Cambridge Olympic distance triathlon

AM. Cambridge triathlon ( 2:09:58, HR 165(178 )

Swim 1500m/23:04 (1:32.3/100m) HR151(158 )
T1 2:32 HR165(174)
Cycle 40km/1:02:21 (38.492km/h, 23.918mph) HR164(174)
T2 1:24 HR158(162)
Run 10km/40:36 (6:30.1 min/mile) HR173(178 )

HR/speed:(quite a few dropouts in the speed from wearing the HRM on my wrist, rather than  on the bike mount). Note the HR peak from stress in T1!

Another early start (4am) to get to the HQ in plenty of time. Found a prime spot to rack my bike, right near the end of transition, so I wouldn’t have to run far with it. This was my first open water swim, so it was nice that we got 5minutes to “warm up” in the reservoir before the off, it gave me a chance to get used to it a bit. I was swimming in the second wave, with all the 40+ men. The women had already started 20 minutes in front, and the younger elites etc. were going off behind us.

Off the start I was swimming hard, but not trying to stay with the fastest swimmers, as experience from pool swims tended to suggest that many people would fly and die. I was still struggling with the wetsuit/other swimmers though and feeling a bit stressed out, almost feeling a bit sick, and it took me until the first buoy to settle into clear water and start to relax into a longer, slower, stroke. After that, I really started to enjoy the swim. There were four guys in front, but I wasn’t too concerned with them, I just wanted to keep a reasonable pace. By the end of the swim leg I was really enjoying it and could’ve gone round again ;-)

Swim route:

Out into T1, I made the mistake of taking off my hat and goggles first, which hampered me in taking off my wetsuit a bit. My transitions need some work, it took me ages to struggle out of my wetsuit. I was so stressed by it my HR was *way* high.

Out onto the bike – at last, familiar territory. It was very, very windy and gusty, and I was riding with a disc wheel and semi-deep front, but I’ve been in this situation before and it didn’t faze me. If you can control a disc in these conditions, it can act like a sail and help you along. I was careful to ride to a steady HR, to save a bit for the run at the end, so I didn’t push as hard into the wind or up any inclines as I would do for a straight 25mile TT. My time looks a bit pedestrian for me, as a result. The sections with tailwind were brilliant, I was zooming past the slower women in top gear at 55km/h. I caught a couple of men, but figured there were still two or three in front of me somewhere.

Cycle route:

T2 went a bit better, a quick jog, bike rack and change of shoes for the run.

The transition to running always produces “jelly legs” for a couple of minutes, but I was quickly into my stride and feeling good. There had been some concerns over this leg on tritalk – the run is on off-road tracks, not roads, but after yesterday’s rain only short sections were muddy, the rest were gravel/hard packed mud, and even the odd short section of tarmac. My racing flats were fine on these tracks. I was slowly reeling in one of the men ahead, but got a bit of a stitch from the carbo drink I’d consumed on the bike, and didn’t quite have the energy to chase him down. I couldn’t believe my watch after passing the 5km marker, as I seemed to have run that half in about 20minutes. My eventual run time seems almost unreal to me, and one of the best triathlon runs I’ve ever done. Only back in May I’d run the Town & Gown 10k just a minute faster.

Run route:

Very happy with that result, especially as I think I’ve just nipped under 2 hours 10. Long drive home, then falling asleep infront of BBC repeats of Nicole Cooke’s fantastic Olympic road race victory, beer in hand.

[EDIT: results here:
Pictures here:]