Race Report – Vereinsmeisterschaft

I haven't been keeping up with the week by week updates for the last few weeks, I've been tired, tapering and busy at work. I will try to get my numbers in so that I have a tally of how much I have done before Köln.

1 week out from Köln was the club championships.  It starts in Nieder-Olm with a 300m pool swim, then a ride to Gau-Bischofsheim, it was 16.5km last year, then a pretty tough 4km run to end it.  Last year I was ill with low iron/HGB so was way below my best.  I did a 57:xx then, but this year I was hoping for a sub 50 time, though that seemed tough.  The winner last year did about 45 mins.

I got there in good time, had a bit of a chat with the guys I know from the league team and was in good spirits.  I watched one of the other non-TCEC starts, it was pretty slow going, the fastest swimmer swam 5:50, with most way slower.  Our start time was 8:50 and at 8:50 there was no sign of an imminent start, until they shouted, LOS!  The swim is a bit chaotic as there are no divides, not lanes, and everyone swimming out and backs trying not to hit each other!  I seemed fairly mid-pack.  I went out too hard and after 50m had to remind myself that it was 300m!  I got out of the pool and stopped the watch at 5:10, faster than expected.

I ran down to my bike and had a decent transition.  It was crowded at the start of the bike, and I passed a few people.  My hamstrings and shoulders were feeling tight, maybe a result of 9 days off the bike!  I caught a group, well 3 people, who were very clearly pack riding.  I decided to hang off the back of them until the hill in Selzen, when I would try to get past without them hanging on.  I managed that, but soon enough on the flats and downhills they got back to me.  I was riding a bit out of aero as my shoulders weren't happy.  I pretty much managed to stay near those guys until the end.  I noticed the route was a bit different this year, it was 1km longer as it cut right earlier than last year.

After getting my feet out of the shoes far too early, I got to T2.  I had a very quick change into my shoes, and set off.  I was surprised to leave Heiko behind at the start of the run, but maybe I over-cooked it of the first hills.  Last year I saw the winner Konstantin coming back down the first hill as I was going up it, this year I was a lot further along the course, which was a positive!  I'm not sure he has to worry for next year though.  The run was fairly uneventful.  It was hot and sunny, my HR was sky high and I kept an ok tempo round the course.  It measured 3.8km at the end, and I ran a 15:55, ok for a hard and hot course.

So after a long wait, I heard my result was 51:30 or so.  I was reasonably placed in the club, but 1 minute faster would have been 4th.  I managed to shred my feet in only 16 mins in my new Zoots, I will have to try tightening them and wearing socks, otherwise they will be out of the rotation!

All in all it was pretty good.  I am a little worried about the bike, so I will get out 2-3 times this week for a spin to keep loose.  My run and swim were good enough, especially if the weather is as predicted next week, i.e. cool and cloudy.

I might try a final post before Köln, but if not, see you on the other side!

Merzig City Triathlon – RTV 2. Landesliga – Race Report

This was my 2nd league outing of the year, another sprint distance race.  Merzig is in Saarland, about 180km from Mainz, so I was getting a lift from a team mate Heiko.  The alarm went off at 5am, a nice start to the weekend!  I decided to go without the wheel cover as I didn't know if it would be ok on the back of the car, no problem though.

We got there nice and early at just after 8am ready for the 10am masters start, and the 10:45 league start.  It was pretty cool for once, with a little bit of rain beforehand, but not enough to really wet the course.  Christoph, Heiko and me went for a loop of the run course before the start, it was pretty interesting, some on trail, hairpins, steep short sections, looked good to me!  We watched the masters start the swim in the Saar, they swam against the current for about 400m, then turned back and swam 350m with the current.  The water was pretty warm at 22 degrees.

I had taken my new Zoot running shoes with me, even though they aren't may favourite shoes, they are quick in transition at least.  I was also debuting my Giro Advantage aero helmet, I was a little worried about this, as it can be a bit tricky to get on, but I need to try it out before Köln, and this was the perfect opportunity to do it without looking like too much of a cock!

The race started at exactly 10:45am and my left half of my goggles were full of water after exactly 4 seconds!  It was very uncomfortable to start with, but I breathed unilaterally so that it wasn't too bad.  I was in a group and there was quite a bit of contact for the first 200m, then I started moving forward though the group and then off the front.  It all seem to be going ok, sighting wasn't too easy with one eye, but I found my way and made the turn.  I cleverly swam straight into the 2nd buoy, before heading back with the current.  I really felt like it was a decent swim, so was very disappointed to see 15:30 on the clock when I got out.

I ran through to transition, Heiko was still there but about to leave, I quickly got ready and was on my way with only minor shoe difficulties.  I even managed to mount quite decently, clicking in first attempt, in the right gear too!  It's a shame that wasn't the case for the guy just ahead of me who did a 'flying mount' and falling dismount.  The exit was very narrow, so I couldn't easily get around him, so that cost me a few seconds waiting for him to recompose himself.  I soon got my head down and got a head of speed going.  At the first turn I saw that Heiko was about 30 seconds ahead of me, I thought I could catch him, and if I wanted to finish ahead of him i would need a little gap on the run.  After the turn we went against the wind, someone overtook me, but hit the wind and slowed quite a bit.  I sat behind for a short rest, then someone else overtook.  This guy couldn't even actually get past us both, he got just ahead of me on my left, before running out of steam in the wind.  I decided that just before the 2nd turn, I would go for it, so that they wouldn't be able to hang on with the wind behind us reducing the slipstream advantage they would get.  It worked well, I saw Heiko just ahead of me and I left the two riders behind on a fast stretch of road.  I soon came up on Heiko's back wheel and went straight past, I didn't put in a kick, as he is a team mate, but I don't think he followed for long.  The rest of the ride was quite uneventful, I managed to get my feet out just before the transition and was really fast, for me, in T2.

I started out on the run knowing Heiko was probably about 1min behind and Christoph was well ahead.  I knew that Heiko was in marathon training so he could catch me, so I just went for it from the start.  It's strange with 2 leagues competing at the same time, the 1st league has some seriously fast people in it, and they sometimes overtake me like I am standing still.  Generally I run quite well for our league though, and I overtook quite a few people too.  I knew the route already, having run it earlier, and my legs felt fine, so it was a decent enough run for me.  The first lap always seems the worst to me, but after that they tick away quite quickly, they should too at only 1.66km per lap!  I kept looking around for Heiko, but couldn't see him, half way round the last lap I could see 30m behind m and he wasn't there, so I finally could stop worrying about being last in our team!  Heiko was the fastest for the 2nd team in Zell earlier this year, so it wouldn't have been a disgrace to be behind him, but better to be ahead I reckon!

I looked at my watch, hoping to see 1:05 or so.  I was very disappointed to finish in 1:10.  It seems that the course was slow somehow, the cycle was 750m long, and the run a bit technical, but still…
As the 2nd team only had 3 members, instead of the 4 that score league points, or the full team of 5, we needed to all do well to pick up decent points, and we did that with Heiko coming in 16th out of 46, me 13th and Christoph 9th.

Weeks 31 and 32

Sup y'all, so I was really busy last week so didn't get a chance to write my weeks review.  It was an easier week anyway, ending in the Erich Fill Triathlon, so I will cover it in a few sentences. I swam a 3.5km on Tuesday evening along with 2.5km on Saturday and 1.1km on Sunday, so 7.1km for the week, not bad. I had monday as my rest day and ran 11.5km on Wednesday and Thursday. On friday I rode 59km, my legs felt great having not ridden for 5 days, so I was ready for the Tri on Sunday.

Running 33km (1344.1km YTD)
Cycling 96km (5420km YTD)
Swimming 7.1km (109,45km YTD)

So on to last week. On Monday I ran 11.5km again, I wanted to run quite slow after my fast '10k' the day before, but it ended up at 4:53/km so not dead slow.. On Tuesday I went to the gym and did my old school 7x1km intervals on the treadmill.  I did the intervals at 15km/h with the last one being 1.5km with increasing speed up to 16km/h.  It felt pretty good to be honest, it made me feel like I haven't lost too much run fitness since spring. I did some strength work too, mainly legs but abs, triceps and chest too.
On Wednesday I couldn't really be bothered to do anything, and just about binned training, but finally got out for 34km on my road bike.  On Thursday I swam 2.7km before going to the pub quiz, I wish I had time to do more, but I didn't 🙁

Friday I cycled 58km to wörrstadt and around to Wallertheim and back.  When I was in Stadecken Elsheim I looked to my left and saw Jochen, then quickly noticed that he was bandaged, and next to a car with a broken window!  Apparently he had crashed into the back on the car after a downhill, but wasn't badly injured, just a few cuts.  I hung around until he left in an ambulance, made me think though.

On Saturday I set off early to cycle to Heidelberg.  Its about 100km away, so I found 2 GPSs and started following the line! It was pretty good with only a few slightly gravelly parts.  Last time I cycled to mannheim it was a nightmare getting through Ludwigshafen, this time was a piece of cake!  Speaking of cake, when I got to Heidelberg, I stopped to get a coffee only to find they didn't have any cake, or anything to eat at all actually 🙁  I only stayed for about 20 mins, before heading back on the Hessen side of the Rhein.  The wind was a bit all over the place, but I the Ks clicked away quickly and even after 180km I felt fine.  By the time I got home, I had 195km on the clock at just over 31km/h, I could have gone faster if the track had been smoother, but that's not the point anyway, it was a good long training ride.

On Sunday it was hot, so I decided to run my long run late in the day.  I went out at about 19:30, but had so many problems with my stomach that it was pretty pointless.  I had to stop for "comfort breaks" so often that it was becoming a joke.  I ended up doing a hilly 14km and calling it a day, and a week.

It ended up not being a stellar week, but I did hit 2 of my 3 key workouts, i.e. running intervals and long cycle.  If my stomach had let me I would have done the long run to hit the trifecta, but it wasn't meant to be.  Next week is just another training week, I will try to step it up a level, but the weather looks hot, hot, hot, so swimming and running will be bad. Let's see what I manage.

Running 36.1km (1380,2km YTD)
Cycling 288.1km (5708,1km YTD)
Swimming 2.7km (112,15km YTD)

I need to get 2 long swims in next week, I want 7km+