LMP triathlon international championships March 2013

March 23, 2013

It gets hard to stay motivated when you don’t have goals to work towards. I have been swimming a lot in Bangkok and Korat, been biking in Lumpinee park, and been running in the park near my home, and to stay motivated a classmate and I have decided to do a triathlon here in Thailand (Olympic distance) to have something to work towards. We asked more classmates but most came with excuses like injuries, laziness, and busy with other things, so last weekend it was only the two of us competing in the LMP triathlon in Rayong.

Most people first do a sprint triathlon to see what it is like, we start with the Olympic distance to make the most of it.

Most people first do a sprint triathlon to see what it is like; we start with the Olympic distance to make the most of it.

I have never done a triathlon before so this would be a tryout to see if I like it and where I should focus my training on for the future. Our main goal was to finish, but to keep it a bit more challenging we also wanted to finish in less than 3 hours flat; a time that was based on times of the individual parts during training plus a small margin for the transition and fatigue.

LMP beach in Rayong: not only a nice place for a triathlon.

LMP beach in Rayong: not only a nice place for a triathlon.

Saturday the 16th we left from Bangkok to arrive in Rayong about 4 hours later. After registration it was time to check in in the hotel and get ready for a small practice swim in the sea. I have never swam in the open sea where I cannot see or touch the ground, normally I always swim in a swimming pool, so it took some time to get used to and some practice how to handle the waves.

Complementary t-shirt and race numbers.

Complementary t-shirt and my race numbers.

That evening we settled for an early dinner with a lot of pasta, and after buying the last supplies for a very early breakfast, which was planned at 3:30AM since you cannot eat too close to the start of the race, it was already time to get to bed at 8PM. Unfortunately there was a lot of karaoke with Carabao songs going on in front of the hotel till 10PM so it took some time to fall asleep.

The setup of the transition zone in the middle of the night seen from my hotel room  (Pimpimarn hotel).

The setup of the transition zone in the middle of the night seen from my hotel room (Pimpimarn hotel).

At 6AM my alarm went off and I got out of bed to prepare for the race. Besides getting dressed and setting up the transition point I also did a light warming-up to find out that the waves were a lot smaller than yesterday afternoon which would make the swimming easier.

Warm-up at the transition zone

Warm-up at the transition zone

Instructions were given right before the start; the course was a sprint triathlon course (0.75/20/5) and people doing the Olympic distance just had to do 2 rounds of everything. About 65 people appeared at the start. Based on tips on the internet I had decided to start slow and build it up later in the race; so at the starting signal I counted to 5 very slow before running in the water and found a good swimming rhythm and some clear space soon. To my surprise the swimming went a lot better than expected even though several contestants complained about the distance of the swimming course which seemed more than 1.5 km (I was later told that the distance was closer to 2.1 km according to people who used GPS trackers).

My transition spot; wash feet, dry feet, put on socks and shoes, put on helmet and sun glasses, grap bike, and goooooo!

My transition spot: wash feet, dry feet, put on socks and shoes, put on helmet and sun glasses, grap bike, and GOGOGO!

The transition from swimming to biking went a bit slow but as soon as I was off it felt well and I held myself back to keep going around 30 km/h which was faster than what I normally do while biking in Lumpinee park. During the second round, after about 28 km, I passed my teammate, and the last part of the course I was able to keep my speed up to end with an average of 29.9 km/h over a distance of 40 km.

New personal record, 40km in 1 hour and 20 minutes (plus a bit for moving my bike back to the hotel)

New personal record, 40km in 1 hour and 20 minutes (plus a bit for moving my bike back to the hotel)

The final transition from biking to running went smooth and as expected it felt strange in my legs to run after the biking; I had never practiced this transition before due to a lack of time. Luckily I could find a nice speed very soon and I even managed to pass one or two people in the first kilometers. Around the 3 km mark it went wrong though when I felt a huge cramp in my left calf and I had to slow down to a walking speed while being in pain. With 7 km to go quitting went through my mind once but I couldn’t let my teammate and myself down so I just settled for a combination of walking and slow running to get through the pain; it felt really good to reach the finish line in a total time of:

3:04:58

 

Total times and split times can be found here: http://www.thaitri.org/?cid=1910295

Matt and I, long enough after finishing to be able to smile again.

Matt and I, long enough after finishing to be able to smile again.

All together I really enjoyed this triathlon and at the spot we decided to do this again. The goal to finish within 3 hours is still there and as far as I can judge I still see big improvements that can be made with the biking and the running. I feel motivated again to pick up the training as soon as possible and focus on the next race.

Looking forward to the next race (sprint distance in May?)

Looking forward to the next race (sprint distance in May?)

For questions/remarks you can contact me at: eric@stuckinthailand.com

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