With only five weeks to go until IM Western Australia, I'm feeling ready to whop it on. My 19-week training plan started on 26 Jul. To date, my training has included 38 hours of swimming, 85 hours in the saddle and 58.5 hours of running. During this time, I've endured a chest cold, which put me down for a week, work commitments and a DNF at a local 88km triathlon. Yep, you read that right. I had to retire from a race less than half the distance of my A-Race. However, that DNF was a huge boost to my training.
Allow me to set the stage, the day started out great. I had a 39:01 swim time on the 2km swim. In T1, my only thought was to get on the bike as soon as possible, and I did. My T1 time was less than 2:00. The bike course was mostly flat and I was feeling great, which caused me to push even harder than usual. Also, as the day went on, the temperture continued to climb up to 90 degrees with very high humidity. My hydration up to this point was only fuel (Hammer Perpeteum) and water. (I think you all see where I'm going.) I finished the 66km bike course in 1:59. For the time I saved in T1, I lost in T2. As I reached down to put my running shoes on, my quad and calf cramped up.
The 20k run was horrible. It was a hilly course, which wasn't pleasant on my already cramping quads. I made it to Mile 9 before the cramps caused my legs to seize up. I lost complete control of all muscle functions from my waist down. It turned out to be a tough day, but it also caused me to re-evaluate my nutrition plan.
1. Drink from the beginning. (I failed to start drinking until well into the bike course)
2. Electrolyte replacement is as important as fluid intake (I'm a sweater, so this is a huge lesson learned)
3. Don't underestimate the race (I thought since I had been training for long distance, I could kill a short distance).
4. If your not peeing, you may be setting yourself up for failure! (Even after getting an IV with 500ml of fluid, I didn't urinate until 2:00am the following day)
So the moral of the story is: A bad training race can benefit the preparation for the your big race.