Lessons Learned

Sorry for the long absence. It’s taken me a while to gain a decent amount of perspective from my last two races, so I decided to put pen to paper once the inspiration was right. I could probably write twenty pages on this topic, but I will try and be as brief as possible.

In the last month and a half I’ve raced two races at the professional level: Ironman 70.3 Texas and Ironman 70.3 St. George. Neither went even remotely to plan. In Texas, I experienced two flats on the bike, which made me a non-factor in the race. I did rebound with the day’s fastest run split, but it didn’t further me economically or with regards to world championship qualifying points. In St. George, the whole day was off right from the get go. I forgot my adapter to air my disc wheel up. I was searching around frantically for one, and during this time lost sight of the individuals I was hoping to draft off of in the swim. My plan was to draft them and then I’d have someone to bike with in an attempt to take time back from the lead swimmers. Then in the swim, I knocked my own goggles off my head. It was in the first 200m, so I lost the feet I had found, and then swam the remainder of the swim solo. This was the theme of my day as I then I biked solo as well. From the get go on the bike I knew I had got the recovery after Texas, the training between Texas and this race, as well as the taper wrong. I was extremely flat the entire day, on both the bike and the run. Overall, it was a very average day. Once again, in no way did St. George further me economically, or with regards to world championship points.

That being said, both races furthered my knowledge stores significantly. Probably far more than if I had done even decently well in either race. Some of these lessons were relatively little things: 1. Write a checklist for race morning that includes “disc wheel air adapter.” 2. Put goggle straps under swim cap so that you CAN’T hit them off your own head!! Others were more significant: 1. After losing ten minutes to flat tires, drop out of the race, otherwise your training will suffer for days (weeks actually), and ultimately impact your next race. 2. You operate best on high mileage training into a relatively short taper; a ten day taper off of only 8 days of fairly light training is far too much and will leave you feeling flat and unrhythmic.

But, I think the biggest lesson I learned is that there is a reason why you do not see many “young” athletes doing consistently well at long course triathlon. Long course “prime” tends to be in your thirties. I think the reason for this is that there is just so much to learn. There are so many variables that can affect the outcome of a race, particularly because of the special equipment used, as well as the duration you are competing for. I can only imagine that this is compounded even more when you start trying to race the full Ironman distance.

In summary, I’ve learned many valuable lessons over the last 2 months, all of which I will apply in the future. Here I will quote what Sebastien Kienle had to say after St. George, “Losing motivates far more than winning.” I can’t express how deeply inside my soul that sentence burns. Thanks to all of my sponsors: C3-Kinetico, Cycle Culture, Richard Kniaziew, Louis Garneau, Nineteen Wetsuits, eLoad, and CompuTrainer. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Now that I’m back in Hamilton I will be updating this far more regularly. Thanks for reading and following along!

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