Mike’s Middle Distance Magic: It’s Race Time!

As the title suggests it is my first triathlon of the year this coming weekend. Actually as you read this I would have already (hopefully) smashed it!

Well I’m really excited about this race and I have reason for it. Firstly as you know this year I have Coach Ray in the corner, and I feel confident in the training I’ve done and what Ray has prescribed. My swimming pace is as good as it has been in a long time. I’m putting out some good power on the bike and I’ve never ran as fast/ far or as consistently as I’ve done over the last 6 months! So why wouldn’t I feel confident?

It is only natural to go back 12 months and see what I achieved and set some goals for this year. Epic Events are the company that run the event and the post race analysis they provide is great, especially for a graph geek like me as it really gives a clear picture of how I compared to the rest of the field.  Below is my race summary and my finish time. What is interesting is my position in each discipline. Out of 520 participants the picture below shows what I placed in each discipline and what place I was in after each discipline. Apart from my transitions being pretty poor, I don’t think I could have expected a better result really looking back at my training leading up to the race. This year is a whole different ball game. Now don’t get me wrong. I completely understand that I’m training for the big picture and the 70.3’s later in the year, but I’m really hoping to kill it and really improve my time!

2018 West Lancs sprint Tri result.

Now where do I think my improvements are going to be? I’d like to think in all disciplines.

The swim I’d like to think I can do in around 6 mins to 6:30. Probably not much quicker than last year as I think if I remember correctly the swim includes getting out of the pool and running out of the fire exit across the timing mat. So that added about 30 seconds to my actual 400m time last year and will likely do so this year also.

On the bike last year I averaged 19.5mph, 170w average and 185w normalised power. Where I think the difference is this year compared to last year is that my heart rate average was 157bpm for the 36 minutes last year. In training last week on the turbo I did 3 x 10mins at 225w with an average HR of 164bpm. Not much different in HR but a massive 45 watts higher. After speaking to Ray he wants me to aim for 240w to 250w for the bike this year, so lets see!

Finally the run. This is where I’ve made the most improvement this year, and it needed to be. The image below shows my time against the average in the field from the race last year

The average time out of 520 participants was 25 minutes for the 5km. The run on my watch came out slightly short. I did 28:01 for 4.68k and averaged 9:37 per mile. I’m running really well at the moment and the run course is pretty fast. What is untested is if I can hold the extra speed from training in a triathlon so I will find out on Sunday. I’d like to think I can average 8 min miles and come in under 25 minute and with any luck transfer from being one of the slowest runners to at least around or hopefully slightly above average! On that note it’s time to get my stuff ready and find my triathlon belt/trisuit etc, which I haven’t seen since August, AHHHHH….

Thanks for reading.

-Mike Catton

Mike is training for some triathlons and Half Ironman in 2019. Check in next Monday for his next article about his training journey.

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