Raynard Tissink Triathlon Coach
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WEEK 12: brought to you by Velocity Sports Lab

The last 2 weeks of training has been down in the mileage department, but way up in intensity. Sometime I wonder which is harder on the body, the long miles make you feel exhausted and drained of energy all the time, where the short speed makes the muscles stiff and sore. The only consolation is that the sessions are usually done in an hour or two.

One such session has been the Tuesday hill repeats on the bike. A ride of only 50km, but certainly the hardest 50km I’ve ever ridden. On a loop of 18km (done twice), there are 3 hills of 6.5min, 7min, and 9min, ranging between 6% and 12% gradient, that when ridden as hard as you can go, leaves you lying in the foetal position, sucking your thumb in your bed for some time afterwards. It is 45min of pure agony.

This last Tuesday, I was unfortunate enough to get caught in a major thunderstorm halfway through the second loop (when these storms come over the mountains, you don’t see them until it’s too late). Going down mountainous descents on a tri-bike is never fun (centre of gravity is wrong, hand position is wrong, brakes are in an awkward position and just don’t work as well as a road bike). Add to that a torrential downpour and the fact that I have cork brake blocks on my bike for racing with carbon wheels; it was just downright frightening travelling downhill at 40+km/h and my bike didn’t want to slow down as I headed towards the steeper, switch-back section of the descent. Memories of using your foot behind the fork on the front wheel to stop your bike as a kid came to mind, but unfortunately, tri-bikes don’t have much room in there these days, so the next best thing was to sit on the cross bar and drag my foot on the ground until my momentum was finally broken and the brakes started to kick in. Another close call averted. Just another day on a bicycle.

The base work is done; the recovery/speed work is done; and now it all comes down to the crucial last 7 week race preparation phase. Everything I’ve been doing for the last 10months has been with this last phase in mind. If everything can go as “smoothly” as it has up until now, I will truly be more ready than I’ve ever been before. Tomorrow will be day one of my first 2week training block before a little “test race” at the 70.3 World Champs in Las Vegas. From there we’ll travel to Hawaii where the second 2week block will take place, before the big show in Kona takes place. The time is nigh, it’s starting to get exciting.

Raynard

Annah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017

After a great first year racing in the professional category in 2016, I was amped for the 2017 season. Feeling stronger and fitter and more in the "right head space" - I had done some great training over December spending many many many (and many more) hours on the bike - I loved it. My swim was starting to click, I was starting to understand the phrase "feel the water", and my running was strong

READ ONAnnah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017
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