Testing New Limits
A month ago I wrote a piece about finding new motivation to push my training to the next level and went on to explain how I had entered a my first Sprint Triathlon in 3 years since competing in my first Sprint Triathlon in Wargrave.
The last months training has been intense, I have maintained a full weights programme alongside a Triathlon Programme which has involved double sessions most days. Interval sessions in the pool at Windsor or Ice Cold Lake Swims at Liquid Leisure. I have got over my boredom of WattBikes by focusing on their power graphs, making sure my stroke technique is effective and adding intervals to make sure each session was effective as it could be. I've made a return to teaching Spin after I swore I would never teach it again, and found out that I actually enjoy it now! and in the process of focusing on those two elements I have completed neglected my running but managed to fit in a few 10km runs here and there to the copper horse!
So today was race day a 5am wake up, before arriving at Thorpe Park for 6:20am leaving about 30mins to get sorted and ready for the briefing before the 7am race start. Going into the race this morning I had the confidence that training had gone well and that I had hit PBs over the last week to suggest I could achieve a much faster time than my last effort.
The start of the swim was chaotic as expected, hardly any room to move, legs and arms flying everywhere and it took me until half way to find a rhythm once I found some clear water when the lead group separated from the rest of the group. Climbing up the hill towards the first transition which went incredibly smoothly after practicing last night up and down my road with rubber bands to hold my shoes in position.
The Bike course was smooth and consistent, despite my cycle computer deciding it didn't want to give me any readings. I spent the entire 20km leap frogging with another athlete with Number 20 on his back and trying my hardest to hold Matt off after the lead I had built on him during the first leg. Catching me as we entered the second transition where I managed to get my left foot stuck and almost fell off my bike, I kicked my shoe off and ran with it in my hand to the rack where I stupidly took my helmet off too early and got myself a penalty! being made to stand still and put my helmet back on and take it off again.
The first 2km of the 5km run was interesting after the battering my legs took from the bike, struggling to find a rhythm, at this point the Number 20 from the bike was still holding his lead from the Bike which he gained during the transition and Matt was not far ahead of him. I pushed on and closed the gap, extending my strides and changing my breathing pattern. Overtaking him and closing the gap between me and Matt to just 10seconds!
This challenge started for me as a way of pushing my training on and giving a focus and meaning to it. The result has been just what I wanted to achieve, a lower body fat, leaner and stronger and I have achieved a time 5mins faster than my last. But for me the real result has been seeing not only Tara, Matt and Myself engaging in some "pre race banter" but how it has engaged our clients and the members of Windsor Leisure Centre, and I really hope between the three of us that we have inspired people to give a Sprint Triathlon a go!
Race 2 of the Thorpe Park Sprint Series falls on Sunday 17th September, I encourage you all to join us and give it a go if your looking for a challenge! How great would it be to have a team from Windsor Leisure Centre?!