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Musician. Triathlete. Almost.
Musician. Triathlete. Almost.

Bournemouth Olympic Triathlon: Race Report

Bishmanby BishmanJul 10th 2012
Splits:
1.5k Swim: 0:30:28
T1: 0:02:28
40k Bike: 1:16:42
T2: 0:00:48
10k Run: 0:45:19
Total: 2:35:48

Sunday 8th July 2012:
The race was great considering it was hit and miss at registration the day before as to whether it would go ahead or become a 5k/40k/5k duathlon, but on the morning it was absolutely beautiful. Nice calm sea, no rain and actually had a bit of sun! In transition I was talking to a guy from Bournemouth but who had just moved to Bristol, of course I told him to join BAD Tri. I also met a girl doing her first race with a guy from work - they decided to go for an olympic rather than sprint because it's 2012, Olympic year!

We swam to the right of the pier - one loop 1.5k out and back. It was very nice - just long and straight with a turnaround at the end. I find the biggest advantage of O/W over pool swimming is that I can just settle into a stroke rhythm, which is something I enjoy about running and cycling but haven't yet been able to with swimming really because in a pool I run out of water. I think I actually prefer swimming OW than in a pool. I should let you all know that the salt water made my helmet absolutely stink! I didn't notice until the day after the race when I went to cycle to the station. Eurgh. Beware!
Bournemouth Olympic Triathlon: Race Report
I still haven't got the hang of drafting, but caught some cheeky bugger hitching a ride off of me so I had to kick hard and accerate to drop them. Coming out of the water I almost fell over because I tried to run on my sea legs - note to self, walk the first 10m or so next time! My T1 time is obviously very slow at well over 2 minutes, but I genuinely felt like I was going vom from all the sea salt (this is the biggest disadvantage to OW swimming). Something which could be improved was the tying up of my bike shoes (read: Converse), which must have taken ages because I sat down (this was also partly vom-related). Yet another reason to invest in cleats and proper cycle shoes. I spent a bit of time faffing around with my towel and wetsuit but I don't know why - should have just chucked them and run.

The bike course was fairly boring except for a climb straight out of transition. That'll wake your legs up! After that it was not exactly flat, but I wouldn't call it hilly either. There were maybe one or two moments that brought me out of the saddle. I guess a good description would be to call it a rolling flat. Not much to look at either unfortunately.
Bournemouth Olympic Triathlon: Race Report
Once we got out of town it was pretty much an out and back course. Like Lakeside the roads weren't closed which meant I was a bit fearful of getting run over, which was slightly irrational considering there were signs telling drivers to watch out, loads of cyclists and they were pretty much just using one lane for traffic and giving the cyclists the other. It was probably safer than the commute to be honest, but there you go, I'm just a wuss.

I am quite pleased with my bike split - less than twice the time for double the distance compared with Lakeside 3 weeks ago. Good improvement! On the bike I had a muesli bar pretty much straight away and was alternating water and lucozade all the way to transition. Eating the muesli bar was a right pain because I kept dropping bits and wobbling about whilst trying to open it. Must have looked hilarious.

A good T2 sent me out onto the run pretty quick. There was less space in transition here than at Lakeside, which meant I had to be more cut-throat about what I had out. Love those elastic laces, I think I'm going to get a set for every pair of shoes I own.
On the run the sun came out, which was nice but I started to feel the old niggle in my knee that crushed my marathon dreams earlier this year. I managed to dig in and carry on but by the end of the run I literally felt like I had nothing left in the energy tank - not even for a sprint finish. By my watch, I left T2 at 1:50ish, getting halfway by about 2:11-12 and I stopped my watch at 2:36 after the finish. the second half of the run was slower c.24m to c.21m.
Bournemouth Olympic Triathlon: Race Report
Although I only got passed once on the run, I'm quite disappointed with myself to be honest. It was a lovely course, out and back along the promenade which should have been inspiring but actually resulted in the slowest 10k I've run since.. at least last year. There's only been a couple times I was slower (and for one of those I was hung over).

Somehow I just couldn't summon the strength or even hold my run form. I got sloppy and resorted to using mid/heel strike rather than coming up onto the toes as I have been recently. I headed out for the run feeling great - the pace I set at the start was comfortable would have seen me finish at slightly under 2:30 but I just couldn't hold it. The question is... Why couldn't I push harder? Was it muscular or nutritional?

To look at my nutrition, I had:
Breakfast: pot of instant porridge - 213kcal
On the bike: museli bar - 156kcal
Alternating drinks of water (.5l) and Lucozade (.75l - 210kcal)
Towards the end of the bike I had a gel - 86kcal
Sip of water at 5k through the run.
Total in race kcals: 453 and half a litre of water

I suppose that's not really enough calories to keep me pushing 2 1/2 hours so I'll up the calorie intake next week at Bristol. My stomach, aside from the salt, felt settled the whole time so I'm pretty sure I can handle more. Maybe take in more water instead of Lucozade. Perhaps I should have had a bigger breakfast so the swim won't take so much out of me.

The poor run could have been from pushing too hard on the bike, which may also explain the tightness of my knee during and after the run. Think I might investigate ways to stretch my legs on the bike as I come back into T2. Perhaps I should ease up slightly on the bike split so that I can hammer out a sub-40m 10k - I think that might be a better way to make up the time until I have time to really work on my bike skills. Think I need to buy a turbo and spend the winter shut away in a dark place doing Sufferfest marathons.

Anyway, I've gone slightly away from the topic of the Race Report, so to finish off I've saved the best bit 'til last...

By far THE SINGLE BEST thing about this triathlon was the beach start!! I've (obviously) never done one of these before but have seen footage of these and thought it was the coolest thing ever. So after the race briefing up by the sea wall the guy told us to turn around and head down to the water ready to start - there was about 50m worth of sand to walk over. As we were walking down to the sea we heard "ATHLETES... 5 SECONDS!!!" After 2 seconds of WTF? facial expressions we started running and the horn went but we were all still on the beach! Cue mad dash and diving in start. SO much fun! Good thing Chrissie told me what to do in 220 mag a couple months ago. Run upto your waist, Dive in, grab the sand at the bottom and hoist yourself forward. My single best triathlon experience yet.

Finished off the day with a recovery cider and some Wimbledon. Overall, I'd definitely do this race again. Bournemouth is a lovely place (a bit old folk-ish) but an absolutely lovely beach and this well run event really takes advantage of it. They have very strong pens that I can't scrub off! I look like an escaped convict!

Next race is this weekend - Bristol Olympic! Now I know what an Olympic distance can do to me, I'm going to try it easier on the bike and take in more nourishment to try and smash out a fast run. This is the A-race I have been building towards so we'll see what I can do. Woop woop!
 
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