Going into a race like Danang, you see all sorts of people taking part. Ranging from the seasoned professionals, to those who make you worry for their well-being. Seriously, you risk doing some real damage to your body if you’ve not conditioned yourself prior to the event. I’ve mentioned my emphasis on getting the right coaching before, and it’s on raceday when you see everything come together.
It’s been just under a year since I joined my first triathlon. Safe to say I would never have trained as hard had I not been given the right instructions and structured programme to follow. The tips along the way have also helped move me along the learning curve much faster than if I relied on trial & error, and the internetz. (FYI, the internetz is full of idiots with half-baked theories and potentially dangerous advice)
So this post is for you TriEdge Coaches Mike n Scott. Also to Coach Vargin who shared some killer tips that have made a real difference… At least to me! Thanks for pushing us hard and looking forward to many more PBs.
Hopped off the bike knowing the legs would be jelly. True enough, I stumbled a bit and stepped on my front wheel, not knowing till the next day that I broke the valve in the process. Ran with the bike back into transition only to realise that a whole motherload of bikes had come in, almost like what I saw when was there during T1. 😦 It was depressing.
Still, I was hoping to make up time on the run. I did, but it was a slow, painful process.
The inner quads were hurting like I feared, but after the first 2 hydration points, I found that the ice down the shorts and electrolyte really helped. I managed 6 – 6.30min/km pace leading up to the 10km mark, and even thought I might be able to push harder on the way back.
But rounding the 10km mark, I felt the pain coming back on, and sometimes even hurting more. The pace dropped, and I ended up dropping to 7 – 8min/km pace, especially in the last 5 km or so. What I was thankful for that did not come up at all, was the killer pain that comes on the outside of my knees at each Stanchart Marathon. Given the ultra-flat Danang course, I’m quite certain that the knee pains were a result of the hilly Stanchart 21km course.
Nutrition wise, I was religiously downing 2 cups of electrolyte and shoving ice down my pants at each aid station. Sponges too whenever I saw them. Still, I didn’t really feel like I could down another gel without potentially throwing up, so had only 1 gel on the way up and half a banana on the way back.
Lesson: Forcefeed myself. If I throw up, pray there are no cameras around.
I had hoped that there might have been a chance to come in under 6hrs, and if I had been able to put in a better performance on the bike, I’m definitely sure that I would have at least come close. All that pain that came with the bike leg carried into the run, screwed up any chance of putting in a run that would clock in close to 2 hours.
Overall, it’s been a great experience preparing for the race. Not sure if I can keep up the same level of training though. Definitely know there are minutes to be lopped off the next time around.
The race is finally over, and now it’s time to sit back and reflect. Being a rather long race, I thought to break my report into parts rather than ramble on, and on… And on. So here goes the first bit.
When it comes to triathlon starts, I’ve been quite the chicken and started to the back and wide. For a change, I wasn’t too far off the front. In fact I think I was just behind the front row, but slightly wide on the right. Right off the start, I think I kept pace because I didn’t feel much happening beside nor bodies climbing over me. Midway to the first buoy though, I started hyperventilating. Had to try to slow down the breathing and exhale properly, else nothing would be going in.
Did a bit of breath stroking which helped, then carried on as per plan. Rest of the swim was less eventful, except for groups that seemed to hover at my feet, then did a combo of slaps on the back of the head followed by elbows to the face. Irritating, but not life-threatening. On hindsight, probably could have pushed harder in the water, but was worried about busting the legs if I pushed too hard. Got out of the water and saw Roro a few metres ahead. On to T1!