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.