My last race in Hungary had some positives and negatives. First half of the race went very well and then the wheels started to fall off.
I had a solid swim for my standards and exited the water 2:30 minutes behind the leaders. That put me in a solid position at the start of the bike. Together with Plese I made my way through the field. We passed quite a few guys and soon caught Degasperi and Flander. However, after one hour the power started to drop. Despite, bad second half I was still in a good position entering T2. There were only 3 guys ahead of us. Raelert was alone at the front and behind him were Kovacic and Steger.
Usually I can run reasonably well even when I kill my legs on the bike. This time was an exception. Just like in Aix, I could barely hold the pace I usually hold during full ironman. Second half of the run was a little bit better but still below average. I crossed the line in 8th place.
I was experimenting with training in the last 2 months with a goal of putting some speed into the legs. Maybe that’s not the type of training for me. On the other hand I was not rested enough for this race as I put bigger focus on Ironman 70.3 Pescara following weekend. After Pescara we will see if I was just not rested enough or I need to go back to the training that worked before.
In the next two weekends I have two races coming up. This Saturday I’m racing Keszthely triathlon in Hungary and in the week after Ironman 70.3 Pescara. Keszthely is half-ironman distance event and from what I heard the level of organisation is very good. The level of competition last year was quite high and it looks like this year it will be even higher. Training has been going well lately and I’m looking forward to test the legs on the race course again.
Fourth edition of Falkensteiner Punta Skala triathlon was held this Sunday in Petrcane near Zadar. This year the race served as Croatian championship in middle distance triathlon. It was a hard race for me to do as anything except a win would have been considered a failure. First of all by me, but probably by many others as well.
I don’t like early morning starts, but unfortunately in this sport they are the norm and this race was no exception. When the gun went off I must have been only half awake as I lost 5 meters in the first 10 meters of running through shallow water. I made up for that quickly and had a good swim. There were 3 guys not far in front of my group. Two of them were part of a relay and third one was Avirović, one of the favorites.
My plan was to try to break away on the bike and get big enough of a gap so that I don’t have to run on the limit. First part of the bike course goes slightly uphill and that’s where I wanted to make a move. The rest of it is much flatter and thus much harder to break away. However, I messed up my transition and lost 20 seconds, so I first had to chase. It was close to the end of the uphill when I caught two of my main competitors Koceić and Patrčević. I spent a lot of energy chasing but still managed to make a decent attack. Few minutes later I turned around and couldn’t see anyone behind. Perfect situation.
Turns out that Avirović missed a buoy and got out of the water behind us, so I was in the lead. It was easy to judge the distance to the other guys as we rode 4 out and back loops. The gap kept growing and when we passed each other for the final time I had 6 minute advantage over Avirović and another 2 minutes over Koceić and Patrčević.
Everything was going according to the plan but I still had doubts. Two weeks ago in Aix, I could barely run at a pace that I usually hold on ironman distance. I knew that if that happens again my win might not be secured just yet. Luckily, within first few kilometers I realized that won’t be the case this time. I felt quite good and kept the pace that I thought was enough to get to the finish without any unnecessary drama.
It looks like Aix was just a bad day and now I can look at the rest of the season with optimism. My next race will be Keszthely triathlon in less then two weeks and then Ironman 70.3 Pescara the week after.
You can always judge how happy I am with my race by the amount of time it goes from it to the report. Obviously, I’m not very happy with Ironman 70.3 Aix. I hope it was just a bad day and not a more serious problem.
The swim went ok. I haven’t lost too much time, but on the other hand, there was way too many guys in front of me. During the first half of the bike I felt pretty good. Not sure how good you can feel while pushing your limits, but I felt like I’m riding well and the power numbers were not too bad either. During the second half of the ride someone shouted that I’m 10 minutes behind the leader. I didn’t feel so good any more.
After disappointing first 2 legs, I wanted to have a good run. First lap was ok and when I wanted to pick it up in the second lap I got a stitch in my stomach that forced me to jog. That stitch stayed there until the end of the race.
I was much more happy with the video then the race
First chance to check if Aix was just a bad day comes this Sunday. I’m racing Croatian championship in middle distance triathlon in Petrcane. Two years ago I won Croatian championship in olympic distance triathlon there, so I hope I’ll still have only good memories of that place after this weekend.