Friday, December 14, 2018
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When the organiser of the Royal Wootton Bassett triathlon, a new local sprint triathlon for 2014, first approached me to race I was a little wary.  Coming only a week after the Ironman 70.3 in Mallorca, I wasn’t sure I’d be in a fit state to race to my best. But as ever, I found it hard to say no, especially since I feel obligated to do my best to support races in my local area.

And so on Sunday morning I made the 20-minute journey to the race hub at a leisure centre in Royal Wootton Basset (near Swindon in Wiltshire).  I’d been allocated the very last number in the entire event – 160.  I wasn’t sure if I was meant to read anything into that, but I knew I’d be off in the final wave.

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As always, it's a struggle to know where to start this race report. Too far back and I risk boring you to tears with unnecessary back story. Too close and the race won't be seen in context.

So let's just try and be quick with the lead up. Having raced Mallorca last year as my first official 70.3 event, I was keen to have another go in 2014 - both to see whether I could improve on my 2013 debut as well as to give me a benchmark for progress over winter.

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Right, let’s get the excuses out of the way right now.  From the moment I entered, I was clear that the Newbury Duathlon was nothing more than a TRAINING race, a chance for me to stretch my legs and see how I fared on the less-preferred short-course Duathlon format.  So, the race was done on the back of a fairly normal training week and a 10-mile TT in windy conditions the day before.

Good, that’s that sorted.  Today was the third time I’ve raced the Newbury Duathlon (’11, ’12, missed ’13).  With both hilly runs (2x 5km on the same loop) and a hilly bike (25km, 222m climbing) on less-than-ideal roads, it’s not my favourite course.  But it is a good chance to blow the cobwebs away and with two previous attempts to compare against, a good benchmark.

 

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After my stress-free visit to Precision Hydration, where they kindly made me sweat without me having to barely lift a finger, he next stop was not going to be quite so easy.

I headed off to meet the sports science boffins from Surrey Human Performance Institute (SHPI) to have my blood lactate levels assessed. Or more accurately, to have the increases in blood lactate measured at different intensity levels.

 

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Posted by on in Race Reports

Having set both run and swim PBs in the last month or so, it was inevitably time to get back on the bike and see how my winter base training had fared.  And so last weekend I bit the bullet and signed-on for a local TT run by my now first-claim cycling club, Newbury Road Club.

The course in question was an unfamiliar 10-mile TT circuit, code name HCC204 (is it me or does anything else think it’s kind of funny how the old ‘secret’ names for TT courses persist?).  As 10-mile routes go, it’s a fairly challenging one, with 750ft (220m) of climbing, together with a few sharp turns and road junctions to navigate.  That said, of course it’s the same for everyone.

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