Well it wasn’t that bad but here goes anyway.
I had a great result a couple of weeks back in my A race. Not perfect but great and for once I was satisfied. This weekend was a different matter and I slightly underwhelmed myself.
As it was so good for the last race, as usual, I agonised about what I could change for next time. So, typically, I made a few changes just so that I could never be quite sure which of them had worked or not worked. :-)
This weekend’s course was undulating and the last one flat. Same distances, broadly the same kit and broadly the same recovery state.
I just didn’t feel great. Everything was down; swim, bike and run. I compared my performance to a ‘basket’ of people in my AG as well as to the AG winner – many of whom were in both races too.
So, first of all I assumed that I didn’t try hard enough. Checked out my HR stats and nope that wasn’t the case. If anything this weekend I tried harder (Higher HRavg and more time in higher HRzones). Maybe I tried too hard and burnt out on the bike and that did me in for the run? Possibly. I don’t do too many hills in training but this weekend wasn’t THAT hilly.
So then I looked at my cadence. There it was. My cadence was in the high 80s and low 90s rather than 90s. By easing off on my heart’s effort by lowering cadence I maybe compensated was pushing too hard (harder than normal) on the pedals so using my leg muscles more. That certainly wasn’t my race plan. In fact the opposite, I was aiming for mid 90s cadence)
So why did I do that?
Well simply because of my watch!! At the last race I had one on my bike and one on my wrist for the (swim and) run. This time I just had my 910XT. To make matters worse I had the watch on the outside of my wrist and I basically can’t read it there in the aero position. Normally I would have it on the inside of my wrist where I can much more easily read it.
So this tiny detail of forgetting to put my watch on the right way around AND not being bothered to change it could well have cost me dear.
FYI: I had also fiddled with my bike setup quite a bit but I did a TT last weekend and that was close to PB territory so that was not a factor.
(The swim time was a bit slower as I got bunched up and had to use my karate skills to get out :-( )
Well I thought it was interesting. :-)
Sometimes those little things can cause a lot of problems. Plan your races in detail, take an hour or two because, after all, how many races do YOU do (6 a year) and how many hours do YOU train for? (200-500hrs pa?) Make the best use of it all with just a little bit of planning.