31st August 2019: ITU Sprint World Championships in Lausanne - my second year of racing on the World stage with the best non-elite triathletes on the planet!
This year was totally different to last year for a couple of reasons:
1. I was no longer a newbie, having competed in the Gold Coast in 2018 (even though I was at the top end of my age group then)
2. I had been self-coaching since January 2019, mainly due to costs and also because I had moved to Perth and hadn't yet found a squad/coach that I was happy with. I also wanted to experiment on myself, using Training Peaks and using my coaching knowledge and skills. I am a coach after all!
So the pressure was on!!!
In summary, I had a week in the UK to get over jetlag then flew to Lausanne three days before the race to reccie the course and do all the pre-race admin that is essential in such a huge event. My aim was to come in the top half - an improvement on last years 43/75.
I was really pleased with my result: 27/85 in my age-group and 7/17 Brit in my age group.
Swim: 15:29 (27th) - need a minute off this
T1: 2:56 (38th) - must run quicker
Bike: 38:34 (40th) - lots of work to do here
T2: 1:53 (10th) - Yay, that'll do
Run: 24:26 (24th) - Not bad, need a few positions here too!
Overall time: 1:23:19 (27th)
All in all, a success. PLUS I felt GOOD in the race and felt strong in the run....always a positive indicator for me, as that's where I tend to flag and slow down.
So for those of you who want to read the detail of the event, the pre-race planning and general thoughts and observations of the race, get yourself a hot drink or glass of wine and read on......otherwise you can get back to work, the dishes, the laundry, the TV, or your training!
Wednesday before the race
I flew into Geneva and took the train to Lausanne. I had booked into the Team GB hotel, just for ease, position and convenience to the course and race venue. It was the most expensive hotel I think I have ever stayed in but decided I didn't want the hassle of being out of town and have to make my own way in each day. I also knew a few people who were also staying there. All in all, it made for a stress-free event - exactly what I wanted.
Having checked in I went out with fellow GB athlete Julie G (65-69) for a reccie of the bike course. There were a few GB team reccies planned for the following day but I didn't feel like doing much else today and figured the more times I can get onto the course the better. It was famously hilly and technical so I needed every advantage I could get!
Then an early night, after an impromptu social dinner with Julie and her hubbie and two Australian athletes I know from Swimsmooth Perth!
Today was an informal 'organised' bike reccie with a few other GB athletes - probably about 30 or so of us meandering around the busy Lausanne streets trying out the course and sussing out the hills. The main hill was approx 700m @ 12% incline only about 3 minutes into the first lap, I was Ok with that, but what I wasn't looking forward to was the 20% decline a little later on with a sharp right hand corner at the end of it!
After the bike I did my last run before the race - just 20 minutes with 6 x 20sec strides to keep the legs fresh. At 9am I was already boiling hot and sweating like a pig!! It didn't bode well for race day......
After a late brekkie and a very full tummy (those hotel buffets always become lunch as well), Jane arrived. One of my best mates from Uni, I invited her along the week before to be super support crew! She's a non-triathlete but great company, so it was really good to spend some time with her.
The afternoon was spent registering for the race - i.e. standing in line, collecting the race pack and picking up the oversized t-shirt that went to Toby! Then for some sightseeing of Lausanne.
After an interrupted nights sleep (5hrs....I hadn't realised my roommate snored!) Friday morning 0900 was the GB team briefing.
This lasted approximately 45 mins and the entire age-group team (over 300 from 18-85yrs) attended a presentation about the event - to include everything from how to rack bike to the details of the course and penalties. We have two team managers: one for the sprint and the other for the standard racers; both always present, supportive and invaluable. And both volunteers!
After another mammoth brekkie it was time for bike racking and then the swim reccie. This was also a useful exercise as it was a good 600m walk from transition to the swim start, so that needed to be factored in on race day. We did the reccie without wetsuits as the temperature was hovering around the 23'C mark and likely to be non-wetsuit in the race the following day (22'c was the cutoff). The water was gorgeous; flat, warm, clear. It was great to swim to the exit and practice sighting on specific landmarks, and know which buoys to follow.
The rest of the day was spent with feet up by the pool (and a nanny nap for me). The weather was hot and draining so it was important to stay out of the sun today, to be rested for tomorrows race.