Triathlete and Monk Nutrition Ambassador, Lucy Mapp, gives us her latest race update and how she is getting ready to step up to the next level!
Race Update and The Next Level
9th June was my last planned race of the early-season, and the British Triathlon Championships taking place in Leeds as part of the ITU series and so it was a big event with massive crowds gathered for the afternoon’s elite races with the likes of the Brownlees, last year’s series winner Vicky Holland and the fast-improving Georgia Taylor-Brown.
The morning’s Championship races were rather more low-key, however vast in number and the shear enormity of the event, complete with event village and pre-racking of bikes was all quite new to me.
The Saturday didn’t show great appeal with grey skies, rain and wind and not the most inviting weather to go and rack a bike in. After a drive round the bike course and a bit of re-fuelling back at the Airbnb the skies cleared a little and ventured off to the event village to register and rack. All that was left to do was check everything was ready for the next day, fuel up and try to get some sleep.
The next morning brought with it the prospect of some better weather with early morning sun and some blue sky. Time to get the rest of transition set up and prepare for my wave to set off.
8.05 am came around, and after an hour of the men setting off at 5 min intervals it was the turn of the women. A busy swim start, with arms and legs everywhere and splashing galore. Everyone was jostling for a bit of space and trying to get ahead of people all the way to the first and even second buoy, making it a tricky start.
Finally out of the swim it was an uphill 500m run into transition (just what you wanted after a 1.5 km swim and barefoot!) to find your bike. Fortunately there was a conveniently-placed portaloo outside transition which served as a fantastic marker for my row and I made sure I didn’t miss my bike and run straight past.
Another long run out of transition to the bike mount line then onto the bike, avoid everyone else trying to mount on the slight uphill and keep out of the way. Feet in and then head down trying to push as hard as possible whilst keeping some legs for the run to come.
It was a good bike course, testing in some places and frustrating in others, especially with the number of athletes out on the course – it was really busy and at sharp corners and descents it wasn’t easy to know who was doing or going to do what.
2 laps done time to head back in, dismount, another long run back into transition (this time getting stuck behind two guys walking whilst I was trying to run through for a speedy transition) then out onto the run course. The run headed out and away from the event village and transition area and down into the city centre where the supporters were gathered to cheer everyone on during the loops of the centre. Despite being predominantly downhill for the first part (with one or two uphill parts initially) it was a testing course, with loops, turns and gradual slopes up and down through the town centre, and one final uphill right before the finish which was tucked away around a corner.
All in all it was a decent race, although I was disappointed with my swim particularly and overall performance; I was a bit tired having tried to do too much the week before and in the lead up to the race and so wasn’t at my absolute peak on the start line, something that I regret. Lesson learnt though.
Moving forwards, I’ve decided that I’m ready for a bit more of a challenge, and to see what I am capable of in the sport. I will therefore be stepping up to 70.3 distance races, also known as ‘middle distance’ or ‘half ironmans’. These comprise a 1.2 mile / 1.9 km swim, 52 mile / 90 km bike and 13.1 mile /21 km (half marathon) run (with these Olympic / standard distance events comprising a 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike and 10 km run).
I’ll be adapting my training to step up to this distance. No massive increase in hours or volume, just tweaking here and there for more middle-distance specificity; a bit more endurance and a bit less top end speed work.
Watch this space for more updates as I progress in my training and move towards the races I have planned (Aug / Sep 2019).