Motion Nutrition CoFounder Charlie recently took part in his first ever Triathlon. Here’s his take on how the day went.With Henley Sprint Triathlon completed on Sunday the 5th of June, I have had some time to look back and reflect on the day’s events.
This was my first ever triathlon, and I can safely say it was a steep learning curve.
Race day. Having spent the evening before packing my equipment and loading up the car ready to go, I set my alarm for 6am thinking this was plenty of time to get myself out of bed, fueled and over to the start line for a 9:15 start time, and so it was. What I did not account for, however, was putting my equipment in the different transition areas, marking my equipment and myself with my race number, and warming up. Fortunately, the warm up was taken care of by frantically running between the transition areas placing my bike, helmet, race belt and running shoes in the correct locations just 10 minutes before I was due to start. All of which resulted in me missing the race briefing and hoping that finding my way round the course would be obvious enough.
Over the last couple of months my main concern was the swim, and as a result I started training with my colleague Joe (a former Commonwealth swimmer). The results of this training were evident. With only a short 400m pool based swim in this spring triathlon, I was able push through it and even catch up with some of the other competitors. A short 7 minutes later I was jumping out of the pool and moving on to the transition zone. Like a breeze.
Entering the bike transition gave me a taste of what was to come. As I ran to my commuter hybrid bike – which is not designed for any form of competition – I was surrounded by so much carbon it felt more like a Formula 1 testing facility than an amateur triathlon transition area. After the race I took some photos of the more space-aged looking bikes thinking: maybe I will get one. I swiftly reconsidered when I realized some of these bikes were more expensive than the car I arrived in! Back to the race: I set off on the 25km ride feeling great. I had a good race pace and was only overtaken by a handful of the aforementioned bikes. Just the one incident on the ride: as I look behind me to see if any pros are fast approaching, I am jerked out of my seat as I slam into a big pothole causing my drink to be thrown out of the cup holder and onto the tarmac! By the time I realised what happened and regained control I thought it better to continue rather than turn around to pick up the Motion Shaker. The rest of the cycle went on without a hitch, averaging around 18mph which is quicker than what I usually achieve in training.
Onto the run. The saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ couldn’t be more relevant. I had been so focused on getting my swimming up to scratch that I had totally neglected the running, only running twice in the two months prior to the event. I thought the swimming and circuit training I had been doing would give me the base fitness to complete the 5k run without too much difficulty. I was wrong. About 400 meters into the run I got a crushing stitch. I trudged round the remaining 4600m, running as much as I could, thinking damn I wish I had the electrolytes from the hydration drink – that would have made it better. Eventually I had to admit that it was entirely my fault for lack of running preparation. I finally made it over the finish line in a relatively respectable time, given I power walked a good portion of the run!
Despite the aching end to the race, this was an thrilling first dip into the world of triathlon, and I am now very much looking forward to my first Olympic distance triathlon in just one month, where I will have to run 10k after the swim and cycle. Errrr time to get jogging!