Sussex Triathlon

Well, this was hot, hilly and bloody hard work if you ask me. Around 5miles into the run I started questioning my friendship with triathlon and briefly decided I no longer wanted to be a triathlete. Needless to say I changed my mind on the finish line.

Overall, 1st in Age Group, and either 6th, 7th, or 8th female. I am unsure because I was told 6th on the day, and results say 8th – but this is contradicted by one of the females before me apparently being male :p When it comes down to it it’s a battle between myself and the clock right now.

Looking at my times – the clock won! But I am reassuring myself with the fact that this genuinly was a bit of a killer course.

Open water swm: 0:28:13.95,
T1: 0:01:52.85,
40k bike: 1:30:47.35
t2: 0:00:54.05
10k run: 0:54:06.50
overall: 2:55:54.7

so overall 2.55.

Happy with the swim – not my strongest discipline anyway – but this figure is bang on my POOL time from a year or so ago. I expected OW to be much slower (In fact, I distincly recall clocking something like 12mins for a 400m OW swim last season..) Especially as I also had to paddle a bit due to getting punched in the side of the head. This experience in general was reassuring for future as among the scrum I also had my legs twisted and pulled and this didn’t result in any panic which bodes well.

*****Lesson one : Choose a better place. I actually found I’d underestimated myself and I kept getting stuck behind people and unable to overtake. I did discover the wonder of drafting – but I think I’d be better off fnding myself a good clear space and swmming my own pace, or learning to work out who to draft off, as having found a pair of toes to follow I then repeatedly got frustrated at the pace they were moving.

Bike was hilly! It was 2 laps – the first 12k being very much uphill, second 8k very much downhill with a nasty climb on the end of each lap.
******Lesson 2: In hot conditions – when using gels – carb/electorlyte juice is not be needed as well. In sprints I just have a bit of juice to keep my peddling. For this I had decided to stick to normal plan and add gels. As a result, I had no plain un-tampered with water and all the gels and carb juice started making me feel a bit ill. All I wanted was something to rehydrate me!

The run was soul destroyingly hilly – It just kept going up with the odd flat bit for the first 2 miles of each lap, followed by a little down, then more flat before it started all over again.
There was one killer hill, and Harry (who’d already done the sprint) advised me to walk it. I didnt plan to – but soon as I reached it I decided power walking was the better option. I probably should have run it and I’m still kicking myself a bit for not just toughening up a bit but live and learn.

In the last 0.5mle I heard one woman just behind me, so I sped up to create some distance. I overshot it too early though, because she still had power for the last 200m – at which point she blasted past me.
*****Lesson 3: save the sprint for the end.

This race was all about learning. It was the first Olympic I’ve done and the lessons above are now pointers for future improvement.

Coming soon: (Maybe this weekend – shorthand time now..)
A rare, and planned non-race report blog :
“Pool anger and getting knocked off my bike in Brighton” (bike and I are fine).

Published by michellearthurs

I'm an NCTJ Journalist and work at Cycling Weekly. Previous to this, I was the Editor at Total Women's Cycling. I've also dabbled in marketing and copywriting - having been Marketing Coordinator and Social Media/Content Editor at Evans Cycles. My first job was working on a local newspaper.  I've written for a variety of titles on a freelance basis, too. I got into cycling when I entered my first triathlon in 2010. I now race crits, road races, time trials, and do a lot of track training for not very much track racing.

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