Monthly Archives: June 2013

June – Month of the Qualifiers (and a 5k and a 3-up)

A big month of triathlon in the UK with all three sprint qualifiers and two of the standard distance qualifiers, with a standard of racing that many were saying was the highest ever in domestic races!

Nottingham Sprint 1st June

Very early start to drive down to Nottingham for a 7:30am wave start, but at least it would all be done by breakfast time! Swim was OK (12:38) although I started too far back really and never got stuck in. T1 was a bit of a shambles, lost too much time here. The bike is four laps around the regatta lake so pretty straightforward, head down (figuratively, not literally) and ride – OK but couldn’t really get the power down as I would like. T2 similarly slow as T1 with a long run on tarmac with cold feet. But once I got my shoes on all was right with the world and had a great run 17:29 for (a tough under) 5k to finish 22nd in my age group. Seven to qualify from this race so a way off the slots but just close enough to think that it’s not completely a lost cause.

Bowdon 5k 6th June

Not much to say about a 5k, other than it hurts! Went from the gun to try to go under 17 mins on a reasonably fast course and a beautiful evening. The clock was counting down as I headed to the finish and I thought I’d just missed it by a second or two – which still would have been a good PB – but the official results had me at 16:59, yay!

Manchester Wheelers 50km 3-up TT

A decent showing for the Manchester Tri team of me, Howard and Steve with a respectable time of 1:13:49 (25.3 mph). A painful final third for me and Steve though as Howard dished out the hurt.

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Photo courtesy of Martin Holden

 

Tri Bristol Sprint 23rd June

Interesting urban race venue with the finish up on a flyover! The swim start was narrow so I decided to get up the front and get involved. Went hard from the start and was rewarded with a 12:04 swim and out of the water 18th in my age group. What’s more I didn’t lose any places in T1, a bit of practice and stripping it right down to the minimum helping me be a bit slicker. The bike was two out and backs on the Portway, headwind out, tailwind back. Rode a touch better than at Nottingham but still struggled to get all the power out that I know I can (and do every week in training!). By the end of the bike I’d made up five AG places, but then lost one in T2. The run is an out and back on a path the other side of the river before winding up onto the flyover to finish. I had a good run again, although a slight stitch at the 2km mark meant I had to back off a touch. With a couple of hundred metres to go I kicked on to take one more guy who I assumed was in my age group before hitting the finish line.

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Thanks to The Triathlon Shop for the photo

I thought I’d need to be in the top ten to stand any chance of qualifying but when I got my results print out I was slightly surprised and very pleased to see 7th in age group! With five slots available I now needed two people ahead of me to have either already qualified at Nottingham or not be trying to qualify. A slightly nervous wait for the results and then cross referencing with the “registered to qualify” list… and yes, there were two who could be struck out! Somehow I’d sneaked the 5th qualifying spot!

Llandudno Sprint 29th June

Not a great run in to this race as I was ill on Tuesday and Wednesday (Brunal Lock Belly!) and had done no training at all since racing at Bristol. But on the day I felt OK and I wanted to do the course so decided to head down. The pressure was off so I could just enjoy it after all!

Very busy race with a huge transition area (equals sore feet from lots of barefoot running) and lots of Manchester Tri folk to chat to. Not done a sea swim since Challenge Barcelona in 2009, always a bit more interesting than lakes; a little bit of swell, an offshore drift and lots of jelly fish (I didn’t get stung but lots did). The bike is two laps around the Great Orme, a proper “road-man’s” course with climbs and descents and twists and turns; lots of fun. Although I nearly got taken out be a seagull crossing the road from between two parked cars (it hadn’t read the green cross code clearly). Felt fast starting the run on the flat section along the prom. Climb up to the turn around point then back down and hit a nasty headwind for the run in to the finish (that’s why I felt so fast at the start!). No need to destroy myself today but I would have hoped to finish a bit higher than 35th in AG, quite a come down from last week! 

 

What you been up to then?

As my last blog post was getting on for a year ago I thought I’d better do a catch up first before getting on with some more recent news. Some things have changed (like the location of this blog, RIP Posterous) but don’t expect anything too revelatory.

August 2012

So last we met I’d just pulled out on a 60 mile Ultra. Straight after I had a great couple of days in London for the Olympics – although post-ultra-legs not ideal for navigating the steps up to a seat in the rafters of the Olympic stadium. Also did the 100 mile Ride With Brad sportive with John which was pretty tough seeing as neither of us had really touched our bikes since Roth. We did get to ride in the Wiggo peloton briefly though.

September 2012

Bit of mountain biking including a Penmachno / Marin Trail double header. Coombs Tor fell race, bit of orienteering. Nothing too serious!

October 2012

Sale Harriers training weekend in Ingleton, including a great run over Ingleborough. Then a week off ill before the first round of the MACCL XC league in Heaton Park.

November 2012

Decent run in round 2 of the XC league at Sherdley Park, although poor decision to wear spikes as I think this triggered a new round of calf problems. 10th place in the Kendal Mountain Film Festival Trail Run which really knackered my calves!

December 2012

Another reasonable run in round 3 of the XC at Wythenshawe Park, but again struggling with calves. A week later it was clear that these issues weren’t going away and sought some help from Paul Savage at Athlete Matters and started a lay off from running for a month or so whilst doing some strengthening work instead. 

January 2013

At some point in the preceding 5 months I decided to have a go at qualifying for the Sprint at the World Championships to be held in London, September 2013. So triathlon training started in earnest this month. Running limited to building up some easy jogging. Also spent a few days chasing Brian up and down the Pennine Way as he successfully tackled The Spine. I also started a “take a photo every day of the year” project which is ongoing and sometimes a pleasure, sometimes a real chore!

February 2013

Calf rehab hit by a couple of set backs. Actually did a race, Hit The North CX/MTB which was a lot of fun, even if front brake failure did make the descents a bit more sketchy

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March 2013

Kicked off with a weeks training camp at Kinetic PB in Spain, some good bike miles logged even if the weather was a bit sub-optimal for a couple of days. A week of swimming every day and 200m (2:59) and 400m (6:13) PBs followed. Running starting to come back on-line with a new strategy of running almost every day but mostly short easy runs. Ended the month with an Easter mini training camp in Dorset  to try and escape the cold weather up North (which had led to the postponement of the Buxton Mountain Time Trial from its usual Good Friday date).

April 2013

A month of solid training concluded with a J2/9 PB for a 25 mile time trial of 1:01:57. Running still mostly easy but with a weekly progression/tempo run to start sharpening up again – injury free since mid-February.

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May 2013

The rescheduled Buxton MTT was held on a beautiful May Day bank holiday and I rode a 5 minute PB to just duck under the 1:50 mark. Back to the Wednesday track sessions and running pretty well considering. Man Tri training weekend in the Lakes, wettest ride ever on the Saturday then a very ugly 31 mile time trial with trashed quads from a Friday evening fell run over Catbells. Very cold Salford Quays aquathlon, although even with some in-sole issues I ran my best every aquathlon “5k”. Solid 6th place at the Ian Hesketh Memorial Duathlon on a beautiful day at Rivington.

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Well that’s us almost up-to-date and heading into the three qualifying races for the World Sprint Championships.