Posted by: lepages | March 17, 2011

Dam buster… or busted by the dam??!!

It’s almost two weeks since my first competitive event of the year – the Dunmow Duathlon – and less than 2 days to my second, the Dambuster Duathlon.

Whilst the two events are both duathlons – run – bike – run – they’re quite different! The first one was real trail running with lots of mud and uneven ground (love it!!) – the second is largely on firm paths – and of course back and forth on Rutland Water dam wall a couple of times!

The bike on the first event had a rough track/road for around 1.5k to get to the road – which was then variable quality – some smooth patches, some rough surface roads – little bit of up and down, but no major hills. The second has the Rutland Ripple – 3 big hills up and down. The roads are generally smooth too (or were last time I was up there last year!)

Then of course the distances. Dunmow Duathlon 5k run – 24.5k bike (officially 21, but that doesn’t include the track down to transition on both out and back!) – 5k run. The Dambuster Duathlon is a tad longer – 10k run (9.7k actual) – 42k bike – 5k run.

Was pleased with my performance overall at Dunmow. Came 46th overall from a field of 185 finishers (9th in my age group of over 40 finishers). Most chuffed with the bike – according to my maths (not always perfect!!) I was 16th fastest on the bike overall – very pleasing, considering my concerns of just a few weeks ago.

The weather was cold. Opted as many did for keeping running leggings on and long sleeved top – in reality I was a bit warm. Really enjoyed picking my route through the mud and over rough, undulating ground on the first run. Pleased to clock a time of 23:52 for the first run, given the conditions. Coming into transition was entering a mudbath! Putting on my bike shoes was an experience! As they went down on the mud, so I felt the mud just coming in through the drainage holes – lovely! (This was to create an interesting effect when I came to wear the shoes again a few days later! When I got home I washed all the mud off and put them in the airing cupboard to dry – along with my running shoes. When I came to put them on I discovered a hard ridge of solid ground (formerly mud!) inside both shoes and had to chip it away!)

Reasonably pleased with my speed through transition given the mud (01:27). Out on the bike soon starting to catch up on and pass a bunch of folk – maybe a dozen or so. Did battle with 2 or 3 towards the end where we kept taking one another and then having to drop back to avoid drafting, Other than them (whom I had caught in the first instance) I was only over taken by 2 guys on some nice TT bikes…. one day!! 😉

Got back to transition in a time of 45:59,giving an average speed of 31.97kph, including the rough track in and out, Trying to put running shoes on in mud was hard – nothing to push down on! Eventually pulled them on. Thought I’d been really slow (certainly some others were definitely faster) so surprised to find time was almost same as T1 at 01:30.

Trying to run again was hard. Just couldn’t get the pacey rhythm I was hoping for and seemingly jogging along was about the best I could do. Was passed by around 6 folk soon after start of run, and another couple towards the end. Slow 5k run in 26:24

Really enjoyed the event – apart from the dreadful parking arrangements!
And well chuffed with my position overall.
Don’t think I’ll have such a high ranking this Saturday as the Dambuster is a qualifying event for European and World events, so there’ll be a host of top athletes around.

What’s happened inbetween times?
A very busy period – good busy! But it’s limited my training at times, and left me feeling tired and drained as well. Fortunately there’s been a bit of recovery this week – though at present my hip is feeling troublesome – hope that clears overnight.

Monday 7th March
Good bike ride – light easterly wind – Bromham, Oakley, Pavenham – Felmersham – Odell – Harrold – Carlton – Felersham – Pavenham – Carlton – Turvey – Newton Blossomville – Astwood – Cranfield – Home. Just over 2hours, just over 60k

Tuesday 8th March
Quick swim late pm. Just over 30mins.

Wednesday 9th March
Good slightly longer tempo run – long Priory then back along river to end of Bedford and then home. 13k Time 1:04:05 Av. 12kph

Then no time for training for several days

Monday 14th good swim session in the evening – consistent 100’s at around 2mins or just under. Just over an hours swimming including various drills, warm up and down.

Full day Tuesday so no exercise.

Wednesday 16th – feeling stressed, but had good workout at gym and seemed to put me in a different place. Started on cross trainer – 5 mins at level 10/12/14 – maintained an increasing cadence to complete 1k in 15mins – did it – with average cadence going from 130ish, to 140ish to 150ish. Treadmill intervals – supposed to be 12kph 3mins, 16kph 2mins. Followed pattern but shortened intervals slightly so as not to stress body with race this Saturday. Pleased to complete 5k in circa 23:30 and 5.29k when session concluded at 25mins. Good session with weights and core work, though just taking everything slightly easier.

Today (Thursday 17th March)
Good brick session – Bedford Classic tri bike route 42.47k in 1:20:43 Av. speed 31.5kph. Quick transition in 01:14 and then out for a short, sharp 3k run – 13:52 giving av. speed of 13kph.

Feel ready for Saturday. Just need to remember to feed and water myself well so I don’t blow – and to pace myself appropriately.

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