Last weekend I competed in the inaugural Hertfordshire Triathlon. I entered the sprint distance event which consisted of a 750m swim in the Stanborough Lake, a 20km ride around Wheathamstead and a 5km run around the lake.
Open Water Swimming
In preparation for my main race of the year (the London Triathlon in August), I wanted to enter an event with an open water swim to give me some experience. I was quite concerned about this element and I hoped I would be able to make it round. I started off near the back of my wave and just took it easy. The buoyancy of the wetsuit made a huge difference and I soon settled into a comfortable rhythm. A number of times I realised I was somewhat off course and had to get back on track but coming round the end of the lake (half way) I felt like I could happily swim on for hours! Fortunately it didn’t take me that long to get back and into T1.
It was a 100m or so run (or walk in my case) from the swim exit into transition. My wet suit came off nice and easy and I geared up for the bike. A short run down the slope to the road ready to mount.
By this point in the morning the sun was out and the ride went out towards Wheathamstead and around country lanes and fields, so I really enjoyed this stage. There were several standard distance athletes shooting past me on their tri bikes but I did manage to overtake a few people after the hills. The distance flew by in no time and I was soon dismounting and running back up into transition.
Like the previous week’s event, I had some issues with my tri-suit coming off the bike, but otherwise I was racked and running shoes on pretty quickly.
The first two minutes of the run went the same as before, and my heart was sinking until I managed to get sorted out and found I had some decent running in my legs, plus some other runners I could track. The sun was really beating down at this point but I was feeling OK and keeping a reasonable pace. Two laps later I was crossing the finish line feeling very pleased to have got through it well.
Now my third triathlon under my belt, and my best performance so far, especially the open water swim. Full steam ahead to London in August!