Our "not so average" Joe Skipper Wins at Weymouth - Race Report
September 24, 2014
Preparation for this event started back in July after Ironman UK. I went on holiday for a week first of all to Turkey and then when I came back I felt fresh and ready to get back into training. I took the first week pretty steady and then went back into the same training program I did in the lead up to Ironman UK.
I managed to get some really consistent training in, one strange thing which happened was I changed the batteries in my power tap which seemed to somehow make it under read. At the time I didn’t realize and just thought that I had lost quite a bit of fitness from taking a holiday and an easy week so in my interval sessions I was burying myself trying to get them watts back thinking that I’m not going that great. This changed when I did a time trial on a local course and managed to break my course record and record my fastest time of the year by 25 seconds on the course. I have since brought some Vectors and compared he power tap with other people and that’s how I realized this. It worked out well though as I gained a good 15 watts on my threshold, although I was cursing it at the time as some of the sessions really weren’t pleasant!
One good session I did in the build up to Weymouth was a 75 mile ride down to a running race, luckily it was a lovely sunny day, the bad news was we had to leave at 6.30am in the morning and it was a head wind all the way there. The ride was done at target Ironman power 290-300w except when we went through the big towns (Ipswich and Colchester) where we just took it easy. It ended up taking 3h 20. We got to the race with 5 minutes to spare so it was a case of just quickly getting changed, going to the loo and then lining u for the running race. I managed to come 2nd in the 10 mile race running an average pace of 5m 32s per mile. A good session and the pub lunch after was very welcome! Also want to say thanks to my training mates Jay Lingwood, and Paul Hayward who joined me for the whole thing and Lee Cook and Reeve who also joined in for the ride. It makes such a big difference when you know there are a group of others that are crazy enough to get up at 5.30 on a Sunday and join you.
The following week I did the Rubicon middle distance where the plan was to have a good hit out but not kill myself, I went into the race without tapering as the plan was to start easing it down after the race which would leave me with 2 weeks to then freshen up and hit top form at Weymouth. The Rubicon went well for me, although I had a bad swim start getting swam over by god knows how many people I managed to get into a good rhythm and swim myself up to 4th place by the end, including one relay team and not far behind 1st and 2nd. huub Onto the bike and my legs felt quite heavy and I have to admit my power was quite a bit lower then I had expected it to be but I think after the training I had been doing leading into the event that’s expected. By the end of the bike I started feeling better and my power came up by a few minutes, I felt as though I could have easily gone for longer but not much harder and finished the bike averaging Ironman power. I felt pretty good on the run and settled into a rhythm knocking out sub 6 minute miles quite comfortably. The lead relay team caught me towards the end of the first lap and I upped my pace a bit but he was running a bit to fast. I’m not sure if I would have been able to keep up with him if I gave it 100% but if I was able to I would have certainly ended up killing myself in trying to. So I ended up winning the individual race but unfortunately he relay team beat me and due to me saying that if a relay team beat me I would wear a dress I ended up having to wear a dress on the podium!
I couldn’t go all the way to Harrogate without going to the legendary Bettys Cafe! Bettys
This was my key aim for the 2nd part of the season and I really wanted to win this race. I actually did my first Triathlon in Weymouth the Bustinskins middle distance so it was nice to go back to where it all started!
The Race: On the morning of the race we were told that the swim was going to be half the distance due to the conditions, at first I thought it was a bit of a soft call as it didn’t seem any windier then what it was yesterday so I said to Laura lets just go and have a look at the sea and see what it’s actually like, when I saw it I was like bloody hell fair call as it was much worse then what I expected!
The swim for me went really trouble free because he conditions were so bad it seemed as though it was everyone for themselves and there were no packs that formed just everyone doing there own thing. I excited the water in 8th I think, the important thing was that I was 3m 30 behind first place (Steven Bayliss). bike My plan for the bike was to ride around 290-300w although if it became a tactical race I didn’t want to waste effort for the sake of it and tow everyone along only to have them run away from me. After a few miles at the top of the first climb I caught Craig Twigg and two others. Me and Craig took turns on the front until the out and back section but we weren’t getting any help from the others in the group so we ended up pretty much free wheeling and making the others have a go at set the pace. One of the athletes wasn’t to bad as although he wasn’t contributing to the pace he was keeping 10 meters behind so fair dos, however the other was drafting to the max and didn’t want to contribute at all. I called him a cheat and a drafter and he said I understand English like I was bothered I said you’re a drafting little cheat. He said I’m keeping 7 meters, I said it’s supposed to be 10 meters but he wouldn’t have any of it! Maybe he should have attended the race briefing. Anyway a little while later and Joel came past, he then set the pace reeling in Steven Bayliss at around the 40 mile mark. At this point I was actually getting a bit bored but also excited as the current effort felt very easy but I didn’t want to waste energy, if I was going to use energy it was going to be a decisive move so I was counting down the miles to the 2K climb as my plan was to go up this very hard in order to distance the others or tire them out so that they would struggle later on. I new hat if they were to come with me on the hill they would be working pretty much just as hard. So when we hit the climb after 55 miles I set the pace at around 390-400w for 6-7 minutes, it felt pretty hard but I knew it was an important time to make the move. Once we got to the top of the climb there was only me, Steve, and Joel left. We kept the pace ticking along nicely for about another 15 miles but then I could tell the power was going down and I thought the others were feeling tired plus I didn’t want to start the run with the Joel and Steven if I didn’t have to. Coming into a round-about with 20 miles to go I put in another big dig, I sprinted past Steven and took the round-about fast I then came out of it very fast and managed to get a gap on the other two. When I looked over my shoulder I saw I had over 40 meters, I wasn’t sure of the exact distance but I knew they weren’t in my slipstream, this motivated me and for the last 40 minutes I averaged 300w which managed to get me a 3 minute 30 lead starting the run.
Out onto the run and I started at a pretty hard pace as I had no idea at the time what my lead was and I didn’t want Joel and Steven to think they were catching me as I knew this would motivate them to keep pushing. I ran the first 5-6 miles at around 5m55 minutes per mile, after this I think my pace slowed to around 6m05 for the next 10 or so miles. run With around 6-7 miles to go I knew I had a lead of around 6-7 minutes so unless anything dreadful happened I would get the win, however although I thought something dreadful would have to happen for me to blow it 6-7 minutes can soon go if you start to cramp up or bonk so you still have to keep taking on nutrition and making sure you don’t do anything silly which could blow it.
7 miles later and I crossed the line victorious in my first world class Triathlon! I was absolutely delighted to have finally won a really big race, I’ve thought I had been capable of it for a while but it’s just actually being able to do it and now I’ve finally managed to win one!
finish A few Stats from the bike and run: Bike Average power 269w Normalized 290w http://www.strava.com/activities/195042419 Run: started garmin a bit late: http://www.strava.com/activities/195046227 Average pace 6m15 per mile At the finish line seeing in some of the later finishes and getting a picture here with the Just Racing team and Womans winner Elenear Haresign.
Since Weymouth: It’s not all been about putting my feet up as I have Barcelona in 12 days time. I’ve actually been feeling very good in training and since Weymouth it appears my cycling and running has actually had a jump in fitness and I am pushing higher power figures in training then before Weymouth by around 10w and I am running faster so all being well in Barcelona I hope to be able to race much faster and I’ll be going there with full intentions of winning! If anyone else is racing Barcelona or if you want to race Barcelona there are still entries available and you can take the hassle of flying with a bike away by getting race force limited to take it as they are driving out there. Training Just before I go I want to say thanks to my sponsors, Mail Big File, Pedal Revolution, Tri Sports Lanzarote, Functional Fitness, Huub, and Clif bar and also to Jenny and Bob for letting me stay with them in Weymouth and my family and Laura for supporting me on the day and helping me, also to Ollie Mathews a nutritionist who has been helping me out over the last 5 weeks, I’m delighted by he gains I’ve had already. Loosing over a kilo while eating like a horse and having lots of energy!
We are catching up with Joe on the run up to IM Barcelona so watch this space!