Ironman 70.3 Training Week 1 & Toll Tag Tri Race Recap

Today I’m feeling refreshed both body and spirit. Week 1 of triathlon training is in the bag and I finally got my race fix yesterday. As you know, I’ve haven’t been able to race much this year due to weather and injuries but yesterday the stars finally aligned in my favor and I raced my first sprint tri of the year, the Toll Tag triathlon. This race couldn’t have come at a better time. Even though I have been training all year, I haven’t really had a chance to push myself. My training so far has just been jogging during runs to avoid injury relapse, easy long swims and the only hard cycling I’ve done is in spin class. Let’s not even talk about weight training. This week I finally got back into a schedule, which was amazing! Here is what my training schedule had planned for me this week:
Monday         Tuesday           Wednesday          Thursday          Friday          Saturday           Sunday
45 min Swim    60 min Bike     Run 3 miles      45 min Swim       Off         90 min Bike     60 min Run
    RPE 2-4         RPE 2-4             RPE 2-4             RPE 2-4                            RPE 2-4            RPE 2-4
(*Rate of perceived exertion)
Now I did a little bit of a schedule change this week but only because I had a race scheduled on Sunday. Monday through Thursday went as scheduled but I didn’t work out at all Friday or Saturday because my race was on Sunday. I’ve also decided to incorporate some light strength training a few a days a week to help prevent more injuries. I’ve been going to the gym by my office on my lunch breaks which is perfect. I can about 45 minutes of strength training in if I bring my lunch to work with me. So, Monday and Wednesday I did my tri training plus a strength training session later that day.
So let’s talk about this race shall we?! I’ve have been itching to get in open water since the beginning of the year. Due to water temperatures this race was not wetsuit legal, which made me panic ever so slightly. The last time I
was in open water I did really well but it was also the first time I’d swam with a wetsuit. I’d had this fear in the back of my mind that I was going to sink like a rock. As it turns out I’m pretty buoyant in open water all by my lonesome!

Sprint Triathlon Summary

Total finishers: 140
Men: 99 (1:17:01 avg), Women: 41 (01:24:08 avg)
My Summary:

As you can see I finished second to last in my age group. I assumed I’d be in the back of the pack no matter what but, I didn’t think I’d be that far back! The swim went well in my opinion. We treaded water for our swim start and I tried to stay out to the side to avoid the crowd. I tend to sprint out and get tired if I get stuck in a crowd so I wanted to make sure I was out on my own, especially at the start. We swam around 3 bouys for a total of 500m. By the first bouy I was already switching to the breast stroke to catch my breath. I panicked! I rolled over on my back for about 20 seconds and caught my breath and the rest of the swim was peaceful. The bike was uneventful, I found myself alone for most of it. I expected that might happen as I was in the last group of women to exit the swim. I passed two people early on and the was passed by a group of 5 later in the race. That was the most people I saw the entire bike! The last third of the race I found my self in line with a few other people and we all rode to the finish at about the same pace. It was nice to finish with a group so I didn’t feel so out there and alone.

he run was hot and hard. I haven’t been doing much running at all this year. In fact, I havent run anything over 3 miles all year. I knew this would be the hardest leg for me. As you can see from my summary I was at an 11:07 min/mi. Again, I found myself alone for much of it. Thee run course was a 1.5 run out and back for a 5k total. Once I passed the turn-around for the home stretch there were plenty of other runners to pass and they were all cheering on their fellow runners. I got plent of “Good Job!” and “ Keep it up!” I was so hot though and my calves were cramping for the first mile and I could literally feel the heat baking my skin. That’s Texas for ya!

My goal was to finish in under 1:30 but I missed it. I know now that I really need get more open water practice. I feel like I was fortunate for this race. There was more visibility in the water than I’d seen in other open water races and swim practice. I could at least see feet in front of me for sighting….or dodging when coming for my face. I just need to get comfortable in open water and I need to practice my sighting. I was zig-zaging all over the place. I also know that I need to focus on getting my legs used to running again. When I was training for my marathon last year I could hit an average 9  minute mile with ease. I was struggling just to keep moving during this race. Overall I’m happy with the race. Even if I was slow, I saw improvements in my problem areas. I feel like that’s what was important.


For those of you who like Vlogs, I was able to get some footage from the race and a bit of week 1 in training.

Happy running!

Priscilla Askew, NDTR

Hi I’m Priscilla! Nutritionist, USA triathlon & RRCA run coach, fitness enthusiast, foodie, and owner of Askew Nutrition & Fitness.

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