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The season was already at the end since I decided to decline the 70.3IM Lanzarote for logistic reasons, but I needed one last shot. And that shot was Aubonne. A small forgotten triathlon in the middle of nowhere. I catched the opportunity to even bring one of my training-mate and introduce him to triathlon.
We choose the sprint for him, for a try. He never really trained on bike.
Despite the bad organization and management, I really enjoyed the fat race.
Yes, the swimming was horrible, a sort of 300mt -swimming-pool-loop with even an Australian passage.
Well was really hard to pass people.
We both took the 3rd and 4th place but we could not pass the 2nd simply because was too big and he was simply taking advantage of the course.
We finished together, but he lost a lot of time for his socks and shoes.
On my side I was able to keep the first and second at 100mt for a good 2-3km, during the first claimbs but when it went flat they started drafting each other and I lost them.
The race was on.
I was alone and in the middle of nowhere.
An other athlete passed me during an other claimb, I tried to follow him but… God… He had an engine or something! He was simply claimbing everything without opening even his mouth!
The bike course was really fun.
Up & down continuously! And I still had the same frightened feeling when the road started turning too much.
That actually cost me other two positions.
But still, I really enjoyed the bike course because I knew the roads since I used to train there and because the view was really lovely.
I was 6th after the t2.
I started running and in my mind I set one single word “run buddy run! Because Giacomo is coming!”
Yes, I knew that my mate was really good in running and I didn’t know how far I left him.
I ran with all I got and I pushed so hard that I was really surprised if the result.
The run was lovely.
A bit hotty… Too much actually, with few stations. But I was so motivated that I ran really well. I catched even a couple of people (from an other category) and I ran shoulder to shoulder with a guy until the final sprint at the end.
6th place and a good end for the season.
And Giacomo? Not so far! 11th!
Mh… He will be for sure a pain in the ass!! Now that he has been beaten, he will claim the next season! Damn…. An other rival 😉
Fallen into a sort of frustration post-race, I decided for a last minute race. One week later Lausanne I had the vevey triathlon. Really beautiful race, nice view on bike, good on run and really nice swim in the bay of the riviera.
After all I really enjoined the race… Except for the run… Again…
The swim was really tough because just 750mt with almost 500mt against the Sun and with few boas. I think I lost again my optimum-navigation because I was too stressed by the pace. I had indeed almost 300mt in full anaerobic. Almost a 300mt swimmingpool race. And when I set this pace to not lose the top swimmer I usually renounce too smart things… Like navigation, proper technique and so on.
Anyway, I exit the swim in a good position but in frenetic and stressed mindset.
I lost (I don’t even remind how) two of the athlete in front of me and I spent too much energy trying to catch them. (Why? Because for one time the race was draft-legal).
Other couple of athletes passed me on the super tough climb and then finally found the pace maker guy. With him we catched few other and packed all togheter in a group of almost 20/25.
I wanted to push a bit because frustrated by the loss during the climb and the frenetic-swim, and I put myself on top of the group many times setting the pace. Too many times!
After the race I analyzed myself and understood that I ran out of gas on the run because used too mush in the bike.
The run? Well… A disaster! I don’t know if it was the hot, the frenetic start, the frustration of the bad preparation.what I know is that I suffered cramps, dehydration, and fatigue after 2km.
At the end the race went a bit lower my usual trend.
After Nyon, after 2 weeks, I just put an other goal: improve my PR on the tri-Luasanne.
The course was the one good known.
I had a good swim, as result, but the sensation was horrible. I felt drawn by the waves and I thought to have done the double of the distance swimming zig-zag. Anyway.. I was in the top five. Good.
In the bike I pushed really hard specially on the climbing. The only “bad-feeling” was in the tight turns before the flat part. As mentioned, after the fall, I really missed that feeling of making perfect turns.
In the running the four loops were a sort of up&down. In a sense that I had really good feeling until the first and half loop, then a sort of “lost mind” foes one and half loop and then the last one was really a super fast one.
Result: one minute lost from last year but five position better in the ranking. Meaning that apparently everybody was slower than 2015 but I was less slower 🙂
I went back Italy ( to be sure that my mother recognize me 😉 ) and I took the opportunity to get some training with my teammates.
Yes, I still belong to the Italian team, but not for long. I actually miss the team effort, the coop, the meetings.
Well, this post is not about the team, it is for what happened during the bike…
It was a simple a good bike training. Despite the super-heavy bike I could find a way to follow the others and even burn them on the small claimbs.
After few drop of rains we were back to home and somehow on a crossroad I lost the control of the bike.
Nothing of serious, I just broke the saddle of the bike, but I was fine.
In the physical!
But not psychological! I basically started being afraid of every turn, and every crossroad or descent. Still after one month I cannot “draw” the turns that I want.
After the IM70.3 is always difficult to keep motivation high in the training (or at least for me). But this year I had a “bonus race” that I wanted to do to get a revenge. Nyon! A triathlon that I hated specially for the run course. The swim is particularly fun with its Australian turn around at 750mt, but the problems start after the swimming. A mountain, literally a mountain to climb, from the swim exit until the transition zone. Getting tired with a 1km running with your swim suit on is already epic.
The bike is not particularly difficult: an up&down loop.
But the running… Two loops of 5km in the middle of nowhere in the back fields of Nyon. Your head is cooked after 1km under the sun of noon.
Anyway… This year I wanted a revenge. I knew the course, I knew the running, nothing couldn’t stop me!
Well… It went on the opposite way.
Starting line in the water: I just touched my goggles… Boom! They simply opened them self leaving 30sec to find an alternative plan.. And the plan was simple… Doing 1.5km swim with wind, waves and frustration without goggles…. I lost after 200mt the front group (my only chance to keep a good time) and I swam backstroke mostly of the time keeping q front position in the middle group. But I was so stressed that I drank a lot. At the exit of the first lap I started shouted to everybody for a pair of goggles. I could not finish the second lap without these, too wavy, too windy, too stressed, too frustrated… Too much. I spent almost one minute saying every “not-kind” word that my mother tongue knows, when finally a gentle woman gave me a pair of frog-goggles. I started swimming again. But the race was already over, or at least the revenge was over.
Finished the swim, I had in mind just the idea to bring home the race to honor at least the effort.
The climb to the transition zone was even worst… This time I had to walk and not even run! I was so stressed for what happened that my body simply did not answer.
The same was for the bike. I was not focus and what was a normal bike course turned out to be a nightmare.
But the run was even worst… I started the first lap with a good pace with the intention at least to give good partial in the run! Pff… The first lap I was almost walking.
The second however went better, probably I was so stressed from the run that my muscles of the core could not sustain the respiration.
I finished actually with a slightly better result than the last time. But what an epic and unpredictable revenge!!
Done it! How was it? Good! Not the performance that I chased but at least a good result! 5minutes less than the other year. But looking at each fraction 10min better!! So… Where I lost 5 minutes!? In the changing area… But let’s start from the beginning.
The day before was cold. Freezing. And the day of the race even worst, it started raining in the early morning.
The water was 14.9 degree Celsius. I started panic! It was so damn cold that I was afraid of not finish the swimming. I had even the neoprene cap with me but (thanks to a non-athlete suggestion) I luckily did not used it. Yes, it was so damn cold that even if I approached the water with the firsts I took almost 10minutes to actually jump in the water to get to the starting line, but the cap was too much. I would have had my head too hot with fog in the goggles if wearing the cap.
Anyway, as I said, I went in front of the small bridge to get in the water with the firsts, but I decided to jump at the last minute to avoid a waiting position for ten minutes, freezing. There were almost 100meters between the bridge (where enter) and the starting line and I used all the centimeters to warmup and lose time as much as possible. Wise choice. I was warmer and ready at the countdown. BANG! As usual I took the first group but I was so afraid of the cold water and my swim condition (I trained a lot less and I felt really not ready nor fast in the water) that I tried to get the draft of some guys. The swim course was pretty easy: go and back. As usual I had the first 300/400mt fast-pace with consequent “hard-shoulders”. A couple of backstroke helped to relax the shoulders and see the situation behind and back.
At the turn back, I saw a good distance between me and the chasing group, but I knew that I had to boost a bit the way back. And so my “draft-buddy”! He increased the pace the last 500mt and we exit the waters together.
Only after the race I realized to be 3rd of my wave (age group until 29 years old).
I ran as fast as possible to warm up the legs and not lose time.
But in the changing tent..
My hands were not warm and my brain in a “hurry-up” mindset because I knew that I needed to not lose time. And as usual, more you are afraid of losing time, more you burn energy and time. I couldn’t fit the upper part of the body (yes… That is unusual… You should wear the upper body already under your swim suite.. But I decided before start to not have the wet upper part of the body on the bike leg. I usually suffer of stomach cramps and having the stomach wet on cross wind would have dedtroyed me). It was a good choice since the weather was really cold and windy but I panicked once my arm was not getting inside the vest. I don’t even know how many athlete passed me. 15 maybe 20! Once the vest was on I was so relieved that I started running but I forgot my bike shoes and socks! So… A disaster!
Here the 5 minutes loss!
I jumped on the bike after a good dose of anger! The bike course had no secret for me and I really bited the road in the first loop. I studied all the slopes and the turns to get the maximum and even with the wet road I really pushed! I indeed reached my record in the long descent! 74km/h!
The second lap was a small fault. In a sense that I felt a bit of fatigue on my quads and I decided to not push too hard as the first lap.
Result? Three minutes less than the past year.
Reminder for the next year: the nutrition strategy was perfect! Three half bars divided into the first and half loop and 3 gels for the last half. Actually I used just 2 gels but the third was for backup.
The drinking: mostly water (2/3 bottles) and one of electrolites. Usually I drink more electrolites but this time I felt a bit of nausea for all that salty and sweet taste.
The T2 went better even if I deliberately deicided to spare a bit of time to change the wet socks, avoiding blisters.
The first five 5km were a nightmare, I had the calvs hard like stones. I thought that maybe the compressing socks would have helped but after the first five kms the legs started feeling better.
I never stopped or had a real crisis like in 2015, but I ran too damn slow (slower than my usual standards)! Fear! Fear or having a crisis! I literally had this thoughts for 18km from the T2!
I ran with breaks!!!
I knew very well the course so I could manage the pace, but all was set on a “feeling-mode”. I had no pace meter, I had a watch but I couldn’t be able to really calculate the pace. (The days before I was not able to manage the gps watch to function for more than 3,5hours! Bad settings, too signals.. No idea… Maybe because I needed to buy a good 920garmin and not this fancy-jogging vivoactive!)
In the end, I accelerated just the 2 last kms, when the race was already done and I was afraid to not beat my record.
I did seven minutes better in the run! So really a good result! But I was disappointed by the bad management of the transistions! Really… A shit!
For the next time:
– be less scared
– follow the plan to improve the result
– get a gps-watch to get the pace
– force the first kms on the run to warm faster the calfs and the legs
– verify if the compressor socks on the calfskin benefit
– pro more transitions bike-run to have a better biomechanics change
Two weeks… And then the 5th of june will be the day!
And studying the course is really important!
And here I am studying.
hill, slope etc…
Thanks Matthew Selkirk Key (twitter- @mattselkey) for your video! Really helps to remind the course!