It can be said that there is no such thing as a bad race only a race from which many lessons can be learned. This was true for quite a few of us at the Thames Turbo Sprint Race 1 (part of the London Triathlon League) on Easter Monday. It was a very strong field with names and faces that you see featured in triathlon magazines with bikes you normally only see on the glossy pages as well.
Lesson 1. We need more veterans involved in our London Triathlon League races. We had only one veteran racing. Thankfully he finished the event. Nice one Simon Austin! You must introduce yourself one day. Unfortunately none of us could put a face to the name. It would be great to see more vets racing for the club to ensure we always meet the London Triathlon League rules but it's also good for the club's depth to have a number different age groups racing.
Lesson 2. Make a list of all the kit you need to race and check it off as you pack it. Dan forgot his goggles. Thankfully Seb had a spare pair but it is always better to have your own because the correct fit is guaranteed. The early hours of the morning prior to an event is not the best time for packing. Claire Tomlinson is our resident expert on making lists for packing. May be we'll get her to run a tutorial!
Lesson 3. Practise your transitions! Dan nearly broke a brand new cycling shoe getting it all wrong attempting to mount his time trial bike coming out of T1. Incidentally he had not ridden his time trial bike for months (could be another lesson in itself).
Lesson 4. Know the race course: Both Seb and Dan took a wrong turn on the bike. Seb went on to run a very respectable 8km. Err, the run leg was only 5km! He completed an extra loop on the run. Dan set a new British record of 10mins for 5km before realising he had missed a loop of the run. Amanda went cross-country to the finish line before realising she had taken a wrong turn and had to double back to get back on course.
Ideally you would have a recce of the course prior to the event. I have no doubt that this would have helped on Monday but with a very early start time it just was not possible to ride or walk/run the course prior to the event start. Was it a problem with maps and race directions, signage or marshaling? I'll let those who competed debate that one.
Lesson 4. Be nice to the marshals: Amanda picked up a warning for littering when she tried to 'give a marshal her used gel packaging' on course. Karl and I picked up a six pack of For Goodness Shakes by smiling sweetly and telling a marshal what a great event they put on! Amanda did nothing wrong but it was perhaps taken the wrong way by the marshal. Some people were penalised for abusing marshals, no one from LFTC. I would like to think no one in the club would do this no matter how upset you might be with the marshaling.
Lesson 5. Don't break the road rules. They are there for your safety and the safety of others. None of our club members broke the rules but some competitors did and they were quite rightly disqualified.
Well done to everyone that did compete and got around the course correctly especially Kristina who completed her first triathlon!
This weekend sees a focus on technique in the swim session including open water skills. You will need fins and a pull buoy so please don't forget. The run session is relatively short but fast with 400m reps and some sprints to give you that ability to kick in the home straight and get that PB.
See you Saturday. Tim (LFTC Coach)
PS. Sorry you kept popping up as an example Dan!