So this past weekend I raced my first race of the year which was Tremblant 5150. First of all this is an amazing race with a beautiful swim, fun and hard bike and challenging run. Furthermore it is a beautiful area with a wonderful village, understanding locals and some wonderful training opportunities.
I was going into this race reasonably confident with some really solid run and bike workouts. I have run a half marathon PR while competing for the win as well as holding a power for a 2 hour ride which a few months ago I struggled with for 30 min.
However the swim was concerning me a bit as I have spent the last month focusing on technique. This seems to have resulted in some very good swim improvements with someone commenting that they didnt recognize me in the pool. However it did mean that the fitness to hold pace for 1500m was unknown. What we really changed in the swim was incorporating a more efficient bent arm recovery, pulling straight (deep) down to the bottom of the pool as well as entering the water much wider with my left arm. In the past my left arm has crossed my center line resulting in a ‘snaking motion’. If I really exaggerate the left arm entry it results in a swim which goes in a straight line.
Going in I had a number of goals set out. These were:
SWIM (in Xterra Vendetta full suit)
- keep a long complete stroke
- keep a good turnover
- do not cross over left arm and pull back right away
BIKE (on Felt DA2)
- avg 245-250 NP not going out too hard
- stand on hills shorter then 10s sit for others
- be brave on descents
Run (In Skechers Go Meb Speed 2)
- run like I know how
Pre race I felt fairly good after a good taper, I was fresh and getting really antsy to get in a hard effort. I was able to hit all my race efforts relatively easily as well as getting in some rides on the course a couple of days before. Furthermore I did some swim intensity at a pace which before the technique change would have been difficult and it felt relatively relaxed. Here is a screen shot of the taper.
So with an 8:21am start for the pro men I woke up at 425 am, had a bagel with jam and peanut butter and then began to prepare. I taped my legs with rock tape (I find it aids with power and form when fatigued). Then at 5:20am I biked down to transition to get my preferred racking position. I then found a quiet place to sit down and just kept calm until 6:40am when I started my warmup. This consisted of a 10 min bike with 6 by 30s standing efforts, a 6 min run with 4 by 30s at race pace. I then clean up transition and practice the process 2 times running into transition and 2 times leaving transition. Once this is done transition si cleaned up and I do the 15 min walk from transition to the swim start, Once here I prepare and do a 10 min swim take 1.5 GU Roctane gels and then do a few short efforts and 3 or 4 starts.
It is a fairly simple swim with calm water on this day. Simply swim out turn right and then swim to swim exit (different from start).
Once the race started I just tried to get out and settle into a solid rhythm. However, I miss calculated my effort id not go out hard enough settling into far too slow of a pace. I held this pace to the finish of the swim coming out feeling very comfortable. There is a lot of improvement here with a better calculated effort and 1 month to build swim fitness before saint andrews. Once out of the water it is about a 500m run to transition where the focus is on turnover and making up ground on those ahead of you.
This is an extremely technical 2 loop out and back course. Over the course there is 648m of climbing made up of many small climbs. One thing I would recommend though is to practice descending in aerobars as I definitely lost time here.
I started the bike in my Rudy Project Wingspan helmet looking to hold between 240 and 250 NP. I went out at 255 for the first lap really hammering the hills which was a mistake when I came around the second lap my legs didn’t have much juice and I only ended up averaging 239 NP on the bike. This is a simply problem to fix however as all I need to do is go out a bit easier. On the bike I drank 450ml of GU Brew as well as eating 2 GU roctane gels at 20 and 40 min. Ill update the power file if I can however it somehow ended up being 17 hours long so the data is very hard to read.
The out and back run course is relatively challenging with 3 or 4 long gradual climbs per 5km (400mish) as well as 1 300m ssteeper climb at 1 and 9km.
This run was a very big learning experience. I didn’t realize how negatively doing the first half of the bike too hard could affect the run. But for the first 5km of the run I struggled with heavy legs and with a more compressed stride then normal. Finally at 5km I was able to get that stride length going. This did teach me to really focuse on the stride lenght when my legs are too fatigued at the start of a run. Also, make sure your laces are tight enough or you will get some blood stains on your shoes.
Final race grade C+: All in all this was an ok start to the season. Although there was a few mistakes made they are all very easy to fix and will be corrected for my next race (possibly guelph lake 1).
Post race: To help recover I went rock climbing. This was really good fun and nice for getting that mobility going.