We have an exciting couple of weekends ahead with two of the countries biggest triathlons taking place in the two of the most spectacular settings. The Blenheim Triathlon is this weekend followed by the Windsor Triathlon next weekend. I have yet to race Windsor but I can at least give a few tips about racing Blenheim.
As with any race be sure to make yourself familiar with the race course. Check out transition entry and exit points and remember where you have set up your own transition area. Of course remember how may laps you must complete in each discipline if it is a multi-lap course. Blenheim has a multi-lap format for both the bike and run.
The swim has a deep water start. Remember your deep water start practice over recent weeks? Get yourself horizontal in the water to create space and this will also allow you to make a fast start without excessive drag. If you find yourself feeling a little panicked, try breaststroke for a short period. It is far less taxing swimming breaststroke with your head up than it is swimming front crawl with your head up. Get your breathing under control again and give it another go. You know you can swim the distance and more because we have done it in training! The course is fairly straight forward but remember you exit at the side of the lake and not where you started from so remember to sight appropriately and look for the swim finish chute.
After exiting the swim you have a zigzag climb up the hill to the transition area. I suggest removing the top half of your wetsuit before starting the climb. I think having your upper body unrestricted while you run up the hill is helpful. Then remove your wetsuit completely when you get to transition (stating the obvious I know!).
It is up to you whether or not you put your bike shoes on in transition or have them clipped into your pedals ready to go. If you choose the later make sure you have practiced it! Same goes for the dismount. If you plan to leave your shoes on the pedals at the end of the bike make sure you are confident doing so. The bike course is great fun. There are some tight corners, a bridge to negotiate, some descents and some climbs. Nothing too difficult but be sure to get in the right gear for the climbs and make use of the descents if you are a confident rider.
The run is not flat but there is nothing to be worried about. There is great support around the run course and the scenery is truly spectacular. Let those legs go on the downhill sections and drive with the arms on the climbs!
Tim Don will be racing at Blenheim. If you want to see what he gets up to in 48hrs check out this short video documentary.
If you're not racing this weekend you can always sit back and watch the first of the European ITU World Championship Series events from Madrid. Alistair Brownlee won last year and Helen Jenkins placed third. The course suits the stronger cyclists so look out for the Brownlee brothers and Stuart Hayes to make a break and Helen Jenkins is also very strong on the bike too.
Can't wait to play support crew at Blenheim for a change. See you there on Saturday or at the Lido Sunday! Tim (LFTC Coach)