Jeremy Hopwood

Jeremy Hopwood

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Garbage Effort - VOWSA Canada Day Challenge 4km Swim Race Report

1:26:26101/124 Overall, 60/71 Males and 8/8 in M25-29.

I can handle racing bad but when I come out of a race questioning my work ethic for the journey I get pretty damn grumpy. So today was the Canada Day Swim at Sasamat Lake as hosted by VOWSA.

After a few days off due to a cold/virus that had me sleeping a lot I was still keen to put in a half decent performance at this event and was hoping to be able to maintain at least the pace I had put up in my recent tri's.

Begin a swim race I didn't do a huge amount of race planning and this may have been an issue. After getting into the suit I found a half decent spot and went at the gun. I tried to group myself with some feet and look to work of them. To some degree I think this was part of my issue as I do not think I attacked the first 200m hard enough and the feet I found turns out were reasonably slow. My main mistake here was not realizing this for about 800m and by this time all other feet had long gone.

I worked on the back section trying to keep stroke cues in my head and I think this was part of my issue as was thinking about to many things and not really executing any well. After this section and turning back for the end of the first lap I saw the feet I had been working of at the start and I think I had either dropped back due to poor work ethic or bad sighting. Through the first lap I was 41:45 which was behind target but I figured with a good second lap I could recover a 1:20 (C Goal).

On the second lap I seemed to be pulling away from my on and off companion for the first lap and rounding the second buoy I came across one of the female's who had started 5 minutes after. Figuring they must have more momentum I worked side by side with them for about 1km but in reflection once again they must have been fading as my effort level to do this was quite easy and at about the 3400m mark I made the decision to try and jump the gap to the next two set of feet. The fact I bridged this 70m gap in about 400m indicates that I should have been working harder all race.

Coming into the finish I had problems sighting the chute and when I got up to my dismay my second lap was even slower than the first at 44:40. Overall time was 1:26:26 coming 101/124 Overall, 60/71 Males and 8/8 in M25-29.

So the aftermath is as such
  • Need to really get a good idea of my perceived effort swimming open water. I could have gone and swam at that pace for 4 more km's.
  • Need to have a swim plan for triathlons and execute. I would nearly rather go out to hard and blow up than come in like this again. Had I planned this out I could have had time goals for each buoy as the distances where marked on the race map.
  • Swim focus must continue. I do not think this was the issue here but still have huge technique gains to make.
  • Just because you are on feet does not mean they are fast. Hung on feet really well for about half this race but turns out they were the wrong feet.
The upside of today!!!!!
  • The equivalent IMC time (With no drafting) would be 1:22:07. This is 14 minutes faster than IMC last year and although nowhere near where I have been swimming in my races is still a 15% improvement on this. My IMC target in my head is 1:10:00 so it is still a long way off that and I have 8 weeks to make the requisite improvements.
  • This is huge motivation. I am super angry about my race today (Have not been this angry about a sport in years) and need to harness this for motivation. Crap effort and poor race planning is something that I can not tolerate in Training let alone racing. To be honest if I can I am going to try and slip in 30 minutes at the pool tonight depending what my friends plans are for Canada Day eve. A repeat of today's performance will not happen and I will have specific swim goals for the Vancouver Half Iron.
Thanks for tolerating this grumpy race report. the times from his race I am going to print off for motivation to kick my @#$@ in the pool for the next few weeks with a big focus on drills.

FYI the VOWSA race was an awesome race and well run and I definitely plan to do more in their 2009 series.


1 comment:

  1. Hey dude,

    I would not claim to be able to solve your swim issues but the one major difference I note between your RRs and others is that you always seem to find feet for good portions of your races. The other fast swim triathletes and pros I read are rarely as lucky.... I think you have rightly pinpointed the fact that your "feet standards" are too low. Ideally, you need to still be pounding out major effort to stay on those feet.... or they are too slow ESPECIALLY in a swim-only race where you aren't keeping anything back....

    Those are my $0.02



    P.S. Glad you liked the 'hidden gem'!