Race Day!!! (Training Day #62)

Sandling Beach Sprint Triathlon

Today is the day where all the training will give me a baseline of what I can do in an actual race. The goal for today’s triathlon is to complete the Sprint in a goal time of 2:15:00. The reasoning behind this is my standard training times for each event: 20 minutes for the swim (2:40 min/100 yards), 1:20:00 for the bike, and 35 minutes for the run (11:17 min/mile). This goal is due to not ever doing a triathlon before, and I didn’t know what I would feel like during each event since I have never done them in a single session. Also, the bricks I have completed have only been the bike to run. Therefore, I wanted to have an easily achievable goal. However, I did have a stretch goal of 2:00:00 to give me a guide if I was doing better than I planned.


The preparation the night prior was vital for my family and me. We had an hour of travel early in the morning, and I wanted to make it as stress-free and easy as possible. So I cleaned my truck inside and out on Friday. I installed my bike mounting kit for the bed of my truck. I also got a clean plastic container and put all my cycling gear in with my race packet to ensure all was there. I also packed a bag of clothes to change into after the race and included spare race pants and a shirt in case of a wardrobe malfunction. Everything was loaded in my truck on Friday night, except for my bike.

This was key to minimizing the stress on myself and my wife. It went smoothly. The only issue I ran into the morning was placing the race sticker on my bike before leaving. This was a mistake because the morning moist air was starting to rip it off, and I had to pull over to remove it. Not a big deal, just a lesson learned. We got to the course about an hour before the start. I parked and got my bike set up in my rack, which happened to be next to the bike start. Once everything was set in the transition area, my wife learned to better prepare for herself and my daughter. They had a lot of losing items without a bag. She ended up using the plastic container to carry around their stuff.


So for the race, I entered as a novice and was the last wave to start. I was very relaxed, and I planned to finish the race. Most importantly, have some fun. So at 8:18 AM, the race began with the swim. My game plan for the swim was to let everyone swim ahead of me, and I would bring up the rear. I started the swim with this was the plan, but it seemed that I was swimming faster than many other people. I was slowly passing people and didn’t realize this till I stopped the swim. In the beginning, I thought I was going to drown because this was my first open water swim, and I couldn’t get in a rhythm for my strokes. But, after the first 250 meters, I started to get in a good rhythm and pace. The following 500 meters was pretty fun. I exited the water at 00:17:08, about 3 minutes faster than what I had planned. This realization made me feel good with all the swim work I have been doing.

Transition 1 (T1)

As I was running to the transition area, I tried to ensure I ran and didn’t walk. So I had a reasonable distance to go to get to my bike. I have never practiced my transition 1 (T1), so I tried to go as fast as possible. I thought I was moving pretty quickly, but there are some areas to improve definitely. My transition time was 2:11. I opted to put my socks and shoes on before leaving the transition area. This was a good choice for me.


The bike was a bit tougher than I wanted it to be. The course was very hilly, but overall I am pretty satisfied with my overall performance. I didn’t have any issues with the course or my bike. I completed the bike in 1:12:11, about 8 minutes faster than my primary goal of 1:20:00. By the time I got to the dismount point, I was excited to move to the next event. At this point, I realized that I could meet my stretch goal of 2 hours or sub-2 hours.  In addition, I gained some insight on improving my bike time; if I can get sub 1:00:00, I will gain a lot for the next race.

Transition 2 (T2)

The second transition was a non-event. As I approached the dismount line, I started to undo my shoes and slip out, but my shoes tried to unclip.  So I opted to keep them on and run into the transition with them. It wasn’t a terrible decision.  In the transition, I kicked off my shoes, grabbed my running belt, and threw my shoes on.  I did have elastic laces, and this made it seamless. My total T2 time was 57 seconds.


The run was tiring and felt a bit difficult, which is what I expected. That is why I planned on a 35-minute goal. Luckily, the total distance was 3.1 miles because I was feeling every step. As I continued my run, I kept checking my watch, and if I kept on the pace, I would blow my goals out of the water.  Toward the end of the run, I started to get a cramp in my right side near my abdomen. I just stayed focused and pushed through the discomfort.


In the final few hundred yards, I was able to pass two people and finished my first triathlon at 1:58:06, far exceeding my original goal of 2:15:00 and my stretch goal of 2:00:00. This experience has been gratifying. My wife and daughter were extraordinarily supportive and cheered me on at every transition. It was indeed a great experience. I would recommend this to everyone. Set a physical training goal and go to a race where everyone there is racing against themselves and, of course, others.

Training Statistics:

Strava Results

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain Calories Burned
Didn’t stop my watch in time. But the official time is in the header. https://runsignup.com/Race/Results/68235/IndividualResult/DBMp#U52113139

Sandling Sprint Triathlon Results



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