My First Triathlon: 2013 Cottesloe ‘Fun’ Distance

‘Fun’. That’s what they call the distance.

300m Swim at one of Perth’s most popular beaches, followed by 15 km on the bike – mostly flat, but with one small hill on each of the 3 laps, and a 3km completely flat run on the oceanside path.

Race day was the 16-Feb. My lead up for this event was a 4 practice swims at Quinns beach. 9-Feb (1 week before) I did an almost-full-distance practice triathlon at Quinns, which went quite well – giving me confidence I could actually finish! It was also my chance to test out the Orca Core I purchased from the friendly folk at XTR Multisports in Joondalup. (Yes, I know I left it late!)

First Ever Practice triathlon (1 week before race day)

260m swim – 11:30 (I need to work on swimming straight – more on that later)

14km bike – 31:11 (26 km/h)

3km run – 19:37 (6:32 min/km)

So, it was slow and steady, but I finished feeling quite happy.

As well as the above practice, I did a brick on the Tuesday before the race, and had done some regular running once or twice a week in January. And 2 cycle commutes (40km each way).

Race Day

Swim Leg (300m): 8:00. The swim was great! Easier than I expected, I held a place at the beginning of the final third of the pack most of the way. I did a few strokes of breaststroke, mainly for spotting, but to catch my breath after the odd kick in the chest.

Bike Leg (15km): 32:39 (27.6 km/h). I didn’t have any cycling shoes, so I had to put my running shoes on at T1. I set out on the Cannondale CAAD 8 105 Alu road bike feeling pretty good. I managed to pass a few people on the bike, but in turn plenty of other passed me. It was hard to tell if I was gaining or losing given all the different wave starts, and also the 3 lap circuit. The hill was an absolute killer, I hand’t done many hills in training – especially after swimming. So I tried to save a little bit of energy and not push the climbs too hard. But by the end of it, I was looking forward to the run – I was burning too much cardio using my cycling muscles, so I felt running would be easier!

Run Leg (3km): 17:12 (5:43 min/km) I hit the run feeling not too bad, ran at a steady pace to the turn around point (1.5km) and my calves all but disappeared. Not so much pain, as just a dull ache and no power at all. The final km was a struggle, but the last 50m I sprinted at full speed to try and pass 1 person who looked like they were in my category. Sadly they weren’t, but hey, it improved my overall place by 1, and proved I could overcome the pain for that final stretch – an important mental learning point.

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