I wrapped up this 2019 triathlon season with the ITU World Championships in Lausanne. I competed under the British flag (as a 20-24 Age Grouper) in the sprint distance race – and what a way to end the year!
A Hilly But Enjoyable Race
If you watch the Grand Final on the television, you’ll have some idea of how hilly the Lausanne triathlon course was on both the bike and the run.
- The Bike Course
While I can’t say that I’m a fan of hills, I actually really enjoyed this bike course. Whence you had conquered the first incline, the worst was behind you (though we did have to climb it twice as there were two laps). You could then put your head down and focus on speed and power.
When I see my results, I was really proud to see that I had completed the bike course 2 minutes and 11 seconds faster than last year (I competed in the Lausanne 2018 test event). All of those tough turbo sessions and hill reps paid off!
- The Run Course
When I did a race recce of the course with my dad two days before the race, I really didn’t think that the run was that bad. It included three steep but quite short hills. Having done lots of hill sessions in training, I felt fairly well prepared.
However, running that course on fresh legs and running it after a hilly 20km bike race is a completely different story.
Instead of wasting my energy charging up the hills then having nothing left on the flat, I decided to pace myself much more steadily. This strategy, paired with an extra year’s worth of training, resulted in my finishing the run 46 seconds faster than last year. It goes without saying that I was pretty pleased.
A Great Personal Achievement
I came to Lausanne triathlon and stood on that start line with three objectives:
- Complete the course faster than last year
- Finish in the top half
- Cross the finish line with a smile (sometimes if you can’t threaten the medals, it’s best to just enjoy the race and take in every moment – memories matter)
I succeeded in meeting all of these (well, almost. I was 31st out of 56), but I also achieve something which gave me a much more significant confidence boost: I completed this hilly Lausanne triathlon faster than the Gold Coast which was as flat as a pancake.
This was what I really needed to prove to myself that I have become a stronger athlete, both physically and mentally. Bring on season 2020!