I haven't even got my marathon out of the way but all of the totally amazing weather that we've been having has really got me excited for the start of triathlon season which is coming up FAST!!
Despite the fact that I profess my love for these multi-sport events, I have only ever competed in one Olympic distance (1.5k swim, 40k bike, 10k run for the uninitiated out there), two sprints (750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run) and one super-sprint (400m swim, 20k bike, 5k run). And even then, the Olympic distance was the South Coast Triathlon and the sea was so choppy that they had to shorten the swim to 750m for safety reasons (although due to the waves, tides, and my general lack of swimming know-how, the swim still took me as long as a 1.5k lake swim).
Last year, I had grand plans to complete two Olympic distance races, one of which being the Virgin London Triathlon. And I totally bailed on both of them. Bad happyfeet. In my defence, the first one was the morning after a horrific day of wedding dress shopping. HORRIFIC. (Who knew that looking for a regular old white dress could be so traumatic?!). Which was swiftly followed by an emergency bottle of prosecco to numb the pain. Followed by a few more bottles of wine (by that stage they seemed like a really good idea) to celebrate a really good friend’s leaving party. The tube ride home was ropey, to say the least. And getting up at 6am the next morning? Never going to happen. I blame the wedding dress shopping. If that hadn’t shredded my nerves so badly, I wouldn’t have had to hit the bottle in the first place, and could have prevented the downward wine-induced spiral of doom… or maybe not. Nevertheless, it happened, and the triathlon didn’t. The London Triathlon was always a question mark – it’s on the east side of London which is a biatch to get to (especially when roads in the centre of town are closed for the cycle route), they encourage you to get to the venue by public transport, but you’re not allowed to take your bikes on the tube/DLR, and they don’t tell you which day/time (Sat/Sun, am/pm) you race is until a couple of weeks beforehand. In the end, the 8:30am Sunday start was just too logistically difficult. I wimped out and I am ashamed.
This year, I had been hoping to really up my game and commit to a 70.3 but, due to the small matter of a wedding and the bigger matter of a honeymoon (WOOHOO!!!), I am going to be out of commission for the whole of June, which kind of puts a spanner in the triathlon works as that is peak race month.
So I have been looking into which triathlons I can conceivably train for and complete this summer. My first choice venue is Dorney; of the four tris I have completed so far, three have taken place at Eton Dorney Lake.
I seriously love that place.
The water is clean, the bike and run are flat and fast (although can be a little repetitive due to multiple laps), the people are friendly and they usually organise so many wave starts that it never gets too busy. This year, Dorney Lake is hosting the Olympic rowing so the venue is not available for triathlons during July and August. May and September however are fair game!
I've already registered for one:
Humanrace Eton Super Sprint - Saturday May 19th.
I competed in this race two years ago, the week after the Prague Marathon. I remember it felt amazing to finally be doing something other than running, and because I was still recovering, there was no pressure for a particular time. Thankfully the swim was only 400m because the water was bloody freezing.
This time around, it will be 4 weeks after the London Marathon and 3 weeks before the Big W. I still won't have any time goals - I just want to enjoy it before the final stages of wedding panic set in. My mother will freak out if she finds out about it though, so I'm keeping this on the down low.
Lake Logic Standard Triathlon (Cotswold Water Park) - August 5th
This one's a cheap (well, relatively) triathlon at a good venue in the Cotswolds. I hadn't heard of it before, but I know a few people competing which could make it fun. The only problem is the course involves lots of county roads with lots of bike-crashing potential. It also takes place the same day as the women's Olympic marathon and the Men's singles tennis gold medal match... hmmmm maybe not then!
Reading Triathlon - September 9th
Not at my beloved Dorney, but it's a similar set-up with multiple laps and the trail run should make this a bit interesting! It's also not as expensive as the Dorney races, which presumably have higher fees for prestigious venue usage.
USN Dorney Lake Triathlon - September 30th
Hurrah, Dorney's back! I downgraded to the sprint for this race last year (and finally converted Ratface over to the dark side!) and loved it. USN/VO2 organised a great event and it was sunny. What more could you want?
I've also joined a sort of swimming club (more on that in another post) and although I'm still slow, I'm definitely enjoying swimming more and more. The coach organises an aquathlon series at the Cotswold Water Park so I'm planning to get involved in the May and July races. Most of the swimmers are complete badasses and last year I did one race and came third from last. Humiliating, much?!
This year I'm definitely hoping to improve my performance!!
So there you have it.
BRING ON TRI SEASON!!