I wrote in one of my previous posts about starting with the BPR team for triathlon and endurance training. The few months since that post have involved a lot of hard training, sweating, muscle pains, recovery rides, a winter high altitude training camp, and general gaining of confidence and knowledge in triathlon training. I couldn’t have done it without the distinct help of coach Emma and coach Luke as well as the support of the lovely ladies in our group who I trained with! For those who aren’t familiar with it, the distances for the Olympic distance triathlon are:
- Swim: 1.5 km
- Bike: 40 km
- Run: 10 km
Through my training, pacing myself was a very important thing that I had re-learned. Growing up I was always on the school swim team, however I never really swam long distances further than 400 m. The swim for the Olympic distance being 1.5 km, pacing myself was key. I gave myself a few hundred meters to get warmed up and let my muscles loosen and once I felt good in the water, I kicked it up a little notch. I passed a few people, rested in someone’s draft, passed a few more, rested, etc. The way the pool was laid out you had to swim back and forth in 50 m lengths, up one side and down the other side of the same lane. There were 8 lanes so the first full pass was 800 m, after which you got out at the end of the pool and walked back to the 2nd lane to start the back/forth again and complete the remaining 700 m.
As an unofficial rule when swimming a race like this, if you’re approaching someone and you are going to pass them, you give them a little tap on their feet so they know to either pull to the side a bit, or pause for a brief time at the end of the lane to let the person behind pass. Anyway, I got to a point in the race where I was still in the first 800 m, with about 3 lengths to go, where I was in a solid rhythm, pulling strong but not breathing too hard. I approached a swimmer and felt like I had enough juice to pass, but of course there was oncoming traffic so I didn’t have the chance to. So I tapped her foot and backed off a little bit, waiting until the end of the length. Nothing; didn’t even look like she considered pausing at the end of the length and just pushed off again. So I pushed off and was right there, tapping her foot once, twice, three times. We got to the end and again, nothing, she didn’t let me by. So now I was getting agitated so I continued to tap her foot for the last length before we got out and walked to start of the 2nd land for the remaining 700 m. She jumped in a second or so before me put I was pissed off enough to give a massive push with my legs and passed her in the first little bit of the first lane (video HERE). She had the audacity to tap on my foot once, but I kicked in the afterburners and she never got close to me for the rest of the swim.
Overall the swim went well and I felt great at the end of it. Likely since I grew up swimming is why I feel that’s my best sport from the tri-sports and so off I went to the change tent to get into my riding gear. I ran down to the bike, hopped on the bike and off I went. For some reason, maybe it was that I was slightly off on the timing of taking my Gu, but I lost a lot of energy on the bike and my legs seemed to not want to push as much as I had during training. Regardless, I pushed through the 40 km ride and on to the run I went.
About 7 km into the 10 km run, I hit a bit of a wall. My ankle was really starting to bug me and I almost stopped right there. However, I passed a point where my lovely & supportive wife was and she gave me a kiss and cheered me on so I pushed through with the last of my strength and made it to the finish line.
And here we are, having completed my first Olympic distance triathlon!! Now on to Moderne Burger for a celebratory feast and milkshake!!