Posts Tagged ‘triathlon’

Ironman VR8

Monday, May 25th, 2020 | Sport

Another virtual duathlon in the bag. I was already doing a 23 km road race on Zwift as part of Hyde Park HArrier Triathlon’s Zwift race series, so I just kept peddling fnr another 17 km after finishing to complete the bike section.

I knocked the runs out back-to-back with a 14 km run up the canal and around Kirkstall Forge. I’ve always wondered what the path from the towpath to the forge, and running 10 km every day has given me the nudge to explore it, so I did. It’s not that exciting but a least now I know.

Ironman VR7

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 | Sport

Another weekend, another virtual race. This time it was only a sprint distance, so all I had to do was to find room for a 20km bike ride and I was away. I’m running better off the bike than I am on regular days now. My usual runs are anywhere from 55-70 minutes, but off the bike, I’m constantly running 50 minute 10ks. I think my body is just so old and tired now that it needs a full you to warm up.

Ironman VR6

Monday, May 11th, 2020 | Sport

I did all four of the first Ironman VR events. However, having accidentally done a middle distance for Ironman VR4, I did not fancy doing two middle distances on back-to-back weekends, especially as #EverymayDay 10k had started by this point, so I decided to skip Ironman VR5.

Ironman VR6 was back down to standard distance, though, and already running 10km every day meant that all I had to do was squeeze in a 40 km bike ride.

I decided to put the 40 km bike and 10 km run into a brick session. It was a slow bike ride, taking me nearly two hours to totter around North Leeds for 43 km, but the run afterwards I was on fire: 48:06.

Ironman VR4

Sunday, May 3rd, 2020 | Sport

As I mentioned last week, I accidentally did a Half Ironman.

Easy mistake to make. Ironman Virtual Club’s original schedule had it rotating around middle, standard, sprint. I didn’t double-check the distance when I signed up for VR4, so went out to do my 5km run and 90km bike before collapsing on the sofa to watch the pro race. I then saw they were only cycling 40km.

By this point, I was too invested to drop my run down to a 10km, so I did the full 21.1. Alas, now Ironman VR5 has been upgraded to a middle distance race, and I can’t be bothered to do it all again this weekend.

How to fix missing activities in Ironman Virtual Club

Sunday, April 26th, 2020 | Sport, Tech

If you’ve been doing the Ironman Virtual Club races, you may have run into the problem where some of your activities have not registered, and you’re stuck on 33% or 67%. Worse, it doesn’t tell you what was missing, so you have no idea what went wrong.

One of the most likely causes is that your activity was too long. For example, if you run 20km for a 10km race, Ironman Virtual Club will not count it. I ran into this when I ran 1.7km for the 1.5km run 1 of Ironman VR3. And things got worse for Ironman VR4. Last week, they announced on Facebook it would be a middle-distance event:

It didn’t occur to me to double-check the details when signing up, so I went out and did a 5km run and 90km bike ride, only to flip down in front of the TV to watch the VR4 Pro Challenge and realise they were only cycling 40km! By this point, I was in for the full thing, so I finished off with a 21km run on Sunday. But none of my activities had registered with Ironman Virtual Club, even though I had completed the distance (and then done it again).

If you are using Garmin Connect, here is how to fix it:

Download the FIT file from Garmin Connect, then go to Fit File Tools. Remove the section of the workout beyond your required distance. In this case, I deleted the last 50km my bike ride and then downloaded the modified FIT file. To allow me to re-upload it to Garmin Connect, I then used the time stamp modifier to make it look like a new activity.

If you have Strava connected to Ironman Virtual Club, you could also upload the modified versions direct to Strava from the Fit File Tools website.

If you’re using something other than Garmin Connect that doesn’t produce FIT files, you can download the GPX file and use a GPX editor, like WTracks, to make similar edits. You can trim the start and end with WTracks, but I’m not sure how to modify the timestamp.

Ironman VR3

Friday, April 24th, 2020 | Sport

Last weekend was the third virtual Ironman race. The first two were middle and standard, while this one was sprint distance 1.5km run, 20km bike and a 5km run. As with VR2, I decided to do it as a single block with timed transitions.

The first run was a bit of a mess. I thought I would go through the Dark Arches, around the station and back home. But it quickly became apparent that this was way more than 1500 metres, so I turned around in the arches and headed back. This gave me a 1.7km run at 5:19 per km.

The bike was a blast out to Horsforth and back. I took the back way to Kirstall Road, going around the Armley Gyratory, which makes for a lovely course when there are no cars on it. I only managed an average speed of 28.7 kph. It was never going to be race speed with all of the traffic lights, but also slower than when I did it last week. That time I was filled with anger and adrenaline at my computer, so maybe that is the secret to a good performance.

The second run felt a bit slow to start off but was anything but. I ended up running a 22:29, my second fastest ever 5km. That included my lace coming untied and having to stop to retire it. The same thing happened to me on my previous 10km run. They don’t mention that in the Nike Next% advertising!

My total time was 1:23:04. Alas, Ironman had a technology fail and only recorded two of my activities, so I didn’t get my digital badge (or at least won’t have it until customer support get back to me, and to be honest, it seems unlikely they will). Still, very pleased with the run.

Ironman VR2

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020 | Sport

Ironman VR2 was a standard distance race with a 3km run, 40km bike and 10km run. I decided I wanted some real race practice, so decided to knock it out in a single session.

I set up a transition area in my car park, locking my bike onto the roof carrier and my stuff in my boot before setting off on the first run: a gentle tour around town. I must have been a bit sluggish as it came in at 16:08, although it was slightly over 5km.

Arriving back at my car park, I grabbed my bike, changed my shoes and set off on the cycle. I have started using the route down to Rothwell while the traffic is quite as it is much flatter than going north (it’s still Yorkshire, obviously) so it’s a good chance to use the aero bars a little more. I got some real back pain around 25km in, but it eased off towards the end.

After another transition, I was back in my running shoes and starting to fly. I finished the 10km in 48:10. That’s two minutes behind my 10km PB, but given I didn’t feel I was pushing that hard, and it was warm, and I had already been racing for two hours, I was surprised at how quick my time was.

Thumbs up to Ironman. I was a bit worried their software would get confused given I had recorded it as a duathlon, but it read it perfectly. Thumbs down to Garmin. I finally have my Edge pairing with my phone again, but the date is two days off, so it thought the bike session was two days ago.

My official result was:

2:36:12

That includes any extra distance I did but does not include the transition times. Good enough for position 7,179 out of 11,977 finishers. Although, the comparisons are meaningless given we’re all racing on different terrain.

Ironman VR1

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020 | Sport

With the triathlon season looking increasingly grim, World Triathlon Corporation has announced a series of virtual challenges, starting with Ironman VR1. This was a middle-distance format with a 5km run, 90km bike and 21km run.

You could complete them in any order starting from 6pm GMT on Friday and finishing at midnight on Sunday. They also had pro challenges with women racing on Saturday and men racing on Sunday. This only included the bike course, done inside on a turbo, via Rouvy.

I put in my 5km on Friday evening. A nice change to use my Nike Next%. Sub-24 minutes without having to push too hard. Then I got up super-early on Saturday morning (8am, things have been slack since the lockdown) and headed out for a loop of Rothwell, Tadcaster, Harewood and home on the bike. There are few cars about and I was able to get down on the aero bars for most of it.

Finally, a long, slow plod on Sunday afternoon for the 21km. I went back to my trusty Brooks Revenna and finished in just over two hours.

It would have been nice to have more than 48 hours notice this was taking place! And, in typical World Triathlon Corporation style, the technology is terrible: my login did not work, I got my confirmation email three times and it keeps saying “register for this event” long after I have completed it.

I didn’t win. I came 3,396 out of 5,320, with a total time of:

5:55:25

My splits were 23:37 for the 5km run, 3:29:47 for the 90km bike and 2:02:01 for the 21km run. Those figures are not accurate, though. First, I cycled 91.66km and ran 21.1km, and it takes the total time. But it also does not factor in elapsed time. I had auto-pause on on my Garmin, which would have pushed me over six hours if not.

Swimming 3km

Friday, March 27th, 2020 | Sport

I’ve been working super hard on my front crawl since September: getting in the pool three times a week, every week, and relentlessly doing drills. It’s going well. In February, I reached 3km continuous.

Unfortunately, now all the pools are closed so everything has come to a halt. Lakes are too cold, and there are movement restrictions anyway. Let’s hope that better times are on their way soon.

Covidman

Monday, March 23rd, 2020 | Sport

Fed up of your 2020 races being cancelled and lacking motivation? Let me introduce you to the Covidman triathlon.

Triathlon training is hard. It requires a lot of dedication. Ideally, it requires a goal. That is why so many of us pick some big A races each year and work towards them. But the 2020 season is not giving us any of that. Early races, as far as World Triathlon Leeds in June, have already been cancelled. Many more cancellations are likely to follow.

So, how do we stay motivated when there is nothing to train for?

I’m proposing Covidman. It is an unsupported one-person race you do by yourself. Pick your distance and swim, bike and run as appropriate.

This is a tricky proposition in itself. Namely, where does one swim? If the pools remain closed, it is unlikely there will be organised swim sessions. Let’s hope the North Sea is nice and warm this year, if so. And certainly worth investing in a tow float.

The bike course should be less of a problem as there are very few cars on the road. On long format, toilet breaks might need to be rather natural, and some homemade aid stations might become necessary. Short format could be done on a turbo, although I find anything more than an hour of indoor cycling to be deeply uncomfortable on my bottom.

Finally, the run. Even in short format, most people appreciate an aid station by this point, so perhaps laps around our houses might be the best option.

It should be clear by this point that I don’t really have a plan. Just a rough outline and an ironic name. But I am no longer training aimlessly: I’m training for Covidman.