Jeremy Hopwood

Jeremy Hopwood

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Challenge Penticton Multisport Festival 2016 - Race Recaps and a Few Things I Learned

Have already done a few "Instagram" Race Reports across the week but thought would add a little more detail on top and a few takeaways.

Part of writing a recap for me is a an ability to "digest" the race and record the experience for in the future. Des Linden put out a good tweet which I took to meaning the importance of looking for ways to improve.

Key Takeaways

Before I do my detailed recap here are my key takeaways;

  • Swim Training - Need to swim a lot - this is not a surprise as new had underprepared on this as I made the comeback to racing. However this will definitely be a winter focus and some easy hard work gains to be made.
  • Dolphin Diving - Need to learn how to do this well - lots of time to be made up in the last 50m or so with some good dolphin diving.
  • Hills - Need to run and ride more hills. Being a flatlander out in Steveston this is tough at times but in the duathlon felt the uphill a bit more than I would have liked on the run. For the bike I dint suffer on the climbs but also didn't have the confidence to attack them,
  • Riding Fast - Had a good bike but need to practice more really getting on top of the big gears. Had a few times were I was going above 42/3 km/h and felt fine aerobically however couldn't seem to get any more speed going. With the bike courses in Penticton having some flat sections good opportunity to take advantage and ride fast.
  • Run Race Pace - Dialling in race pace for the Long Course run. For a few reason wasn't fully happy with my final run buildup and although had good run on the day need to train more at the uncomfortable race pace for long tempo's.
  • Be Adaptable - Thought I did a great job of this during the week around basing my training/prep sessions based on how I felt. Have always been pretty good at this but was super happy how I took the week and race days from this perspective.
  • Some Bike tech - Few takeaways around my bike for next year - racing with power I think would be handy along with some aero improvement's which maybe include front brake and potentially a new wheelset along with evaluating my bike position, helmets etc. 

Race Week - 5 Races in 3 Days

Racing this year was a return to Triathlon and Multisport with the focus being on getting a spot to the 2017 Penticton ITU Multisport World Championships specifically in the Long Course but also hopefully in the duathlon. The schedule this year was a bit more compressed than it will be for Worlds in 2017 however the gap between the Duathlon and the Long Course (Wed to Sunday) didn't worry me that much as often have a hard workout 5 days before a race.

Sunday - Penticton Arrival

Run 5.6km in 29 minutes 

Arrived in Penticton Sunday Afternoon. Have taken to driving up during the day vs trying to slam in the 5 hour drive after work. Part of this is the reality of driving with Kids but another factor is I feel travelling after a work day/packing then driving tends to increase the risk of getting sick

After arriving at our friend's house and having one of many great meals through the week (staying with a Registered Dietician has its advantages - check out headed down to the beach with the kiddos to have some fun. Post some "fun in the sun" ran home for an "easy" run which included some scrambling up some hills!

Monday - Getting Settled and Work to Do

Was working on Tuesday so went for a early swim - trying to make some wetsuit decisions (i.e do I race in my 9 yo wetsuit). Then after a day at the office went for an evening run at race feel along the channel. The big takeaways form the channel run were;

  • More pavement to run on than I had anticipated
  • It had the potential to be very hot, boring, windy and isolated out there

In the end good day and good to get some "final" run work in the legs.

Tuesday- Getting Settled and Work to Do

1.7km Swim
40km of Riding including sme course recon

Got a morning swim, did some work then rode the Duathlon/Long Course bike segment out to Summerland before checking in for the Duathlon. found riding the section to Summerland valuable as allowed me to have a visualisation of how long would be heading out on a road that looks the same for most of the way.

Canadian Standard Duathlon AG Nationals - 6th Overall - 1st M35-39 - 1:56:29

10km Run 37:39 T1 0:43 40km Bike 58:59 T2 0:39 5km Run 18:29

Wednesday brought race day 1 of the week and the Duathlon Nationals. Instagram race report below tells most of the story however if want to be in the mix for this at worlds next year will need to be a good run shape with the ability to run a 33 minute 10km then hammer the bike. Have never raced the 10/40/5 format before and it was fun although in the back of my head especially on the first run was saving a bit for later in the week, Recovered pretty good from this one which means I didn't absolutely limit the runs.

Really stoked with this result and it put me in a good mindset for the race on the weekend.

Instagram Race Report from the Canadian AG National Duathlon Championships at #challengepen in #pentiction. Overall 6th and 1st in AG with time of 1:56:29 for the 10km run / 40km bike / 5km run Started with 10km run in 37:39 - tried to hold back on this a little bit still went out a little too hard for that plan. 4 x a 2.5km lap that included a steep hill. Onwards through T1 and the plan was to bike strong on a flat course. Happy with 58:59 split for the 40km but still would have liked to have been on top of the gears a little more. Good T2 before run 2 which was 5km on the same 2.5km loop. Came out T2 2nd in AG with 10 seconds to make up. Made the catch at 3km then able to hold a gap up and down the hill with a 18:29 split for the 5km. Happy with race and managed to book a spot to worlds in 2017 and pickup a AG Nationals win. Great to see so many familiar faces racing a supporting and looking forward to a couple more races this week. #pbcm #nuunhydration #forerunnersnorthvan #speedtheoryvan #visitpenticton
A photo posted by Jeremy Hopwood (@jeremyhopwood) on

Post race had a pretty relaxed afternoon with some beach time then went and watched the Penticton Vees hockey team play. Part of the highlight of this was the 5 yo getting to go for a ride on the Zamboni!

Always time for some beach time

Fun at the Hockey

Canadian Aquathon Championships - 33rd Overall - 11th M35-39 - 41:06

1km Swim 23:21 T1 0:26 5km Run (measured about 4.8km) 17:11 

Thursday was a bit of rest day for me, The morning however presented a unique opportunity as was luck enough to meet Bob Babbitt a legend of Triathlon and be on Breakfast with Bob and talk AG Racing, Penticton, Family and Triathlon.

After this and some breakfast I got a "new" wetsuit sorted (ex demo suit from the expo) and had a massage from the fine folks at Melt Mineral Spa

Come the evening was time for the Aquathon which is a 1km Swim and a 5km run. Having not raced a tri in 26 months wanted to get a "race swim" in and also good to get another run in.

Water temp had this one as a non wetsuit swim. To be honest had a pretty ordinary swim, felt like I was swimming ok (given lack of training) however think key takeaway was didn't work hard enough and settled into a pace/group that was a bit to easy. Looking at Strava Flyby looks like I lost my rhythm/group at the first turn and that cost me a couple minutes. Add to this also lost a fair bit of time with my lack of dolphin diving ability.

Then came the run - didn't smash the run and it was about 200m short but had a solid run with a 17:11 (which I work out to about a 17:54 adjusted) this included a few high 5 stops for the kiddos and didn't feel like I was going full gas so surprised at the speed that was in the legs.

After the Aquathon came the most important race of the week - The Kids Run!. Had a great time running with the kids who did awesome in the 1km fun run.

Ada running down the red carpet

Tori making her race debut with the help of Mom

Friday - Registration Day

Had a bit of work to do this day, so took the early am easy then after work rode down to meet the family, grabbed the car and went and checked in for Sunday and went for an easy swim to test out the new wetsuit. 

This day was followed by a nice family dinner with a couple beers and catching up with all the family in Penticton.

Saturday - Race Prep and Bike Check-In

The day before a long distance triathlon is always about getting what you need to get done without exerting to much energy. sPen the am getting the race rig ready and hanging out with the kids. After getting every sorted head out for the easy roll down the hill transition and checking in before going to the pre race meeting.

Time for the yellow and pink socks to come out again for Race 3 for the week @challenge_pen with the Canadian Long Course championships in #penticton on Sunday. Race Plan is to focus on working throughout the Swim. Haven't put the time in the pool to except a good swim (swim commuting is not something I have worked out yet) but hoping to come out of the water in under 60 minutes but as a certain #canuck once said "it is what is" Bike starts with a relative flat first 40 or so km so idea ride pretty strong then when the hills start ride the controlled before working the downhill into Penticton and back out for the second lap of Skaha. Run is all about staying relaxed and finding a rhythm early. Will be counting numbers on the way out to determine if need to get on the rivet early. Main objective is to have fun, race to the plan and enjoy the suffering. #pbcm #nuunhydration #forerunnersnorthvan #speedtheoryvan #visitpentiction #challengepen #triathlon #swim #bike #run
A photo posted by Jeremy Hopwood (@jeremyhopwood) on

then hung our cousins house while the kids played in the afternoon before having a nice relaxed dinner. The only real workout for the day was my running activation workout with 1 min above race pace and 4 x 20 second strides to wake the legs up a little.

Canadian Long Distance Championships - 8th Age Grouper - 2nd M35-39 - 6:18:05

3km Swim 58:25 T1 1:44 120km Bike 3:10:10 T2 1:47 30km Run 2:05:59 (Actual Dist about 28.5km)

The instagram race report is below but the day exceeded what I thought would be a best case scenario on on the day. Before the race I normally send a "rough" best case scenario schedule to help family and friends who want to come out and cheer and in the end and as per below I actually finished about 9 minutes ahead

In the end was able to chase down a podium spot in my AG. As mentioned below thought executed my race plan really well - got a good kick in the throat about 1400m into the swim and that seemed to focus me a bit more for the second lap. The good news with my swim is that I feel that with some hard work and speeding a bit of time on coaching has some gains to be made here in the realm of 10 minutes.

Next up was the bike and happy with the ride here - even slightly ahead of what I thought I might be able to execute. As mentioned at the start of this blog have a couple things that I think I can improve on with a winter of focussed work. This year I actually only started riding in Mid March after taking my longest break of the bike in many years over the last winter. Key points to focus on will be overall power and ability to push on the flats combined with ability to attack the climbs going into the red zone but still being able to recover.

Even if the bike course is the same next year, things like weather. road surfaces etc can always have an impact on the day however the aim next year will be to find 10 minutes and bike Sub 3 for the 120km.

The run felt a bit of a slog but managed to hold a rhythm and even though was heating up a bit managed it well and raced the last 7km really well to move up onto the AG podium. Still think have a fair bit of room for improvement here and the aim in 2017 will be to be in 4 min/km shape for the 30km (hopefully course is made to be correct distance as well).

Was great to see the family on the run and made sure to make time for some high 5's at the halfway point

In the end super stoked with the day, executed my first triathlon in 25 months as well as I could have hoped on race day and have lots of room for improvement ahead of the 2017 Penticton ITU Multisport World Championships

Instagram race report from Sunday @challenge_pen Canadian National Long Course #triathlon Championships in #penticton. 2nd in M35-39 and 8th overall AG'r with a time of 6:18:05. Day exceeded expectations as main goal was to get a spot in the top 10 and punch my ticket to worlds in 2017. #Swim: 58:25 (3km - Avg 1:56/100) My YTD swim volume prior to race week is what I may need to aspire to per week in winter (25km) so was realistic in expectations. However after a rough first lap felt I focussed well in second lap and exited with a lot more bikes left in T1 than I had expected. Some hard easy gains to be made with this over the winter. #Bike 3:10:10 for 120km (37.86/h) Executed this as I well as I could have hoped. Was guessing around a 3:15 bike split give or take and managed to stick to the plan well which was to work the flats and descents and manage effort on the climbs . The other plan was to attack the technical sections to keep momentum. Was an aggressive plan but knew would be chasing out of the water. My bikes rides tend to be social in the fact I pass a lot of people and Sunday was no different passing 200 plus people. #Run 2:05:59 for 30km (which was about 28.5km in real life) (4:26 min/km) The first part of the run was about trying to work out where I was in the race. Figured I was in about 8th or so 7km in but the mind always plays the fear game that you missed somebody and good luck tracking people on lap 2! Plan was to run steady till 20km and hold on until the end. The holding on seemed to occur a little earlier than I hoped but even though perceived effort was up pace held steady. With 8km to go figured I had a spot wrapped up if kept moving so walked the aid stations to manage the heat and fuel and chased hard in between. Moved into 3rd AG (which thought was 4th) with 4km to go and 2nd just around the #sicamous with 2km to go. Worked to create a gap so could run over the line with the kids. Thx to the #volunteers #supporters #family and to @pbchocolatemilk @nuunhydration #speedtheoryvan #forerunnersnorthvan @forerunnersvan for the support in 2016. Next up worlds @ #penticton2017
A video posted by Jeremy Hopwood (@jeremyhopwood) on

Looking Forward

Was a fantastic week in Penticton and a great event. From a racing perspective looking forward to being in the best shape possible next year and trying to contest for a good result in the AG Race for both the Duathlon and the Long Distance races.

Thanks to the City and People of Penticton, Summerland, OK Falls for hosting the race, to Challenge Penticton for putting on a great race week and to the family and friends for support on race day and throughout the year,

Also big thanks to my supporters including Powered by Chocolate Milk, Forerunners North Van,  Nuun Hydration and Speed Theory Vancouver.

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