Triathlon 2009 – Pre-race nerves

Well, here I am with the Southwater sprint triathlon on Sunday but without feeling very prepared.

After doing a marathon in May I intentionally decided not to be very ambitious in Triathlons this year and only have a sprint distance to worry about. The bit I’m concerned about though is the swim as it’s in open water and again I’ve done hardly any practice. In fact I’ve had just the one.

Serpentine swim
My swimming has certainly greatly improved since last year, but I still struggle with it and am not able to give it the time I should. In particular I’d not done any open water training which as I know from last year is very different from the pool. To that end and a little belatedly I went to the Serpentine in Hyde park for a dip the week before the race. Looking out it looked like I was going to be the only one in the Lido.

Getting in I immediately felt the extreme anxiousness that I did when swimming in the sea last year so I thought I’d start with a gentle bit of breast stroke. This turned out to be harder than I’d thought as the buoyancy on the wetsuit makes you slightly too high in the water to do a good stroke. I had a quick go at front crawl but only managed 3-4 strokes before I ran out of breath and had to go back to breast stroke. None of this boded well but I carried on and was determined to do at least 4 lengths. In the end I managed 8 lengths, approximately 800m but with hardly any front crawl and a bit of resting at each turn.

The other worry was how long it took me to get out of my suit. I’m pretty sure there is a knack to it, but i’ve yet to get it.

Bike and Run
Whilst I’ve not really done that much cycling or running either the distances are quite small and I’m kind of confident of at least finishing.

All done, if it wasn’t for the fact that i’m in a team and would be letting others down I might have given the race a miss. As it is I feel that I should be able to finish and if I do then I can at least call myself a ‘Triathlete’ which would be a reasonable achievement on top of the marathon earlier this year. Hopefully that’ll keep me going.

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