Bedford Autumn Sprint Tri

After the HSV September Sprint Triathlon I was bitten by the bug and very keen to do more. Unfortunately this is the time of year when the Triathlon season winds down, but I did register for this event in Bedford. I went to school there for years and have swum in the pool the event used countless times so it seemed like a great opportunity to fit in a final event for the year.

Since the HSV tri I’d done one cycling sportive and some club rides, run once at the St. Albans Park Run (getting under 24 minutes for the first time) and gone along to the City of St. Albans Masters swimming training once (something I’m joining up to, but will probably blog about that later.) None of that can be considered focussed training, so my goal for this event was to simply make some improvement on all three disciplines.

On the drive up it was cold and very foggy. I arrived for the briefing at 7am, but my swim start wasn’t scheduled until 8:45. I’d put in an estimated 400m time of 6:30-7 minutes this time to try and ensure I wasn’t held up much. This gave me plenty of time to get set up in transition and to watch the three hundred or so people before me do the swim. I also did a small warm up in the dive pool.

The swim itself went well and I clocked 7:34 which included getting into the pool and a longer exit to the timing mat at the start of transition so I reckon I was faster in the actual swim than last time around. I had a pretty clear run, only getting held up once, and could tumble turn on all but one turn. The only problem was on the final length where my silicon swim cap started coming off. I had to take it off and hold it for half the length, which slowed me down.

On the swim, cap starting to come off!

T1 was a bit of a nightmare. It was noticeably colder than the last event, so dripping wet in a tri-suit I chilled quickly. I also didn’t use a towel on my head so my cycling glasses steamed up immediately leading to some faffing about. They remained condensed for much of the bike ride as the air was so misty. I didn’t choose to put on socks this time which paid off and didn’t cause any issues. I was out of T1 in 1:40.

The bike ride was 4km longer than the last event so I was looking simply to achieve a higher average speed. This time I had my Garmin on the bike which helped a lot. The course was more undulating but still pretty quick and I was passing a lot of people. I ended up averaging 19.5mph for a time of 47:02.

T2 was quite slow at 1:32 as I was cold and struggled with swapping shoes. The run itself was two and a half laps on a tarmac path around the park and flat as a pancake. I felt pretty good throughout but again probably could have pushed more here. That will come with simply doing more running training. I had a strong finish though and clocked 24:25, so only 30 seconds off my 5k PB.

Overall I finished in 1:22:18 for 112th out of 351 finishers, and came 12th out of 42 in the Male 35-39 age group. Looking at the individual segments I was 68th overall in the swim, 89th in the cycle and 238th in the run! It is obvious where the biggest gain can be achieved and if I can improve my running then I should be able to jump up the results quite a bit. Only one person above me ran slower.

Most of all though it confirmed that I have the triathlon bug. The plan now is to continue some work on all three disciplines over the winter and aim to make more of the season next year, including the goal of stepping up to an Olympic distance event. I have a longer term goal that I’m thinking about, but I’m not ready to commit to that publicly yet!