Sunday, 16 March 2008

Busted balls...

As you know, this Saturday saw the first race of our multisport season and a chance to assess the effectiveness of our winter training period... I'd also been like a kid waiting for Christmas all week... finally at 8am on Saturday morning the flag dropped and the talking stopped ;)

As you also know, I'd set myself the target of a five minute improvement on last year and therefore a time of around 2.53 with the idea of doing each run in under 50 minutes (7.67 miles according to Garmin) and the bike in something around 1:11... leaving no more than three minutes for both transitions.

Coming in to T1 I'd covered the first run in 49:42 which at 6.28 per mile was 1:25 quicker than last year and even though my HR had been a little higher (av 161 v 153) I was feeling very strong and confident of a good day... a good T1 saw me on the bike still over a minute ahead of 2007 and ready to hammer round three fast laps. As well as being super hilly, the Ballbuster course is very technical with some extremely tight corners as well as some extremely fast corners, neither of which are much fun in wet greasy conditions, and Saturday was plenty greasy and plenty wet! Not being the most skillful of riders I struggled a bit and the poor visibility due to thick fog only made things worse, particularly on the first lap. Still, I set about making up time that I lost on the technical sections by working hard on the straight bits and with no-one coming past me I felt I was setting myself up to have a chance on the run... coming in to T2 I'd ridden 1:12:53 which at only 49 seconds faster than last year was a little disappointing but I think the conditions probably cost a minute or two, especially the way I rode them ;)

I love running off the bike and starting the second run with the clock on 2:05:43 I knew I only had 48 minutes to cross the finish line... time to hurt... having averaged a heart rate of 161 on the first run I was looking to get straight in to the mid 160's before setting up camp in the 170's and then giving it absolutely everything for the final 1.5 miles up Boxhill. Unfortunately my body wasn't playing ball and despite having my foot flat on the floor I struggled to get out of the pedestrian 150's and ended up averaging 158 and maxing at 164 (compared to 165 and 176 respectively for the same run last year). Frustratingly this saw me lose most of my advantage over 2007 and 51:41 later I crossed the line in 2:57:25 for 9th place overall out of 190 finishers... still... a pb by a 'massive' 29 seconds ;)

So... what's the bottom line? Today's picture is the profile of the course, along with my heart rate (red) and speed (green)... you can see that having got my heart rate to around 170 by the end of the first run it gradually dropped through the race. This is the opposite of what happened last year where I managed to gradually up the intensity throughout the race and posted the second fasted second run of the day. Why is this? There's two possible reasons... firstly, maybe I went off a little hard in the first run? My heart rate was a little higher than 2007, but I'm pretty experienced and having run this race three times before felt confident coming in to T1 that I'd left plenty in the tank. More likely I think, is that as I thought might be the case, I was just a little too fatigued from my recent high training volume (particularly in comparison to this time last year) and although this didn't really affect the first hour of the race it showed its face in the final hour. Last year I'd spent the weekend before snowboarding with my Dad, whereas this year I did the HPTT on the Saturday morning, a two hour turbo and 9 mile run on the Saturday afternoon and a super hard century ride and two mile run on the Sunday, in fact I didn't really back it off at all until the Wednesday... three days before the race! With regards the bike, I had hoped to be a minute or so quicker but was like Bambi on ice round some of the corners so will reserve judgment on my bike progress until the next couple of tests (Stokesley duathlon on the 30th of March and the Circuit of the Dales on the 6th of April).

Overall, it's great to get the multisport season rolling with a decent result and I feel like I've learnt a couple of good lessons... 1) to give races a little more respect with regards tapering, especially important ones (note to self regarding London marathon in April and UK 70.3 in June) and 2) that I still need to incorporate a little more high intensity work in to my run and bike training as although endurance is clearly there, speed is lacking.

In two weeks time it's our club duathlon championships at the Stokesley Duathlon and with some fellow LBTers posting great times at the recent Clumber Park Duathlon I'm itching to get stuck in to some decent competition ;)

Time for bed,


p.s. the results which have been posted on include T1 in the bike split and T2 in the second run.


Sean said...

Hey you pair - less of the reasons why you didn't think you perfomed as well as you wanted to and more in the way of 'this is just another stepping stone to where you are going to' (and will get to !) - if you wanted to see a performance below standard you should have seen my 20 mile effort on Saturday morning, remembering that I had done the same distance two weeks earlier in a race in 2:16, I gave up at mile 18 after doing one of the miles in just over 8:30 - I then ate solidly for 36 hours, had a little sulk and hope all will go well on the day - keep up the good work my friends - Sean. x

Jevon said...

well done Tom. Strong race, whichever way you skin it. J.

Tom said...

Sean... in all our ironman training those long runs are still the most challenging, I find a 20 mile run more dauting than a 100 mile ride even though it takes much less time. Recover well, come back stronger and April the 13th will be your day ;)

Jev... cheers mate ;)

Anonymous said...

you bought ascent then. How is it? I've not got round to it yet.

Tom said...

hi Ady, ascent is pretty good. what swayed us was that it works on a mac and we use H's laptop (ibook) for some of our training stuff.

there are a few things that annoy me about it but then I don't think the alternatives are any better. I also like the fact that you don't need to be online like MotionBased.