End of week 27 – easier week

So I hadn't planned an easier week, but that's how it ended up, so I will just have to live with it!

Things started well on Monday with a 10.7km run at 4:48/km. Average HR was 138 which is great, my aerobic base seems to be good.  On Tuesday I cycled to the pool in Nieder Olm, swam 2.7km before cycling into town to meet friends for a few beers.  It totalled 25km cycling, again pretty decent.

I had Wednesday off work so wanted to do a long ride.  There was a wasps nest in my window shutters, so an exterminator had to come around, so i had to wait until that was done.  I also had arranged to meet Katja at 2pm and I was tired, so I lounged around and napped instead of riding!  I finally got myself out to ride in the late afternoon, though only for 91km at 32km/h on my road bike.  It was actually good fun, I really attacked the hills, setting some Strava PBs.

On Thursday I ran late with Katja.  It was a pretty relaxed pace.  I was in work until late and the weather was hot, so we ran at about 7pm for about an hour.
On Friday I went straight from work to the pool and swam 2.7km again.  On Tuesday I had been fast, with my 200m repeats being at 3:25 or so.  On Friday I was slow!  Repeats were more like 3:50.  I guess the water temp (26 vs 20) and clothing (trisuit vs loose shorts) played a part, but I didn't feel so good on Friday either, whereas I was flying on Tuesday!

I should have cycled on Friday evening, but didn't.  That left me needing a big ride on Saturday to catch up.  I woke up to heavy rain…  It dried up by about 11am and I was good to go by 1pm, when an almighty flash storm hit, so I decided that this week could be my easier week instead of next week.  So I did nothing on Saturday except nap and generally be lazy!

Sunday was Worms Tri day.  I cycled 18km to the start then did the event, see the race report.

Running 26.2km (1204,8km YTD)
Cycling 154.1km (4415,3km YTD)
Swimming 6.2km (87.75km YTD)

Race Report – Worms Nibelungen Triathlon

I made my debut for TCEC yesterday in the 2. Landesliga.  The event was the Nibelungen sprint triathlon in Worms, 750m swimming, 22km cycling and 5km running.  It had been cold most of the week and stormy, so I had expected that it would be wetsuit legal.

Troubles even getting there

Jochen picked my up at 8am, he was going to Lampertheim sprint triathlon, which is quite close to Worms, so I joined him and would cycle the last part.  Obviously the roads were closed between Lampertheim and Worms, so my 10k cycle became an 18k cycle, but no harm done, my start time wasn’t until midday anyway.  I found the TCEC tent and the organisers had no idea who I was, I guess that’s what happens when you never go to team swim or run training!  Karl-Heinz seemed to be in charge and was a really nice and friendly guy, he gave me a TCEC polo shirt, told me where to put my transition stuff and explained a bit about how it will all work (there are 2 separate transition zones and they take your bike in T2, you don’t have to park your bike).


I rolled over to the swim start area with the masters team as they were starting at 11am, even though it was barely 10am.  I got my bike checked in, but ended up sitting doing nothing for nearly 2h, except for watching the Masters start and finish their swim.  They had worn wetsuits… Christian Hafner was in the masters team, another nice guy, I spent most of my time before and after the race talking with him.  He had done a 1:26 last year and was hoping to get below 1:20 this year with a bit more experience and training behind him.  About half an hour before the start we were told that it was not wetsuit legal, some rubbish about the youth teams swimming with us and that means we can’t wear wetsuits…  It was cold, so that wasn’t ideal.

No wetsuits allowed

We started on the dot at midday.  I settled into my swim pretty quickly.  I gave up a few places in the manic start, but soon started catching people and overtaking.  It was a one loop swim and it was over pretty quickly.  I saw 12:13:59 as I stepped out of the water, so a 14min swim, ok not not spectacular.  I got to my bike and a team mate was already there, another – Christoph, arrived immediately after me.  My transition wasn’t great but ok and I left just behind Christoph and a bit behind Tim (the guy who was already there).

Technical Bike

On the cycle I found pretty quickly that I was about the same pace as Christoph, so I tucked in 10m behind him. We passed quite a few people, including Tim.  The course was quite technical with lots of right angle or more turns.  Otherwise it was flat and fast and there were always people around me.  I wanted to pass Christoph for a while, but as the route was narrow, I couldn’t.  Eventually I managed it, apparently annoying him in doing so, he came back past me a few seconds later.  The cycle ended pretty quickly and I was soon in T2.

Although we had been told that they would take our bikes from us, they didn’t, and apparently we should have just known that we should hang them on the rack at the side…  After a few seconds lost there, I ran to my shoes.  I was number 231 but couldn’t find where my place was.  It is obviously mainly my fault for not making a mental note earlier, but as I ran back and forth along the rows, I was getting frustrated.  It must have lost a minute there.  I hadn’t got my watch set to run, but looked and saw it was just after 12:48, so I could expect a 1:08 end time with an ok run.

Strava Bike File

Hot Running

It was hot and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky for the run.  I set off and soon saw that I wasn’t the slowest!  Only one overtook me near the start, whereas I passed a few.  It was 2×2.5km, but the first loop seemed to last for ages!  There was a TCECer was behind me and that the 2 ahead of me (Christoph and Max) were long gone.  I ran ok, but seem to be lacking my top gear, same as all of my other races recently.  I got overtaken by the TCECer behind me (Stephan Jung), and ran in to finish in 1:07:37.  It was  pretty decent overall, though my transitions were rubbish and my run could and should be better.
.After 3.5km with Stephan closing in on my

So that’s the end of the Nibelungen Triathlon and my 5 weekends in a row of racing. I am glad that it is over to be honest, now I can get back to training!  I still plan to do Merzig Sprint on August 15th and the club championship 1 week before Köln.  A Taunusstein Olympic distance is also my list on the 26th of July too, though the 550m of climbing over 40km cycle route seems tough!

10 weeks to go!

End of week 26 – JPMCC DNS and Swim Sets

Ok week 26! Half the year is over, it's gone by fast!
I started off the week on Monday with run before work.  It was 10.7km (poop runde) at just under 5m/km pace.  Nice and easy and a good start to the week.
I went swimming straight after work, and this time the pool was warm enough and not full, which hasn't happened so often recently.  I took my fins with me and tried mixing together a full work out using the pull, paddles and fins, not all at once!  I ended up swimming 3200m, my longest swim ever.  I feel like my swimming is coming on nicely, and I am quite enjoying it too, who'd have thunk it?

Tuesday I decided to try my first cycling intervals for ages.  I just cycled to Wahlheimerhof and did 3 mins at 360w 3 times, then did an easy loop up to Sörgenloch, then another 3x3mins.  I should probably do either more intervals, or longer intervals, but it was a start.  I will try to fit in some intervals every week from now on.

Wednesday was the JP morgen corporate challenge in Frankfurt.  It is a big 5.6km race.  I left work just after 5pm and set off to cycle to Frankfurt.  GoogleMaps told me that it was about 40km, so I would have plenty of time, even on the route next to the Rhein.  Soon enough I got lost in Raunheim and ended up cycling round lost for quite a while.  Eventually I just went to the river and hugged it all the way to the sign in point.  Unfortunately it was already 7:20 when I arrived after 55km, so I signed in and jogged to the start.  I got there 3 minutes late, but found 30k people at the start line waiting.  After 30 mins I had hardly moved forward, then after 1h I decided it wasn't worth it, so left without running – DNS.  I tried to cycle as far as I could back to Mainz, but apparently took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up back in Frankfurt after 16km, so just got the train.  Not a hugely successful day, but 71km cycled and 2 T shirts and a pari of running shorts for the collection so I won't cry too much.

Thursday was another swim day.  I went straight after work again and did a planned set.  It goes like this.
200m crawl easy warm up
50m Breast – 50m crawl, 50m back, 50m crawl, 50m breast, 50m crawl. 500m warm up total.
5x200m crawl, no training aids
3x(200m paddles and pull, 200m fins, 200m pull)

for a total of 3300m.  It felt quite interesting all the time, with each different 200m testing something a bit different.  I felt quite fast too, I think the seconds are starting to fall off.

Friday I ran after work.  I wanted to run a bit longer than normal, but I was pretty hungry and went too fast really.  I only did 13km, but at 4:42/km and 143bpm HR, it was pretty good overall.
On Saturday I was feeling very tired and lazy.  I knew I had the Wiesbaden Duathlon on Sunday, so didn't want to burn out my legs.  I had decided to go to Mombach for the TCEC swim, usually that is from 2-4pm, but in Summer apparently it is 10-12 instead, too early for me on that day.  So I had a nap, and watched rubbish online, before final dragging my ass out for a 91km ride.  It was actually pretty good, with some hard efforts and a 32.1km/h average speed.  I felt like I should have gone on for another hour, but I turned back for Mainz mainly as I had started out with the wind, and feared that after the turn I would be in a world of hurt (it wasn't as bad as I had feared.)

On Sunday I enjoyed my sleep in until 6:30am, when I had to get up to eat before the Duathlon.  I cycled to town to meet Jochen, then we went to the start.  Though the weather forecast was quite cold, but dry, it was wet.  About 30 mins from the start it really started raining hard, which on a hilly and technical course is a nightmare.  I will write a race report, but it didn't go well for me.

Again when I got home I was feeling tired, I wrote off swimming and cycling and had a nap.  That was until 7:30pm when I decided finally that I wanted to do something, so I cycled to Nieder-Olm and swam.  I only got into the water at about 8:10pm and it closed at 9pm, so I was time limited.  I did a fast 2k swim, with 2 times the sets I described on Thursday after my warm up, then did 300m to finish.  The entire 2000m took 39mins or so, then I rode home.  I was happy with my decision as I enjoyed the swim and added 21km to my cycling week.

I think I have to be careful with over-reaching at the moment.  I am feeling tired, maybe because of the races at the weekends.  I am going to do this week normal, then next week take an easier week to recover.  I have Wednesday off work this week, so I will try to get a long ride in then, that should reduce the stress next weekend of getting in my 300km for the week.  I have realised that my base mileage I want to do per week is actually 17+h of training, so on a 'bad week' like this one, where I only manage 14.5h of training, I think I can cut myself a bit of slack!

Running 33.6 (1178.6km YTD)

Cycling 255.7 (4261.2km YTD)
Swimming 8.5 (81.55km YTD) biggest swimming week ever

End of week 25 – Tired

After Wasserstadt on Sunday, I decided to have Monday off, so no training.  I have felt like that was a good choice, but that I wanted to get my full week of training into 6 days hasn't been such good thinking, especially with a race on Saturday meaning more intensity and less long stuff.

On Tuesday I went for an easy run with Katja, 10.7km at 5:26/km.  Wednesday was swim/bike day.  I went to Taubertsbergbad and swam 3km.  I did my fairly normal set, with 500m of hand paddles too.  I had the feeling that my pace is slowly increasing, normal pace seems to be more like 1:48/100m instead of 1:50+ of a few weeks ago. I got home and though I couldn't really be bothered to cycle, I managed to get out for a 30km ride at about 32km/h.  It was actually quite nice, low effort but decent pace – 222w AP 239w NP.

Thursday was a longer post work cycle.  I went out to do my 72km loop that I have done a couple of times, but somehow I managed to get lost in Alzey.  After getting back on track I got through the ride pretty comfortably and with a nice 33km/h final speed 236w AP 255w NP.  It was 74km too, which is a long evening ride for me!

On Friday I got up early and ran.  There were 2 reasons for that, I am starting to fall behind on my running, I am fitting in 3 runs a week but with little to no intensity and nothing long.  That means that I am ticking through 30-45km per week, which isn't a nightmare, but it isn't ideal either.  I might have to do more pre-breakfast runs to get some extra km in.  It was also going to be HOT on friday, so I didn't want to run in 30+ degree heat in the evening.  I did the run anyway, 10.7km at 4:56/km, felt easy but already quite warm, crazy.  I went for a swim on Friday straight after work, even though I knew that the pool would be rammed.  It wasn't as full as last week, but still pretty damn full.  I had decided to swim 1500m, but ended up doing 2000m.  I actually had planned to go further, but a few idiots were blocking the lane, and as I passed someone I accidentally hit a swimmer going in the other direction.  As that was after 1990m or so, I just called it a day.

Saturday was Wallertheim 10k race day.  That is covered in the race report, but I cycled on my road bike to the race.  It was just over 27km.  I cleverly avoided getting on the podium so I could leave early and do an extended loop to Mainz.  I did about 45k back to Mainz, feeling pretty dreadful.  I had bet with myself that my average speed was 23km/h or so, but checked it and saw it was 30km/h, so I guess I was just feeling down.  I cycled straight to the charity event 'Run for Children'.  This team event is held at a running track, loads of company teams run laps for 10 hours, with each lap completed resulting in a 1€ donation to charity.  Me and Katja were running for a Schott team as Jochen had invited us.  I knew that running 400m intervals probably wasn't the best idea after a fairly long day, but I did it anyway!  I pushed the pace for the first few, but soon decided to settle into a comfortable pace for the rest.  I would guess I was running 1:30/400m, so not crazy fast with long breaks between runs.  I think I did about 14 loops, but it could be more or less.  Our team did our 2 hour stint and I was finally done for the day at 9pm.

Today I could feel yesterday's exploits, but it wasn't as bad as I had feared.  i wanted to ride the Kloppenheim duathlon cycling route to see what to expect next week.  To get to 300km for the week I would need to cycle 125km today, which seemed doable.  Jochen messaged me early to ask about riding together, so I met him to ride the loop.  I wasn't really up for a fast ride, so did lots more sat up riding instead of in aero.  We arrived at the start and went for the loop.  It is quite hilly, but not crazy really.  I didn't time it as I wasn't pushing the pace, but apparently we did 47 mins or so.  I reckon there is plenty to come off that time, but we will see next week.  We cycled 94km at a slow 27.6km/h average 188w AP 221 NP.  With the weather being so warm again, I decided about 30 mins ago to bin cycling to the pool for a swim.  That means I won't have met any of my goals for the week, but I am feeling pretty flat at the moment, so I don't think it is worth pushing through to hit some made up goals, better to recover and start afresh tomorrow.

Running: 37.3km (1145km YTD)
Cycling: 270.8km (4205.5km YTD)
Swimming: 5km (73.05km YTD)

Wallertheim 10k Race

This was part 2 of the Wingertscup for me, it wasn't a big goal for me, but I did fancy trying to get a decent time and hopefully gauge my running fitness, which I expect to have tailed off quite a bit since Bonn marathon.

I cycled over to Wallertheim against a fairly unfriendly head-wind, it was about 27.5km to Wallertheim, and I arrived in good time.  I didn't warm up much, but was ready with 100 or so others at the start line at 3pm.  It was quite warm, but I hadn't thought it was too bad.  The race started and as always everyone sprinted off like idiots!  I looked at my GPS after 30 seconds or so and saw 3:20/km, far far too fast.  I settled into my pace and fell into a group with a few people ahead of us.  Soon enough the group slowed down and after about 2.5km I had left them behind.  The route was 'flat' but wasn't pan flat, more like always slightly up or slightly down.  It went in a small loop through the town around lots of tight turns, before going on a long out and back on the way back to the start line.  Each loop was 5km, so we would do it all twice.

As I approached the turn around I counted about 4 ahead of me.  I could also see that lots of people who had been in the group with me were falling way back.  Running back into town was directly with the wind, and it was absolutely boiling hot, very uncomfortable.  I could see that only 3 were ahead of me who were doing the 10k after the first 5k loop was finished.  I was only a few metres behind 3rd place too (see above photo), so I thought I had a good chance of the podium if I didn't fall apart.

The 2nd loop was just hot.  I think the humidity was the main problem.  I had looked at my heart rate after about 2km and had seen that it was 180, even though I felt very comfortable at the pace.  I wasn't really able to get my heart rate down, so I would guess it was from the heat.  I ran just behind third place for the next few km, at the turnaround I had caught him, but as we turned with the wind again, I was starting to boil again and he moved a bit ahead.  I had counted that it was 20 seconds after the turn before I passed the next runner, so that meant I had a 40 second gap, I should be ok unless I almost stop!  The gap stretched to 3rd place and I kind of gave up the ghost.  At the time I felt like a bit of a loser, as I felt like I should run faster, but I just couldn't in the heat.

The last 500m or so were the home straight, I started to pick up the pace and got close to 3rd, but couldn't do enough to pass him, so finished 4th place in 39:49.  I was very disappointed with the time, but I really do think that in a cold race I would have been a lot faster.  4th place isn't bad though, the same as last time!  So my 2 results are done and dusted, I need to do 2 more from the next 3.  I am not sure if I will do Oppenheim as it is 1 week after my Ironman, we will see.

End of week 24 – Easier week before Wasserstadt

This can be a shorter post, as I finally managed to fit in an easier week of training!  I had done a big month for me in May, so this was a perfect chance to rest up before my half distance on Sunday.

Monday – I did nothing!  My first full rest day in a long while!
Tuesday – I went for a 2.5km swim.  I wore my wetsuit and noticed a 12 second per 100m improvement over non-wetsuit swimming!  It was crazy fast, but I didn't want to overdo it and my shoulders were tiring so I only did 2.5km.  The water was so cold I was glad of having the wetsuit!

Wednesday I ran after work and managed to lose my spare key that i take with me for running.  The run itself was good at 4:37/km, but I wasn't too happy to have lost my key 🙁  I went out to find it on my mountain bike, but couldn't.  It was 13km run increasing speed as I went.

Thursday – I ran most of the same loop as on Wednesday and managed to find my key!  The run was pretty average, plenty of stomach problems, but I was happy to get the key back!  10.7km at 4:54/km.

Friday I swam after work.  It was really hot, and the day after a bank holiday, so the pool was jammed, so I did 1.7km.  I just wanted to keep my feel for the water, job done.

Saturday I just rode my TT bike to the bank to get cash out.  I hadn't ridden it all week and wanted to make sure everything was ok.  It seemed to be fine!  No training though.
Sunday – Wasserstadt Triathlon!

Running: 44.8km (1107.7m YTD)
Cycling: 118.6km (3934.7 YTD)
Swimming: 6.1km (68.05km YTD)

This week I will get back on it.  I had Monday as a rest day, but want to get back to 300km+ cycling weeks, but with intervals included.  Running is still on the back burner, so 40km+ per week is enough and swimming at least 3 days a week, I want to start increasing the amount per session too, to over 3km and soon to 3.5km or more on occasion.

Next up is part 2 of the Wingertscup series on Saturday in Wallertheim, a flat 10k race, lets see how much run fitness I have lost!  I predict about a 38min run, slower than 39 would be bad, faster than 38 good.

Race Report – Wasserstadt Half Iron Distance Triathlon – With Photos!

On Saturday was my first Triathlon of the season, and a not-insignificant one at that.  I did Wasserstadt Half Distance Triathlon in 2014 as my first ever triathlon, or at least my first ever when I had trained at least a little bit!  I did it in 5:09 last year and didn't enjoy it too much, but this year I was back and on better form, hoping to smash through 5h and maybe even get down to 4:45.

I travelled to Hannover on Saturday and couldn't check in the bike, so just signed in.  There wasn't too much more to do except get my pasta and head off.  On Sunday the start time was 11:30, so I got up at 8am and ate breakfast at the hotel.  It was good to know that I could eat plenty as it was a late start, so I drank plenty of coffee, ate lots of muesli and toast and felt good about the prep.  Me and Jochen checked our bikes in just before 10am and I was making sure I had everything where it should be.  It was wetsuit legal, even after a few hot days in a row, which was definitely good news!

Soon enough I was ready, I went for the trisuit under the wetsuit, with my HR monitor already on underneath.  I got into the water and took my place near the front on the side, hoping to find a group.  We started and this year was much more aggressive than last.  I got hit a few times and crowded out by people swimming on either side of me even more often.  After maybe 400m I had settled into a group but I think I meandered off course to the left quite a lot.  I re-adjusted but was soon off the course to the right!  Not ideal sighting!  The turn came quite quickly and on the return part I just kept the coast about 10m from me and swam pretty straight.  I swam almost alone, which for speed isn't perfect, but it let me concentrate on my stroke and not have any bother of being hit.  I was happy enough that the swim was over, I couldn't see a clock so didn't know my time, but I guessed faster than last year.

On the ramp up to transition my goggles fell off.  I didn't realise until someone shouted, but in the moment I decided it wasn't worth going back for, so I left them behind, and need new ones now!  I wasn't speedy through transition, but got everything done and was on my way on the bike route.  I noticed an immediate clicking of my not well enough held together disc cover, but it wasn't a hindrance, just an annoying click.  I settled into my rhythm quite quickly, but someone came past me early, so I decided to try to go with them.  I could stay with them and on my wattage plan (266w NP) but I messed up a corner after a few KM letting them open up a gap, I decided not to bridge it as I was pushing a little too much anyway.  That was the only person who passed me on the bike and didn't get re-passed.

I had decided to move my aerodrink to next to the stem of my bike, so my Garmin had to be moved further away to accommodate.  I hadn't tested this set up and was duly punished when my wrist kept switching off the Garmin.  It happened about 5 times over the ride, it was very aggravating!  I still got all of the data at the end, but it was unneeded stress.  My aerodrink was also wonky all day (see photos!)  It also wasn't a big problem, but annoyed me.. I tried to fix it but it would just slant in the other direction, so I gave up on it.

After the first bike loop I looked at the time and saw 12:57, I had expected about a 35min swim, 4 min transition and 50 min ride, so 12:59, but 2 minutes faster was very good news.  My power showed as 278w after the first loop, so I decided to back off a little.  The next loop was uneventful, I thought it was about 48min and a bit easier than the first, so all good.  Last year I didn't drink much, this year I drank the 800ml aerodrink, then my 700ml bottle, then 2 refill bottle, so 2.9L which seems reasonable to me.  I had 400Kcal per bottle for the first 2 and the one more energy drink and a water, so maybe 1100Kcal total.  I didn't use any gels, but I didn't think I needed to, they were there in case anyway!

The final loop was a bit more eventful.  I caught some big guy, who promptly sped up, so I stuck behind him.  Soon enough he slowed and I overtook, only for him to pass again.  I was a bit confused when he passed me as I thought it was someone from the later group, until I recognised his ass when he got ahead again!  Within a km or 2 I passed him again and didn't see him again.  On the 'climb' I caught a group who had been close in front for a while.  I decided to sit in 10m back and take the last 10km easy.  I thought 30 seconds or so lost here could save minutes on the run, so I span in nice and easily, even having plenty of freewheeling on the downhills!

The run transition was easy, though someone next to me got a yellow card for some reason.  I was soon enough on the run course, already aware than I needed to pee, but there were no toilets in sight.  I told myself that I should go slow.  I had 1:55 left to break 5h, so that should be no issue.  I wanted to start at 4:30/km pace, but as I slowly trot along I saw 3:55 on my watch… SLOW DOWN!  I did slow, though the poor km markers don't help with pacing.  The first marker was after 1.38km on my GPS, so my pace was either 4:05 on my GPS or 5:45 according to the marker, very useful.  I trusted the GPS and continued my easy pace, thinking that it would be great if I could keep up this pace at this effort, whilst also fearing the last 5km in the heat after a long day.  I seemed to be passing more than I was passed by, and my pace dropped to 4:15/km which was great.  I got the 1st band after 6km or so and finished the first loop after 10.5km feeling very strong.  I did however have some business to see to, i.e. a toilet stop.

I hadn't seen a single toilet on the loop, except for at the very start.  I had decided that I would use that one, except it was occupado…  I waited about 5 seconds not sure what to do, before deciding that I had to go on and nature would be my friend!  I managed about 2km, before some thick bushed seemed like the way to go.  All done in about 40 seconds, and I could comfortable run it the last 8km or so.  I had seen that Jochen was maybe 4 mins behind me at the turn around, and I was slowing and had my toilet break, so I was worried that he would catch me.  I kept plodding though and after 20km there was a little switchback where I could see he wasn't in sight so was more than 100m behind me, I was very relieved!  I didn't sprint it in, I didn't feel the need to, I took off my cap and sunglasses, and hoped for some good photos!  I was in at 4:15pm so about 4:45 finish time.  My chest was feeling very tight and I didn't feel too healthy, but 30 mins or so later I was back to being ok.  Jochen came in 8 minutes after me, having apparently slowed by more than me.

Swim 34:30
Cycle 2:27:52
Run: 1:37:10
End time – 4:45:23

I am really happy with that. A 24 min PB!  I think there is time to be taken in each discipline, with the run being the one I could push more.  I also saw afterwards that I under did the bike:
Loop 1 : 268w 47:52 154bpm
Loop 2 : 261w 48:59 148bpm
Loop 3 : 243w 49:41 144bpm
So just by holding my planned wattage I would have been about 2 mins faster on the bike, though the last loop was also 260w average until I hung with the group and did the last 10km at 217w!

Confidence is high now, but work needs to be done before the long distance, time is on my side though 🙂

Race Report – Rheinhessen-Zeitfahren (43.4km time trial) – with results

I have never done a bike race of any kind before. I have ridden sportives, but they aren't races!  I wanted to try some sort of cycling race, so when I got an email about doing a TT, I signed up straight away!  The course is not flat, but not exactly a mountain course either.  There are about 330m of climbing over 43.4km, the route goes downhill almost constantly for the first 15km, then turns back to climb half the way back.  There is then a bumpy split off route that re-joins the main road at about 35km and climbs constantly until the end.

My start time was 8:25, riders were starting every minute from 8am onwards.  My main fear was that I would be serially passed, but not catch anyone, but I would be riding to power, so would be looking to hold around my FTP (or what my 4iiii says my FTP is) of 325w for just over an hour.  I had planned to ride just in my trisuit, but it was still really cold at 8:25am so I wore my long sleeve jersey too, I feel guilty about that now, I should have HTFU!

I got to the start line and was calm. I started, missed my clip in pedal as always but was soon off and running.  After a few minutes I questioned whether I had started my GPS or not, I had not, so I started it then.  On the fast downhill to Nierstein, I felt good, I was pushing my watts and trying to keep low and aero.  Soon enough I could see riders ahead of me, phew!  Before reaching the turning point I had passed 4 riders, that means two things: 1) I wasn't last! 2) some riders weren't very good! I wasn't too sure of which roundabout was the turning point, but after a little slow down and look around, I saw riders in the other direction, so knew I had to go to the next roundabout.

Although the uphill out of Nierstein is quite steep at times, riding to power meant that it didn't make too much difference.  I continued on, looking out to see who was behind me.  I knew that Max Michelberger started 9 minutes after me, but he is a very good TTer. I didn't want him to catch me, but when I saw him he was still a good bit back.  There were a few turns in Hahnheim that weren't too much fun as there is traffic and parked cars, but I obviously didn't want to slow down too much either.  Soon enough I was in Sörgenloch and on my way back to the main road for the final uphill push.  It was only near the end when it started to feel hard, my HR wasn't crazy high but I was starting to feel the burn a bit.  I finally passed the start point and had a few hundred metres downhill to the finish line.  I didn't know exactly where I was going, but found it no problems.  I stopped my Garmin at 1:04:20 but had missed the first 3km, so I don't know my finish time, (or place!) as I write this on Monday afternoon. I guess about 1:08:30 giving me a 38km/h average speed.  I wonder what my flat 40km TT would be? Could I go sub1h on a real flat course?

EDIT: my time was 1:08:06 and I was in 14th out of 53.

I heard that the other TCEC riders were pretty much all faster than me.  1:05:xx seemed to be the time they all managed, probably 3-4min faster than me.  I did hear that they all manage or would manage sub5 IM bike splits though, so it isn't too bad news for me!  Looking on Athlinks, Marcus Jores did a 4:54 split in IM Melbourne a couple of months ago, but was only 2.5 mins faster than me here, so maybe I could go about 5h in Köln if my training goes well.  I also didn't get passed, I think they sent the fastest people off near the end, so I was pretty safe, but it was still a little goal achieved.

My average power was 315w and NP 319w.  That is a great VI for me, and would be for anyone I think!  Also a 319w NP is a IF of 98%, which for a 1h08 or so effort shows I was giving it pretty much all I could.

I was having some serious comfort issues on the bike, so I will rest for a few days in the hope it heals a bit.  Plugging my data into best bike split shows that my power meter is correct if my CdA is about 0.32.  Using that as a basis, it predicts that I can ride 2:29 next week in Wasserstadt, without ruining my run.  That would be great!

I hate it when I can't find results online, so for people in the future who want to find them, here they are!


Name Verein Geschl. Geb. Dat. AK Fahrzeit Platzierung km km/h
Damen Ü50 und U50
Susanne Schaudig SV Tri City Darmstadt W 1963 Ü50 01:28:43 1 44 29.76
Birgit Schmidt WRAG-Tria-Team W 1956 Ü50 01:30:08 2 44 29.29
Karin Kerschensteiner TCEC W 1984 U50 01:14:10 1 44 35.60
Nadine Bleser Hardtseemafia Triat W 1978 U50 01:18:00 2 44 33.85
Nicole Best Software  AG DSW W 1968 U50 01:18:07 3 44 33.80
Iris Hensel ohne Verein W 1977 U50 01:24:57 4 44 31.08
Ursula Kranz Bennhausen W 1966 U50 01:28:08 5 44 29.95
Angela Sokolowski Bikeadelic Racing W 1884 U50 01:31:46 6 44 28.77
Männer Ü60
Karlheinz Scheidel Schwimmer Gimbsh M 1947 Ü60 01:14:54 1 44 35.25
Bernhard Poth WRAG-Tria-Team M 1953 Ü60 01:22:10 2 44 32.13
Josef Weber LC Bingen Triathlon M maris Ü60 01:22:53 3 44 31.85
Männer Ü50
Matthias Schmolke schmolke-titan.de M 1963 Ü50 01:05:00 1 44 40.62
Marcus Jores TCEC M 1963 Ü50 01:05:54 2 44 40.06
Christian Wolf TCEC M 1963 Ü50 01:06:31 3 44 39.69
Marcus Walther fu-wa-team M 1965 Ü50 01:07:02 4 44 39.38
Rüdiger Kranz Bennhausen M 1965 Ü50 01:09:21 5 44 38.07
Hans-Willi Freiberger LLG Wonnegau M 1965 Ü50 01:10:40 6 44 37.36
Manfred Fox Fox Radsport M 1963 Ü50 01:14:08 7 44 35.61
Jochen Basting Software AG DSW M 1961 Ü50 01:14:18 8 44 35.53
Peter Friedrich RV03 Bürstadt M 1962 Ü50 01:14:18 8 44 35.53
Claus Hensel ohne Verein M 1963 Ü50 01:14:22 10 44 35.50
Johannes Baab Dannenfels M 1965 Ü50 01:16:00 11 44 34.74
Hainer Geyer ohne Verein M 1955 Ü50 01:23:55 12 44 31.46
Männer U50
Thomas Kämpf RV Hochheim M 1971 U50 01:01:28 1 44 42.95
Philipp Mund equipeRED M 1982 U50 01:01:53 2 44 42.66
Klaudius Mainka Team Rheinhessen M 1974 U50 01:05:53 3 44 40.07
Max Michelberger BP2T.de / TCEC Mainz M 1988 U50 01:05:56 4 44 40.04
Jens Eichner ohne Verein M 1976 U50 01:05:59 5 44 40.01
Paul Zimmermann ohne Verein M 1979 U50 01:06:13 6 44 39.87
Nicolas Dell ohne Verein M 1969 U50 01:07:15 7 44 39.26
Gregor Sauerzapf equipeRED/ALV Mainz M 1980 U50 01:07:43 8 44 38.99
Charlie Knöpfle Team Erdinger M 1971 U50 01:07:48 9 44 38.94
Richard Rae TCEC Mainz M 1983 U50 01:08:06 10 44 38.77
Christoph Steurenthaler TCEC M 1979 U50 01:08:45 11 44 38.40
David Haimpel schmolke-titan.de M 1961 U50 01:08:54 12 44 38.32
Sebastian Zimander Djk Marienstatt M 1985 U50 01:09:22 13 44 38.06
Jörg Urlbauer WRAG-Tria-Team M 1972 U50 01:11:42 14 44 36.82
Marcel Kühn Team Erdinger M 1977 U50 01:12:40 15 44 36.33
Helmut Klehn ohne Verein M 1968 U50 01:13:11 16 44 36.07
Tim Walita TCEC/LF Naheland M 1998 U20 01:13:54 17 44 35.72
Benjamin Rayher TSG Kostheim M 1989 U50 01:14:05 18 44 35.64
Kilian Pai Bikeadelic Racing M 1979 U50 01:14:05 18 44 35.64
Joachim Wölke VFR Simmern M 1970 U50 01:14:08 20 44 35.61
Andreas Ackermann WRAG-Tria-Team M 1968 U50 01:15:04 21 44 35.17
Oliver Haase RV03 Bürstadt M 1980 U50 01:15:23 22 44 35.02
Stefan Lukas WRAG-Tria-Team M 1965 Ü50 01:17:46 23 44 33.95
Tim Schott HSV Alzey M 1997 U20 01:17:51 24 44 33.91
Patrick Nowak ALV Mainz M 1980 U50 01:18:52 25 44 33.47
Dennis Stauder ohne Verein M 1983 U50 01:19:24 26 44 33.25
Jan Hofmeyer Sebamed Bike Team M 1978 U50 01:19:59 27 44 33.01
Frank Schaudig SV Tri City Darmstadt M 1966 U50 01:22:51 28 44 31.86
Stefan Salomon ohne Verein M 1965 U50 01:28:00 29 44 30.00
Siegfried Martens ohne Verein M 1966 U50 01:39:17 30 44 26.59

End of week 23 – Training week and end of 1800k in May

I had this week off work and wanted to get some big training in.  To finish my 1800k in May challenge, I needed to ride 500km+, I had also thought 10km swimming and 60km of running would be nice too.

The week started off slowly on Monday with a 13km steady run, increasing to near marathon pace at the end.  I have been running slowly a lot recently but soon got my stride back and started to knock out sub 4:30 kms without too much distress.  I cycled a loop to Bingen and back, getting lost in some industrial area in bingen where all of the roads were for cars only and I couldn't find a way out!  Anyway, I cycled 88km at an easy 30km/h NP 230.

On Tuesday I cycled to nieder olm for a swim in the morning.  I did 2.5km in the nice warm pool, I thought I would be there 4-5 times this week so I didn't want to do too much. I could still feel my 3km swim from Sunday in my arms.  In the afternoon I went for another shortish ride, this time 50km also at 30km/h NP 243w.  It was windy (as always) so I gave it some up Schwabsburg südtisch, but I was a little disappointed to see I couldn't beat my 2013 time (yet).

Wednesday I went for a bit longer bit faster run.  It was only my 15.5km loop through Ebersheim but the average of 4:39/km was decent especially when my HR was only 140bpm average.  To keep chipping away at my 500km week goal, I cycled 58km at 32.3km/h.  My 4iiii battery seemed to be dead, so I didn't have any power data for the ride.  I swapped over the battery after the ride and it seemed like it would be fine.  I was however getting a bit of neck ache , so I decided that I wanted to ride my road bike on Thursday.  I swapped over the left crank arm ready for a longer ride without destroying my neck!

So on my road bike I went for a loop south to worms, then back north in Hessen to Mainz.  I knew it would be about 115km, the wind was pretty strong from the south west, so the first half of the ride was hard.  For some reason my 4iiii wasn't being read by my garmin. It might have just been a simple – turn it off and back on – problem, but I rode without power again :(.  I felt good all day, I rode easy and ended with a 118.8km ride at 29km/h. My HR was only 123bpm average, so it was pretty chilled!

On Friday I belatedly got back to the pool. My swimming week wasn't quite working out as planned!  I did another 2.5km, felt good, but called it a day there.  The pool was actually quite busy for the first time this year. I was lucky that someone left the far left lane just as I arrived though, so I got my own lane and swam uninterrupted.  I ran with Katja, and found that I was having pretty severe stomach problems!  After having to stop after about 4km, I ran to just under 10km and decided I would just walk home as my stomach was cramping and things wanted to leave my body in a hurry!  I took the day off cycling as a rest before my TT on Sunday.  I still had to ride about 140km to reach my 1800k in May goal, but I knew that I wanted to do a little test ride on Saturday and that Sunday would be 100km with the ride to and from the start line.

So on Saturday I put on my Dyma aerodisc cover and went for a test ride.  The cover didn't feel very tight and whenever I hit a bump of any kind it would make a horrible clank and start to click.  I decided to go for the Caravan wobble tactic of accelerating to stop the clicking, which worked all the time until I was nearly home.  I hit a bump in the road and the clicking was really loud and didn't immediately stop.  I pulled to the side of the road to see that the cover had jumped the brake caliper and was stuck outside of it.  The joining area of the disc was also pretty cut up, I guess from previous bumps.  I put the disc back on and cycled carefully home.  A quick read of slowtwitch showed that lots of people tape the covers to their spokes, so I did that and it felt much more secure.
I went for another easy run with Katja in the evening, taking me to 50km for the week.

I will write a quite race report for my TT, but my disc held firm and the ride to and from the start were about 47km total.  That with the 44km TT and 12km to and from the pool in the evening took me over my 1800k in May goal.  As I say, I swam in the afternoon, but made the mistake of going to Taubertsbergbad.  It was blood freezing!  I swam 2km but at that point I was shivering in the water and my hands and feet were cold, so I called it a day, and a week!

Running: 49.8km (1063km YTD)
Cycling: 511.5km (3816.1 YTD)
Swimming: 7km (61.95km YTD)

So my 1800k in May self made challenge was completed.  I think the point of the challenge was to get me to do a lot of base miles before getting into harder riding later in the season.  In that sense it has been very successful.  I have found it quite stressful to get in the long rides and follow them up with other shorter rides, that's why I have been doing more 50-80km rides day after day, chipping away at the target.  The one exception was obviously my 200km ride, which was a real confidence boost, as I know that I can ride all day in aero and control my effort, sounds like an iron distance race to me!  Following on from this challenge, I want to increase the quality of my rides, getting in intervals at least once a week to get my FTP up.  I still want to aim for 300km a week or so, but without stress!  If I set my self a challenge again in the near future, I am sure it will be a swimming one, maybe something like 50km in a month.