DNG #20: Better and Worse

Despite all the training that’s been done, it’s strange that I’ve only really done one triathlon to date. Until this morning when I clocked my second.

2015 Metasprint Triathlon Race Report

Got to Changi with about 1 hour to spare, but had to park at Changi Village and ride to the start. No biggie… plus it was a nice warm-up spin for the legs. The Transition Zone was a bit chaotic though. No specific spots for each participant. You could just park your bike and set up your own transition almost anywhere. Found me a spot on rack K10 and went for some warm up. Felt good in the water, and a strong current pushing from left to right, which would mean a quick run from 1st to 2nd buoy. image Start: In my first race, I played things really safe and started wide and at the back of the pack. That meant a wide berth away from everyone and an uneventful swim. Today, I wanted to get over that phobia and face that “fear”. Started on what I thought would be the favoured end (the right side on a course with 2 right turns) in the second row. Looks like I was wrong on both counts. With the current pushing hard, I ended up being pressed against the line of small floats that was meant to help guide swimmers toward the first buoy. Ahead of me was the first line of swimmers who were mostly slower than the pace I was trying to hit. Very frustrating, but got over my fear of the dreaded “washing machine”. In fact, think I might have dished out more than I received. Only really got into a rhythm when I was approaching the first buoy. Sigh. Tried to make up lost ground, and I think I came out of the water at the front of  the second pack from my wave.

Lesson: If you think you’re in with a shout, stake your claim at the front. Because if there are slower guys ahead, it’s going to be tough getting past them. No need to be shy, because it’s going to be worse when you have to climb all over them to get ahead. When I was on the final stretch coming up to the beach, felt the strap that was holding the timing device to my ankle loosen. Turns out it was, and I pulled it tight. Or at least I thought I did. Came out of the water, and felt it loosen again. Lost more seconds trying to fix it.

Lesson: Tape up the timing device strap. Don’t leave it to just the velcro to do the job.

Bike: Transition was fairly smooth and got off to a good cadence and pace on the bike. Seemed to be averaging 32-34km/h on the first 5km. Did the turn into the headwind on the next 5km, and dropped to about 30km/h. The next 5km I started to struggle. Couldn’t seem to keep pace anymore. Same lousy feeling I’ve been having on the long rides where the quads start burning. And the last 5km was just miserable. Took the opportunity to refuel with a gel and pray the run would be better.

Run: Dropped the bike off and hopped off on the run. Felt strong going into it, and seeing the TriEdge team on the side shouting their support just gives that little spark to kick things into another gear. Unfortunately/fortunately, my Garmin Forerunner 10 decided it didn’t want to cooperate today. So for most of the run, I was doing it on “perceived effort”. Only till the last 2km did the Garmin magically come to life.  By then, seemed like I had been doing about 5min/km pace, which was the target pace anyway! By the end of it, turns out I’d done my first sub-5min/km pace run in a race. No doubt helped by the last sprint inspired by the TriEdge family on the sidelines once again.

(Potential) Lesson: May be I should just ditch the watch?

So, what was the result? 1:25:22.

More than 10 minutes faster than my first triathlon.

Should I be happy? Sure. The swim certainly felt less difficult. Overcame my fear of going into the crowd. Felt strong on the run too. Overall time clocked is obviously an improvement.

But…? What’s worrying is that I’m actually slower on the bike today than I was in my first triathlon. 33km/h previously, today was a struggle at 30.8km/h. 😦 Not sure what the issue is – Mechanical? Psychological? Physical? Made some adjustments to the bike and cleats yesterday. Will see how they work (or not) in training…

Trifactor Tri 2014
Maiden triathlon results
Metasprint 2015 Triathlon
6 months later at my next triathlon

Next up: Danang.

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