Daily Archives: June 27, 2011

Rothsee Triathlon Sprint

Ok so a first rundown on how it went…

Race day – before the race

I could not really sleep, I slept maybe 3 hours or 4. I was fed up, finished off and all of it. Not much that can make me nervous, but I was – very.

Race – on site

On site I messed all up, I could not think straight before the race. I was afraid to make it all wrong… I now know why Coach Ralf smiled so much :). At least he and his family had fun.

  1. Pre-Race: I was nervous – the least said. Apart from that my neoprene suit didn’t fit me so it was time for my running shorts for the swim.
  2. Swim: I stood in the middle of the pack, actually without purpose, without thinking. SO I had the perfect washing machine with all those grabs all around. I tried to do it, but could not… concentrate. Since my ability to swim the distance well is just a few weeks old, I need to concentrate. Bottom line: it all fell apart for me.
    So I turned for backstroke, did a few breaths to calm and went on in freestyle. This is where the cold hit me on my forehead (it was really cold!). Cold hit me means: headaches, strong headaches due to the cold.
    All I remember from then on is struggle, no concentration, swimming zip-zap in every direction, cursing for disappointing Coach, unable to look and swim straight (Coach Ralf had it planned in training, but I ignored those units in my confidence that I can handle directions – instead I trained to actually swim the distance). Big mistakes –  I left the water totally exhausted, breathing heavily and a grand headache. Club mates cheered me up, so I could not stop – I pushed on… Swim time in zip-zap mode was 18:15 minutes.
  3. Transition  1: I tried to be fast, but also used this transition to calm myself, get over the swim, forget it and regain concentration. Also I reached my bike at once and calmed while putting my stuff on, since a referee stood like 5 m away from me and watched me.
  4. Bike: Once I was on the bike, life was grand. Still a headache, short on breath, but.. it did not matter since I love my bike (Auntie Kate). No matter how bad it is on my bike I feel save. Actually I am surprised by the bad bike time with 40:59, but I figure it is due to my transition taking too long (bike time apparently includes both transitions). On the track itself I was only once passed by the race leader on anything else I passed all others, but… I was so angry about race leader passing me, that I passed him too afterwards (no kidding :D).
  5. Transition 2: I tried to make it all right but was slow, climbing from bike I was finished off – totally down. I could barely walk, less run.
  6. Run: It was walking style. I knew I suck in running mostly due to my weight. About 36 minutes for the run part, makes about 7:15 min/km, which is about what I expected. The run HURT, I wanted to stop, but the club was cheering on the side. Not one of them, not two, but it felt like… hundreds (at least loud enough for hundreds!!). We had to run 2 turns – on second turn I slowly got into running again and all was ok and easy. From then on I could have run more. On the run itself I was passed by loads of people – at least 15, maybe even 20 – all the ones I passed on the bike part.
  7. I finished – and I felt ok after the run. No heavy muscle pain, not extremely exhausted, just ok and a little bit dizzy.

My Conclusion:

  • I believe I can do the olympic distance in regards to my base endurance already.
  • I must train swimming in open water.

Conclusion by Coach:

  • My goal for Frankfurt is difficult – very, but possible.
  • He made fun of me for ignoring his open water swim units the months before (damn I blushed and he was so right!).
  • He believes a neoprene suit would have helped me loads.
  • Run is due to my weight – must lose a lot. He believes with 20 kg less I could finally start to really run.

I agree to all points by Coach Ralf.

The day after race

Truth be told: Coach Ralf is also a fortune-teller. Seriously! Reading my training plan on the day after race it read… Open Water Swimming. So basically Coach Ralf must have known 1 month before race, that I need that unit after race – after I had my fair share of humble pie. I was actually baffled since I didn’t notice that training entry until that day…

What did I do? I cursed myself, asking myself how stupid I am and went to… the Rothsee in the evening, where I raced the day before, where I had that bad experience and I?

  1. I chose several buoys.
  2. I went in and swam in freestyle there.
  3. I trained swimming to buoys, since coach Ralf and his daughter had explained to me after race on how to swim to coordinate direction during swim.
  4. I tried that.
  5. First round around those buoys I swam not in straight lines but almost.
  6. I calmed down outside water.
  7. Second round it was almost  straight from buoy to buoy.
  8. I calmed once more.
  9. Third round I chose a longer route, which was approximately the race route length – probably less but not by too much.
  10. The full distance I swam in 12:46 minutes in an almost straight line from buoy to buoy.

I asked myself how stupid I am to not train that before. I simply had disobeyed Coach Ralf’s training plan the months before and paid for it on my test race.


Overall an experience I never want to miss. But (there is always a but) weight, weight, weight… and my ego, ego, ego…



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