The Short Course Triathlon Thread

Another weekend another race. Pool based sprint triathlon this time. Its an event I’ve done before and always enjoyed.

Swim went about as well as expected from someone who’s swimming this year has been 1x50m and 1x100m swims which took place when we took our littke boy to the pool. 7.11 was the time so i can’t be unhappy.

Theres no space at the pool for transition so it was up at a nearby school, probably about 600m away, which meant putting some shoes on straight out of the pool, not really much finest moment as I fought with them far too much.

Out on the bike and it was time to get the hammer down. Its a REALLY short bike at just short of 14kms so its a really fun blast. At that distance there’s no real need to monitor power and you just go as hard as possible. There were also other competitors at nice intervals to try and catch. Two most notable moments came when I managed to get caught in traffic, there was someone out for a nice Saturday ride and two cars were patiently waiting to pass, so I joined the line and passed when I could. The other moment was when I was following a guy and he turned a corner and then wasn’t there any more once i arrived! Turns out a car coming the other was took a “creative” line around the corner and forced him over to the side and into the mud in a ditch at the side of the road. Luckily there was a marshal on hand to help him out.

The run was an out and back affair. I had caught a young lad on the bike and we left T2 at the same time. I latched on to his back and just followed him the whole way.

Finish time was annoyingly 1:00:05 but I’m absolutely made up with my performance.

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Ha ha - sounds fun! 07:11 was for what distance swim? Sounds super fast…

I’m 4 weeks out from my first Olympic distance. I scoped out the bike course in the car earlier this week as it’s not far from my sons school. Couldn’t really make sense of where T1 will be but the bike looks ok along a closed dual carriageway so no big gradients but some long gentle ones to sap the legs before the dead turns.

Also did a simulation on Rouvy of the London Olympic course. 1h05 at sweet spot effort which bodes very well for my targets if that’s a realistic course.

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It was 400m. I was really made up with the time. Swimming is probably the one of the three sports I find most natural, in that I can generally jump into a pool with little training and come out with something that is a reasonable time. It does make me really wish that I had the ability to get some swimming in at the moment, with the general fitness gains that I have made with a small amount of training I think I would be smashing my PBs.

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Just checking in…

Things in France are looking quite good for racing. Pools should reopen the 9th June, and most June/July/August races look like they’re on.

I’ve been training as best I can. The remarks above about brick training were very helpful - I’ve been keeping the bike warmdown a bit higher effort and feeling it a bit more on the brick run. I’ve managed to get a couple of longish sea swims in, which probably haven’t had any training effect at all, but give me confidence that I can maintain a decent freestyle for a good distance, I just need to stick to my plan of being very relaxed in the water. I think I’ll be starting at the edge of the group in the next race, to try and keep from pushing too hard and blowing up. I’ve also found an outdoor track about 10mins run from where I work, to try and get some decent speed work going - I still run really slowly, but it’s very nice to have a good surface and no need to dodge people in the other local park at lunchtime.

Next race is 13th June. Bouzigues Cross Triathlon. Fortunately for me it’s only ‘S’, A distance that I’ve already done, with nice looking bike and run courses (looks like half road/fireroad and half fast singletrack, more sandy than rocky). Just need to have a few rides on the mountain bike to remember how to corner, get over rocks and not clip trees.

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Update. I did two short-course races, hit highest ever triathlon power numbers on the bike in both. The first race was a 0.95k/45k/10.5k, the second a sprint. Improved my triathlon 10k PR by 10 seconds per kilometer in the first race (4:22/k pace - smack in the middle of the range suggested by @Mikael_Eriksson’s training plan). Matched my best tri 5k in the other (I have always been much stronger in sprints) with a 4:08/k pace on a slow course (complete with two sets of stairs to climb). Hit overall PRs in both races against historical races on faster courses. Ended up #5 out of #40 in my age group in the sprint. All of this off of a half-ironman training plan (I only switched to the Olympic plan a month ago) with very little in the way of short-course race pace in the recent weeks.

The results came at the cost of much less suffering in and with the benefit of more enthusiasm for training than when I was training with TR, and with a very similar volume of training. I also developed a HTFU attitude in racing, overcoming two major crises on both runs (stitches), which I partly attribute to not having spent so much mental currency in training. Despite bike training taking a much smaller toll compared to Trainerroad’s plans, I still end up having better bike splits than run and swim splits.

All of this sounds like bragging. Forgive me. I just want to say you can do more with less when the plan is well-designed.

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Sounds like great progress to me :+1: I’m not bothered how you get there :slight_smile:

Oof. Came off my recovery week (which did occur in parallel with a trip to see my parents) and I was feeling pretty crappy. Resting HR was around 5bpm higher than normal and HRV was pretty low for a couple mornings; workouts reflected this as well. I ended up taking Wednesday and Sunday off then yesterday had a morning crit for the holiday. Felt pretty strong there, then in the afternoon I decided to get my tri bike kitted out in race trim and take it for a “light” test ride ahead of my first Oly on Sunday.

That “light” test ride turned out to be an hour at 335NP! :grimacing: Then of course I did a 16km brick off that ride. I can be a bit of an idiot at times but I felt good during the run and feel good today yet. Another thing I found out is how much harder it is to hold aero position inside vs outside. Inside SS intervals in areo are near torture. That ride was a comfort cruise and did not feel nearly as hard as the power seemed to indicate.

Also the RD for my Sunday Oly sent out an e-mail yesterday announcing they had created an elite wave so I replied asking to be added to it. Time to see how I measure up, as long as I’m not continuing to be dumb leading up to the race. I promise to be good. :innocent:

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Good luck! Sub 1 hour on the bike or bust!

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Buffalo Triathlon 2021 Race Report:

This was a B race that I put on my calendar mainly as an entry back into racing after a 19mo COVID layoff. My main goals were to try out some of the things I had been playing with in training over the last year in a race environment. Additionally I wanted to knock some rust off my transitions and see what I really needed to practice. Then of course I also wanted to use this as a measuring stick against some stiff local competition to see where I stood.

This race thankfully did contain quite a few of the local fast guys as well as some pretty tough conditions. I got myself into the elite wave to race directly with them and it was also nice not having any waves of slow swimmers to contend with. However I gave myself some blisters trying to do a longer sockless run on Monday to “toughen up my feet” but it backfired spectacularly. The rest of the week I was stubborn and kept training on them, taping them up but it just made them grow. By Friday I shut everything down and went into full on treatment mode and I was starting to suffer from quite a bit of anxiety about what I was going to do. Saturday I spent the day soaking my feet in Epsom salts and applying climbers balm to them. It seemed to work a bit.

Raceday Morning:

Driving to the start line at 5am I noticed the thermometer on the local bank reading 80F. Yeah it was going to be a hot one. But probably more unique was that it was also forecast to be very windy, with sustained winds over 30kph and gusting to around 50kph. I gave myself a little extra time to get into transition and set things up considering I hadn’t done that in a good long while. I had been practicing my flying mount, but considering my rack was only 15m from the bike mount line and given the blister situation, I decided to put my shoes on in T1 and go barefoot in the race as things were feeling OK. I did have some socks and if things got really bad some KT tape as well but barefoot was going to be plan A.

Swim:

The lake was a rather large lake and the swim was pretty much at the far end of where the wind was coming from which meant waves. I’d done my fair share of ocean swims dealing with swells and choppy water, so I wasn’t too worried. In the elite wave there were roughly 30 people both men and women so my plan as a relatively weak swimmer was to latch onto some feet in a “slower” group and hang on. What actually happened though was I think I found myself on the front group as finding the different groups in the water was tough with the waves. And consequently I went out way way way too hot going anaerobic. Once I realized this error I slowed down and found that second group I was originally looking for, but I had already gotten myself into the red zone. I needed a little more time to regain my breath but the waves were making it hard to take in the oxygen I felt like I really needed. This is when something new happened to me. I begun to panic just a bit.

I took a couple strokes with my head up out of the water, sacrificing all aspects of fundamental swim form and wondered what I was even doing out there. What was I doing signing myself into the elite wave. I’m not elite. I have no business here. I’m going to get caught by all the age group waves. My bike will be the last one in the elite rack. How embarrassing. I put my head back in the water and resumed swimming. Panic returned. Head came out. Then I noticed a couple other small groups of swimmers to my left. OK, so I wasn’t in last. Maybe I can do this. I again put my head in the water but again it wasn’t the time. So I resolved to swim with my head up until the first turn bouy. Once I rounded the turn the wind was now at my back and instead of hitting me from the side, the waves were behind me. I put my head in the water and got motoring again.

I eventually caught a couple other swimmers and latched onto some feet to come back in. When I got out of the water and crossed the timing mat my watch read 28min and some odd seconds. Damn. That was…slow.

T1:

There were still bikes in the elite rack! I wasn’t last! But there were not many. I slipped my feet into my shoes and the blisters didn’t object. Awesome. Had a swig of some of my watered down decarbonated redbull in my transition bottle and headed out onto the bike course. Time actually at my bike rack 55 seconds. I can do better but not too sad about that. The two people I came out of the water with had run a bit faster from the lake to transition so I was a couple seconds behind them.

Bike:

Lap 1/2: I was in a bit of a bad mood getting out onto the bike course. Yes I wasn’t last but I also wasn’t very happy with my swim. I’d later find out that aside from a couple uber-swimers, the majority of the elites finished the swim in around 24min. Yeah, conditions were that bad. But I didn’t know that at the time and just assumed I was already something like 10min back so I was feeling a bit deflated. I did manage to pass my swim mates pretty quickly and that gave me a little bit of a boost, but then the bike course turned uphill and into the winds. I was having trouble settling into my goal power for the day and was wondering if the swim took more out of me than I thought, or if I was just having a bad day. Either way, I pushed on staring at the empty road ahead of me with no rabbits in sight.

Soon the road turned and I was now into a cross-headwind with rolling hills and got my first rabbit to try and pick off. That motivated me a bit to get going and soon I had passed them, though I was noticing a fair amount of body tension while riding in the crosswinds. I’ve been taking my bike out in the winds this year to practice just this thing but I could obviously use more and never had something like this to practice in. Looking back at the race, I think this took more energy out of me than anything else on the bike. Anyways another turn and now I had mostly tailwind and hills. For these downhills I got down onto my basebar and kept my general aero position, just with a little extra stability in case a big gust came from the side (which did happen occasionally) and I didn’t feel it was worth the risk to stay in the aero bars. Another turn and now the tail-crosswind. Found a couple more rabbits and again fought with the wind, but I caught them by the time I hit the second lap. I was sitting at an Average Power of 290W, NP of 301W, and Avg Speed of 40.2kph. Short of what I was targeting but considering the wind and my crabby mood earlier I understood it. But getting done with my first lap all things considered over 40kph I was feeling a bit better about myself.

Lap 2/2: Now I had bike traffic to contend with and it was pretty dense. However it did make the “game” a bit more fun to constantly have somebody to pick off. There were times when I ended up passing somebody who in turn was passing somebody else but the roads/shoulder was wide enough to accommodate. Once I got into the cross-headwind the density of traffic was getting a bit lighter which was wonderful as I wanted to give people a wider berth on the downhills given the winds. The really cool thing at this point too was that I noticed my avg speed was still just about 40kph with the majority of the headwinds done and dusted. Onto the tailwind portion and really opened up, I was starting to enjoy lap 2, though I was noticing something that almost never happens to me on the bike: My arms were covered in sweat. Yeah, it was getting hot out, and even the winds I was experiencing were not enough to keep me dry, which is usually the case for me. Into the cross-taliwind section and I made some more passes getting my avg speed up to 40.7kph before I had to slow down to come back into T2. Avg power 296 with NP of 310. IF of 0.86 so the 2nd lap was closer to my goal of a 0.9IF on the bike. Also turns out that I had the 2nd fastest bike split overall as well.

T2:

Feet still felt pretty good so I slipped my bare feet into my running shoes. (I went with my Altra training shoes with the big wide toebox instead of the Carbon plate Nikes I usually use for racing) Had another sip of the redbull, put on my hat, grabbed my race belt, and headed for the run out. It took almost until the actual run course for me to get my racebelt clipped in, but no biggie. 35 seconds at the rack. Could be better again but not bad.

Run:

The run started up a pretty steep incline and there were the blisters! If I slowed down a bit it wasn’t so bad, and even once it flattened out, if I went much faster than a 4:30/km the pain went up a fair amount. Now, this seems like a great excuse for why my run time was as slow as it was, but I’ll be honest, even if the blisters did not exist, I don’t know if I could have sustained a much faster pace given the heat, wind, and terrain. There were a couple guys that passed me by on the way to the turn around (which was all uphill, into a headwind, and with zero shade…ugh) but the cool thing was that I found myself in 9th place as I was counting back and really not all that far from the leader from what I could tell. Which also meant I got off the bike 4th overall! Woah!

By the time I hit the turnaround I was starting to struggle with the heat and keeping up my pace, but I soldiered on just focused on being mindful. At one point another guy passed me pushing me to 10th but he began run/walking so we went back and forth for a bit until the last km where I went past him for good. Being honest with myself, I’m actually glad I was limited to that 4:30 pace because crossing the finish line I knew I was able to maintain that pretty consistently and didn’t have much left in the tank. All in all my run was right around 45min for an overall time of 2:15.

I was really hoping coming into the day to be more in the 2:05 range but I think those calculations were based on a more idealized course and conditions. I’m pretty sure that I’d be able to claw back 3-4min in the swim given no panic attack and smaller waves, another 3min I’d think on the bike for a less hilly course with less wind, and at least 4min on the run without the heat. So I’m pleased. I finished 9th overall, 9th in the elite division, and as it turns out the 8 guys in front of me wouldn’t even by in my AG anyways, so I was the fastest M35-39 on the course that day. It was hard, it was a struggle, it was miserable, but I’m happy!

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A performance to be proud of and a great write up too - thanks :slightly_smiling_face:

Very impressive. Great job.

Gotta say though, I don’t understand the determination by those out there that run barefoot. Not trying to bash anyone, I just don’t get it.

Hope you recover quickly.

Great report, and sounds like you managed to get back into it after blowing up on the swim - a great example for me !

I’ve just heard that my ‘B’ race that would have been this Sunday (13th) has been cancelled. Sounds like the local mayor got cold feet about Covid at the last minute. So no racing until end of July for me!

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Was supposed to be racing for Team GB Age group team in the sprint duathlon in Almere, Netherlands in Sept but that got cancelled on the weekend. Totally gutted. Trained solidly pretty much for 2 years to qualify and aim for that event. Qualification place rolls over but worlds are in Australia in 2022 and no way I can afford to go to that. Really gutted.

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@RobertSims Oh yuck! There’s really nothing to say other than that sucks. Is there anything you can find on a 2021 race calendar that you can re-focus on to target with your fitness?

Thanks @JoeX @lightyear, and @timb34. I suppose I don’t really understand barefoot runners much either, but I will say that if I have a nice lawn to run around on, I love the feeling of being barefoot. But doing any kind of distance and especially on pavement, big nope from me.

The other fun thing was that around 24hours after the race my blisters had finally healed into that tough leathery like stage that I was really hoping for by raceday. Oh well, I got to learn a valuable lesson the hard way and it wasn’t at the expense of an A race. Next 3 Oly are 2 weeks from now, 3 weeks from now, and 5 weeks from now. Time to hone in the racecraft and maybe get favorable conditions to throw down a fast time?

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Argh, that’s awful news Robert

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I was just going to start trying sockless running - sockless, not barefoot mind. Speed of transition, because it’s so hot and because I have a couple of tight pairs of shoes.

I guess start with short distances and plenty of talcum powder then.

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I have been cycling and running sockless to get the feet used and works really well. Powder really helps to get in shoes quickly when wet.

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Totally misread your post. Didn’t realize you wore shoes etc. just went without socks. Duh.

I use body glide for my feet and apply it to the heel of the cycling shoes and my run shoes. I admit, that for those races I use my older, worn out pairs as I don’t worry about getting the stank with them.

You have any older pairs you can use and lube up before you race? It really does help.

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Race result!

Position Bib # Athlete Name Gender Category
16 12 Joe X M 40-54
Swim T1 Cycle T2 Run Time Time Diff
07:40 02:00 37:42 01:25 26:54 01:15:45 +08:28

Local sprint triathlon I entered last Sunday as I was desperate to race and so glad I did. Amazing to be out there racing with other people, and being a Sprint it was just Go Hard all the time.

I didn’t break, well I wore some holes in my feet, and felt fantastic finishing :smile:

I broke my swim watch, forgot my Garmin edge and forgot to start my forerunner on time so I don’t have much data :rofl:

Course was:
400m pool swim
21km +250m bike rural/urban roads
5.25km +60m run trail

8mins to make up on the winner and almost all of that is run time.

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Well-done!

I’m racing the inaugural Challenge Poland (Gdańsk) sprint on Saturday. About 350 people on the start list, including 200 in my wave. Lucky to be in the first wave starting at 8.00 as it’s going to be a hot day, and also the sea should be calmer early on (according to the locals).

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