On Sunday, I capped off my season with a win at the MSC Lakeside Olympic Triathlon. The race came only one week after Muskoka 70.3, a particularly brutal, leg-trashing course. Earlier this season, I learned a hard lesson after my first long-course race at the MSC Welland Half Iron Triathlon. With a newfound respect for the demands of long-course racing, I did everything in my power to expedite the recovery process leading up to Lakeside. This is what I did:
- Only trained when it felt good. Made no attempt to build or maintain fitness.
- Made sleep my #1 priority every day. Napped as much as possible.
- Focused on good nutrition, especially post-race.
- Got massages at Muskoka 70.3 and from my personal in-house masseur (aka Dad).
- Minimized stress as much as possible.
- Stayed loose and relaxed with daily, light yoga sessions.
- More naps
My race plan for Lakeside also took into account the fact that I would be under-recovered. Most triathletes would agree that running is the slowest of the three disciplines to bounce back after a big race. I figured that my swimming would be near 100%, my cycling would be a question mark, and I could expect lead legs on the run. With that in mind, I decided to attack the swim and bike and hopefully build enough of a buffer to avoid an all-out run.
Swim (1500 m, 19:13, 1st)
I had the good fortune of meeting a mysterious speedy swimmer on the start line. After the start, I found his feet and he briefly pulled me along until my horrendous swim drafting skills became apparent. I guess this is why I’m told it’s risky to do all your swim training alone…I swam by myself, moving well as I picked my way through later waves on the two lap course. I exited the water 40 s down on Speedy Swimmer and 20 s up on my competition.
Bike (40 km, 58:18, 2nd)
I set off in hot pursuit of the mystery man up ahead. Wow, I thought, he had a ridiculously fast transition. Little did I know that Speedy Swimmer was part of a relay! I was a little flustered, since I usually know exactly who I’m up against. In my distracted state, I misinterpreted the sweeping arm gesture of a police officer directing traffic at an intersection and took a wrong turn. This was completely my fault as MultiSport Canada courses are always clearly signed and I raced at Lakeside last year! Sadly, it wasn’t my only tri-noob mistake of the season.
I quickly realized my mistake and rode back onto the course. Bike stud and fellow Recharge With Milk Development Team member Andrew Bolton caught me around the 7 km mark. For the first time, I managed to (legally) tuck in behind him, but I could tell that he wasn’t on form. He had been sick all week but gamely showed up to race anyways. I launched an attack with 10 km to go, hoping to nab the points bonus for the fastest bike split. But it was to no avail as Andrew kept his losses to a minimum.
Nutrition: 1 bottle homebrew sports drink (~150 Cal)
Run (10 km, 35:37, 1st)
With its rolling gravel roads and end-of-season timing, Lakeside has the slowest run course on the MultiSport Canada circuit, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Thankfully, the damage from Muskoka 70.3 wasn’t as bad as I had feared. As I tempo’d towards the finish, I reflected on the season and enjoyed the closing kilometers.
With my win and swim/run points bonus, there may be a shake-up in the Pro/Elite Series standings. We’ll have to wait for the official results!
A highlight of the day was someone showing me the fluorescent orange stocking arm warmers they picked up after reading 3 Tricks for Chilly Triathlons. I’m always mildly shocked to discover that this blog has a following beyond my family! Thanks guys!
Special thanks to:
MultiSport Canada and race volunteers for another awesome season. MultiSport Canada treats athletes of all levels like VIPs, but they have also done a lot to foster elite-level triathlon in Ontario. It’s thrilling to see increasingly competitive fields at MultiSport Canada events and it bodes well for the future of the sport.Richard Pady of Healthy Results Training has been an invaluable resource. If it weren’t for his insightful prodding, I never would have found success at the Half Iron distance this season.
Nineteen Wetsuits for helping me achieve my best swim results ever. My Nineteen Frequency is so comfortable that it’s just a matter of time before I forget to take it off in transition!
Recharge With Milk Development Team members for always pushing the pace. This team is chock-full of up-and-comers and promises to be ever stronger in 2014.
I can’t wait to get my elite card next season and seek out new challenges while keeping one foot planted in the Ontario triathlon scene! 2014 can’t come soon enough!