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!
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!
The triathlon festival held out at Pegasus Bay on 19th December was a fantastic day. With around 400 competitors and a range of races that catered for all levels including children, beginner, intermediate and elite triathletes this certainly was one event I couldn't miss out on...
Only recently returned from 2 weeks in Denmark at temperatures well below 0 degrees I had 4 days to acclimatise and also recover from jet lag. I did manage to get a few swim sessions and running sessions done while away but my fitness levels were not great. Still this would be my first race in New Zealand and not far from my home town, so I couldn't say no. The day before the race temperatures soared to the mid 30s and I had visions of the Barcelona Half Challenge where we had high temperatures and I got heat stroke (managed to finish that race though). Luckily on the day the temperature was cool and perfect for racing.
I cycled out to the race and set up in transition, talking to some of my fellow competitors. Everyone seemed to be donning their wetsuits even though the water was warm enough to swim without one. So it looked like I was going to have to wait a while longer to do my first non-wetsuit triathlon. Having entered in the Pegasus Classic I was in the first wave so we were the first event of the day. Beach start and a short run into the water and then the chaos of an open water swim began. Settling into a good rhythm I managed to get a draft off a few people but my swimming was sluggish and well below my best. Still I was racing and loving it. Out of the water and a short run to the transition area. This is where the fun began; I didn’t quite get my foot out of my wetsuit and did a sort of wetsuit dance nearly tripping over myself as I tried to kick my foot out again. At least I didn’t hit my head on the bar holding my bike up like I did in the Dublin City Triathlon one year! Helmet on, out of transition and then there is the jump on the bike and then fumbling my feet into the bike shoes as I cycle away. The bike course was a fast 3 laps and was very enjoyable, a good surface and some great marshalling keep it safe on the unclosed roads. Keeping my cadence up and my legs pumping I flew around the course. Some of the other races had started so there were a few people starting on their first lap as I was about to finish my last. So it was feet out of the shoes and then off the bike, and into transition. No drama this time so a quick transition and out on to the run course. Unfortunately I had strained my hamstring training in Denmark so I knew my run was going to be slow (well that’s my excuse anyway!). I focused on keeping a good tempo and maintained that throughout the two laps around the lake. Felt good but knew I couldn't push myself like I normally would, it was very difficult to resist chasing anyone that passed me. Finished the race (without a sprint finish) and was happy with my overall performance.
A job well done by the race organisers, they really put on a great event. There were plenty of supporters and sponsors there selling products and you could even buy a fresh coffee! Congratulations to all the athletes that finished the Try a Triathlon race for beginners, perhaps I can tempt you to join our boot camp and learn some valuable techniques and build your fitness?? Anyone that braved the rain and waited for the Elite race was in for a treat as Tony Dodds and Andrea Hewitt showed everyone how to race. A definite race for next season’s calendar.
Starting out in any multi-sport event is definitely a challenge and can be quite daunting. I remember my first triathlon in Clontarf, Dublin. Believe it or not I was wearing speedos and a t-shirt in the race! I had no idea what to wear and what to do, but I loved it and was instantly hooked.
My transitions must have been the slowest in the world, it was a pool swim and trying to put on a t-shirt after the swim was an absolute nightmare. It fell like someone was holding onto my shirt and rolling it up! I was so excited about doing the race but had no idea about training. I was cycling to work . running and swimming so progression to a triathlon didn't seem that unrealistic. I had an old 10 speed road bike with a steel frame and the gear change levers were on the frame of the bike! Still I guess we all started somewhere.
That's where Tri-Planet evolved from, Richard Cattle and I came up with the concept, as we realised there was very limited support for beginner athletes. So we put together some beginner Boot camps to cater for triathlon, duathlon and multi-sport.
And its been so rewarding seeing people achieve their goals or complete something they never believed could be possible. The best part is that we are there with the athletes on the day of the race to not only help them to prepare for the race but to also be their number 1 supporter. Its so amazing seeing people from all walks of life finishing a triathlon, and then there is the post race party which is always great fun and a chance to swap some race stories.
Being able to train, advise and support the athletes as well as share knowledge that has been gained over a number of years of training and racing in triathlon, is an important part of coaching. We also provide some weekly coached Tri-Planet club training sessions, due to the demand of our Bootcampers who wanted to continue training and take their racing further. It really is a great community of fun, dedicated people who give up a lot of time to take part in one of the most rewarding sports you can do.
So don't be afraid to take that step and do something that your friends might tell you is crazy, its very achievable doing the 'swimming, running thing', and it really gets you fit and improves your general well being. I've always been involved in multiple sports at one time like swimming, cricket, basketball, mountain biking so triathlon has really helped me to focus on one sport (but still train for multiple disciplines!), plus I can race at my level and just compete against myself if I want!
Tri-Planet is excited to be starting up triathlon and duathlon coaching in Christchurch, New Zealand.
After a number of successful 8 week camps in Ireland where athletes competed and finished their first ever triathlon, Tri-Planet is looking forward to working with new athletes and helping them to achieve their goals. I'm currently putting together some training camps and sourcing some venues. Triathlon New Zealand is onboard with what Tri-Planet is doing for beginner triathletes and duathletes. Upcoming camps and training to be annouced shortly.