Aspire Aquathon Series 2014: Event 4

The Aspire Aquathon series is a great concept and it is starting to get interesting in the 2014 series. The series consist of 5 races, with your best three results to count. In my case, I have steadily improved race on race, which means as each race goes, my series position is climbing substantially.

Race 4 was an interesting one as the weather is starting to get a lot warmer and this particular event was hot, humid and windy. Traditionally I don’t handle the warmth too well, which is why open water swimming has always suited me better than pool swimming. In pool swimming the temperature is set between 24 to 27 degrees centigrade whereas open water swimming season is normally below 20 degrees.

Race Map

Continue reading

Aspire Aquathon Series 2014: Race 3

The third race in the Aspire Aquathon series took place on 12 January 2014. After a solid month of training since the last event, my expectations were a lot higher and I was keen to test myself.

Having recently started training with an awesome Garmin 910xt Heart Rate monitor and GPS watch, I have been able to monitor my speed a lot more closely and have found myself training harder as a result. The Garmin 910xt is great in that it gives you real time pacing, allowing me to train at desired speeds and keep exact track of how far I’m going.

To summarize event one and two in the series thus far:
Event 1 – swim 06m15s, run 25m49s (32m34s): 17th place.
Event 2 – swim 06m25s, run 23m19s (30m09s): 9th place.

Having not run for so long (nearly two years), the initial improvement has been great, now I just need to keep it up. The body is adjusting well to more land based exercise again, where for the past two years everything has been in the water.

Swim exit

Swim exit

I started off with a slightly slower than usual swim (planned) 06m25 for the 10 laps of 50m. With the staggered time trial like start, I was second last to go, seeding based on swim times. Out the pool and into transition, I had a 5km run ahead of me. My goal was to run at 4m24s/km to get a run split of 22 minutes and finally get under 30 minutes for the first time in the series.

Run

Run

The run went really well and I held my target spot on. Ended up with a run split of 22m01s and a total time of 29m01s for the race. After the results were tallied, I had finished in 4th place, just 15 seconds from a podium finish. I was very happy with the race, I can’t wait for Event 4 at the end of February 2014.

Al Khor Triathlon 2013

One hour north of Doha lies the city of Al Khor, an Oil and Gas town. Al Khor Community is a compound type development or town within a town, hosted it’s annual Al Khor Triathlon. The facilities within Al khor Community are fantastic. The race consisted of a 700m pool swim, 22km cycle, 4 loops and then a 5km run through the Al Khor Community.

Being my first Triathlon since 2011 Clan William Fitness Festival, I was rusty. A mix up with my race pack (by the organisers) resulted in me sitting at the registration table for nearly 45 minutes, the time I had planned to study the route and get ready to race. Being a strong swimmer I always make a concerted effort to know the bike course as I’m normally first onto it with no one to follow.

Pool Swim

Pool Swim

Continue reading

Aspire Aquathon Series 2013: event 2

Let me start with a quick summary from event one of the Aspire Aquathon series 2013-2014. Six months of no racing, the bug was back and it was time to get the heart rate above comfortable and see what the body could do. The swim is 500m, well about 525m – start in lane 1, swim up and down consecutive lanes to the finish in lane 10, pool is 25m wide and 50m long. I swam well, 6m16s for 500 metres and included a short run to the transition area. My 5km run, very disappointing but i had only run (literally) twice in two years, so it was to be expected. My goal starting out, off the top of my head was to try and break 30 minutes. I finished in 32m34s (Swim 00:06:16 | T1 00:00:30 | Run 00:25:47) and in 17th position. The benchmark was set and I had three weeks to improve ahead of the next race in the series.

Race two of the Aspire Aquathon series 2013-2014:

I was seeded pretty well thanks to my swim time and started out with the winner of the previous event. You start in pairs at 30 second intervals and it is run as a time trial, where fastest swimmers generally start last along with the previous event winners. Ryan Christian set off together, I offered my feet for a draft but he wasn’t able to hang on. I started pretty fast and settled into a good rhythm. My goal for the swim was to be less anaerobic and settle into a more comfortable pace than what I had done in race 1. I managed to reach transition in 6m25s. Slightly slower and far more comfortable. My T1 was quicker, 21 seconds and I was off on the run feeling more relaxed and less anaerobic, as planned. It is amazing how much difference just those 9 seconds slower on the swim made on the run.

Swim Start

Swim Start

Continue reading