Dan Newns Cycling Blog

Dans Cycling blog

Sutton Park Sprint Triathlon

Sutton Park Sprint Triathlon

The day I’ve been waiting for has finally arrived! My first triathlon. Yes its only a sprint but it’s still my first so I was really looking forward to it. It was tough but I’m still alive to tell the tale.

So here’s how it went:

  1. Swim – 750m
  2. Bike -20km
  3. Run – 5km

Registration opened at 6:15am so a very early start for me. I packed the bags and loaded the car the night before, meaning in the morning I basically had to just get up, get changed and head to the event.

On arrival I headed straight for registration and picked up my number pack. Number 50. Not my lucky number but hey, you get what you’re given. ┬áIn the race pack were my numbers. I put my numbers on my bike and helmet and put the 90’s-esque temporary tattoo with my number on my arm. They’re much tougher to get off than they are to put on. Then to the transition area to setup ready for the race at 7:30am.

With my transition spot set up I put on my wetsuit with surprising ease donned my rather fetching pink swimming cap and headed towards the start point. After the race briefing we were given 5 minutes to get acclimatised to the water (Which had managed to find its way up and over the back of my wetsuit) and swim out to the start bouy, I’ve got to say I felt a bit odd in the wetsuit because I’d only had one practice session in it before today. It’s definitely something I’ll have to get used to.

The marshal blew the start horn and off we went. I didn’t count exactly how many were in my wave but I found it a little difficult at first due to the amount of people in the water. There was a lot zig zagging going on getting in the way so I held back and waited for a lot of the competitors to swim through.

I found the swim quite tough and I knew it was going to be my weakest leg and it really did show, I lost my bearings during the swim and ended up doing an extra 150m so in the end my total distance was near 900m and a total recorded time of 20min 18sec. This is definitely an area I can look to improve on and bring it down close to 16minutes.

My first transition wasn’t so smooth I almost fell taking off my wetsuit but once it was off I quickly dried off my feet and put on my cycling shoes and helmet, took a quick swig of my drink and a couple of shot blocks.

I wasn’t as worried about the bike leg as I thought this was my strongest leg, that was until the race announcer mentioned that the bike course was a technical one and not very fast. Instantly I thought brining the TT bike wasn’t a great idea and I should have brought my road bike. These worries were quickly alleviated as soon as I’d started and the bike performed amazingly taking a quick look at the big leg splits my time was 34min 25sec and a quick analysis looks like I was around 11th fastest on the bike, I would have loved to get closer to 30mins but after the swim it would be hard to aim for a 10Mile TT time at a tri event. The bike felt superb and was effortlessly overtaking people when I was in aero position, again I took the same approach and used my gearing as much as I could so on the inclines I was in a lower gear and higher cadence.

It looked like there was one incident on the bike leg as I saw a biker down being attended to by an ambulance man, hopefully he was ok.

my second transition was a lot better quickly off with the cycling shoes and helmet and on with my running shoes, one quick swig of my drink and I was away.

The run was a combination off some rough terrain and some road with plenty of undulation it was two laps, I felt like I was going very slow as I really couldn’t feel much in my legs. So I was cursing myself as I thought I had over done my cycle leg and was paying for it now, but when I looked at my watch for my current speed it was bang on what I was after.

I managed to grab a few places on the run section and came through as strong as I could and managed a sprint right at the end, overall I was really pleased with how it all went it was my first go at something like this and it certainly wont be the last.

My times for each section were as follows

Swim : 20:18
Transition 1: 5:19
Bike: 34:25
Transition 2:1:58
Run: 24:55

Improvements

As you can see my first transition was really slow and something that I would need to look at practicing and improving for sure. The only other area I could really do with looking at is my swim. I need to make sure I don’t lose track of my bearings as often as I did.