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Route scouting

  • 12.80 mi Distance
  • 43:35 Moving Time
  • 437 ft Elevation
  • Avg speed 17.6 mi/hr
  • Max. speed 31.5 mi/hr

During the brick workout in my recovery week, I had the opportunity to scout the bike route for what would be my third triathlon of the summer.  This was the first time I’d been able to preview a race route before the event.

It turned out to be flat – very flat.  Without a doubt, this was going to be the flattest course out of the three triathlons I’d signed up for. As someone who generally rides a lot of hills, this got my brain working.

What would this mean, exactly, for my riding style?  I wondered if aero gear would be somewhat of an advantage. I didn’t (and still don’t) have any; I ride a relatively normal road bike with a normal road helmet. I was still only doing the sprint distance, so I didn’t think it would matter all that much for my own performance if I didn’t have aero bars and an aerodynamic helmet. I could just ride in the drops and hammer. Aero gear would probably only gain me a few seconds over such a relatively short course.

The flatness of the course was probably going to be my biggest challenge, I figured. Because I weigh a fair amount, I generally have an advantage on the downhills – I can coast faster than other people can often pedal, and I don’t have to do as much work to do it.  That gives me both a speed boost and an opportunity for rest.  On a flat course, there wouldn’t be those bonuses.  It would just be up to me and my legs to do the work.

I felt good about having seen the route, though, and it was a nice ride along the river.  After I got back, I went out for a 2 mile run, feeling a bit tired but okay.

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