7 September 2017 0 Comments

Sprint Triathlons Are Tough!

Stretching before race 50 – Image from Epic Events

Last night was the final midweek sprint triathlon of the year at Capernwray Dive Centre. This 4 race series is developing into quite a popular fixture in the northwest tri calendar. Judging by the different tops on display most tri clubs in the region were represented. COLT, of course, had the most entries with 16 on the startline, including myself, for whom the event would be my 50th triathlon (see the stats here).

Ask any triathlete of a certain age whether they prefer sprint or longer distance triathlons and they’ll inevitably answer with longer distance. The might seem counter intuitive, but it’s not. Success at sprint distance means racing on the point of collapse for over an hour. If at any point you start to relax you are simply not racing hard enough. To do that, you not only need the aerobic fitness, but the muscle power gained from hard rep sessions on the bike and on foot. In short, success at sprint distance is brutal and the older you get the more likely injury will occur. I’m no different, give me the sedate endurance fest of middle and long distance, any day.

So, starting a second sprint race in a month is uncharted territory, even for a seasoned campaigner like me! Sure enough, I was contending with injury. My achilles which has been troubling me on and off throughout this season flared up again last week and I’d been sticking myself together with ibuprofen and ice. I figured that the swim and run would warm me up well enough to at least get to the finish. In short, I wasn’t expecting a great performance.

Hard effort – image courtesy of Epic Events

As things turned out, I actually surprised myself. The swim was a personal best for a sprint distance; the bike was a minute slower than last month, which given the wind and lack of cycling wasn’t too shabby; and I even beat my run time from August by a scant 9 seconds. My finish time of 1:19:32 was good enough for 67th overall and 6th in my age group, only 38 seconds slower and two places down on August’s result. Maybe these sprint races aren’t so bad after all!

PB for the run at Capernway

 

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