Three-peat at Gloucester & Base Training

Posted on August 8, 2011

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Coming off of a pair of successful Pan-American Cups, which I tapered for, it was time for me to go “back to base”. I’ve spent the past four weeks doing lower intensity aerobic training mixed in with a few strength/core sessions per week. For the most part, it has been a boring training block, absent of the speed run workouts and group rides that characterize most ITU training plans. However, it was a valuable period of strength and fitness building which will fuel the rest of my season. I capped off this four-week build with the 3rd annual Gloucester Triathlon.There’s nothing quite like going into a race with four weeks of training and no rest in your legs… Nevertheless, I wanted to race here because I was the defending champ of the past two years.

My duck alarm woke me up at a dreadful 4:30 AM on race morning (I find that the quacks are effective in making sure I actually wake up). I had a small cup of coffee and a light breakfast and headed to Gloucester where I was greeted with moderate rain. There was a solid field of local pros, but I felt confident that as long as I stayed upright on the slick roads I should be able to pull off another victory. Because the ocean was so choppy, the 1/2 mile swim was shortened to 1/4 mile. The race started and I swam neck-and-neck with my friend and teammate Zach Britton. I pulled away by a couple seconds in the last 100 meters and exited the water first.  I had a quick t1 and then got out on the bike. Despite the past few weeks of training, I actually began to feel good and got into a strong rhythm. I began to extend my lead, and by the end of the hilly 15 mile bike course I had about a 90-second lead. I averaged 333 watts/25.9 mph.

Out on the run I definitely began to feel the fatigue creep into my legs. It was deceptively hilly. I started out not feeling too great but trying to work on good form and high cadence. I came through the first mile in 5:21, the second in 5:17, and finally began to feel a bit better and closed out in 5:09.

I extended my lead by about another 20 seconds during the run and crossed the finish line in first with a 2:08 margin of victory on Peter Mallett. My teammate Zach held on for fourth place. A few minutes after I finished I was told that I would be slapped with a two-minute penalty for crossing the center line during the bike leg. Since the bike course was two loops, during the second loop the course became pretty congested with cyclists, and since you’re supposed to only pass on the left there were times when I had no choice but to cross the yellow center line in the road to safely pass the other racers. Every elite that raced probably crossed the center line, but (of course) I was the only one that did it right in front of the official’s motorcycle. At any rate, I still got the win despite the penalty (just by :08 instead of 2:08) and successfully completed the Gloucester Tri hat trick!