This is more of a personal anecdote, but I’m curious about how other people have fared moving between such different disciplines?
I started racing as a crit racer, and moved out of E-grade ==> D grade, and got bumped into C-grade in early 2018. I had a reasonable year, placing in the top 10 every other race, and getting two podiums and 1 win (from a 1/2 lap leadout by a teammate). By the end of 2018, I was comfortable racing in C-grade, but nowhere near moving up to B.
Towards the end of 2018, I did my first 70.3, and then 2019 turned into a real dedicated IM year, completing my first (and likely only) full-distance IronMan in December, in 10:38:09. After about a month off, I came back to racing, and got permission to drop back down to D-grade since I didn’t feel like I had any ‘snap’.
My first race back was a really short (20min plus 2 laps), sharp criterium on a nasty course with a 180 degree u-turn every 500m. It was made even harder by the fact that there were two other riders who could easily have competed in C or even B grade, making the pace blisteringly fast. However, I managed to hold on, and got the win thanks to a crash from one of the others, and the fact that the strongest other rider didn’t realise it was the last lap, and thought my ‘sprint’ was just me pulling through for a turn.
My second race in D-grade was 3 weeks later, and I managed to pull off a win thanks to the real strong rider sitting up and letting me past. (He didn’t want to upgrade). That put an end to my D-grade career, and I was unceremoniously told to stop sandbagging and upgrade.
I then raced 3 days in quick succession, first on a punchy kermesse, where I got dropped on the last lap, and then 2 criteriums, where I finished in the pack for the first one, and 7th (out of 50) in the second.
Finally, last Tuesday, I had my first real sprint win in C-grade, coming over the top of Norwood’s sprinter in the last 20 meters, after an incredibly fast race (43km/h).
I really feel like the triathlon was a 7-month long base period, and now a month of racing has brought me right back to where I was, and more, with the punch.
How have you gone with swapping between endurance/sprint events?