A Day in the Lakes Triathlon – Ullswater – half ironman distance – this is one of the first triathlons I ever did, 3 or 4 years ago I just remember being broken, and that was at the start of the run. There was walking, wincing and a promise to come back and do it properly. So that was the challenge for last weekend.
The swim was a bit of a test, I’ve done a total of 6 swim sessions this whole year, with the longest being 20 minutes. Not exactly pro training. Not exactly training at all. So it was a test. But the gym has been beasted this winter. No pool, just dumbbells and bodyweight. Would it pay off? Well it was pretty choppy, swim times were well down, I swam 33 minutes for the 1.9km so happy enough at that, and I came out of the water higher up than normal. Good enough result. Roll-up for functional swim strength clinics!
The bike; going up Kirkstone pass into a headwind was just a pleasure, thanks TriHard for organizing that! Twenty miles into the bike I got a shout that I was in 1st place. Wow, ok, what now? Just stick to plan and hope there’s not too many fell runners out there.
Someone asked me about nutrition – a 750ml bottle of sports drink (High5 Energy Source) every hour plus 2 gels every 30mins, one of which is caffeinated. And that’s it. A good breakfast and caffeine loading with a sports drink prior to the start is something I do at most races too.
Anyway, running off the bike after doing some big hills is a guaranteed way to make you feel like a crap runner. However, etiquette dictates that you run out of T2 looking like you feel fine and amend your expression accordingly. Once on the hill my legs actually felt pretty good, loads better than a few years ago. New shoes – Scott Kinabalu – felt good even without socks and perfect for the course, grippy and lightweight with a comfy snug fit. And no walking this time! I felt fresh, strong and just tried to keep pushing the pace and eventually got through to the last few miles along the lake, back to the finish and over the line to take the win.
So the first proper triathlon of the year is done, it was a good test of the unorthodox swim training, and high volume bike/run mileage over winter, both of which seemed to have worked. And winning a race to start the season is a good confidence boost.
Next up, Challenge Vitoria on 28th July in Spain.