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Bristol Harbourside Triathlon - Race Report
My thoughts of the Olympic race in 2014

Bristol Harbourside Triathlon 2015 (Olympic Distance)

JamesHesterby JamesHesterJun 18th 2015
Bristol Triathlon 2015

14th June 2015

Having raced and enjoyed the Bristol Triathlon in both 2013 and ‘14 I decided to treat 2015’s race as my first A Race of the year. I had approached this years race in a little more of an organised way than last years â€" at least, I think I did â€" who really knows? I certainly put more concerted effort into the training for each of the disciplines based off what I learned at last years race.

Weather looked good â€" minimal wind, dry, average air pressure (we all know how critical that is to cycling now after Wiggins’ hour record, right?)

As ever, organisation was excellent at Bristol Triathlon, Marshals were top notch â€" transition was a little crowded but that seems to increasingly be an issue as people seem to try and stuff boxes and clothes and an ever increasing amount of stuff into a smaller space â€" I’ve no idea what’s wrong with a small rucksack, pair of trainers and a bike…?

The waves this year weren’t organised into age group as they were last year, it was timed groups, so the swim was going to be tougher but I didn’t realise how much tougher it would be. I swam 23:46 last year but it seems to be agreed that it was a short course. I’ve been working hard on my swim with Jackie King from my club and she’s done wonders â€" in little over a year I’ve gone from swimming 100’s in 2:05 at the back of lane 1 to lane 3 (or 4 sometimes) and swimming 1:30’s â€" I must admit to a little confidence getting in the water in the Brunel Dock but as the klaxon went off I was thrown into a washing machine of slower swimmers in front as the whole race compressed â€" fists, feet and thrashing madness â€" My cadence was too high and I couldn’t lock onto anyone for drafting â€" and I didn’t get into any rhythm until lap two.. I didn’t really know how I’d done until Jackie (who was marshalling at the swim exit) shout “25:something” as I ran past. Another marshal and dualthon/triathlon legend Pete Wheddon (indirectly) got the brunt of my swearing as I ran past him. Sorry Pete..! T1 was a blur as I was cussing in my head about my poor swim. There were still a majority of bikes in transition as I ran through but my calves were killing me and my right one screamed at me as I tried to stamp my wetsuit off. It’s time for a new wetsuit that isn’t designed by Houdini.

Swim: 25:55 (54th Overall / 23rd Age Group)
T1: 0:28 (30th Overall / 6th Age Group)

If I’m really honest (and why wouldn’t I be?) â€" my bad swim experience tainted the first lap of my bike. I decided to put it into the back of my head, enjoy the closed roads on the Portway and see what power I could put down. I’ve recently been working with Pro Cyclist Will Bjergfelt (SportGrub/Kuota) as I realised a few months back that I’d ploughed so much time into my swim/run that my bike hadn’t got much attention. Base miles were there before hand but we’ve only had a short time to make any differences. Lot’s of hill reps, short sprint efforts etc but I think I’ll see the results of working with him at the back end of this season and next year â€" although my 10 mile TT times are a little better already. I started to get into the bike a bit more and noticed that I’d only had two others go past me and I’d gone past the majority of the field. I really didn’t have a clue on speed as I’d managed to hit the lap button on my Garmin in the swim and the bike included T1 so I was clueless. I actually felt pretty good and started to chat to and encourage people as I went past â€" having their names on their numbers is a good move. My laps were consistant for speed (16:57, 16:55, 16:41, 16:51) and power (I just need more of it..!) and although my time was a fraction slower than last year, the received wisdom is that the wind was a little stronger going out than back so I stuck to my race plan of driving hard into the wind and recovering a little more with the wind. Looking back I didn’t know that it had been a top 20 performance time wise, but some of the guys above me were stupidly quick â€" admitedly one of them was on the relay team but still, sub 60 mins..! Defo aiming at a FFWD rear disc for next year as rented from the Tri Shop this year - for the sound, if nothing else… My feet hurt and on the last two laps and I think I need to address my Bont soles â€" It’s happened a few times now and I need to address the issue, it really hurts running in T2 and makes the first few K of the run agony until the blood starts to flow again.

Bike: 1:07:27 (18th Overall / 6th Age Group)
T2: 1:13 (63rd Overall / 21st Age Group)

The run this year was an out and back (used to be 2x 5k loops) and I just wanted to get the feeling back in my feet to begin with. I wasn’t running too well to start but it’s hard to gauge pace until you’re a way into the run because of the flyover at the start. I still didn’t really know how my race was going really out of everything I’ve worked on in the last year, my run has probably impoved the most â€" it was time to see. I’ve been running with Clevedon AC doing speed work once a week and GB Duathlete Robbie Stewart (who also did an amazing job of helping organise and marshal the Bristol Trathlon) has been sending me other sets and drilling me hard at White Hall track. I didn’t really believe my Garmin laps anymore so I just tried to hang on to the runner who went out 50 meters in front of me â€" I didn’t know who he was or what his pace was but it turned out to be a good choice. I bimbled through the run just going as hard as I could. I saw club mates Lyndon, Valentino and Jonathan Bale who all looked super strong on the run and it’s always great to ‘Hi Five’ a mate. The run becomes very ‘traily’ the further down you go â€" racing flats may not have been the best idea as the soles of my feet hurt later that day from the stones and rocks. On the way back from the turn aorund, I felt ok but not strong but the last couple of kilometers weren’t as bad as last year â€" I did feel stronger and managed to hold my pace well. Seems the bloke I was trying to catch came in 3rd in my age group and held that 50 meters the whole way, no way I could catch him. Doing the Prom Run in Weston has massivly helped me understand how I feel when I’m running and about my pacing â€" this race experience along with the concerted training has definitly helped me gain on the run side of things. My 10k PB pace is 4:00 kilmeters, I managed to hold average 4:15’s on Sunday.

Run: 43:13 (33rd Overall / 16th Age Group)


2hrs 20mins 27secs (over two minutes quicker than last year â€" all made up on the run as swim was 2 mins slower, bike was the same but I ran nearly 48 mins last year so 5+ minutes quicker over 10k this year)
15th out of 288 Overall (although one ahead of me was a relay team so 14th really)
4th in Age Group out of 115 (this is the result I’m most pleased with)

The biggest lessson from this comes from a comment Robbie Stewart made to me â€" not to worry about times anymore â€" I’ll try and race for position â€" it’s hard in waves as you don’t know who’s infront or in your age group etc, but that’s the game â€" you just have to go hard â€" The aim next year is simple â€" to go faster and try and get on the AG podium (I don’t think there actually is one) â€" first place in my AG was a little over 2 minutes in front of me â€" I can and will make that and more up next year.

Next race is a similar race in Cardiff city center at the end on June so I look forward to that and seeing what happens. I’m kind of looking forward to the next 12 months of training and racing in prep for next year too.
 Bristol Harbourside Triathlon 2015 (Olympic Distance)
 Bristol Harbourside Triathlon 2015 (Olympic Distance)
 Bristol Harbourside Triathlon 2015 (Olympic Distance)
 Bristol Harbourside Triathlon 2015 (Olympic Distance)
 Bristol Harbourside Triathlon 2015 (Olympic Distance)
 Bristol Harbourside Triathlon 2015 (Olympic Distance)
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