triathlon_article_After_Trying_to_Fake_the_Swim

After Trying to "Fake" the Swim

Triathlon Event  Thanks for getting back to me!

I actually made up some ground on the bike and run, and finished 23rd out of 86 overall (5th out of 14 in my AG), not a bad showing for a first triathlon and a truly miserable swim.

Speaking of the bike, I decided to wait and see if I was going to do any more triathlons before looking into getting a bike. And wouldn’t you know it, I think I am hooked. I am looking everywhere for a decent used bike, but this is a tough time of year to find one.

An interesting thing I also learned is that expensive bikes don’t always end up with fast bikers. I passed a few very expensive carbon engineering marvels (that I was ogling in the transition area before the race) while on the bike. It was incredibly gratifying and certainly motivating to pedal past some guys on my vintage early 80’s road bike. The engine is certainly the most important factor. I also learned however that if I want to be competitive, I do need to step up my ride. My good old steel steed showed a few shortcomings when around some newer bikes. It leaves me wondering what I could do with a lighter aluminum frame, a few more gears, and some aero bars. I included the excerpt from my bike portion of my race report.

Thanks for your time, you guys are doing a great job pointing people in the right direction down a very fun, rewarding, and healthy road. In hindsight, while I certainly enjoyed the race, the journey was just as much, if not even (gasp!) more fun. Great stress relief, time outside, and maybe the best part, I dropped 30 pounds during my spring training program without even trying. I’m in better shape at 33 than I was as a high school athlete at 16. You can count another newbie as “hooked”!0

-Eric

Bike Comments:

Pretty good course, indicative of what a bike ride in this area is like- some uphills, some down hills, nothing really too hard to climb. I ran a better time in practice on this course than I did on race day. I chalk this up to being my first race, I had never had to ride around/with so many other people. I was constantly trying to be conscious of the “four bike rule” as I came upon other racers, and at times passed people just for the sake of passing someone, even though it had nothing to do with my ideal cadence or gearing. For about 2/3 of the race I was jockeying with a couple of guys on some pretty fancy bikes (I was rocking a hand-me-down early 80’s Motobecane road bike my father rode when he was my age), which did wonders to help heal my soggy and nearly drowned ego from the previous portion of the race. When we hit the big down hill, they tucked into their aero positions and kept peddling. My 12 speed was all out of gears and I spun out pretty early on the descent, so I just did my best to tuck in on my drops and watched them pull away and fade off into the distance. I didn’t see those guys again until the awards ceremony.

What would you do differently?:

Race my own race. Being with other racers obviously negatively impacted my own riding. My legs were still plenty fresh and I regularly bike far longer. I made gear and cadence choices based on what other people around me were doing, or as I mentioned in some cases just to pass someone so I wouldn’t have to feel like I was being held up by staying out of their “draft zone”.

Also, Gatorade was the wrong drink choice here. Took a few gulps along the ride but the stuff went down like maple syrup. Nothing like rinsing down a gooey energy gel with some warm syrupy Gatorade. What I would have given for a nice big cup full of that tasty pond water I indulged in earlier…

Eric from Connecticut

Triathlon Event  Hi Eric,
Thanks for filling us in on the rest. That’s another notch on our proverbial triathlon belt!

We’ll be excited to hear how your journey proceeds from here and, you’re right, sometimes the journey is just as fulfilling (if not more) than the race.

Be well,
~ Jack

TriathaNewbie.com Staff

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