Incoming: another triathlon

It’s less than a week until my next triathlon. Having already done a Sprint and Middle distance triathlon this year, next up is Standard distance (also known as Olympic). The race takes place in St Neots, a town about 30km from Cambridge, consisting of:

  • 1500m swim, 2 laps in the River Ouse
  • 40km bike, 2 laps of a course in the countryside to the west of the town
  • 10km run, 4 laps of Riverside Park

I’m a little apprehensive about the race as – as ever – my training hasn’t been ideal. Let’s look at each area:

Swim – since swimming 1800m for the Cotswold 113, I’ve swum a couple (and I mean only a couple) of times. I went to the lido the other week but almost immediately had stabbing pains in my ears and got really dizzy, and had to leave. However, the lido is near my work and I should make more of it. Every time I go to the indoor pool I get really angry with people swimming in the wrong lanes or STANDING in the lanes. Last week I threw a float at someone for swimming into me, so I’ll try to go to the lido between now and the race for a last-minute practice.

Bike – I have every Wednesday off work and I try to go for a bike ride in this time. Normally I do around 40km, but would like to up it a little. I cycled 100km on one of the hottest days of the year, and other than it being over 30 degrees and having to stop to buy a Calippo and put it down my vest, it was fine. And I cycled across Europe last year. I’m pretty sure I can get round the bike… it’s just whether I can do it on my Time Trial bike.

Run – I’m trying to run more and run better. This means running about 30km a week and trying to mix up short fast runs with long slow runs. I’ve even done some intervals! I enjoyed intervals but am yet to see any amazing improvements in my times. I did a 10k recently but had a stomach bug so will discount that (59 mins) and have done 2 parkruns recently, the most recent being 27:30. Running seems to be an entirely mental thing, as ever, as I just don’t believe I can do it. Every time I start a parkrun I think “this could be it!” and then I get halfway round and give up. Cambridge parkrun is quite tricky if you start at the middle of the pack as at least the first 1k is stuck behind people, so you have to be able to get faster as it clears – not get slower because you give up! I set myself the aim of doing a 25:00 5k more than a year ago and I’m still nowhere near, which is depressing.

Despite the obvious problems I am up against, I’m quite looking forward to the weekend and having a go at a new triathlon distance. Now I just need to work out the logistics…

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