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Amateur Age Group Triathlete
Amateur Age Group Triathlete

World Champs Race Report: ITU World Sprint Triathlon Grand Final London (M30-34)

roborobby roborobSep 29th 2013
DONE! And what an awesome experience. On reflection, that is....
World Champs Race Report: ITU World Sprint Triathlon Grand Final London (M30-34)
Hyde Park was my second sprint world champs, with the first being in Auckland last year. If you've read my previous posts, you'll know I worked on minimising jet lag before travelling with some very weird waking hours, but then got to style it out like an elite for a week before the race, in the team hotel. Now that the world champs were back on my side of the world, and more or less just round the corner, I could forget about battling time zones and instead concentrate on maximising the home advantage.

Cue countless early morning trips up to Hyde Park, for swim sessions in the serpentine, bike recces that became slightly more challenging when the course was amended with 2 months to go to anticlockwise (i.e. riding on the wrong side of the road), and max efforts around sections of the run course from time to time.
World Champs Race Report: ITU World Sprint Triathlon Grand Final London (M30-34)
World Champs Race Report: ITU World Sprint Triathlon Grand Final London (M30-34)
Hyde Park is a beautiful and serene haven for various tribes of London eccentrics to come together and partake in their respective hobbies. We encountered a few of these cliques along the way: for example, certain members of the Serpentine Swimming Club who regularly sneer at the 'wetsuiters' corrupting the purity of their club; roller skiiers who would insist on skating 3 abreast across the Serpentine Road as I approached head on in full TT-tuck, and the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery who were magnificently inspiring and just slightly intimidation-enducing in equal measures on occasion. The transformation of the park into heaving mecca for triathletes from across the world over the race weekend was incredible. Whilst the European Champs are a little Brit-heavy, the World Champs show just how massive age group racing is across the globe, especially in places like USA, Canada and Mexico (and the 81 other countries that were represented). Our friends from across the pond always help make the atmosphere, with a level of extrovert enthusiasm that would make an Englishman blush, and I love them for that!
World Champs Race Report: ITU World Sprint Triathlon Grand Final London (M30-34)
So, onto the race itself. After all the recce training sessions at the venue, the lack of injury for the first season in years, and a diligent focus to a well crafted training and tapering plan, you would imagine I had the race of my life. Well, despite all of this, plus the number of friends and family who kindly took time out of their busy Fridays and braved the not so great weather to support me, I ended up disappointing myself by quite simply putting in less than the 100% I had promised I would, which resulted in me ending up halfway down my age group (and beating myself up for a good few days afterwards). The swim was far too relaxed, the bike (usually my strength) was a little too slippery and congested to make up any appreciable time, and by the run my head had gone as I realised I had blown it, and in my mind had let everyone down who had come to watch, which all lead to me pretty much giving up.
World Champs Race Report: ITU World Sprint Triathlon Grand Final London (M30-34)
With hindsight though it's clear that the real goal this year was to qualify for this race, which I knew would be much harder than it had been for NZ. So achieving that, and doing it well with a solid Q2 of 5 spots at Bristol earlier in the year, should have been enough. Hoping for a top 10 result in Hyde Park when racing the best AG-ers in the world was just setting myself up for failure, when I should have just focused on enjoying the experience. I'm pretty sure that this attitude would have resulted in a much better run, but of course stuff like that is easy to say when you're resting on your couch two weeks later writing your blog!!

As I write this, I am 2 weeks into a 3 week period of forced rest, which is something I haven't ever done before as my seasons usually end prematurely due to injury. It's great to have to time to reflect, and realise just how amazing the London experience was. It's also quite exciting letting the body phase into a state of decreased fitness, which is actually quite tiring at first as the body seizes its chance to finally get to work on repairing those micro injuries that have built up through the season, but soon develops into a heightened level of relaxation and new found energy for rediscovering things such as late nights out again! Despite this, I can't wait to get back into training, and have decided to give some very different triathlon goals a stab next year (planning to pen those plans in a separate blog entry later this week)

So with that I, guess my sprint triathlon campaign is over for the time being. I loved the 1hr+ high intensity battles, but looking forward to some different challenges and ticking off some of those 'bucket list' races in the process!
 
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