On Sunday I took part in my second Sprint Triathlon in Henley-on-Thames and absolutely loved it!
We drove up on Sunday morning, of course stopping off at McDonald’s for some breakfast (not recommended pre-race fuel) and plodded along the motorway for two hours until we reached Henley. The plan to originally stay up in Henley, but as always work commitments got in the way so it was an early alarm Sunday instead and to be honest I preferred sleeping in my own bed!
The Triathlon car park was easy to find and wasn’t too far from the sports center and thanks to the wave starts was rather quiet meaning it was easy to collect my race pack and get set up. Beats the usual long ques for registration & more importantly the loos!
I set of at 10:43 for my swim completing all 16 lengths in 13 minutes – 4 minutes longer than my average! I was expecting the pool to be rather busy, but not as crazy as it was which ultimately slowed me down. I repeatedly had people swimming over me (and did my fair share of kicking people in the ribs) so I spent more of my time being conscious of my surroundings and other swimmers than my goal.
I was rather disheartened when I exited the water but knew I could make time up on the cycle so just had to power through.
My transition was quick (under 30 seconds) so before I knew it I was heading out on the road. The cycle was tough but somehow I managed to smash through both laps in 41 minutes! The course was very lonely and had some horrendous hills. It was all worth it when the downhill was twice as long – going into areo felt awesome! But I did struggle ALOT. I was over the moon with my time as it meant I didn’t have to worry too much about my run as I was on PB track no matter what.
The run went as well as expected.
Once I was of the bike I felt like jelly and couldn’t even feel my legs. I grabbed some High 5 Hydration drink on my first lap and gobbled down a Glucotab for some energy. My heart rate was already in the 190’s so I took on the run walk method which got me round in 38 minutes.
Running is my biggest weakness which is Ironic considering the nature of this blog and my challenge to run all marathon majors before I am 30, so it was no surprise I was 10 minutes behind average.
I was overwhelmed when I crossed the finish line to have smashed by PB by 1 minute 39 seconds. Deep down I know I could done better but I know there is always next time. I placed 15th overall coming in 4th in my age category which again was improvement from my last Sprint Triathlon in September last year.
My plan now is to keep training for my larger events and stick to Sprint distances for this year. I have two more Sprint Triathlon’s this year and am looking to book some Olympic events in 2019. The road to Ironman is in full swing!