There’s an old saying in Triathlon. You never forget your first…
Maybe it didn’t originate in triathlon, nevertheless it still applies.
The NYC Triathlon is a bit of a homecoming, it was the race that started it all 6 years ago.
Much to the angst of my wife and kids. It set me on the path of spandex and lycra.
This is a great race for anyone considering a triathlon. The swim in the Hudson will have you feeling like Michael Phelps. Side note – the Hudson is a river. Therefore very clean as the dirt and bodies flow out of it very quickly.
It’s very cool to have the West Side Highway closed for you and you know the route because you’ve driven it countless times. The run is in your backyard – Central Park. Logistics of the race are a breeze, and the course support is second to none.
I arrived at transition at 4:30am as I was racing in the elite corral (right behind the pros) before the age groupers start. This afforded me the opportunity to start over an hour earlier and escape the heat as it climbed throughout the day. Side note – pros have it easy, they finished by 7:45am. While age groupers where on the course at 11am. BIG DIFFERENCE!
While waiting in the starting corral, I take a look at the athletes in my group and try to size up the competition. You see very lanky bodies in speedos, guys with tree trunks for legs, and us humans.
I always tell myself it’s a race to the finish line, not a swim race, then a bike race, then a running race.
As always I try to recruit the swimmers to work together as it’s the only place where you can legally draft. They agreed. I was pumped! Unfortunately, the second the airhorn blew. The adrenaline kicked in and they all shot out like a bat out of hell. Sticking to my strategy, I found some feet and drafted. Letting the mules do the work, I PR’d the swim 😊
Swim Race Tips
Jump off the pier while holding your googles.
Kick the second you hit the water so you stay near the surface.
Swim on the outside, away from the sea wall. Current is strongest there.
The bike is Hilly and the road has some rough spots. You need to be aware of your surroundings. It's easy to get caught up on unexpected sights and end up on the ground.
I stayed within my power and HR zones. In other words, I raced within myself. There is a difference between flat and hilly courses. You need to pace accordingly.
PR’d the bike course. You see where I’m going with this 😉
Bike Race Tips
Spin easy for the first 5 minutes to get the blood flowing back into your legs after the swim.
Drink small sips so your body can absorb it, otherwise you’ll need to pee.
Spin up the hills.
The way out is climbing, the way back is downhill. Pace accordingly.
The run is what separates the boys from the men. For every person that had the chutzpa to pass me on the bike, this is where I exact my revenge!
You start out slow get your legs ready for the storm, then after five minutes you go duck hunting. Pick off runners one by one. It’s a fun game.
Central Park is a hilly. Running it is almost second nature, you know the hills, when to push and when to back off.
PR'd the run 😎
Run Race Tips
Spin for the last 5 minutes on the bike to flush the lactic acid out of your legs.
Wait till you’re on 72nd street to start building your efforts.
Race begins at mile 3.
Empty the tank on the last .25 mile.
Crossing the finish line is always rewarding. Seeing the results of your training efforts always brings on a sense of accomplishment.
While this race was a PR and qualified me for the USA Triathlon National Championship in August. I am reminded of the journey I started six years ago to improve my health.
This sport changed my life(style) for the better. No race time or PR will ever compare to the type of person I became through this journey.
Remember, success is measured in more ways than a number on a screen.