Race Review: Sprint distance triathlon Schagen

On Thursday the 25th of July I did my first triathlon of the year. With minimal preparation I chose to sign up for a sprint distance race, the Schagen triathlon. After my 5 month adventure in Brighton, where I didn´t have access to my road bike, I wanted to used it in a proper triathlon event. The distance was a little bit longer than a normal sprint distance triathlon, swimming 750 meter, biking 24 kilometers and running 5 kilometers.

Triathlon Schagen 2013

The swim start was more brutal then I expected. I am a good swimmer, but I started more in the back, because I didn´t have time to move to the front before the gun went off. A few punches on my head, kicks in my face and slaps on my legs were the result. I had the feeling I could not swim forward the first two minutes.

After a quick transition I hopped on the bike. I hadn´t ride my bike for 5 months as well and had a quick one 3 days before the event (which was more about checking if the bike was still OK). I have never really trained riding my road bike, so as expected I was overtaken by faster riders. With an average speed of 31.5 km/ph I was more than happy about my performance.

The only thing that was left was a 5 km run. My legs felt good and I even stopped pushing on the bike to start off with some “fresh” legs.  Last year I threw up when I was about 1 kilometer into the run and I didn´t want that to happen again. I believed it was my nutrition, because I ate about 2 hours before the race a plate of rice, chicken and curry.

This year I ate a small bowl of dry pasta (without sauce) 2,5 hours before the race. This would give me enough time to digest and from experience I found eating dry pasta before a long run working very well. Then… after 1,5 km into the run, my stomach started to hurt. It felt like someone was stabbing my stomach. I couldn´t run any faster while my legs were feeling great. I threw up again…and again. Running the 5 km in almost 27 minutes, which is embarrassing for my ability. I can run a 5 km in 20 minutes with fresh legs, so 22-23 minutes in a triathlon should be possible. After all I had fun and didn´t expected a lot, but it really makes me want to train more for my next event. I feel that there is a perfect race waiting for me.

End result: Swim 12:45, bike 45:44, run 26:58 and total time 1:28:04.

Lessons learned:

  • Start in front at the swim
  • More bike training
  • Sort out my pre-race nutrition

This article has been written by Erik Brandsma, a triathlete from the Netherlands with a dream to finish the Ironman World Championships in Kona-Hawaii.