Monday, June 18, 2018

Matt Fisher

Matt Fisher runs TriathletesDiary.com - so it's all his fault! He pretends to be a triathlete, but really he is a husband, father and company VP. But he has raced for the GB Age Group squad a few times and is a two-times qualifier for the IM70.3 world champs

The story begins in Kornberg, Denmark, last September.  A crisis of confidence, and a reluctance to spend a small fortune travelling to race I didn’t feel ready for, led me to defaulting on my place at the 2014 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Mont Tremblant, Canada.  Instead, I accepted a free place to race the 70.3 in Kronborg, home of Hamlet’s Castle, the following weekend.

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If you’ve been training for any period of time, it’s likely you’ve at least heard of – if not had done – a Lactate Threshold test.   In very simple terms (a more verbose and helpful description of Lactate Threshold can be found here:  http://trainright.com/the-performance-benefits-of-lactate-threshold-testing-and-training/) your Lactate Threshold (or LT) is the point at which there is a significant build-up of lactate in the muscles because the body can no longer flush it out.

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My first encounter with the London Triathlon (the one held in Docklands, not the Hyde Park one) was in my first season of triathlon back in 2010.  If memory serves me right, I did the sprint distance and I think I came about 33rd in my Age Group, which at the time I considered a good result.

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Despite its high profile and media coverage, the Blenheim Triathlon has never really appealed to me:  too short(!), too busy and too many first-timers.  I had the impression that it’s a great ‘first taste’ of triathlon, but not for serious racers.

This impression was borne out to a degree when I raced the bike leg of a sprint distance race in 2013 as part of a corporate relay.  The bike course is quite narrow and full of everything from mountain bikes with baskets on the front (literally!) to road bikes and then full-on TT race machines.  When you’re bombing along at 45kph passing people doing less than half that speed, it gets a little nervy and too close for comfort sometimes.

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Okay, so you know the story: the Escape from Alcatraz was one of the first triathlons I ever witnessed (without even knowing it at the time) and as soon as I knew what it was, it had to go on my bucket list of races to do before I die.

This year I entered the $25 lottery and, to my surprise, got a slot to take part in the 35th annual Escape from Alcatraz triathlon on June 7th.  Just the small matter of paying another $400 to confirm my slot, then ship myself and my bike halfway round the world for a race that’s barely longer than an Olympic distance triathlon.  In terms of pounds-per-mile, it’s an expensive one!

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