Leading up to this race, training had been going great. Specifically, my power on the bike has improved greatly, my ability to hold technique with a quicker cadence in the swim, and my run has been coming along in training, slowly but surely. I was happy with the progress and excited to see how the race would reflect it!
Swim: probably my best swim ever in a triathlon... Came out of the water second overall, ahead of all the men, and only behind Jessica Deglau (who is a past Olympic swimmer:)) I was at about 10:43 when I exited the water, which was a better time than most of my other races. After the start of the swim, which went really well, I found myself on the feet of the first two guys, one of who I knew was Jake Van Allen. I had a better line than Jessica, but I knew she would be coming up to my right. As soon as she did, I was ready, and shifted onto her feet. I stayed there until we were getting close to the far turn buoy, and then I lost her feet. I made an easy switch right back to the other group, but soon moved up and passed them. I felt great in the swim, specifically in technique and smooth power. I was really happy with how it had gone when I jumped up out of the water to head to transition.
T1: had a pretty good transition... Slightly on the cautious side I would say, with a slight lack of urgency, but still made up lots of time on the rest of the field I think, and left on the bike right with Jessica.
Bike: rode strong until the hills started, and then after starting the hills I decided to hold it back slightly, going strong and holding a good cadence, but keeping my breathing under control. Jessica passed me back on the hills, but I kept her in my sight and didn't worry about it too much, as I was prepared to power it on the flats and downs to make it up. I knew she is a really good runner though, so I knew I had to pass her back and get a gap to give myself the best opportunity. As soon as I knew the big uphills were over, and we were on a slight decline with a tailwind (thanks for the tip Luke!) I took off and passed her, going hard on the pedals the rest of the way, but maintaining (guessing) around BP+5, so still in control. I ended the bike with the fastest female bike split of the day by almost a minute, so that was nice to do:).
T2: good quick transition, trying to get my cadence up immediately as I ran in with my bike. Left T2 with almost a minute of a lead on Jessica (in second) although I didn’t know what the gap was.
Run: this run is quite hard... Two REALLY steep hills practically right away, and I didn't feel very good up them, although I kept a strong cadence that got me up. There was some flat and gradual uphill to the turnaround. Jessica passed me just after the hills. I was a bit surprised to see her, cause I felt like I was running well, but she had a good stride and great turnover going. I tried to go with her, but just couldn't. Shortly after the turnaround, my calves started to relax, and I picked it up a notch. The last 2.5km felt GREAT. I felt like I was driving, really pushing hard, and moving well. Probably the best I've ever felt running in a race, as I finally felt the drive feeling coming off the back of each stride. Finished in second place. I was surprised how slow both my bike and run times were, but everybody’s times were really slow for time, so I don’t think they reflect how the race went as much as some do. Congrats to Jessica on an amazing run to finish off a great battle of a race. :) Also, LOVED racing on my new ON Cloud Racers!! They felt absolutely awesome, and felt like they gave me a definite spring propelling me forward.
Finish: 2nd place overall for females / 10th overall for men and women
Overall: a great experience and I'm looking forward to taking the things I learned into the next 4 weeks of training before my next race!:)
Things to improve:
1. Continued work on my cadence in the swim. It was WAY better, and more consistent, but since the technique held, my cadence can again be sped up to improve my overall speed.
2. Rolling. Working on my calves specifically with a roller, as well as by stretching, will play a huge part in my success.
3. Keeping my stride a bit more up hills. I know everyone shortens up their stride on hills, but I felt like mine got tiny. There is definitely grounds for improvement here.
17 year-old Junior Elite Triathlete
Long Term Goals