Vitruvian / British Middle Distance Champs – by the numbers

Posted: September 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

It has been a while since I have written a standard race report.  Most of my recent entries have been somewhat ‘deep and meaningful’, or not as may be the case.

Anyway, here it is…..

THE SWIM

For once, I got this VERY wrong…..

Why?

Well…. if you sprint off the front, flat out for maybe 200m without taking a breath you will never guess what happens??  You get to a point where you simply run out of air.   At this point, I simply could not get enough oxygen into my system.  Even turning to breast stroke did not allow me enough oxygen.  I had to completely stop and tread water for what seemed like hours before I was able to return to the race.  To be honest, I probably only stopped for 20-30 seconds, but when you’re in the middle of a race and being swum over by a lot of people, trust me, a 20-30 seconds seconds seems like a very long time!!!

Having said all that, I was really pleased with how I kept my head and got back into the race.

The rest of the swim was fine, nothing special.  I felt a little wiped out from the ‘hyperventilating start’ for most of the swim, but was confident that once I was on dry land I would be able to get some more oxygen into my system and everything would be OK.

THE BIKE

Starting out on the bike, again I felt a little more blown than I would have liked, but I tried to ignore the feeling and get stuck into the course.  I had raced the Dambuster earlier in the year, so the course was fairly fresh in my mind.  I think this helps get the most out of yourself on the day, when you have a good idea of what is round the next corner….

The course in summary – is a climb out of T1, a fast descent, three punchy climbs, a long fast 10 mile TT down hill section, a longer climb, then a few shorter climbs takes you to the end of the first loop.  Then repeat the same again for the second loop and back into transition.

By the end of the first lap, I felt like I was riding pretty well and the numbers were looking decent.   My ave power was sitting at 331W.  At this point I was sitting in 2nd place (1st place was WAY up the road) with a group of maybe 4-5 other riders strung out behind me.  I kind of expected this to happen and had a plan in my mind for when it did.

The plan was pretty simple, wait until we are riding into the head winds I knew we were going to have out on the course, and then drop the hammer.  So at the start of the second lap as the head winds and hills kicked in, I put the hammer down.  This section was the best part of the course to try and build a sizeable lead on the guys behind me, so I continued to press for the next 20mins.  Looking at the data after the race I averaged 350W for this section, with normalised power was probably up around 370W at a guess!  It was ‘mostly’ a controlled effort but within that 20mins I did put in a couple of bigger 3-5mins efforts over 400W.  Putting surges like this into the mix in a race is always a bit of a gamble.  Still I think that is what racing is all about.

I reached the 10mile TT section of the course with a pretty decent gap now established and was able to back the effort right down to closer to 300W and let the wheels roll.   It is an awesome feeling cruising along at 30mph with minimal effort and this really allowed me to recover from the last 20mins surge.  By the time the next few hills arrived I felt pretty fresh and ready to up the effort back up to normal again.

Entering T2 I felt like I’d had a solid ride…..

gkIjom

Looking back at the numbers after the race, I averaged 324W with a normalised power of 340W.  IF was 0.87 and VI was 1.05, so I would say that was about as much as I could have asked for out on the bike.

THE RUN

At this point in the race the gap to 1st place was huge, so unless he pretty much walked his 1/2 marathon I was never going to catch him.

I had a 2 minute lead on the next man and set off knowing there would be some speedy runners close behind.  I was actually running really quite well for me and after 5km was still in 2nd place!

At this point speed runner number 1 came flying past.  The think I even said “alright speedy” as he flew past.  My mind was in the right kind of place today 🙂 At the half way point I was overtaken by another chap, but this time the difference in pace was really not that much and I almost thought about going with him.  But I was worried I might pop and blow my entire race so I let him slowly creep out of sight over the next 5km

Looking back at that moment now, I kind of wish I had gone with him.  Not because I think I could have held the pace, but because it would have been the brave thing to do and made the race tougher and more exciting, at least from my perspective.  Next time I find my self in that situation, which as it turns out is in 3 days time (Weymouth 70.3 – 8 days on from Vitruvian), I hope I am brave enough to take that gamble.  Time will tell…..

Anyway I was now sitting in 4th place with 10km left to race.  I held pace and my head and with 5km to go I pushed as hard as I felt I could without popping.  No more runners passed me that day 🙂

My final run time – 1hr 24mins.  Again, about as much as I could have hoped for, give or take.

As it turns out, a chap from a wave further back also posted a speedy time, so the final standings – 5th overall and 2nd in age group.

Going into the race, honestly I was hoping for a top 10.  I thought a top 5 might be possible and if I had a perfect perfect day maybe, just maybe a overall podium spot.  So looking back on how the day unfolded I was chuffed to bits to make the top 5 in the British Champs.

To top it all off, my Bro was racing as well.  He seems to be turning himself into a bit of a triathlete these days and I was more concerned about being beaten by him than anyone else doing the race.  Thankfully, while he had a good race I am relieved to say he did not beat me!!!  To be honest I don’t think I could have handled the banter if he had.  But he is getting closer!!!!!!

IMG_7407

Before I sign off I just want to say thank you to the team at Pacesetter Events.  Having raced both the Dambuster and Vitruvian this year, on both occasions I was really impressed with the organisation and the smoothness in which the event just ‘happened’ without any issues or problems.  When things run so smoothly I know us athletes sometimes take it for granted, but Thank You guys.  Without all your efforts, events like this would simply not happen.

Next up Weymouth 70.3, which, as I write this report is in 3 days time!!!  Mentally I am ready to smash it out of the water, I just hope I able to recover in time.  Not feeling quite at 100% yet, but it is Thursday.  Three days to go, so we will just have to wait and see……

 

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Comments
  1. Kerry jones says:

    Well done Chris x

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