Completing an Ironman 70.3 Triathlon (1.9k swim, 90k bike, 21k run)
December 7, 2015
This was my only triathlon in 2015 – planned for the end of the year, after a few longer distance individual events (Half marathon, Ride100 and The Henley Swim) and a solid 12 week training plan. It was also an excuse for some early Winter sun.
Now, on the way home from Bahrain, the day after the event, its time to reflect on the training, the event and lessons learnt. Also to look forward to 2016 and my sporting goals for the year.
My quads still ache from the cramps that developed in the last 30 minutes of the race, and my shoulders/trapezius are knotted from 3 hours on the bike. I feel like I need a good deep massage to ease off all the tension, but in reality I know it will disappear in the next fews days of its own accord. The muscles will repair in the next week of recovery.
Recovery – that’s the bit I’ve been looking forward to over the last 4-5 weeks as the training has intensified and I’ve felt tired and to be honest, slightly bored of it all. Recovery is one of the most important aspects of an athletes training plan. It allows the damaged muscles to repair and strengthen. It allows the head and motivation to return, and the body to just recover generally from the 5 hours of stress it has just endured.
I’m sure I said last year I didn’t want to do another middle distance triathlon, or long events. I have a short attention span and going out for 4-5 hours on the bike does bore me, as does a 1.45hr run. Today I feel the same.
No more long distances.
The race yesterday was a great experience, and I’m glad I did it. I enjoyed most of it!
Unfortunately, the swim was cancelled due to high winds and rough water. Its amazing the psychological games that plays with your head at the start line. Thoughts of “what’s the point in racing it now its not a full distance”, and “I can’t really be bothered” are prevalent. The disappointment is huge, and the thought of jumping straight into the bike leg without the swim ‘warmup’ is not appealing.
I had also visualised the race in my head the night before, and that included getting out of the swim, the wetsuit, and my transition to the bike – I had it all planned. It throws your motivation off course when that doesn’t come to fruishion.
The cycle was fast and flat. I ‘chicked’ a few blokes along the way and did a great time. Transition was fast, and although I started the run well, it soon slowed after 10k, and things started hurting. The last 3-4k couldn’t have ended quickly enough. My quads were screaming and my feet hurt – all playing mind tricks urging the race to be over.
On reflection, I didn’t train enough – not enough long bikes, not enough long bricks (bike & run). I thought I had, and was confident on my fitness. In the end it was the muscles that needed more preparation, not the fitness. Bit tricky when I don’t enjoy the long training sessions!
So, next year, its time to get fast and see where that takes me. I was 8th out of 18 women in my age group for this event and have been competitive in other shorter events last year. Time to focus on speed.