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Mass State Triathlon - Triathlon

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Winchendon, Massachusetts
United States
Max Performance
75F / 24C
Total Time = 2h 54m 23s
Overall Rank = 307/385
Age Group = M50-54
Age Group Rank = 42/47
Event warmup:

After getting transition set up, I jumped in the water for 300-400m of swim warmup.
  • 32m 52s
  • 1450 meters
  • 02m 16s / 100 meters

I didn't quite have the swim I hoped for. This was technically my fastest time on the swim at this race (my 3rd time racing it), but it was only about 30 seconds faster than last year when I didn't wear a wetsuit. I did my best job of sighting/navigating the course, shortening the distance by 65 yards. But this course seems long to me, longer than any other Oly swim I've done.

The swim went OK, but as I was nearing the end it felt like I was getting a cramp in my quad. I'm not sure how that happens on the swim, but my fear was confirmed by the time I stepped onto dry land.
What would you do differently?:

Train better. My swim training has been very inconsistent for about 2 months now. If I had felt better about my training, and knowing what I know now about my cramping issues, I wish I had done the swim without the wetsuit.
Transition 1
  • 05m 56s

With the cramp in my left quad as I hit the beach, I took a lot of time getting through T1. I had some trouble getting my suit off, but part of that was due to the cramps and having to sit on the ground to do it. I took a few drinks of my electrolyte mix and took a few hits off my salt lick. My T1 last year was 2:23, so this was a huge change with the cramps.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing I could do about taking so long in T1. I had to get the cramps to calm down. Without the cramps, it wouldn't have taken nearly as long.
  • 1h 11m 51s
  • 22 miles
  • 18.37 mile/hr

Maybe I went a little too hard on the bike? I don't know. Surprisingly, the cramp in my quad didn't come back on the bike. I started off going at an easier pace and trying to take in plenty of water and hitting my salt lick on a regular basis. Easing into the bike was my plan from the beginning, but it was more necessary because of the cramps. In the end, I was only 9 seconds slower than last year's time. That felt like a win given that this was my longest ride of the year this year (sad, I know). It's possible I pushed the pace too hard given how poorly my run went, but I have no way of knowing.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. Only losing 9 seconds to last year's pace seemed almost impossible to think about before the race. My bike training this year is definitely not as good as it was last year, so to be that close was a surprise. Also, in terms of ranking within the race, this was my best sport.
Transition 2
  • 02m 9s

I shaved 31 seconds off my T2 time from last year, so that's good. I already had my race bib on, so it was mostly take off my bike helmet, shoes, and gloves and then put on my running shoes. I may have changed socks last year, but didn't this year, so that is another potential area of time savings. Relatively speaking, it felt like a fairly quick T2.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Saving 31 seconds over last year seems like a big improvement (20%). It's hard to argue with that result.
  • 1h 01m 37s
  • 6.2 miles
  • 09m 56s  min/mile

I thought I was off to a good start. Out of T1, I felt very stiff in the glutes and I was trying to keep my effort level a little lower as I waited to loosen up. I was surprised that I didn't suffer from the usual calf cramps that always come up about a 1/4 mile out of T2. I finished Mile 1 in 8:32, which was a little ahead of pace despite my stiffness. About 1.6 miles in is when disaster struck. That's when my quad cramps came back with a vengeance.

From then on, it was run a little, walk a little. I was hitting my salt lick fairly frequently and taking a couple cups of either water or Gatorade at the aid stations. At times, I completely stopped and tried to either stretch my quads or massage them to get rid of the cramps.

I ran out of salt just about at the 1.5 mile to go mark. I was able to mostly run the rest of the way, with only one slow down over that stretch. My pace wasn't great, but my Garmin has me finishing Miles 5 and 6 in 9:34 and 9:13. So I was still having to take it easy, but at least I finished without the cramps returning.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing I could do differently here. Maybe I was a little fast out of T1, but I don't think going a little slower during mile 1 was going to make it so the cramps didn't come back. Perhaps a combination of a slower pace and more salt could have helped get me to the finish a little faster. Maybe not. I did as best as I could to try to manage the situation and to get across the finish line, which I did.
Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed a water bottle, dumped some of that on my head and over my chest and walked around some as I let my HR come down.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training and nutrition. Although, it would seem the nutrition was a bigger factor than my training. I feel like I would have lost minimal time to last year if it wasn't for the cramps. And I feel like the cramps must have been due to low sodium in my system before the race. Next race, I load up on salt in the 1 or 2 days leading up to it!

Event comments:

I like this race and this is my 3rd consecutive year doing it. It's a good, fair course in a good location. They always seem to have plenty of volunteers and a good turnout. The swim seems like it always measures considerably longer than the advertised 0.9 miles, but everyone is swimming the same course so it isn't like it's unfair. I'm sure I'll be back next year!

Last updated: 2018-07-09 12:00 AM
00:32:52 | 1450 meters | 02m 16s / 100meters
Age Group: 38/47
Overall: 268/385
Performance: Average
Suit: Yes
Course: Triangular shaped course, counterclockwise around the buoys
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 77F / 25C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 05:56
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
01:11:51 | 22 miles | 18.37 mile/hr
Age Group: 37/47
Overall: 250/385
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: This is a single loop through some of the surrounding towns.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:09
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:01:37 | 06.2 miles | 09m 56s  min/mile
Age Group: 42/47
Overall: 307/385
Performance: Bad
Course: Out and back loop through some back roads around the recreational area. Plenty of the course is in the shade of trees surrounding some of the roads, which helps to keep you at least somewhat cool as the day's temperature starts to rise.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
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] 4

2018-07-09 10:48 AM

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North Grafton, Massachusetts
Subject: Mass State Triathlon
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