Training for a Sprint Duathlon… Race Day!

After training for six weeks where did it get me?


It got me to the point that I raced my heart out and still felt pretty good the next day. I was able to race for 1:19 and love every minute of it. It brought back memories of when I was in middle school and public school running cross country. I remembered what it was like to give it your all and wonder if I could have raced harder.

The race day was pouring rain and the winds were so bad. They ended up canceling the swim portion of the triathlons because of 8 foot swells. All events turned in to a duathlon. They were contemplating canceling the bike portion too because the water was starting to flood the roads however they decided it was safe enough to race on.

It was raining right up until they started the race so I was wearing a shell to shield some of the rain. However since it had stopped raining I started to over heat once the run started. I was used to gauging my effort with a heart rate monitor and speedometer. My hr monitor wasn’t working for the first half of the run. We started out and it seemed to me like everyone was going slow. I was second guessing myself thinking that it was just my adrenaline but decided to pick up the pace. I ran by two dozen people and got in to a good rhythm. I decided to grab some water half way through the 5k and forgot to squeeze the cup to make it easier to drink out of. I wasn’t used to drinking while running and ended up choking because I breathed some in. I found it kind of funny and decided to wait until the first transition to grab another drink.

I ran the transition a couple of times so that I knew where my bike was and that I could find it while moving at a good pace. I strongly recommend actually running between transition zones in the same path as you will be during the race. Plus you can use it as part of your warm up.

I was used to pacing myself with the speedometer but that want working… Should have tested that. I started riding and everything was going well. I grabbed some water and when putting the bottle back in the cage I thought it was clipped in but it wasn’t and I dropped the bottle. If it had fallen off the road I would have left it but it stayed right in the middle of where the next bikes would be coming and I pictured someone riding over it and wiping out so I stopped, turned around and grabbed it.

My pacing was okay but was slow compared to what I was used to. I usually paced around 30-32 kmh but the race times showed that I was only moving around 27kmh. This added about 4 mins to my time. The rest of the ride was pretty steady. I realized that having a quick pedal is really beneficial, also known as cadence. There were lots of people flying by me on. It was a quick out and back. 10k out, turn around and take the same course back to transition. Just before getting back to me I had a close call with a big dog that it’s owners we’re walking. It lounged at me an came pretty close. Luckily there was no incident.

Back at transition I grab some more water and almost forgot to leave the bike helmet. It would have looked silly running with it. I felt great coming out of transition and was really moving. I got on the run and quickly realized my calves were cramping up. I had to pull back the pace. I let my calves calm down for a few minutes then picked up the pace again. My first 5k was 22:44 so my time for the second run of 2.5k should have been half that. I actually did a lot better and ran it in 10:06. I ended up sprinting at the end and passed a group of 4 people. Felt good right at the end.

My lessons learned:

Run the transition areas.
Leave the bike in an easy gear.
Keep the transition are clean.
Make sure your electronics are working.
Hydrate plenty.
Make sure you properly put bake your water bottle.
Dress appropriately.
Get to the race site at a MINIMUM of an hour before start.
Don’t leave any effort behind and give it your all.
I say this a lot and I think its my motto: Finish Strong. Meaning work hard until you are complete. That includes the last foot that crosses the finish line.

Most of all: Have fun.

My goal is to run 5k in 20 mins flat next season.

Next season I’m definitely in for some more races.


1 thought on “Training for a Sprint Duathlon… Race Day!

  1. Pingback: My First Triathlon – Wasaga Beach Sprint Distance Triathlon 2013 |

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