Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Chilly Duathlon 20 Nov 2011 - Race Report

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Having been ill for a good six weeks since returning from China, my training has been somewhat lacklustre until the last couple of weeks. As such, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to my annual pilgrimage to the November Chilly Duathlon on Sunday!

Having only just returned to ‘proper’ training about two weeks ago, my legs and body feel really tired, not ideal for racing, but I decided if nothing else then Sunday’s two-mile, ten-mile, two-mile blast would be a good benchmark of current fitness levels. Preparations were hindered somewhat by the realisation on Saturday evening that the tubular tyre on my rear disc wheel was punctured, necessitating a last-minute strip down and application of a new tyre (I only got two races out of the damaged tub – less than 100km! damn!).

Arriving at Castle Combe racing circuit on Sunday morning, it was gloomy with thick fog. Thankfully no rain and not too cold. I didn’t think it was too windy either. That was, until I did a warm up lap on the bike – yeah, sure enough the every-present chilly draft was in full effect!

And so just before 10am I lined up with the other 150 or so people in my wave and waited for the starter’s gun. I positioned myself at the front of the pack; more to make sure my TBAS logo’d trisuit would be clearly visible for any official photographs than through any sense of being a front-runner! We were off and the pace was immediately hot.

With the two Lees (Piercy and Rankin) and Alex Fisher (no relation – but teammate!) in attendance, it was never going to be anything else, but looking down at my watch to see us running 3:15min/km pace I knew I needed to cool down. On a very good day I might be able to hold that pace for three or four kilometres, but not in my current shape. Instead I just focused on trying to maintain a reasonable pace and relaxing into a decent form. I finished the first two-mile run in 12 minutes dead, not my fastest but not too bad.

Into, and out of, transition I made up some of the places lost on the run. It always surprises me just how bad some people are in transition! Out onto the motor racing circuit for five laps and it was quickly evident that my legs were in a sub-optimum condition. The lactic build up started straight away and I could feel I didn’t have my normal strength. That said, I didn’t get overtaken at all through the five laps and did lap a lot of slower competitors (it’s always fun by the last lap, weaving your way through slower cyclists).

The ten miles was completed in 23:51 ish, so under the ‘magic’ 24 minutes, and thus nothing too much to complain about. Into second transition and my dismount went smoothly. I didn’t feel great, but as I started to run my legs felt better than expected.

My pace just wasn’t there; it felt like I was sprinting, but a pace check revealed 4:15min/km – way slower than even my 10 kilometre pace. Oh well. On the plus side, I only got overtaken by one guy for the whole of the second run – quite a rarity for me! I would have liked my second run to be faster than 12:52, but I just didn’t have it in me on the day.

So a finish time (including transitions) of 49:54; under my target time of 50 minutes (just!) and a new Chilly PB by a whole one second! I was 8th senior male overall – so was happy to get a top-ten finish (and also not to be chicked!). Comparing this time to 12 months ago, I was actually 50 seconds faster.

So progress of a sorts. I’m certainly not going to beat myself up over it, taking six weeks out with a chest infection, it would have been highly unrealistic to have expected anything better. But now we know where I am and can start planning for the 2012 season. I’ve pretty much gotten my head round the goals for 2012 now and how I plan to get there. I will post an update on that soon!

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Matt Fisher runs - 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