Thursday, 27 July 2017

Toronto Triathlon Festival-3'rd OA

It's been a few days since I raced the Olympic triathlon at the Toronto Triathlon Festival (TTF).  This was only my second triathlon of 2017 due to the fact that I came down with infectious mononucleosis (aka mono) in late April, which has pretty much put a halt on any real training/racing.  I came into TTF hoping to complete the race, maybe squeak out a win, and get a feel for how my body was doing.  The race actually went pretty well, and although I didn't defend my overall title, I'm happy with a third place overall finish.

Still made it on the podium!

Quick side note here.  I asked a lot of other athletes for their advice on training/racing with mono, and got some good advice.  Here are four tips from my experience:

1: You can't train through it:  Cutting workouts short or partial training won't speed recovery...full rest is the only option

2: Play it really safe: If you try to return to training or racing too quickly, you could relapse and be back at square one (this can happen repeatedly if you aren't careful).

3: Even if you feel better, you aren't better: Mono is a looooooong recovery.

4: When training resumes: There are good days and bad days.  Don't push training on the good days and take the bad days off

The Race

So heading into TTF, I was training maybe half of what I normally do (after taking a couple months pretty well off), but I was generally feeling good.  I was slightly concerned about the run (mainly because I hadn't run 10km in training for months), but I figured I could get through the race and do reasonably well.

My race packing technique...throw everything on floor then put in bag

The water was warmer than usual, which was a nice change.  In regards to pace, I didn't swim all that fast, but I kept it steady, didn't overexert myself, and had a pretty smooth swim.  I exited the water with a few people in front of me that I could chase down on the bike.

I'm on the left somewhere

 The bike was where I wanted to put in most of my energy for the day.  Since I haven't been able to put in the training on the bike, I've been putting a lot of focus on improving my aerodynamics.  With all the aero changes I have made (including a few changes influenced by my trip to the STAC virtual wind tunnel), I figured I would be able to have a strong bike split.  I managed to hold a good pace through the whole bike leg, and got off hoping I had something left for the run.
This looks super aero all tucked in, but didn't test faster 

A higher head position is more comfortable and didn't show to be any less aero then a tucked head

Surprisingly, my legs felt pretty decent (relatively) heading out on the run.  I was able to hold a decent pace (maybe around 3:50 per km?) for most of the run, but things got really hard for the last 2km.
Starting out the run. I felt pretty good

 I don't know if I've ever had to push as hard as I did in those last 2km.  I've done Vo2 max, raced in dozens of triathlons, but that last was tough.  There was nothing left in the tank at the finish line.
I had to sit down after I crossed the finish line

I got a good sense of my fitness and health from the race, and it gave me some good direction for the rest of the year.  I'm possibly going to race the MSC Toronto Island sprint in a months time, and after toying with the idea for a bit, I'm definitely not going to be racing Barrelman (as an individual at least, but there may be plans for a relay team).  My health is returning though, so if things continue to go well, I'm hoping for a strong return to racing in 2018.

A big thanks to all who have supported me through this process.  A continued thanks to Skechers (those Gomeb Razors are fast!), eLoad, and Multisport Canada for your continued support.  Hopefully I can be back to full health and racing strong soon!

Pops and I grabbed a photo with Simon Whitfield after the race