Overall I’m happy with how it went. The swim was nice in the warm lake. The bike course is very flat and quite rough in places and the run was a mixture of everything. Having joined Nathan and the team after having a good break after my last triathlon (September 2019), I am happy with the way the training has been going ( other than the injury) and I’m excited about what is to come. I’d recommend Nathan to anyone who is thinking about some coaching. Very committed and knows what he’s talking about. He’s also always on the other end of the phone no matter how big or small the question. Thanks mate.
NFT Athlete – Emyr Evans
Luckily I decided to travel down on the Friday for this one, I’m glad I did as it took 6+ hours of driving due to the traffic, at the time it felt like a mission on its own.
Saturdays plan was to ride for an hour and then a 2 mile brick run to check the bike was all working and that the legs would move. Before starting the back tyre had deflated in the car. Two snapped tyre leavers later, I had changed the tube and bike was ready to go. I decided to go to the race venue to check out transition and hoped to get in the water for a small swim to see what the water was like. Nothing to worry about at 19.6 degrees, like a sauna compared to the sea at the moment. Back to the caravan to get my feet up. After a quick chat with Nathan and message of luck, it was bed time.
Alarm went off 3.30 am. Kettle on, porridge, banana and coffee to get me moving. Load the car and the race nerves were starting. It was a 10 minute drive to the race car park. After finally getting into park the car (20 minute queue). Off to transition to set up. After setting up and checking everything 3-4 times I was happy to go. By now the first wave was already in the water, I was in wave 3 so moved to the start area and had a 15 minute wait. Quick chat with a few people and I could see everyone was hanging back instead of joining the queue, I decide to jump it to try and get on the feet of some of the quicker swimmers, in I went.
Due to having a recent 2k pb in the pool I felt comfortable getting into the water and getting the job done. I don’t class myself as a good swimmer, having only starting swimming 4 years ago when starting my tri journey. My swim time seems like it is what it is, as long as I turn my arms. The swim felt ok, passed some people but got overtaken too.
This always feels like it’s takes a life time, but don’t think I made a mistake just took my time.
After speaking with Nathan we had agreed for me to try and have a tidy bike performance trying to hold 240-250 watts for the duration. On all my previous triathlons I have tried to hit the first bit of the bike a little bit too hard, trying to make some ground I thought I’d try a slightly cautious approach on this one, but as normal I didn’t. I went harder than planned.
I had driven the bike course the day before in an attempt to spot as many potholes as I could. I must have missed the one I hit at full speed in the first 5k. I thought I had 2 punctures and the bike was in half from the sound it made. I noticed my rear bottle going flying, but that at the time it didn’t bother me. After travelling down the road and around the next 2 bends, I noticed my Garmin was missing. I stopped, turned around and went back for it as I didn’t want to try and explain to Emma why I was having to buy a new Garmin for the sake of a couple of minutes. Luckily, it was sat on the floor without a scratch. The rest of the bike went ok, no real dramas to report, just kept my head down.
Again took my time and tried to remember what to do.
This was to be the make or break for my race. Unfortunately I tore a muscle in my thigh 12 weeks ago and with that I have had very little running. I went into the run understanding that I may not complete it, not wanting to re-aggravate the injury. I was a bit optimistic when I said to Nathan that I was planning on a pace of 7.40ish m/min. I set off and my legs were not feeling too bad getting off the bike. Initially I was managing to hold the pace I was planning, but soon realised it wasn’t going to happen. My new plan was to keep it under 8m/mile.
I also tried to keep to my nutrition plan of a gel every 5k for this duration. As the 2nd 10k was starting I was starting to creep above the 8 m/mile, I wasn’t too worried because I was running and not feeling any pain, so I was able to carry on. The run wasn’t the nicest of routes as it was trails, grass and tarmac and I didn’t seem to get a nice rhythm going. It was also a 3 lap run and it felt endless as my run pace was fading. Finally I saw the finish line and I was very happy about it.