SuperSprint Paris 20e – March 24th 2019 (XS)
Race Reporter: Wippy
Each person runs her / his own race.
Many race reports usually show a great achievement of a successful story through individual experience of a race. By the way, this one should be a lesson learnt for some of us who might have been through a similar circumstances or might present a risk of falling into this kind of situation.
The XS triathlon race organised by the Paris Sport Club, its the 4th Edition and not unknown to me as I did twice already in 2016 then 2017 and also as an official referee of FFtri.
Meanwhile, being a part of the Expatriés triathlon club for several years now, my race report should also focus on bright side of race in order to honour our coaches and give a good image of our club. In contrary this gives some ideas how each person can cope with a challenge, I am willing to share also some dos / don’ts as the Super Sprint of our Expatriés Club is coming soon, it might be a reminder to all triathletes regardless of levels. Anyone of us can make a little mistake that can cause a great challenge, even experienced ones can also make mistakes though as each race is different.
Preparation prior to the race
Please allow me to give you my background before this race to get a better picture of my story : having not been in my top shape as I have been suffering from a hay fever, (respiratory problem, running nose, itchy eye watering, no fever, no headache) since early March 2019 and having not properly trained as I would have expected for even a small race, however where there’s a will there’s a way. A small organisation with great support from their volunteers all along the course has made the race always pleasant and enjoyable. I like very much the atmosphere so I didn’t want to miss this kind of fun event. Especially since any super sprint triathlon race early before the real racing season is kicking off helps to find out our level of each discipline among these three : swimming, cycling, running that each triathlete needs to improve on the most.
Here I share my race experience on swimming part, not a great start as I was not concentrating at the start line. I didn’t push off properly and slipped a bit, after the race I could see from the pictures where many would have done already 2-4 metres while I was just slowly taking off. This is the first mistake. Especially as this caused me to panic, I checked later on my Strava which showed my heart rate went up early on in the race. So please when they call to get ready, please don’t pay attention to anything else or you will have a bad start and then pay with the extra seconds. By the way, having not been able to swim crawl at all when I started off in triathlon a few years earlier, swimming 300m in about 6 minutes is an excellent achievement for me.
Next the cycling part where the second big mistake occurred : assuming that all bikes would be the same. I did not check mine much. My advice is to check the bike and know how it works as I twice pressed the wrong bottom so I lost so time to find out how to change gears, moreover I pressed the wrong button while I was panicking to find out what was wrong, rather then having a smooth ride then I didn’t push as much as I wished. Anyway, due to high pollen in the air, I have not cycled since January and somehow my cycling skills were not that horrible with 6K in 13 minutes while having some manoeuvre difficulties.
Additionally, it has to be 6K and 100 metres, when I was done with my 6K, I jumped off my bike then a volunteer told me to came back and do another 100 metres. Wow this caused me a further delay.
So much time wasted for some mistakes like this is not great!
The last mistake is either I was not well as I did cough due to the hay fever that I have been suffering for a few days, or maybe I drank too much water (two previous running causes, I did experiences a cramp due to hydration issues so I kept drinking all the time). I asked Aytug later on and he said that I should have only sipped a bit but no need to drink too much water for this short distance race.
Just this simple thing about drinking, I ruined my running part by having a painful cramp in my stomach. I didn’t want to quit, gladly Karen ran with me on the way back up hill until the flat as well another volunteer, she was super to cycle by my side from down hill until the top, my last 500 metres was fine on the flat part where Juan was waiting for me and ran with me to the finish line.
Apart from the cramps due to too much water, here are another two issues which came to my mind, part of it is that I have not trained enough on hilly runs and another issue is that I should go back to do some bricks sessions.
Through this experience, this should not be a surprise why it is reasonable to do such a small race, each season is different, fitness changes in accordance to many factors. Even if I have done many races I always learn to master my body better as well, a mistake usually reminds me to better handle it for the next race : suitable training for a particular race on 3 parts like what kind of swim.
Good point is to have made such a mistake during a small race nearby my home rather entering into a big race event which might require a lot of efforts then face this kind of challenge.
After all, I remember my first two years would be swimming and cycling as I did many run training. After this race, it would be a run which is my weakness which I should train more regularly at.
… to better handle next race : suitable training for a particular race on 3 parts like what kind of swim, bike, run, hilly, rainy, flat, mountainous, as well getting all the clothes & shoes & all gears adapted to each race.
“Practice makes perfection”