Two months after the first race of the season in Wallisellen (sprint distance), I was really looking forward to competing in my first olympic distance of 2018 in Zug. It was a very fast race and for the first time I have been able to break two hours. Honestly, the distance was a bit shorter than the standard, especially in the bike (38 km). However, I was 15 minutes faster than last year and 14 minutes faster than my personal best in this race, therefore I’m fully satisfied of my performance.
This year I’m 100% focused on triathlon and this was only my second race of 2018 so far. I was really looking forward to testing my conditions after a two month block of intensive training. The temperature of the water on race day was 22 degrees celsius and therefore the wetsuit was not allowed. It was definitely unexpected since it is the first time in 5 years the the wetsuit is not allowed in Zug. It was a bit of a schock for me and my team mates of Loolaba. However, after jumping in the fresh water for the warm up, I forgot about it and I started focusing on the race. The swim course this year was a bit different, after the problems caused last year by the floating first buoy. I made sure I had some reference points before staritng the swim in order to go as straight as possible during the race. My wave started at 8:25. I was very relaxed, maybe too relaxed. They didn’t count down to the start so I was a bit surprised when the race started 🙂
The swim was good. I was able to keep a good pace. I was feeling comfortable in the water and I had a good visibility of the course. I was able to finish in 21:57. It was about 150 meters shorter than the standard distance but my average pace was 1:40 min/100m, not too bad for no-wetsuit swim. On the bike I had a bit of troubles to fit my shoes because the first part of the bike course in the old town was on cobblestones. However, after this little problem I started to push as close as possible to 300 watts. At the end of the race I averaged 274 watts, 41.8 Km/h and I finished the 38km in 54:36. Starting the run I was feeling great and maybe I went a bit too fast, 3:50 min/km. I was not able to keep that pace but at the end I completed the 9.7km in 39:28 with an average pace of 4:02 min/km.
In conclusion, I think that it was a very good test. I can still improve a lot my running pace and I have to make sure that I have enough endurance to keep this pace over the 70.3 distance. Now I have three more triathlons until the 8th of July and the goal is to practice and improve the race pace. Afterwards I will have a “break” of almost one month. I will use that block to increase the endurance to the race pace achieved until then. If everything goes as planned I will be ready to rock at the 70.3 IronMan Steelhead on August 12th.
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