Popp goes the world

If I had a tagline, it would go here.

6 notes

sprint race recap

Sprint done—pics to follow. Great day…couldn’t ask for better weather. It’s funny how things change. A year ago I would have been nervous—petrified and all the rest, today was a bit different, I felt comfortable in my own skin and truly approached this race as an opportunity to fine tune before the olympic at Noosa in a couple of weeks time. 

According to the race website, I went round in 1:17. That’s seven minutes better than last time on this course…that equates with a jump in 12 spots as well. (My Garmin had me done in 1:14—I like that better)

What went well—

The run was great. The course was longer than it was meant to be by 500m, but I averaged 4:05/km over the whole and even managed a kick 200m out. 

The ride was also good—I averaged almost 35kph over the course and felt really good accelerating out of the turns. 

Learnings—

Two big ones—one is that I.HAVE.TO.DO.BETTER.AT.SIGHTING. I keep on adding time to my races by adding distance to the swim. I don’t need to. My watch (Garmin) suggests that I added a whole 200m to this race—now I don’t believe that it was that bad, because if I accepted that, it means I would have done the entire race a 1:30/100m pace which I’m not able to do. However, I know that I went off course and that I added time. 

The second lesson is to stop frigging (this is a PG blog) around with my bloody watch on the bike. I use a Garmin 910…and I take it off my wrist at the beginning of the ride and mount it on the bike so I can see it—which means if I want it for the run, I need to take it off. I tried to do this at the 18km mark but dropped it going 38kph. Happily a spectator picked it up and ran it to me—but it cost me a minute or two and could have cost me dearer if another competitor had not seen me stop. The good/bad news is the watch wasn’t damaged (good for obvious reasons, bad because now I need another excuse to get the new 920 (hope my wife doesn’t read my blog). 

Lastly, thanks for all the words of support going in—I really appreciate them!

Here’s the link to the results if you’re keen to see more. 

http://www.racetecresults.com/MyResults.aspx?CId=7&RId=377&EId=1&AId=250968

Filed under noosatri triathlon sprint

10 notes

"B" races

It’s 10pm. I’ve just set the alarm for 4am—because I’ve got a sprint tri in the morning. I’ve done this course and distance before—last season, which is both good and bad. It’s good, because I’m familiar with the course. It’s bad because
I have something to compare against, which leads me back to why I’m awake at 10pm when I’ve got to get up at 4am. I’m looking at last year’s result and working out what I should be aiming at this year. So, for the sake of sleep here we go. Last race here, I went round in 1:24. Not bad for my second time racing that distance—but loads of room for improvement. Since then, I’ve done another sprint, an Olympic (my first) and a 70.3 (ditto). Given the work I’ve done, and fitness, I think I can aim to knock the bike back 5mins and the run back about 4. So, I’ll aim at breaking 1:15.

It won’t get me anywhere near the podium, but that’s a solid improvement in a season and a good goal for a race that ‘doesn’t matter’ ;).

And now that’s sorted, maybe I can get to sleep.

Filed under triathlon sprint goodnight!

5 notes

Sprint(ish) distance training tri

This morning we got the chance to have a bit of a hit out as a squad as it is a holiday here in the wonderful land of Oz…well this part at least.

This was my first chance to really hit out post the 70.3. I was very happy with the result. Everything seemed to come together—and I was able to run off the bike better than I’ve ever been able to.

I’ve got a sprint coming up in a few weeks time, and then an Olympic.

Good start to the season!

oh…and the fact that apparently they had pulled a ‘baby’ bull shark out of this lake a couple of weeks ago, wasn’t playing on my mind at all…(that’s for you Spinstir).

Filed under triathlon noosa2014 noosatri

8 notes

70.3 race re-cap

Almost a week has passed since my first 70.3, so I thought now’s as good a time as any to post a race report. Thanks again for all the notes of support before and after. I really appreciated them. 

Swim-I was about the fourth wave off. So while I didn’t realise it getting out of transition that morning, I didn’t have much time. I got the wetty on and headed down to the swim start…not realising I only had minutes before my wave was up. This actually worked out well, because I didn’t have time to think about the swim. We got to the beach, did a quick warm up and they were calling my wave.  I got into the chute with about a minute to spare.Again—given how much I love the swim, this was a good thing. To be honest, I had been dreading the swim all week. There had been a shark attack a few hours south of where the race was being held, and even though logic tells you not to worry, logic and sharks aren’t good friends—so again, I was happy not to have extra thinking time. 

Despite all of this, the swim went well. Probably the best I’ve ever done in the water in a tri. I had budgeted 40mins for the swim, so when I came in at 37 I was stoked. 

Ride-Going out on the first loop the wind was at my back and I was feeling great. There was more space than I though there would be and I was averaging about 34kph at the first turn (25km) heading back I , there was a strong head wind. I tucked and let the speed/effort fall a bit. Back into town for the second lap also went well—the hills on the course were all coming in and out of town, but no worries there. The wind shifted a bit on the second lap and heading out for the turn around was tougher than the first. My lower back and shoulders started to ache from being in aero, so I started to alternate my position to stay comfortable. After the turn on the second lap (20km) back was starting to get worse…and head started to come in as well—just negative thoughts. Dealt with that by singing the most cheerful song that came to mind—good vibrations by the beach boys (we were on the beach after all). That dealt with the head…then at just over 80kms…the front tire blew. I was ticked as I was on track to easily beat the 3hr goal, but took it well. I changed the tube, used the C02 and flogged it to get back into transition before anything else could go wrong.

I got into transition in a good head space. I had missed my goal on the ride by about 15mins, but given the flat, I was ok with that. I also knew at this point that my second goal, to finish in less than 6 hours was probably lost. I was ok with that—but life was about to get tougher. 

The run was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I didn’t appreciate how much the mental aspect comes into play in these longer distance races. First 3kms I was on fire…and then, it all came apart. Stitches in my side, aches in my quads and by the end full on muscle spasms in my calf. I’ve never had to walk a running race before—but I did here. And I didn’t care. After the flat, I knew I had probably lost any chance of breaking that 6hr mark, so I focussed on just getting across the line—which I did. And promptly swore off ever doing another half. 

Today’s a bit different. While I won’t go rushing into another, I could see it happening—if only to do better. 

All up it was done in 6:15. I missed my target of breaking 6:00, but I was really happy to have got it done. 

Lessons learned

The big one for me here was to respect the race. I had planned on doing sub 5 min kms for the run portion of this race. Which sounds reasonable—right? However, four months prior, at my first Olympic (EVER) I barely managed to get home doing 5 min kms. Now reasonably speaking, How did I expect that I was ever going to achieve sub fives after 90kms on the bike, when I could barely manage it when it was only 40kms? Unreasonable expectation. So there’s the big lesson for me. If I had gone out doing 5:30s instead of 4:30s (which is what I did the first 2kms at) than I would have been able to maintain it longer and walk less—I may have even been able to make that 6hr cutoff! 

The other biggie for me is to be grateful and remember—this is for fun and fitness. 
I won’t dwell on it, but one fellow competitor lost his life on this day. Like me, he was on his first 70.3, like me, he had a young family. I’ve got a lot to be grateful for. We all do. 

So fellow travellers, I’ll wrap it up. This race kicked off this year’s season for me—the next big race is an Olympic distance at Noosa (the home of triathlon in Australia) the first week in November.  I’ll likely try to get a sprint in before then as well. 

Keep safe and enjoy. 


PS—Special thanks to my wife and family for the support, Coach Ross for the answers to the mindless questions and Liz for endless inspiration and encouragement— and the BE Tri club. I seriously couldn’t have gotten this done without all of you—and I want you to know how much I appreciate it. 

70.3 race re-cap

Almost a week has passed since my first 70.3, so I thought now’s as good a time as any to post a race report. Thanks again for all the notes of support before and after. I really appreciated them. 

Swim-I was about the fourth wave off. So while I didn’t realise it getting out of transition that morning, I didn’t have much time. I got the wetty on and headed down to the swim start…not realising I only had minutes before my wave was up. This actually worked out well, because I didn’t have time to think about the swim. We got to the beach, did a quick warm up and they were calling my wave.  I got into the chute with about a minute to spare.Again—given how much I love the swim, this was a good thing. To be honest, I had been dreading the swim all week. There had been a shark attack a few hours south of where the race was being held, and even though logic tells you not to worry, logic and sharks aren’t good friends—so again, I was happy not to have extra thinking time. 

Despite all of this, the swim went well. Probably the best I’ve ever done in the water in a tri. I had budgeted 40mins for the swim, so when I came in at 37 I was stoked. 

Ride-Going out on the first loop the wind was at my back and I was feeling great. There was more space than I though there would be and I was averaging about 34kph at the first turn (25km) heading back I , there was a strong head wind. I tucked and let the speed/effort fall a bit. Back into town for the second lap also went well—the hills on the course were all coming in and out of town, but no worries there. The wind shifted a bit on the second lap and heading out for the turn around was tougher than the first. My lower back and shoulders started to ache from being in aero, so I started to alternate my position to stay comfortable. After the turn on the second lap (20km) back was starting to get worse…and head started to come in as well—just negative thoughts. Dealt with that by singing the most cheerful song that came to mind—good vibrations by the beach boys (we were on the beach after all). That dealt with the head…then at just over 80kms…the front tire blew. I was ticked as I was on track to easily beat the 3hr goal, but took it well. I changed the tube, used the C02 and flogged it to get back into transition before anything else could go wrong.

I got into transition in a good head space. I had missed my goal on the ride by about 15mins, but given the flat, I was ok with that. I also knew at this point that my second goal, to finish in less than 6 hours was probably lost. I was ok with that—but life was about to get tougher. 

The run was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I didn’t appreciate how much the mental aspect comes into play in these longer distance races. First 3kms I was on fire…and then, it all came apart. Stitches in my side, aches in my quads and by the end full on muscle spasms in my calf. I’ve never had to walk a running race before—but I did here. And I didn’t care. After the flat, I knew I had probably lost any chance of breaking that 6hr mark, so I focussed on just getting across the line—which I did. And promptly swore off ever doing another half. 

Today’s a bit different. While I won’t go rushing into another, I could see it happening—if only to do better. 

All up it was done in 6:15. I missed my target of breaking 6:00, but I was really happy to have got it done. 

Lessons learned

The big one for me here was to respect the race. I had planned on doing sub 5 min kms for the run portion of this race. Which sounds reasonable—right? However, four months prior, at my first Olympic (EVER) I barely managed to get home doing 5 min kms. Now reasonably speaking, How did I expect that I was ever going to achieve sub fives after 90kms on the bike, when I could barely manage it when it was only 40kms? Unreasonable expectation. So there’s the big lesson for me. If I had gone out doing 5:30s instead of 4:30s (which is what I did the first 2kms at) than I would have been able to maintain it longer and walk less—I may have even been able to make that 6hr cutoff! 

The other biggie for me is to be grateful and remember—this is for fun and fitness. 

I won’t dwell on it, but one fellow competitor lost his life on this day. Like me, he was on his first 70.3, like me, he had a young family. I’ve got a lot to be grateful for. We all do. 

So fellow travellers, I’ll wrap it up. This race kicked off this year’s season for me—the next big race is an Olympic distance at Noosa (the home of triathlon in Australia) the first week in November.  I’ll likely try to get a sprint in before then as well. 

Keep safe and enjoy. 

PS—Special thanks to my wife and family for the support, Coach Ross for the answers to the mindless questions and Liz for endless inspiration and encouragement— and the BE Tri club. I seriously couldn’t have gotten this done without all of you—and I want you to know how much I appreciate it. 

Filed under triathlon 70.3 mooloolaba 70.3 race report