Monday, 30 May 2011

The Beaver Triathlon 2011 - Race Results & Report

Team ATHelite Ironman division headed down to Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire at the weekend hoping for a race in glorious sunny English weather. However the weekend was turned into a test of stamina and grit due to the horrendous winds and driving rain that we were hoping to leave behind in Scotland.

We (Colin, Genevieve, Pam, Gareth and Graeme) all converged on the camp site simultaneously and soon had the tents pitched. Gareth and family (too posh to pitch) promptly headed off to the Premier Inn for an evening of warmth and luxury as the rest of us huddled around the uninterested bbq wearing fleeces, jackets, hats and glove. By the time the bbq was ready for cooking we had already flame grilled and eaten the food, polished off the bottle of wine and were ready for bed.
We all tucked in, freezing & still fully dressed and lay awake till 2.00am as the wind tried to rip the tents apart. I slept in Jacks pop up tent which appeared to hover above the ground in the wind like some minature airship. I finally passed out and re-awoke at 5.00am once the rain started coming down & the local hunt dogs started baying for meat. If I ever need to spend a night at Everest base camp I will be totally prepared.

We finally managed to step of of the tents at 6.00am after 3 hours sleep to get the coffee on, except the wind kept blowing out the gas stove so we drank luke warm coffee & tepid porridge. As always loads of spare time turned into not enough time and we hurriedly racked the bikes during the race briefing. With 5 mins to go till the pink swim capped ladies went off in the first wave Pam was locked in a portaloo half a km from the lake without a wetsuit on but somehow managed to get to the start line on time.

My group of black caps (stupid colour for open water swimming) jumped into the lake with 5 mins to go. I noticed everyone around me was looking scared & shivering in the cold water. I personally felt quite calm & found the water pleasantly warm compared to the temperatures we are used to! The only person in our group who found the water freezing was Pam, but her last event was Ironman Florida & it may be slightly warmer there!
I had somehow injured the top of my bicep the previous week & wasn't entirely sure if I would complete the swim so I positioned myself 2/3's of the way back in the pack of about 100. The gun went & we were off & it was total carnage - kicked, punched & crushed but I held my position & tried to stay calm & not throw my bad arm out of shape. Within 100 mtrs it started to flair up but I relaxed, and eased back on my left arm pull & swam almost one armed until the turn point. The crowds thinned out a bit here & with the tide on our side and settling into bilateral breathing I managed to cruise home around the 2 loop course using one and a half arms, exiting the water in about 33 mins. It was at least a 400 metre long run to T1 so I decided to remove the wetsuit at the lake side & run with it. With my quickest wetsuit removal ever (I almost high fived a spectator as I kicked it straight off but they didn’t seem as impressed as me) I ran & overtook loads of people running in their wetsuits.

Swim Times including the ridiculous run to T1 were as follows

Colin 35.40
Genevieve 35.56 (and 7th female out of the water)
Pamela    38.51
Gareth 41.10
Graeme 41.10


Colin 2.21
Graeme 2.29
Pamela 3.27
Genevieve 3.33
Gareth 3.54

For the first time ever I actually put a long sleeve bike jersey on for the bike & was so pleased I did as the weather was horrific. We exited T1 for the 3 lap bike course and turned left immediately into a very strong head wind and must have ground away into this for about 7 miles including a particularly sharp climb. After turning at the top of the course the wind really ripped across giving me a couple of nasty wobbles on the open sections & descents before turning right & finally having the wind on your back for the rest of the lap. There were a lot of people struggling both with the winds & also on the climbs. Fortunately we are used to both these things & we all rode at something near our Ironman pace & knocked out some good bike times. Genevieve & Pam are so light they always find biking in the wind & driving rain very tough & today was no different & they were both pleased to get off & start running (until they saw the run course!)

Bike times were as follows with (average pace);
Colin 2.22 (23.6 mph)
Graeme 2.25 (23.1 mph)
Gareth 2.25 (23.1 mph)
Genevieve 2.34 (21.8 mph)
Pamela 2.37 (21.45 mph)

T2 Transitions were pretty quick all round;
Colin 1.32
Graeme 1.43
Gareth 1.48
Genevieve 1.52
Pamela 2.06 (caught on video knocking back cans of Red Bull in transition!)

So finally the Half Marathon. A tough route, heading out of transition on the flat before crossing a bridge, then running uphill for about 2k before turning & running down it again. 4 of these loops brought a lot of competitors to a walk but team ATHelite all soldiered on & kept running. It took almost 7k before my feet & toes defrosted from the bike & I felt like I was running well. I actually felt very strong on the run all the way & overtook people non stop despite the driving rain & wind. I could have kept going at that pace (quicker than IM pace) and finished in what felt like a very controlled 90 minute half marathon. Everyone else held an excellent & consistent IM pace and finished the run as follows;

Colin 1.30
Gareth 1.48
Genevieve 1.50
Pamela 1.54
Graeme 2.01

Total finishing times;

Colin 4.32 (32nd overall & 11th in Age Group)
Gareth 5.01 (Very impressive!)
Genevieve 5.07 (9th Female & 4th in Age Group)
Graeme 5.12 (Well controlled race)
Pamela 5.16 (14th Female & 5th in Age Group)

The plan for the Beaver was always for it to be a test event for us for Ironman. It enabled us to check race gear, bikes & bike set up, race strategy, nutrition, transitions and so on and I was so impressed with the way all the guys handled it. No mindless pacing errors and no mistakes. Personally I felt over the moon with my performance – I felt very in control & strong in the Swim, Bike & Run & it was good to see how everyone was focused, calm, organised & in control despite what the weather tried to throw at us.

We all came into this event with a different approach – Graeme & Gareth tapered into it, Pammy travelled all the way from Canada to race with us & still managed to cram in a good few training hours in the run up and myself & Genevieve treated it as part of a peak training week and finished the event week on 17 training hours. We even managed to head out on Sunday morning with Pam for a one hour off road run in the hills behind my parent house & all felt pretty good!

I certainly now feel confident that our training is coming to a peak at just the right time as we approach the 6 week countdown & I hope everyone is looking forward to Ironman Switzerland as much as I am!!

Full Results Here

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Video Swim Analysis Sessions

Video Swim Analysis sessions are taking shape. Hamilton College is booked on June 7th, 14th & 21st from 5.00pm - 7.00pm. Each session is for 4 people & available to Club Members only including Videoing, Analysis & Drills. Only £10 each to cover pool costs. A few names on the list already but add yours here or on the Facebook page if you are interested.

ATHelite Facebook Page

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Training Sessions this week.

Some of the club training sessions are being affected by other events this week as follows....

Weds 25th;
Pm; Ayr 10k so no Open Water swimming this evening.

Thurs 26th;
Pm; Run group on as always - just a recovery run if you were racing at Ayr.

Fri 27th;
Am; Tollcross Swim as always
Pm; No Open Water Swim as we are heading down south for our Half Ironman

Sat 28th; Colin, Graeme & Gareth will not be here but if you wish to ride leave a message on the Facebook page and meet at the shop at 9.00am as always.

Sun 29th; Sunday run is on as usual. 9.00am from Hurlawcrook Road.

Ayr 'Land O Burns 10k'

Good luck to everyone running tonight at the Ayr 10k. This is a great 10k route with a good chance of a PB as long as the wind in kind!! If you didn't do this race last year but have done the Ayr Open Water triathlon you will recognise some of the route & transition area as you hurtle past.

Asics Shoe Sale - up to 30% OFF!!

New season Asics shoes arrive in June so time for an end of season clearout. Up to 30% of all Asics Road Shoes. Be quick - they are already going!!


Monday, 23 May 2011

Countdown to Zurich

It has been a long while since I last blogged on our progress towards Ironman Switzerland. There were a number of events & performances at the weekend which have prompted me to let you know how we are getting on with 7 weeks to go to race day.

We were tracking a couple of Ironman events on Saturday with home interest in both. Whilst Scotlands Catriona Morrison paced herself to a perfect win in IM Texas we were following Gerry Seenan making his Ironman debut around one of the very toughest IM courses in Lanzarote. We helped Gerry throughout his training and his commitment to the training plan & his consistency paid off with a great result and we are very proud of him.

Out in Ohio Genevieves Big Sister Paolina 'The Machine' Allan was taking on an event that seems as hard to comprehend as it is to complete, though she may say otherwise. The American Triple T features an Open Water Sprint Tri on Friday pm, Olympic Distance Tri on Saturday am, another Olympic Distance Tri on Saturday pm & then a Half Ironman on Sunday Morning. A totally crazy event but in true Paolina style she trained hard, lapped it up & won. We are hoping for a Race Report out of her in the next couple of days.

Back on home territory and in very testing conditions thousands of runners were taking on the Edinburgh Marathon on Sunday. Our own Robbie Rooney was taking part in this, his first marathon & having trained hard & consistently took a bad case of cramp at mile 17 and had to dig deep to finish. In his true positive manner he looked on this as a positive thing and will no doubt be back for more.

At ATHelite our focus is always on getting novices into the great sport of triathlon. We had so many people in the shop during the week looking not only for running & tri gear, but also advice and maybe a confidence boost for the Novice & Sprint distance events at Strathclyde Park on Sunday. Too many great performances to mention from so many of our regulars but well done to all of you whether this was one of many events this year or if it was your first foray into the open (murky) water.

Lots of inspiring performances there and the one thing that dictated the success of all these is consistency in training. This is so key & especially so in Ironman training. It is all well & good knocking out the occasional great session but you have to keep these going over a long period of time to make them count.
Having already built up a solid endurance base over the last couple years of Ironman, our training looks a little different this year but in these final stages we are still focusing our training around a number of key sessions which we never miss. These sessions include weekly Swimming Speed Work, Distance Swims & Open Water Swims (very cold at present!). Running also includes Speed Work, Tempo Runs & the crucial Long Run of about 16 - 18 miles weekly. Biking includes Speed Work, longer Time Trials of 25 - 50 miles and the important weekly Long Ride. The last couple of weeks we have ridden over 100 miles solo on our long ride. They have gone very well & these are vital Ironman training sessions. It is all well & good knowing you can ride the distance but riding that distance alone trains the mind and Ironman is all mental (literally!).You must remain focused on your race plan, know what your race pace feels like & train in your nutrition strategy. These sessions all happen in a cycle and each cycle is sandwiched by a recovery week, which is almost as important as the training itself.

It is not just us taking part in Zurich this year - we have 6 others from the ATHelite team taking part & they are all training as hard as they can but all with different aims & objectives. We also have our comrades from Lanark Tri Club who are heading out on mass plus our entourage of friends & family. It's going to be a great trip!!

This weekend a crowd of us are heading down to Belvoir Castle near Leicester for our final event before Zurich. A Half Ironman (ish) in which the objective is to test our race day strategies. It shouldn't cause too many problems other than the fact I have strained a tendon in my arm swimming this morning & it now has 4 days to cure itself before Saturdays race!!

So 7 weeks till race day, but (without wanting to worry everyone!) with one recovery week & a couple of weeks tapering it is only really 4 hard weeks of training so the day is looming closer still. We are starting to think about what we need for race day and getting it ready now - nutrition, new bike tyres, racing shoes, sun cream, travel logistics etc. Lots to worry about nearer the race so best to deal with this things early.
One last focused push and we will be there. I can't wait - Bring it on!!

Strathclyde Park Sprint Triathlon Results

Tough conditions for Sundays race. The results are at the following link.........

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Iroman Lanzarote 2011

A great day for GBR Ironman females, As well as Catriona Morrison winning in Texas GBR Pro Rachel Joyce leads Ironman Lanzarote from start to finish & gets close to the course record.

Ironman Lanzarote Report

Huge well done also to Gerry Seenan who finished in 12.03 after a 3.38 marathon. Big well done also to Cammy Clark with a total finishing time of 12.37 & Mel Anderson who completed the race in 14.36. You are all IRONMEN!!

Ironman Texas 2011

In conditions very similar to Kona, Hawaii Catriona Morrison yesterday won Ironman Texas after a paced & patient race, breaking the 9 hour mark in 8 hrs 57. Awesome performance.

Ironman Texas Report