Today Paul took part in his first ever Triathlon event! The Naked Strength Novice ‘Super Sprint’ distance Triathlon in Colerne near Bath. The event consists of a 200 meter swim in a pool, a 10 kilometer bike ride on the roads and a 2.5 kilometer run. It was part of an entire ‘Multisport’ weekend arranged by them, with kids races and various distance duathlons and triathlons.
During August I went to our local swimming baths and swam for the first time in many years! The required distance of 200m got the arms pumped and took exactly 4 minutes on two separate occasions. So that’s the suggested wave start time that I put myself into when entering the event.
Also during August we bought new hybrid cycle’s and I completed over 100km of cycling in training for this, and included what is called ‘brick training‘, where you train two separate disciplines in one continuous effort. I actually completed the whole combined distance a couple of times, although the transition times were quite long due to the logistics of completing them all together.
The event on the day was really well organised and run. The site stewards were very helpful and friendly and there was a real family vibe and feeling to the place. It was very relaxing for us both as a competitor and for Irina who was there to support me.
I have been interested in Triathlon for a while now and chose this event as the Naked Strength organisation is mainly about getting novices into these type of organised activities. I wanted to experience exactly how the event would be organised and how the actual transition area would work for moving from pool to bike and on to run.
It was all laid out expertly and with a few minutes of familiarising myself with the layout shortly after arriving, I had no trouble during the race in getting everything right.
The race itself went quite well. I anticipated a finishing time of around 48 minutes total, and actually finished in 43 minutes and 21 seconds. The swim (including getting out of the pool and out to the transition gate 30 meters away) was 4:00 (an improvement on my normal swim time for 200m), the cycle was 24:47 and included a rather steep and long uphill section that took me by surprise around the 8k mark! And the run took 12:17, which really surprised me as it felt slower than my usual pace per kilometer.
Straight after the race I was exhausted, my lungs were burning from the cycle up the hill section near the end, and then all the way around the run. It took me ten minutes to calm down enough to remember to do some stretching. Irina had made and brought some delicious sandwiches along too, which really helped and gave me an instant hit from the carbs. (Irina had roasted some chicken breasts in thyme and a little olive oil and sliced that into rye bread slices with some nice salad. Perfect for after the event!)
Overall I was very pleased with the day and result. It definitely got me more interested in taking part in more multisport events. I also learnt a lot about preparing for the transitions and about the gear needed… I think I need to invest in getting a good quality Trisuit to wear throughout the event, a race bike so I can cycle much quicker with the better gearing and race specific tyres.
Better start saving!