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Discussion: Dambuster Duathlon RR

Subject: Dambuster Duathlon RR

By: Keith B.

Written on: Sunday March 11, 2012

Message: I competed in the Dambuster Duathlon which was also the National Championships in the UK. It is my last year in the 55-59 cat and thought I would have a go at the Nationals this year. It is only my 2nd duathlon. The event was a 10k run, 26 miles bike, finishing with a 5k run. I managed to finish 2nd on the 1st run and was 4th fastest on the bike. Everything going well even though I had a little bit of cramp in my calf towards the end of the bike. Into transition which went quite well and out on to the 2nd run, I had another twinge in my calves, both this time. Carried on still picking up earlier runners from previous waves. Hit the first hill and then had cramp in my quads. My legs just gave way and I was struggling just to walk. Tried to rub them down, run 100 yards same result. I eventually got to the turnround point and took on liquids I knew I was desperate for. Downhill from here and I managed a couple of hundred yards very slowly. Everyone who passed me shouted encouragement to finish. Then I had problems with both knees plus the cramps. Walked, jogged, walked, jogged and managed to limp home. Finished the 5k in 25" 58 which is about 5" 30 slower than normal at the end of a triathlon. I think I may gone out too hard on the run and bike but you have to go for it when it is the National don't you.
I had obviously got my nutrition completely wrong. A gel and a half bottle of energy drink is not enough for an event over 2' 20".
Have struggled in longer events before, what nutrition do think I should be taking on board?

Subject: RE: Dambuster Duathlon RR

By: Sasha C.

Written on: Sunday March 11, 2012

Message: Bad luck after what sounds like a great start. What was the temperature? I would have thought it was fairly cool this time of year. Cramps in both calves doesn't really sound to me like a minerals thing unless it's very hot. As we get older I think it becomes harder to determine what the correct amount of taper is and what the right paces are on the day. Your body can be unpredictable. I think it's likely you, as you said, went a bit quick- probably you were feeling good and fooled yourself. I, as you say, would have taken the chance at the National, no sense coming in feeling you didn't give it your best shot.

Subject: RE: Dambuster Duathlon RR

By: Suzanne C.

Written on: Monday March 12, 2012

Message: Tough day. Although I have to chuckle when people tell me they jog/walked a 5k in 25 minutes. That is a pretty quick job/walk! :)

Might have been some nutrition issues, might have been some "I went out to fast" issues, but like you said, it's Nationals. Balls to the wall baby! Go till you throw!

Thanks for sharing.

Subject: RE: Dambuster Duathlon RR

By: Keith B.

Written on: Monday March 12, 2012

Message: Sasha, the conditions were perfect if a little windy. I would say the run course was pretty flat and only exposed crossing the dam twice. The bike course was rolling with just a couple of sections warranting the small ring. I have recovered well and only have some minor aches in calves. I will put it down to a bad day at the office and wear a hrm next time and try to improve my feed strategy.

Suzanne, I normlly do late 19s or early 20s for a 5k in a sprint tri and 42 or 43 for a 10k in an olympic distance tri.

Subject: RE: Dambuster Duathlon RR

By: Sasha C.

Written on: Monday March 12, 2012

Message: If you still have aches it sounds more like what I would call spasms than cramps. I think it's very tricky to do run-bike-run because the bike uses a shorter range of calf motion (for most of us) than running. You worked the calf hard on the 10k, then used it in a more compact motion, then tried to get it to lengthen back out and it spasmed. That would be my guess, rather than cramps which I associate more with fluid and nutrient loss. Getting the rest right- enough use to keep the muscles active and supple, but also very fresh for the race- would be the solution, (if I'm right) but that's a puzzle in itself. I get spasms when I'm fairly fit but have taken time off. In other words I have the energy to push the muscles hard, but they've been recently inactive and seize up at the demands. By way of illustration I once ran a 5k once 5 days after a 20k. Since I was 44 I felt I needed lots of recovery in between and barely ran. I ran the 20k in a little over 1:10, so I was pretty fit. I ran the first two miles of the 5k in 9:30 feeling incredibly fresh. Then my calves locked on me and I stumbled to a 16:15. In that case less freshness but better prepared muscles would have done far better.

You are clearly more experienced than I (those times at 59 prove that), so I claim no authority here- these are just thoughts.

Cheers, Sasha

Subject: RE: Dambuster Duathlon RR

By: Clyde W.

Written on: Monday March 12, 2012

Message:
Keith, good effort in the race and sorry it didn't turn out as you hoped. I have had similar experiences in some duathlons but rarely in triathlons, so my suspicion is that it is not a problem with nutrition but, as Sasha says, from your hard effort and something that duathlons are prone to producing.

Now, when I do a duathlon I am careful on any hills on the bike to get up out of the saddle and also to spin at a faster cadence. This may sound odd, but it's actually much better for my calf muscles to do this compared to a seated climb where I'm pulling hard up the back of the pedal stroke. Doing the latter has caused my calves to begin cramping on the bike and then worse cramping on the second run.

Subject: RE: Dambuster Duathlon RR

By: Sasha C.

Written on: Wednesday March 14, 2012

Message: I like Clive's advice. I think he's advocating using the calf in a more running-like motion on the hills, instead of the locked, static pulling position which I think is resposible for the muscles seizing on the run. It sounds much more likely to help than playing with rest and taper. I wonder what Jamie, who's an expert on both disciplines, has to say.

Sasha

Subject: RE: Dambuster Duathlon RR

By: ian d.

Written on: Wednesday March 14, 2012

Message: Blimey keith... < 400 ml of fluid and 80 kcals in a gel for 2hrs + ona course like the dambuster? Ouch!

For a standard OD I take a full bottle on the bike, and 3 gels ... one at the start. mid and end of the bike. Some of those cals might not get absorbed in such a short time frame admittedly but i am also lucky (yet!) to not suffer GI issues.

Tho cramping is open to much debate the lack of fluid sounds ominous wrt this so certainly more fluid on the bike. And certainly some hard carbs as well.. you won;t have much left in the legs if you take that initial run anything like near hard.

Good luck next time, and whatever happened, great effort nonetheless!

didds

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