New Forest Tri 2010 – race report

My mind wasn’t ready for today.  My training’s been poor.  I’m not swimming anywhere near as good as last year.  I’ve hardly been on my bike, but my running is ok – except I hurt my knee last weekend.  On Friday I did 2 minutes on the treadmill.  Yesterday 13 minutes on the road.  Going gently it hurt, going harder I didn’t notice it.

Oh, I’ve been eating badly and have been feeling slow and headachey after stopping drinking diet coke.  I think today is day 4 or 5 without it.  I am probably over the worst but the first four days were horrible.

The forecast was for cold, rain and wind.  And the lake was going to be cold.  Very cold.

So mentally, I was not there.

The race

The water was cold but there was no rain.  I started in the second wave.   And started back from the front which was a bit silly.  I then got stuck behind two slower swimmers and by the time I got past them there was no one to draft off of.  I swam steadily.  Last year I swam hard.  After the start though, no one overtook me.

T1 was a leisurely affair.  I put a jacket on and my bike shoes but it was a slow affair.  Running from the lake was fast but I was mentally not there as I only thought about undoing the wetsuit zip as I got close to my bike.

Swim and T1 was 24:10 which put me 165 out of 338.  48th percentile.  Last year I was 8th percentile.  Weird!  Or at least not good!

Edit: turns out that the initial results assume I was in the first waive, not the second.  Knocking 5 minutes off means I swam in 19:10 and this put me 9th percentile.  Much more sensible.

The bike was always going to be slow as I’ve not been riding much.  Saying that though, I was disappointed about not being able to stay in the tri position for too long and not being able to push the power up.  Up hills was ok but on the flat it seemed to drop very quickly.

I noticed that the front wheel felt a bit flat about 4k in.  By 32k or so it was quite flat and I slowed a lot.  Then 1k or so later I stopped and was going to change it before I realised I had some pit stop with me.  It took me ages to get the tape off it that was holding it to my saddle bag.  Once it came off, it took about 10 seconds to inflate the tyre.  The whole stop took 2 mins 25s; most of that getting the tape off.  I also lost a bit of time in the 1k before I stopped.

By my bike computer, and ignoring the stop, I was 15 seconds slower this year than last year.  Not too bad until you realise I did a 7 hour bike ride, followed by a run, before last year’s race.

So, 46th percentile on the bike (last year 35th percentile).


I had lost all feeling in my feet from the cold after about 10k in to the bike so the run started off feeling a bit funny.  I’m not the best at running on “pebble” type of gravel but that’s only a bit of the run.  The rest was fine, albeit quite hilly.  There was a nice bit running through the ford, which probably had 20cm of fast flowing water in it.

One thing I did notice was that I wasn’t concentrating on my running pace.  Sometimes I was putting a lot of effort in.  Then I noticed that I was hardly breathing.  Not good.

I finished in 45:53 which was 31st percentile.  Last year it was a different course and I was 37th percentile.  So that’s one bit of good news!

In the end, I did 2:20:18.  That’s 41st percentile.  Last year I was 22nd percentile.  Oh dear.

Edit: With the 5 minutes off the swim, I did 2:15.18 – that’s 28th percentile.  If I then allow three minutes for the puncture, that puts me 23rd percentile.

So one thing is clear.  Training, and state of mind, makes a big difference!

With that in mind, I did a 40 min swim in the afternoon.

A busy weekend

So the scores on the doors for the weekend:


– 4k wetsuit swim in pool, including a new PB of 5:22 for 400m

– 40 min negative split run


– 6hr 50 bike (plus some time working out how to get un-lost)

– followed by a 40 min run


– New Forest Triathlon (2hrs 14 mins)

One interesting thing was that I weighed myself before and after Saturday’s bike/run.  I lost 3.8lbs.  But between weigh-ins I drunk around 3.5 litres of water and had a load of powerbars, gels and a couple of mars bars.  So, I lost around4. 5kgs of fluids on my ride.  Wow! 

Part of the reason for this is that I left early in the morning in my full winter gear.  I froze on the first part of the ride, especially in the fog.  But it warmed up and turned into a beautiful sunshiny day.  And then it got quite hot.  And I felt like a boil in a bag.

This makes for interesting thoughts about Lanza though.  I need to make sure I drink when thirsty on the bike.  That should be easy.  The difficulty is going to be on the run. In short triathlons/runs, I don’t normally take any water.  However, I had ago today in the New Forest and found it very hard to drink from a cup on the run.  I think I need to bring my fuel belt to Lanza.

New Forest Triathlon report

So I did the race today and am now shattered. The race was great. Well organized and well marshalled, a lovely scenic course. Great.

The water was cold, very cold. I started near the front with the ambition of drafting as much as possible around the course. The first person I tried to draft from swam away from me. After 100m I gave up on him, slowed down and drafted off of the person swimming next to me. I followed him easily for the next three buoys until he slowed down too much. I went around him for 50m or so and then tucked into someone else. I stayed with him really well but had to do three or four harder strokes to catch him every now and then. This bloke then helped me swim to the exit. I couldn’t see much as it was straight into the sun.

I think I came out of the water in about 18 mins.

T1 was not as quick as I wanted. Two issues: I stood up to put my bike shoes on. This made my calf seize up, nearly cramping. This was probably because of yesterdays bike and run. The second issue was that I spent ages trying to get my bike jacket on a wet me.

The bike was ok. It felt like I was trying to work really hard but not getting anywhere. I got overtaken by lots of people but the numbers gradually reduced. I didn’t see any drafting but I had to be careful with other people around me. For example, one person sprinted up a hill but then slowed on the downhill and it wasn’t easy to get past him without drafting.

I am guessing that my power was down by nearly 20 per cent. I found it hard to keep the intensity up, especially towards the end. That’s normal though.

In T2 I put my socks on so that took a little time. I was also a little slow, getting an extra drink.

The run was hard all the way around. I don’t think I was going particularly fast but I was going hard. The course was flat for the first 5 mins, then went up hill for the next 15! Then the route stayed reasonably hilly, with a couple of steep bits. At one of the hills, I seriously thought about walking but fortunately pursuaded myself that that would be silly.

I was glad to see the finish. I think I finished about 10 mins quicker that two years ago. The t-shirt was great. Best I have received in any race.

Two new races for 2009…

I’ve decided to enter:

– The New Forest Triathlon.  This is nearly an Olympic distance race on 3 May 2009.  I’ve entered it because I want to do a race before Lanzarotte and there are not many to choose from.  It has a 1,100m lake swim and so will be really, really cold.  I did it in 2007 and the lake swim caused me problems because (1) I wasn’t in the lake until a couple of seconds before it started and (2) my goggles kept leaking.  I was disappointed with the bike because it was the first time I had put clip on tri bars on to it for a long time and I wasn’t used to the position.  The run is mostly off road and I wasn’t used to that sort of thing then either.  Hopefully, I’ll do better this year.

– The British Triathlon National Club Relay Championship in Nottingham.  This is on 22 August 2009.  I am doing this with people at work and we are planning on entering three teams of four people.  I haven’t a clue what the distance is:  The swim is either 400m, 500m or 750m, the bike is either 15k or 20k and the run is 5k.  Different bits of the website say different things!