Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Race Rehearsal

Every year at the beginning of the season I do a couple race rehearsals to prep for the real deal.  Sometimes I use an early season local race or sometimes it's just me out at a lake.  This year I headed to Boerne Lake (Texas Hill Country) and did a practice sprint triathlon.  I swam about 750 meters, biked 10 miles and ran 2.5 off the bike.  The goal was to complete each segment at Olympic Race pace.  This is a great way to get a feel of race effort with all three disciplines combined, try out any new race gear and hit transitions at speed.  The goal being to shake off the rust and make sure things go smooth race day.  

New Gear:  I had 3 new pieces of race equipment I was excited to test out thanks to Xterra Wetsuits, Rudy Project, and Champion Systems. I tested my Xterra Vendetta Wetsuit (http://www.xterrawetsuits.com/), My Rudy Project Wingspan TT aero helmet (www.e-rudy.com/) and my Snapple Champion System race suit (http://www.champ-sys.com/).  

Video:  This year I had my wife Erin video me running through my start and transitions.  This is a great way to review what you're actually doing versus what you think you are doing and will let you see areas to trim easy seconds off the clock. 

Take aways:  I was very happy with my new gear.  The Wingspan TT is a great fit, with enough room to quickly put the helmet on but tight enough to maximize aero dynamic performance. Another thing I like about this helmet is wind tunnel testing has shown it to be just as fast with the tail up.  This makes the helmet very versatile allowing you to position your head in a way that's both comfortable and aero! The Vendetta wetsuit fit tight but wasn't restrictive (exactly what I what in a wetsuit).  The wetsuit I swam in last year had a habit of filling the sleeves up and trapping water causing my arms to feel super heavy by the end of the swim, no such problem here! This year I'll be racing my short course Tris in Champion System's Evolution Elite Tri Suit.  I was excited about this suit because its form fitting, made with sleek materials and has no pockets making for a very fast suit but I was concerned about it not containing a pad for comfort.  The suit fit like a glove and was surprisingly comfortable on the bike, I'll have no concerns riding in it for 40 kilometers! 

Reviewing the video I saw a few areas of improvement needed. I need to make sure I'm familiar with gear placement.  I did an extra bounce from one side of the bike to the other that cost time.  I need to decide on placement of my GPS as I use it for both the bike and run to read heart rate and power but I don't like to swim in it, this caused more fumbling than I would like on the bike course.

First race of the season is The Kemah Triathlon this Sunday, April 29th.  With a very solid Pro start list and some cash to race for I'm excited to see how it goes. Stay tuned for the race report!

Thanks for reading,

Wes