Had an awesome day and managed to get to both the start and the finish line which was brilliant :) The swim went really and was probably my favourite part of the day. It was a bit daunting to see how choppy the lake was, however I'd been out the day before in similar conditions so knew it was fine. I had a great warm uproutine thanks to your sessions which really helped relax and focus me. I started quite a way out to the right (left hand turns through the course) so had a lot of space to myself. It meant no one to draft off but in the conditions that would have been hard anyway. At the first turn the lake suddenly got very shallow, it was so odd being able to see this gorgeous sandy bottom and I had to constantly fight the urge to put my feet down and see if I could touch the bottom!
This Years Spring Challenge was epic for me. It took a long time to get a team sorted for the event. For some reason there's not that many woman I know who are chomping at the bit to do a 6hr adventure race! There were a few women who said they'd love to but couldn't afford the entry, a few who said it sounded great but they'd never be able to do it. So after registering 1 team and pulling out, I slotted into a friends team who had an injury. After weeks of training together and only 3 weeks from the race 1 of the team members pulled out due to pregnancy. We were really lucky to get a another woman to join the team at such late notice, especially one who was such an athlete.
What fun there is to be had in racing, the battles you have during the race, the body pumping with adrenaline, the muscles screaming at you to stop and the exhilaration when you cross that finish line! The Enduro is a 2.6km run, 9km bike, 1.3km run, 9km bike, 1.3km run and is the 3rd and final race of the JD Duathlon Series.
As I’ve been in Denmark for 2 months I had missed the first two duathlons, but was determined to make this one. Spent the morning before the race putting on my Tri-Planet wheel covers, they are really cheap and do the same job as a disc wheel (well almost!), go to www.wheelbuilder.com to get some!
Winter is without a doubt the most difficult time of year to train. Not only do you have limited hours of light and sometimes freezing cold weather but motivation is also hard to maintain! It’s easy to say “It’s raining I’m not training”, or “It’s too cold”.
Why not start here! For everyone it’s different, but I find goal setting the easiest way to maintain motivation, races certainly help with this. If there are no races then plan your training with a few swim, bike or run time-trials each month.
Christchurch – Ruapuna Raceway - Novice: 1.3 km run, 13.2 km bike, 1.3 km run
Who would have thought 18 months ago I would be heading into my 13th competitive sports event. Before this the last sports event I was involved in was “dragon boating” and this was over 11 years prior, which to be honest didn’t require a very high level of fitness to paddle a boat for just over 60 seconds.
The Rise Up Team Challenge was created after the earthquakes that recently struck Christchurch, this was a fun event catering for everyone designed to start people back on the road to a healthy active lifestyle. Any profits from the event went towards re-building triathlon services in Christchurch. With this in mind I couldn't help but enter a Tri-Planet team to show our support to the people of Christchurch. Very little arm twisting was required and in no time at all I had Caren and Natasha signed up for Team Tri-Planet!
Firstly thanks to all those who gave me words of encouragement, support and congratulations. Especially Craig for his last minute “tweaking” maybe my swimming isn't a lost cause after all. This race was a target for me and it was an absolute buzz, blast and adrenaline rush to complete it successfully.
Conditions were calm….unbelievable for Wellington. The dawn atmosphere at transition was tense and electric. Not sure if that was the anticipation of racing or a result of the possibly pending tsunami on its way.
We had a great eight weeks of coaching and training for all the participants in the Summer Triathlon and Duathlon Boot Camp. Learning techniques for swimming, cycling and running as well as things such as how to sight during the swim, mount and dismount the bike and pacing for the run were to culminate with the North Canterbury Triathlon. During the last few sessions before the race we had covered everything they needed to know about setting up and performing transitions, racing and open water swimming.
Unfortunately the cancellation of the North Canterbury Triathlon meant that the team were not going to be able to race. However Tri-Planet to the rescue with a simulation race out at Pegasus. And they thought they would get off lightly without doing a race. no way! Carefully plotting the course the wheels went into motion.
The outcome was a triathlon with a 200m swim, 20 km bike and 2.5 km run, a duathlon with a 2.5 km run, 20 km bike and 2.5 km run (approximately!).
Woke up on Sunday morning to a very cold and strong southerly wind and headed out to the course. The Canterbury Triathlon Club had also been informed about the simulation race as it was a good opportunity for them to practice ahead of the national champs in Wellington. When I arrived everyone was wrapped up warm and uncertain about the weather conditions. After the race briefing we set up transition and discussed who would be racing what, some were doing a triathlon, others a duathlon and others an Aquathlon (swim and then run). There were a few that decided not to race in the conditions, but not the boot camp disciples they were keen as mustard to race!
So under starters orders, on your marks....get set.... GO! And they were off, lots of splashing and running as you would expect at the start of a race. The first person out of the water was Debbie, 'Geez its warm in there' as she sped through to transition. The lake is heated so I'll be testing that out in winter.....not! Wetsuit off, shorts on, shirt on, jacket on, socks and shoes on, helmet and cool sunglasses. So under starters orders, on your marks....get set.... GO! And they were off, lots of splashing and running as you would expect at the start of a race. The first person out of the water was Debbie, 'Geez its warm in there' as she sped through to transition. The lake is heated so I'll be testing that out in winter.....not! Wetsuit off, shorts on, shirt on, jacket on, socks and shoes on, helmet and cool sunglasses.
Then out of transition and off on the bike into a nice head wind! At least there was a back wind at one point to push them along. Daniel was first in on the bike after a blistering effort, then hammered out on the run determined to race to the end. Jacqueline was next in but too far behind Daniel who was way out in front. Debbie arrived next very casually with a big smile on her face and then off on the run with high knees. Oops I think she took the coaching a little too much to the letter!
A great race by all with a strong finish by Daniel and a determined run from the rest. Thanks to the athletes for making this happen and also to the supporters for braving the weather to shout support and encouragement.
Thanks also to Lynette from the Canterbury Triathlon Club for the coffee and tea and some mighty fine cakes and savouries, I think you have set a precedent for the future! The photos are courteous of Paula who did a mighty fine job!
Congratulations to everyone for graduating from Boot Camp, I know that some of you are racing the Contact Tri Womens race on the 03rd April. All the best and remember its not how you start but how you finish!
6th February 2011 at QE2 Christchurch
It was the third event of the Physiomed series, the biggest of the three, with a 250m swim 20km bike and a 5km run. Not a huge event with too many people but for me it was going to be a huge challenge. I had been training over the Christmas break while everyone was relaxing and getting in the Christmas spirit, I would be hitting the pavements or splashing in the sea to keep up my level of fitness while away on holiday and not too many wines or Christmas treats.
The morning arrived gear was packed and nerves had hit as well as heat wave of 29 degrees at 7am. Arrived at QE2 with the men getting ready for their race which started at 8am, already complaining about the heat, so off to transition to set up the bike etc, I was already sweating and hadn’t even raced yet! Lots of nervous women hanging around fighting to find shade until 9.30am start time, temperature rising now 32 degrees!
Lined up at the pool thinking we are the lucky ones going to have a dip to cool off unlike our duathlon counterparts who had to 1.5 km run in the heat. The hooter went and we were off swimming 5 lengths of the pool, trying to remember all the techniques from bootcamp Craig had taught me in the pool, (slow arms, strongkick, relax the shoulders, bilateral breathing), well it all went out the window but I managed to make it to the end.
I checked my watch and to my surprise only 5.15 minutes had past and I was out of the pool and running to transition, WHAM straight into the heat of 37 degrees! Into transition; found my bike, rushed to put shoes on, quick sip of water and don’t forget the helmet. Approx 2 minutes later (very slow in Craig’s standards) I was out of transition and on the 20 km bike ride and flying down marine parade, yippee tail wind not looking forward to head wind back and the HEAT did I mention the HEAT? I must be mad. Before I knew I was at the turn around point and slogging it back in the head wind, mouth dry passing people giving as much encouragement as you can thinking when will this end.
Approximately 45 minutes later I was back into transition thinking another one down I am alive and still standing but how am I going to run 5 km in this heat, not much left in the reserve. But as you do off come the bike shoes and on went the runners and don’t forget to take your helmet off. People cheering you on so I knew I could finish it. Out of transition legs like lead and running like I was going nowhere, I set off to finish the race. It was getter hotter and hotter people were walking and stopping, the water at each drink station would just melt off you like an egg frying in a pan. One lap down saw my hubby and said got nothing left,
he said you can do it, you are doing awesome, you haven’t done all this training to quit now! So I dug it in and determined to finish I made it to the finish line with heaps of cheers and a shower of water waiting to cool avery dehydrated body.
With a big smile on my face I finished in a time of 1.24.02 I completed the series and in extreme conditions. All I can say it is very character building. If asked would I do it again YOU BET I have the tri bug.
Natasha Marshall (Boot Camp Graduate)
The transition from swimming in a pool to swimming in open water can be a daunting one for some people. Once you get into open water, you no longer have lane ropes or a nice line down the centre of the lane to keep you swimming straight. Those of you that can only breathe to one side probably find that you tend not to go straight but instead veer to one side. There are many factors to consider; below I have listed 10 tips to help you with this transition.
- Always swim with a buddy, if you get into trouble its good to have someone there to help, plus you can work on techniques like drafting and open water starts.
- Be aware of the temperature of the water, do not spend too much time in very cold water, you can get disorientated and your swim stroke will no longer be effective.
- Check for visible signs of water currents and rips before entering, also be wary of dangerous conditions such as crashing or high waves.
- Warm up on shore by swinging your arms around. When you enter the water its a good idea to let the wetsuit fill up with water before you swim. The wetsuit is designed to work with water between you and the wetsuit to provide warmth and also to suck the wetsuit to your body ensuring a tight fit.
- Use non-petroleum based products such as body glide for lubrication (these do not damage the wetsuit), apply to the back of your neck to prevent chaffing and also to the top of your feet and ankles to aid in wetsuit removal.
- Breathing in open water is different to that in the pool, in the pool you should look to the side, but in open water you need to be looking to the sky.
- Bilateral breathing has a number of benefits so start doing it! Not only will it help you to swim straighter but when you have waves crashing in on your left or right side you have the ability to breathe away from the waves. Breathing into the waves is not a good idea, you either get a mouthful of water or are unable to take a breath!
- Sighting is important, practice, practice, practice! Sight regularly in a race so you can adjust your direction of swimming. I’ve seen a lot of people waste energy zig zagging on a course. Look for landmarks behind the buoy, this makes sighting much easier.
- Drafting behind someone is the most efficient however be weary that not all swimmers swim straight. So although you are getting a great draft they could be going off course. Always sight while drafting, if they are off course then drop them and try another swimmer.
- Race preparation is vital, make sure you know the entry and exit points and the course, look for landmarks that you can use for sighting. For the start of the race make sure you position yourself in the right place, do not start at the front if you are not a strong swimmer. If you are unsure start at the outside.
Use your time wisely in the open water, practice the techniques you will need for racing and get use to swimming in a wetsuit. The more people you can get together the better, swim as a tight group so you get use to having other swimmers around you. Most importantly smile, there is nothing better than swimming in the sea!
I'll be doing an open water session at Pegasus Sunday 27th March, contact if you are interested in joining.