Lessons learned

Last Sunday during my 4th triathlon season I completed my 12th triathlon.

This one was an International Distance, close to an Olympic Distance : I did a 1,100 yard swim, a 28 mile bike ride and a 6.2 mile run.

I did this one to prepare for 70.3 Santa Cruz in a month.

My goal for this one was to get some more experience, make mistakes and learned from them before the big race and the end of the 2016 season (1 marathon, 2 international triathlons and 2 70.3 Ironman triathlons before launching training for 2017 Paris marathon).

I made lots mistakes so I guess I learned a lot.

The triathlon was in San Diego county in Chula Vista. We swam in the quiet and warm San Diego bay (very shallow but salt water).

The triathlon was fun and well organized (a triathlon with a beer garden by the finish line is always good ! And a mariachi band at the bike turn around).

My first mistake was to do a pizza orgy the day before. My stomach was not happy for the run.

Or it was the nutrition bars I ate on the bike but I guess pizza orgy is probably the best explanation.

Running with an upset stomach is not fun but I survived (but walked a little).

I also survived the hot weather. Nothing I can do next time except not choosing hot races (like 70.3 Vineman). Temperature was not crazy hot (79F) but hot enough for you to not feel really comfortable.

My last mistake on the run was to sprint the first half mile of the race. I started at a 7:40 pace, which is way way too fast for me. As a consequence I burned out and was slower and slower mile after mile (and it was warmer and warmer).

Between my initial sprint, the warm temperature and an upset stomach, the run was the least fun part of the triathlon.

Swimming was fun. A quick 1,100 swim. Water temperature was 76F so wetsuit legal after all. Being able to swim in a wetsuit is always good as I love the buoyancy effect and it helped prepare for the next race (it will be probably 20 degrees colder in Santa Cruz). I had fun swimming, pushed a little and finished the swim in the low range of my target time (20–22min).

I did another mistake in the 1st transition / at the start of the bike portion.

When gearing up for the bike I somehow put my sunglasses on my bike on forgot them in my bottle holder behind the saddle.

Luminosity was not too crazy so when leaving the transition area I didn’t notice that something was missing.

It was after being on my bike that I noticed that my sunglasses were not on my nose. I thought maybe I let my sunglasses in the transition area.

I actually lost my sunglasses when mounting my bike. I was lucky enough that another athlete passed me after a few minutes and let me know that my sunglasses fell on the mounting line. I turned around and found them. I biked an extra 2 miles and lost probably 5 minutes. Which didn’t change anything because the guy in my age group in front of me finished with a lead of 8 minutes.

For next time I should stick to lighter/healthier food the day before, put my sunglasses on my nose once I have my helmet on, start slow and finish strong on the run.

I also validated the benefit of tapering.

As this one was not my A race I decided to skip tapering for the first time. Indeed the week before I worked out a lot with 9 workouts session. As a consequence legs were not very strong.

Lesson learned.