Monday, March 5, 2012

Report: UCLA IronBruin Triathlon 2012

Total Time = 1:27:03
Overall Rank = 31/86
Age Group = Men 40-49
Age Group Rank = 6/16

Pre-race routine

Woke up on my own just before 4. Nutella on toast and Gatorade: breakfast of champions!

Event warmup

BEAUTIFUL weather. Perfect for a March triathlon...or any month, frankly. Hopped in the warm-up pool and swam 150 yards. Felt good.


400 meters
Age Group: 4/16
Overall: 21/86

Trained for five weeks swimming three times a week, with workouts topping out at 2,000 yards. Doesn't sound like much but in that short period of time I brought my swim fitness up as high as it's ever been in the past three years of tri training. Tried to hold a steady pace, up it at the 300 mark, then really up it that last lap. My swim ended up being only slightly faster than last year but I guess that's not bad, considering I ended up 4th in my age group.

What would you do differently?

Train in the pool for more than five weeks.


Age Group: 2/16
Overall: 3/86

Fast as usual. I brought my bike in the trunk of my car this year, which meant taking the wheels off. As I ran out of T1 I kept hearing a clanking noise. I figured out it was the chain, which was not on the chainring. I stopped for a couple of seconds until I figured out what I needed to do, then kept running. That happened after I went over the T1 timing mat so it's not reflected in my time, but it is something I need to check on in the future.

What would you do differently?

After assembling my bike out of the trunk, crank it to make sure the gears are okay.


13.5 miles
Age Group: 5/16
Overall: 30/86

Tough. I really pushed myself this year. Took me the whole first lap to catch my breath after the swim. After that I was breathing heavy just because of the bike. I felt much stronger on all the hills this year. I was passing all kinds of people--college students, even. Of course I was getting passed by people, too. Even though there were fewer people this year, it seems like I had to negotiate more traffic this time. I was nailing the corners, too. There's this series of two corners about halfway, a fast right turn followed by a faster left turn about 40 yards later. I found myself sprinting past people after the right turn so I could be past them going into that left. I had a blast!

My time was only slightly faster than last year, which is kind of disappointing. Oh well.

What would you do differently?

While I did pretty good on the turns (I don't think anybody passed me in one, though I did plenty of passing because of corners), I still don't have the confidence to do corners as fast as I could. Just have to keep working on that.


Age Group: 5/16
Overall: 21/86

I like to have my T2 spot on the right along the aisle. To do that I had to go quite a ways down the aisle. Add to this I need to carry my bike through T2 to keep my shoes from popping off (size 48 (US 13/14), 175 cranks), as I was kinda tired by the time I got to my spot. Got in the shoes okay. Took a quick drink from my bottle just to wet my whistle. Grabbed my visor (I sweat a lot) and race belt and I was off.

What would you do differently?

Get a spot closer to the bike in even if it meant not having an aisle spot. Running a long ways with a bike on your shoulder is tiring.


Age Group: 13/16
Overall: Way back there

I was so tired when I started. My legs didn't feel horrible when I started but it took my a little bit before I hit my stride. I have been doing hill work for this race so instead of taking hills slowly, like I usually do, I tried to maintain my speed. This kept me on the edge of nausea most of the run. That's a good thing, right? At the top of a hill I would coast a bit, catch my breath, then go back to running hard. Three 55-year-olds BLEW past me. I did pass a couple of people, though. The last mile is flat or downhill so once I caught my breath after the last hill I let loose. I was SO tired by the end.

My time, though, sucked. The run killed me this year. Slower than last year, too, which is surprising because I felt stronger up the hills. Sigh.

What would you do differently?

I was doing some speed work in training but for only about a month. I need to include speed work in my run training throughout the year. I really need to figure out how to get faster on the run.

Now that I think about it, I should have taken the Garmin with me for the run. Clearly, I do not know how to pace myself.

What limited your ability to perform faster

I'm 49 and weigh 220#. The weight is coming off again because I have recently made weight loss a priority. Can't do anything about my age. :-)

Seriously, though, my run seems to have gotten worse. I don't know if that's because I was doing a bunch of marathon training until six weeks ago. I'm thinking I need to focus on speed work. Losing weight would help, of course. This year's run was very discouraging.

Event comments

I love, love, love this race. The bike course is the best. I wish the UCLA Tri Team was better organized about marketing the race, though. This was the smallest turnout I've seen (it's my fourth). While I like the race being smaller, I just don't want to see the race go away because of it.

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