Blithfield Triathlon by Dave Acklam
I've just started swimming again after a gap of about three years and have enjoyed the handful of times I’ve done the open water sessions. Strangely, I think I’ve improved – calmer, fewer panics, more of a straight line, meaning similar times but less tired. So thought I'd do Blithfield Olympic distance again..
The swim started well, and generally went OK, but then the waves got a bit choppy and about 400m from the end I started to struggle and swallowed too much water; I finally made it out and was in better condition than after some other swim legs I’ve done.
An advantage to being slow on the swim is that your bike is easy to find – and with only a handful left on the field from nearly 500 who entered the Sprint and Olympic races – it was once again simple to spot my bike. I did feel disappointed with swim at the time though because I was about 15 mins slower than I hoped for (found out later that everyone had a slow swim – it was more than 1500m). In percentage terms normally in the swim 97-100% of the other competitors are faster than me – this time only 97% beat me - so it was really quite good.
The bike was even better – my quickest Olympic bike leg - I just flew round the course overtaking loads of people all the way round – I’ve been putting time in on the turbo trainer and it’s paying off. I decided to make the best of a good thing and just go flat out all the way round and not save much for the run – usually I’m faster than about 10% of people on the bike, this time I beat 40% of the field.
The run is usually my best leg, and after doing some ultra-marathons last year I’m now better at running with tired legs and pacing myself; and put this to good use with my fastest run leg on an Olympic distance.
Overall I wanted to beat 3 hours, and coming in at 3:06:19 after a “long” swim it was a good day with my highest ever placing in an Olympic - 180 out of 223.
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