Sunday, August 29, 2010

The spirit of triathlon

Another three days gone!,
it is really amazing how time flies when you're having fun. And I have had lots lately, mostly from the triathlon world.
Thursday marked the end of the retreat in the last phase of my training, Friday would mark the start of the last charge. We had a Superset in the midday that knocked me out for good. I was in bed by half eight and Saturday I was a new man.
Another brick session on the Sat. Being the final weekend to go and do things I didn't have a lot of time for a powernap. We also got invited to a good friend and triathlete's wedding. He's a regular appearance in all sorts of distances and I also found he is an accomplished sportsman in many other disciplines. The sad part of this is that I had to stick to a diet coke regime and was unable to take Nat to the dance floor in order to save my legs for today's last TT, whic didn't bring me any brownie points.

This Sunday we weren't blessed by the weather and coach decided to cance the TT due to wetter than normal conditions. The alternative was not an easy one. We did bike/run repeats for over 2 hours!, my HR monitor gave me readings I didn't know I was able to sustain over such a period of time, and it hurts.
8 workouts more between now and my fly to Europe. None of them will be easy, but all of them count and should confirm things are good.
While doing the bike/run reps today my mind started drifting towards tactics for race day. I've already spoken about the swim and how we're planning to do it. Once I'm out I expect to be in a pretty high HR band and to fly through transition with a higher HR. After I've mounted the bike the innevitable will happen. I'll be among the 10 to 20 athletes in the race, and we'll be all in a big group trying to ride off the gross of the field.
The spirit of triathlon is of individual achievement and racing solo, even on the bike. Rules ban drafting and I've seen and been penalized for breaches to these rules.
In the real world my experience is that the bigger the race, the more chances are to be cought in a drafting situation. It is up to the individual to try and not to break the rules because there's never enough marshalls to police the entire lenght of a bike leg.
In my opinion one must never race below their potential to comply with a rule. However, many times I've seen that as soon as I ride next to someone, that someone starts accelerating not to let me pass or to hang on to me.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that drafting in standard distance and sprint triathlon is a reality, specially in popular races where you've got over 600 riders over 10km of road. One can always do so much, then is a matter of luck.

So, after thinking about it over the bike repeats I've made clear that there have at least 2 plans for race day (bike):

Plan A: be a good boy, obbey the rules, do not draft and tell people off when I see them drafting. Conserve energy as much as I can and go hard.

Plan B: be a bad boy, go hard and take advantage of any drafting situation that is beyond my control. Take care of the draftbusters and see what happens.

what shall I do?

1 comment:

  1. you'll figure it out, I thought the same thing during my first Tri that LTF Oly in July...was thinking there would be spots it would be inevitable some people couldnt not be behind someone.