With all of my training for the Dublin 70.3 Ironman event in August, I have had very little time to settle down and write. My apologies.
On June 7, I completed my first triathlon of the season, the Milton Sprint. This event is sprint triathlon featuring a 750 metre swim, 30 km bike, followed by a 7 km run. The bike boasts an approximate 1 km 9% incline hill on the bike and quite a hilly run that includes a few hills.
I had set a pre-race goal of around 1 hours and 41 minutes, hoping for a 1:56 per hundred metre swim and a 4:46 or so minute per kilometre run. I ended up finishing in my goal time, but did this with a faster swim than planned, lucky for me as I suffered a little bit on the hilly run. My finish landed me third place in my age category, 8th female overall for the event and my 36 km average bike split was the fastest women’s split of the day.
On June 21, I completed the Olympic Toronto Triathlon Festival event in a time of 2:28:02, achieving my pre race goal on the nose. Again, I had expected a better run, but this time ended up with both a faster swim and bike than last year. The swim improvement was a no brainer as last year my goggles were knocked off by another competitor in the first 200 metres of so causing me to miss the draft and swim the whole course alone in the waves! I did not expect such an improvement on my bike split, but I will take it as my run did not improve at all, in fact I lost about 30 seconds. Funny thing is, I felt like I was going faster than I was but my Garmin told me the sad reality – I needed to push on the gas a little!
With the idling cars on the Lakeshore and fairly humid conditions, my asthma got the best of me and I resorted to stopping a most water stations to get my will back enough to finish strong. My efforts placed me second female on the bike overall, fourth in my age category for this event and 16th overall female, all considering elite age group athlete and several time both junior and adult world champion Kristie Kniaziew not only cleaned up in our age category, she won the whole TTF Olympic event in a world-class time of 2:07:23. Keeping this in mind, I can’t complain as I made a four-minute gain on my last year’s time which was already an Olympic distance personal best for me.
My next event is the Gravenhurst Olympic on July 18. I am once again hopeful for further improvements on my overall Olympic race time and am considering a goal of 2:26 for this event.
Now on to some other tidbits which I mentioned I would be discussing throughout this season as a reflection on my last year’s performances, including my sub-optimal performance at the 70.3 World Championships. One was bike fit.
I had made two changes to my bike fit at one time in and around May of 2014 in hopes of becoming more “aero”. I did consult with my trustworthy bike fit professional Heath Cockburn of The Eleven Bike Shop, and he was a bit skeptical of the changes, nonetheless we went ahead with things. The two changes were to lower my handle bars approximately two inches, and to switch from my Specialized Oura saddle to the Adamo Attack.
After the two fit changes above, including another new addition of my Giro Selector helmet, I posted a 2 min improvement over my previous year’s time at the Toronto Triathlon Festival Olympic event. Considering this, I felt the changes we had made to the bike fit were ideal. However, my glutes became more inhibited as the season wore on as did the overall appearance of my hips. My hip flexors had become so shortened! I had speculated that the Attack seat would be too narrow for me and my back-in-the-saddle road cycling style. I had also tried my handle bars lower in the past and this did not fair well for my spine health.
All of this is obviously looking back in hindsight. I was only slightly aware of these issues as they began to unfold. My training was also different than it had been in the past to add a third variable, with the addition of my new coach Erik Seedhouse of Triathlon Pro Racing Team.
I had used Erik for one month in 2013 leading up to my all time best 70.3 finish at the Muskoka event which qualified me for the 2014 World Championships. Based on these fabulous results, I continued to use Erik’s assistance for the 2014 season leading up to the World’s in September 2014. However, Erik’s approach contained too many non-specific miles. By non-specific, I mean drills were pretty much absent, even in the swims whereas many of the workouts were as simple 2 x 1500 metres. My body became lazy and bored and had completely forgotten good form in all of the three disciplines.
When my hips began to give me more trouble leading up to the World’s, I tried everything I could but came up short in the end and can only look back now and reflect on things.
Since the World’s, Heath and I changed my bike seat back to the Specialized Oura and we also raised my handlebars back to the higher position. After having made these changes, I posted the top female bike time at the Milton Sprint and the second female bike time overall at the Toronto Triathlon Festival, bettering my last year’s time once again by another 2 minutes. Definitely feeling at home on the bike this season!
I have since dropped Erik Seedhouse and Triathlon Pro Coaching in favour of my new female coach X-Terra Triathlon Pro World Champion and Pro 70.3 distance triathlon several time top five finisher Lesley Patterson and her team Braveheart. Lesley’s workouts include such an abundance of drills and a great varietal overall. My body is very pleased and I am already seeing the results.
I am stoked for my upcoming race at Gravenhurst on the 18th of July and can’t wait to see what all my hard work brings me in Dublin.
To find out more about why I have chosen the Dublin 70.3 as my “big race” this season, please visit: