30 June 2019 – Leeds Castle Olympic Distance Triathlon (1.5km swim, 43km bike, 10km run)

I completed my first Olympic distance triathlon today at Leeds Castle. The water temperature was 25.5c so it was a mandatory no wet suit swim and the prospect of 1500m without the suit was daunting given the heat and cramping from needing to kick more for buoyancy. The swim was OK though, I would have been faster in the wetsuit but I enjoyed it.

The cycle was decent, a 42km ride from Leeds Castle to Ashford along the A20. The first 20km was good and I had smashed my fastest 5km and 20km PBs. The turn at the ashford roundabout was when the challenge started – it was a head/side wind up hill climb with some fast descents mixed in. Confidence on the bike has massively improved from last year and that could be seen from the segment comparisons. Up to this point I was pleased.

Then came the run. I remember the run from last year when I did the sprint triathlon, hilly is an understatement but this year I got to do it twice. I decided to take it easier on the run and sow the pace down on the hills and just get through it. I had a bad hamstring cramp at 4km then worse at 6km and twinges to the end. I was not going to stop and the finish line soon came. I was pleased to get through what was a very challenging event. All good training for the half Ironman (eek)!

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