So we’re in September, it’s back to school today in France, Switzerland did it a week ago and my back to training actually happened on the 12th of August after a little break of three weeks. I didn’t stay fully off the road, I didn’t stop exercising completely but I tried my best to be off, to sleep and have some good social times.
The truth is I’m not even back to full training or to big goals, it’s more about finishing the season with a few more races and having some fun. Time trials and the yearly “Geneva Cycling World Championships” will be on pretty soon and that’s what I’ll be aiming for. Today we canned the idea of a team triathlon for some reason, one being the fact that some may not be up to speed for the challenge, it’s a long season and I would agree on that.
But anyway, back to fun and good times, I was having a beer with friends the other night and triathletes being triathletes, we of course discussed the topic of racing. All this lead to another entry on another race, this time an olympic distance one. Good thing is that by the time I had entered, I had three days of training on the clock and I finally had a reason for even more, right?
It went well, training continued during the 10-days leading to the race, actually in a really good mood. No pressure or goal as impromptu, the course was unknown even though I knew it would suit my style as very flat and last, it looked like it would be a great weekend, in Zürich with friends the day and night before for another Sunday racing in sun.
Getting to the race was very easy as you can’t beat a Swiss train in terms of schedule, early start yes it was but altogether and from where I stayed in Zürick, it took no longer than half an hour to get to Uster, Switzerland and home of the 30th Internationaler Uster Triathlon.
First things first, bib collection and licence control done, got myself into transition zone to setup my bike and all the stuff needed to race, I was actually very early on the day and as I figured out, had almost two hours to spare before the start once everything settled. Good thing is that it was to be a sunny day and there was a lake just around the corner so I went for coffee and watched the start of the half distance and sprint races while also taking the time to have a 15′ warm-up swim. At that point, all I could say was that sensations were good.
By 09:40 the race was started, made my way onto the ponton, first time I experienced that but the rolling start system you would normally see on the ironman circuit had been introduced to that race as well, good for some but I still like the thrill of a mass start. Anyway, 09:48 and off I was. As a wetsuit race, I was happy but I was even more happy of my swimming form that morning, beat my all time best on the distance (1500m) by 04:10min. It felt so good and I literally don’t know why?! Possibility being that as I always train for longer distance, keeping intensity on a short distance gets easier? Can’t say but it was a good start and a fun course with two 750m loops with an Australian exit in-between.
Made my way into transition (T1) for what looked as the strongest part of the day with the bike. It took me 02:14min to go from fish to cyclist and considering the timing and results, I’m pretty bad at that… So as I made my way out of there, I jumped on the bike, got the shoes tight and hammered my way around the Greifen Lake. I had had a look at the course and had been told it was flat and the reality was probably the best I could have hoped for.
Two 20km loop and total elevation of 250m more or less, it was all about speed with only a few corners or roundabouts as well as a few low gradient but long uphills as I love to hammer through. Of those two loops, I had a very good one but decided to keep it together for the second one, data did show good power all around but I really wanted to have a good run so decided to keep it safe, probably one of the first time I would use these words but I didn’t want to have a bad day in the end and still it was an average power of 250W for 40km so a good leg day considering it was also on an open road.
As I got off the bike and into transition again, I managed to get that one a little faster than T1 with 02:05min to become a runner. I was feeling happy, swim and bike had been good and I could only hope for more. Off I was, out of T2 and on the run for 10km. I had no idea how the course would be apart from knowing it followed a stretch of the bike course so it would ondulate a bit.
Started off with a strong pacing but not giving everything, as per the above, I wanted to finish and have a good day. Slowly and surely I got my legs up to the cadence and the splits looked good, quite even if considering the ondulation. By the end of lap 1 and the 5km mark, I felt really good. I had water poored all over myself during lap one, felt fresh and decided I could go for a little more and I did. Lap 2 got negative in terms of splits and I passed the line feeling strong, very strong, probably the happiest I’ve been all year in fact.
Total Time 02hrs03:59min
Being rested was key to having a good day, that Sunday was funday and Uster delivered a great day with the icing on the cake being the 22′ minutes personal best. The shorter the better and surely this type of races can have a benefit in many aspects so watch this space, I might go for the olympic distance rather than the games..! In the end, it wasn’t a race but a good day training 🙂