Race # 1 – 2km run/6km Bike/2km Run (Short Course)
Race # 2 - 2km run/ 9km Bike/1.5km Run/9km Bike/1.5km Run (LONG)
Registration - OPEN: 10AM CLOSE 11AM
Transition - OPENS: 10AM CLOSES: 11AM
Race Start -11:15AM and 1:15PM
Race Number - 223
Race Plan & Goal:
To have a good strong first race for the Season, I am very excited to be back racing again. This is my Second ever Duathlon and will be very interesting to see my race fitness after the Winter block.
Recovery will be very important as well because I have Springfield Duathlon next week, which is a major race.
Preparation for the race
The preparation started a couple of days out with hydration and eating the correct substance before and after training. I was preparing myself for my first ever Long Course Duathlon, however on the morning Toby through us a curve ball and put us into the Enduro competition, which meant we were now going to do both the Short Course and the Long course races with an hour in between. This meant there was next to no time to properly warm up, as we literally had to race to get to the start line. I was quite surprised at how well I actually dealt with this last minute scurry to the line as it really didn’t seem to phase me too much…..the OCD was kept to a minimum. I was determined not to let this affect my race ahead and felt comfortable with the stronger competitors in the field and along side me….guys like Adsy Gordon, Nicholas Hull, Dean Cane and Tyler Allan to name a few.
Transition set up
I was set up and ready to go the bottles where filled x2 one water and one Endura Raspberry flavoured electrolytes. Endura Gels were in place on the bike and 1 x ready for the run leg as well…..just in case.
Briefing for race
This was taking place as I was getting changed due the lateness of the change of mind for the Short Course Race now but I understood where to go and was more worried about getting as much warm up in as possible before I needed to make my way to the start line….all I can say is thank god the TQ Official had a microphone and loudspeaker.
The weather was very warm as well which meant the body didn’t really need too much warming up but had to still get the blood flowing.
1st Run & Start
My goal was to try and stick as close to the front group as possible. The look of the hill was quite daunting and proved to be a bit of a struggle on our first attempt up it but once we got over it the rest of the run leg looked pretty flat with a slight incline toward the back of the course.
The start was quite rushed and the normal aggression I showed in previous races to sprint off the line has been something I have been working on controlling in the off- season and my last instruction from Coach (Toby) was to “Control yourself and control your pace at the start”….this sat in my head on the start line and when the official started the race felt myself standing on the line while other competitors took off…..I felt in control but also felt a sense of urgency to stay in touch with the lead pack so moved through the field with a controlled pace to be sitting in the top 10 at the base of the hill climb….Through the hill I moved into 6th place coming down the front side of the hill and remained in touch with the lead pack…..the run leg stayed this way right through until transition 1.
I thought that I had a fast transition taking my shoes off while putting my helmet on was the most efficient way. Moved up a place in Transition and the leaders weren’t that far ahead of me….it was now up to my bike leg….how has the Winter block treated me….this was my chance to prove it.
The Hill again proved to be tough and on the first lap felt like I was struggling a bit but didn’t have anyone pass me and in saying that I don’t think that I had used the right gears, Pedalled strongly down the back of the hill and through the corner to try and take as much away from the next incline as possible …… coming back on to the straight for the first time proved to be just as tough as the hill due the strong head wind…..felt like I had slowed right up but could now see Sadler just ahead of me…this gave me an extra sense of urgency heading into the hill climb for the 2nd time and this time I felt I nailed the gear selection….by far a better attempt….I was gaining on Sadler through the next lap and by the time I came into transition 2 came in ahead I had one ahead of him placing me in 5th place…..I felt I would have the strength in the run to hold onto 5th place but knew I would have to still run very strong.
I feel as if my second transition was also good I racked the bike by the seat and put my shoes on while taking off my helmet to help streamline the transition…..now I was off on the run still in 5th place and feeling quite strong for the final run leg.
Run # 2
Legs felt a little bit heavy coming off the bike again and into the run but I pushed through it and I believe that I had a strong finish.
Thinking about the race I thought it went really well considering the lack of preparation for warm up and the last minute OCD occurrence. Felt good to back racing and now had to warm down quickly as the next race was an hour away from start.
Hydration and stretching was the focus and Toby had both Savannah and I on the rollers….which was quite daunting considering all the curious on-looker’s….was determined not to fall off.
There were no Times for Race – but finished in 5th place….this is a massive improvement from the previous year where I struggled to finish in the top 20.
Preparation for the race
Warm down was critical and stretching while resting and staying in the shade. Had a banana and half a vegemite sandwich, took on water and Endura Raspberry Hydration – approximately 600ml.
Warm down included a 5 minute light jog and 10 minutes on the rollers. Stretched on the towel in the shade and realised I should have packed my roller to roll out the legs but again wasn’t aware I was going to be racing the extra race…..still next time I will definitely be including it as this race was about to take an unknown twist.
Transition set up
I set up my bike put elastic bands on my shoes and put 2x Endura Raspberry Gel on the floor under my bike for when I get off the bike and start the run and filled the water bottles but noticed I hadn’t really taken on much water from the first race…..again leading to the race twist.
Warm up this time was back to my normal routine and I felt quite relaxed but the legs were felling quite tight.
Briefing for race
As toby had instructed me to keep moving and stretching while the race brief was taking place and more importantly to keep moving on the start line, as I had now done the Short Course race I knew where to go and I was ready to race.
The start line
Positioned myself in between 2 strong runners in Nicholas Hull and Tyler Allan….I knew this was going to be a quick start but was not taking part in any rush of blood off the line and this was found to be true when we were set off…..Allan took off and headed straight for the lead while I placed myself well back and in the field with other weaker runners surrounding me and was now a test to make sure I did not fall in the early stages…..by the time we hit the hill I had moved through the field and placed myself in connection with the lead runners and in 7th place heading down the back of the hill and as the two runners just ahead of me hadn’t run the first Short Course race I felt I had the course understanding to be able to take them before the first transition and this proved to be correct as I took them one by one around the back of the run leg and was placed now in 5th coming into T1. I felt really good on this run as I was closer to the front pack in this race then I was in the first race and I was feeling good.
Once again I put on my helmet while taking off my shoes and was off – felt like a very quick and smooth transition keeping in touch with the lead riders heading out on the first leg of the bike.
Bike Leg # 1
Coming out onto the bike I felt the head wind had picked up and felt like I was riding slower then in the first race, the hill gearing was under advice of Toby to get into the big chain ring for the hill climb….again felt tight in the legs and pedalled right through the downhill and corners….this continued through the first 3 laps there was no place changes, however on the last lap going up the hill both of my calves tightened up and started to cramp….thought to myself this will be ok once I get onto the run I’ll stretch it out.
This is by far my worst transition I have ever done….My feet tightened up and I knew something was going wrong as I came into transition which threw me off my thought process the bike was racked but the shoe transition was terrible ……coming out of transition I felt the right calf cramp so badly I had to stop and try to stretch it out it….this was the worst feeling actually stopping in a race…took back to running after about 1 minute of stretching at the entrance to run leg….now the race had changed for me….it was now about finishing not placing…..dropped back 3 places while stretching and was determined to make it up once I started running again. My run was slower at the start but I picked up pace and started to feel better again and ran through 2 competitors back into transition 2
this time my transition was pretty quick because there was no time to lose really I couldn’t afford to give away any more time so the focus was to get back onto the bike leg and start the final bike leg
Bike Leg # 2
The cramping was becoming more and more frequent and seemed to take place each lap at the entry to the hill climb making the hill even harder and tougher…..Each lap I started falling back in cadence on the hill climb and was taking its toll….felt good each time pedalling down the hill and cornering fast to hit the incline out of the hill descent…..the back end of the course was quite protected from the head wind that took it our of your down the straight……I felt disappointed in this leg as I dropped about 4 places….and all in the same stage of the leg – up the hill.
The entry into the final transition was going to be a real test to my body here as the legs were again going from the bike to the run but if felt quite good….the run in was strong and much smoother then my second transition….I was feeling good than when the shoes went on my feet tightened again. The run out of transition was where it took me on the last time and again took hold of me as I entered the run track….the right leg again cramped severely and worse than the first time and my right calve was now in excruciating pain. I felt like I was ready to give up for the first time ever …I was on the side of the track….stopped and in pain….Toby was telling me to pull my feet back I just couldn’t get them back, I then walked for about 30 meters and decided to run through the pain all I wanted now was to finish the race. As the run went on I felt better and there was no better sight then the home stretch….as soon as I saw the home stretch I felt strong and ran as fast as I could to the finish line I just gave it whatever I had left (not very much).
Finished the race in Top 10 with 8th place – which considering the time stopped with cramping was strong….There is a lot to take out of this race.
Points to take away from this Event.
Cramping is by far the worst pain I have felt so I will never forget to take my Salvital and never leave my roller behind….you never know what my change come race day.
The bike leg I need to get lower on the bike and more over the front wheel, resting is important for Duathlon where you can….like downhills, more aggression taking on the hill and lighter load on the legs coming down the hill. The need for more hydration and water on the first Short Course race would have helped prevent the cramping and assist with hydration. Another banana in between races and a more effective stretching routine (with Roller) would have helped.
Recovery on the Saturday night included double dose of Magnesium with ICE bath, stretching using the roller and a good nights rest ready for the recovery ride in the morning.
As always a huge thanks to Toby for his coaching and mentoring and support and a massive thanks to the SCTA / Hybrid Concepts Australia support crew for my reassurance while racing….this was by far the toughest event I have ever raced in was a test of mental strength to get through and I know there words of support was the telling factor.
This was a good hit out in readiness for Springfield next week and the learning curve here will start again Monday….preparation with heavy focus on Hydration and stretching throughout the week.