Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Diss Duathlon - underestimating time off

I hadn't really planned to race at Diss, but then again I hadnt planned on getting a new bike and I hadn't planned being sidelined from running since the 19th of February!

Let us start with the first instance. My Specialized Transition ended up with some internal problems with the cabling and as such the lovely guys a Specialized and the chaps at Streetlife did all they could but alas, the bike that had taken me to European and World championships, a Silver at the Europeans and to the 70.3 World Champs was at the end of it's service. Great bike and good times!

As Transitions are no longer available the nearest they have nowadays is the awesome SHIV, this was pretty good news to be honest and although there was an 'upgrade charge' it made my decisions regarding the possibility of changing my frame for the season - job done!

So, two weeks before Diss my new bike was here and I had my first Bike Fit at Streetlife (but more on that in another Blog). By GF had entered the Duathlon and as I would be going down to support and take her there I entered the race. The plan was to cruise the first run (at an easy-ish pace), push sections of the bike and then cruise the second run. All of this depended upon how my leg felt during the 3 sections.

The morning of the race pretty much went to plan, checked my start wave (wave 2 of what appeared to be 2 waves, the first being all females) and racked my bike, listened to the briefing, took a gel and had a gentle warm up - no problems at this stage!

I watched the girls set off and lined up, blinkered as usual and we set off at a pretty easy pace. I realized after about 300m that I was outfront and wasnt really working very hard so just stayed at that pace; I did wonder where the likes of Tony and Iain were but figured they must also be taking it pretty easy as they hadn't passed me - I don't do looking back as it upsets your stride.

My lack of run training certainly showed here as even though I wasn't pushing it I was getting a lot of calf pain as they stiffened up during the first 5k. I was glad to have no one near by pushing me as it allowed me to back off enough to manage the pain.

T1 was pretty lethargic but i tried a jump mount on my new steed (note to self - must practice) and almost stacked it at first attempt! but I was off.

The bike was awesome, very little effort required which was promising as I hadnt done any real bike sessions since a 100miler back in feb, the set up was very comfortable and I stayed in aero for the total course except a few of the more severe turns /catching some back markers.

I did look over the shoulder at one point to see if I had been caught during the bike but as no one was in sight I dropped off the pace a little to rest the leg and trundled into T2.

At this stage I was still surprised to be out front and started out at a very steady pace as my calves were very very sore from lack of running. I essentially jogged the second run and did check a couple of times on turns to see if I was being caught. No one anywhere in sight and I thought a win was in the bag so why push any harder (I am glad there wasnt anyone around as I may have caused more long term issues had I pushed it any more - and running in with a grimace isnt the best look!)

Anyway, crossed the line in 1:26:32 (although my official time is a little more than this). After clapping a few more people across the line about 5 minutes later I grabbed my prepackaged 110%compression gear (with icepacks included!) and waited for Julz and the rest of the field to finish.

At this point Iain Robertson finished and expressed his surprise that I wasn't in the same wave as them....."eh, another wave?"

Yes....there were 3 waves, 2 male waves and I had unfortunately been put in the vet's wave whereas the guys I was interested in pacing against were in a wave 5mins after me...Iain finished about 5 minutes after me......OK, right perhaps I hadn't won...bugger!

Itb turns out I was third being pipped by Iain and another fellow, Im pretty glad we were in different waves as this probably saved my legs but was also equally peeved that the decision had been taken away from me. What I thought was a sensible decision to back of cost me a win by about 30 seconds. When my second run was almost 2minutes slower than my competition 30 seconds would not have been much to hold on too especially when I would have (based on times) had a lead off the bike.

Oh well :) when it comes down to it, Iain beat me fair and square, he worked hard on the second run and deserved the run (he backed it up nicely at the Cambridge Duathlon last weekend as well)

The Diss Duathlon is a great event, brilliantly marshaled and supported and I would recommend it to anyone. Its an interesting bike, but with very few hills so is enough to keep you involved all the way round.

Well done Tri-Anglia on another top notch event (just put me in the right wave next time!)

So all in all

In touch on first run - steady but pleased with time based on effort
Decent bike recording fastest split (but I should do on a bike like that!)
Last run was a non-event!

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About Me

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As an ex-National League Basketball player I took up triathlon as a development from cross training. I won my first Sprint distance race and placed second in my first Olympic distance. Since then I have raced the UK Elite Superseries coming 24th in the National Elite Champs, raced Vegas 70.3 WChamps and helped Paratriathlete Iain Dawson to World, European and National Titles. In 2011 I obtained Pro authorisation from the BTF and am pushing my development by stepping up to top level competition in 2012. Aside from this I am a L1 Swim and Tri coach and Professional Lloyds Broker.