been a pr. My Strava file shows that I ran reverse splits; I was slow at an 8:00 pace out of T2, but I did pick it up, and continually passed people. I got passed once, by a young guy. I used the standard trick of looking fast, fresh and effortless when I'd pass people my age.

One thing I've picked up is to run tangents, and I was the only one doing it among the people I saw. Everyone else was running sweeping curves and running on packed trails, instead of sighting on the next turn. It did help that I practice on trails and unpaved surfaces.

It was a novel feeling to pass people after the bike! It was a satisfying, competitive run, and it felt good. The work is paying off. I ran faster than some of the elites and ex-pros who beat me in the ag, so I'm totally optimistic about the Oceanside 70.3.
What would you do differently?:

I want to figure out how to get the pace up sooner out of T2.
Post race
Warm down:

Nada. I felt good. I just drank water and munched cookies and an energy bar.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not much, maybe some speed work and a few bricks.

Event comments:

This is a solid mainstay of SoCal races. The volunteers are cheerful and great, so are the organizers.


Last updated: 2013-10-21 12:00 AM
00:10:17 | 500 meters | 02m 04s / 100meters
Age Group: 11/22
Overall: 159/378
Performance: Good
Suit: 19 sleveless
Course: Out, two lefts and in
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:00
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
00:38:09 | 14 miles | 22.02 mile/hr
Age Group: 7/22
Overall: 34/378
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: A "P" shape out of the park then a loop to the south.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks:
Time: 01:15
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal
00:20:42 | 03 miles | 06m 54s  min/mile
Age Group: 5/22
Overall: 55/378
Performance: Good
Course: A lap around the lake.
Keeping cool Drinking
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?
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2014-03-01 11:07 PM

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Palm Springs, California
Subject: The Desert Sprint Triathlon

2014-03-02 10:27 PM
in reply to: #4957887

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Subject: RE: The Desert Sprint Triathlon
Nice race!!!
2014-03-03 12:20 PM
in reply to: #4957887

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Menomonee Falls, WI
Subject: RE: The Desert Sprint Triathlon

Nice job & sweet run after that solid bike!

2014-03-03 12:24 PM
in reply to: #4957887

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Subject: RE: The Desert Sprint Triathlon
Nice your comment about "running tangents." As a former high school cross country running...(many, many years ago!), I know to do this but don't even think about it....a simple strategy such as this will shave time off of your race; well done!
2014-03-03 6:15 PM
in reply to: #4957887

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Central Coast, CA
Subject: RE: The Desert Sprint Triathlon

Nice race, especially the fast run!

2014-03-03 8:49 PM
in reply to: MOlsen

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Palm Springs, California
Subject: RE: The Desert Sprint Triathlon
Thanks dude! We swim at Avila a week from Wednesday!

...and like I mentioned, my run program was significantly influenced by your ideas and questions for the half marathon.

2014-03-10 12:47 PM
in reply to: Pacific John

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Valencia, CA
Subject: RE: The Desert Sprint Triathlon
Wow, nice race! I'm sure I was one of your passing victims (I was in the 40-44 AG).

Did you feel like the swim was longer this year? I know last year the swim splits were faster across the board. I actually think that last year the course was not quite 500M (I know it was the first time they used the J-pattern, at least the first time in the past 5 years).
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2011-11-23 5:38 PM Giuseppe
date : November 9, 2009
author : TexasHeatRunner
comments : 5
At mile ten I heard a noise like I had gotten paper in my spokes or something. I looked but saw nothing but a few seconds later my rear tire blows out.
date : June 3, 2009
author : Amy Kuitse
comments : 0
Are these races too close together to give me any sort of recovery? Will I be spent and unhappy racing back to back weekends and then again two weeks after that?
date : September 8, 2008
author : pjwalzphd
comments : 2
When I told my husband that I planned to work toward completing a sprint triathlon, he smiled and was supportive, but a bit disbelieving.
date : April 1, 2008
author : trvw
comments : 0
The challenge? The accomplishment? I want to do this because it is an opportunity to live life. The event is an indoor sprint triathlon. I get to experience the challenge on a safer scale.
date : February 12, 2008
author : mikericci
comments : 0
This plan is designed to make you go faster. 3 workouts per week in each sport, 2 days of strength training and core work. The maximum volume is around 10 hours toward the end of the 12 weeks.
date : September 3, 2006
author : acbadger
comments : 1
Since your “A” race is your marathon, which you stated in your question, this should be your main focus. I encourage you to taper a bit for the sprint distance triathlon.
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author : Ron
comments : 0
Couch-to-sprint triathlon training programs to get you over the finish-line of your first triathlon.
date : August 29, 2004
author : Ron
comments : 1
Program outline of the 16 and 20 week sprint triathlon training plan overviews.