Who needs a Fair Ground?
Well, it feels like I have been on a Waltzer ride for the last couple of months. It has certainly been full on. End of year university exams, training, racing and keeping on top of those daily tasks that is in reality just life. It’s nice to give something back and a weekly opportunity to teach young people to swim is definitely rewarding.
The British Universities Triathlon Championships took place at the start of May and provided a timely opportunity to prepare for the first Super Series race. Including overseas athletes it took a slightly different format to my normal races.
It started with a staggered start for just under 200 competitors. The swim was in a four lane 25 metre pool with four swimmers in each, which appears to have effected most peoples times. Then it was a 500 metre run to first transition before a non drafting bike ride. Ending with a 5k run on various surfaces the event felt more like a TT, especially when the results showed I missed out on 12th place by 0.2 seconds!
The first Super Series race of the year took place a couple of weeks ago. It was a European selection event and certainly going to attract some of the top young triathletes. Being realistic, after a disruptive pre season preparation period I was looking for a solid performance and a top 20 finish in the Seniors race.
Upon reflection, like all good seesaws there’s two sides to this race. With my nature being open and honest I must say it was not on balance a good day at the office for me. I got out of position on the swim, began to focus more on who was around me and any technique went out of the window. By the time I arrived in first transition I had lost too much time. As a former coach says, if your not with the lead pack on the bike within the first kilometre you will not catch them. I found myself with too much to do and certainly in the wrong pack. With another rider I did work hard to make up lost ground but in reality just burnt my legs out. The run was a slog and it may have been less painful to have stopped.
However, that’s not my style and I took the opportunity to learn a lot of lessons. I may have achieved a top 20 senior finish but it was still not a good day. The next race is Leeds in June so not long to go.
Until then I have a few weeks at home and looking forward to training locally. I want to identify new training opportunities, which will include bespoke open water swim events and cycle road races. For me it’s about finding those small things that will deliver marginal gains when it matters most.
Photographs and text – Grace Goodall.