Challenge Henley and on

So, results are in:
Swim: 1:19 !!!
T1: 00:09
Bike: 06:33
T2: 00:05
Run: 04:36
Total: 12:42

Not quite as planned, for the run at least. A quick summary before I go onto the lessons learned.

Swim was lovely. Bike was pretty solid. Everyone said I looked good during the run, the trouble was I was stopping a lot for aid or toilet breaks and when I was running, I really wasn't running very fast.

The bad...

Stomach problems

I had to take several 'pit-stops' on two of the bike laps and three of the run laps. Without going into too much detail, these cost me time on the bike, whereas on the run the stops themselves weren't much worse than a long walk through an aid station but the cramping probably didn't do my running much good.

Lack of run training

I haven't done anywhere near marathon level training in the past six weeks - if you look at my run log I was probably tapered four weeks ago.

Lack of brick training

I did one brick which was one lap of the Henley course after two laps of the bike course. In hindsight that should have made me revisit my expectations then, I put my slowness down to high winds rather than a tough course. More brick sessions would have been sensible.

Not race weight

I could have probably made more effort to focus on nutrition and drink less beer. That's pretty boring, but sometimes so is a six hour bike ride and I accept that as part of the deal.

Henley run course is hard!

It's a cross-country course in places, running on muddy farm tracks, up hills, down hills, across fields, even some of the tarmac is cross country!

The Good...

Swimming

Ok, I'm still not very fast, but it was a gorgeous swim in cool, but not horribly chilly, conditions. Going sub 1:20 was a great result for me.

Cycling

Without the stops I'd easily have done 6:30 or less, which is as good as my IMCH time last year, but with much more hills. I'm really pleased with the gains I've made with more bike focus this year, but there's still room for improvement here! I overtook lots of aero bikes going up hills. Of course they all got me back on the flats and the downhills.

And onwards

I am not going iron distance in 2012. I am going to concentrate on smaller races, more often. I will join group sessions for added competition, and see if I can get smarter about my training too. I've got the discipline and motivation to do the training hours, I'd like to get more results out of them.