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Article - 31 May 2012

Nuffield Health Sprint Win for Garth


I always enjoy the sprint races organised by Human Race at Dorney Lake, especially if I win my age group!

The fact is though that the really fast boys were out in force the previous weekend for the Auckland World Champs Sprint Qualifier, so the competition was less severe on this red hot, sunny afternoon. But a win is a win and feels good. Especially as the training I have been doing this year has been very much focussed on improving my overall endurance - I am one of nature's sugar burners and have to work really hard to make my body burn fat in decent proportions at even moderate intensities - and muscle endurance - as I am targetting mountainous races (Alpe d'Huez/Pays d'Aix 70.3/Lanzarote 70.3) this year so the ability to produce moderate force over long periods is key as opposed to flat out sprint triathlon speed.

It really does go to show how important it is to build that aerobic base and specific leg strength as it just allows you cruise through short races at a decent pace from start to finish. Often, that is all that is required in age group triathlon to place fairly high up the ranking. It is worth bearing in mind, that even super sprint triathlons are going to take an hour to complete and that makes for an effort which is almost entirely underpinned by energy produced aerobically. So train accordingly.Anaerobic intervals are draining and require more time to recover from. Best used sparingly and even avoided altogether (except for swim start conditioning) for longer events like 70.3 or full Ironman....

Great little event and congratulations to the organiser John Lunt and his Human Race team on yet another slick production. As John said to me on the day, while he was diligently spraying me and others with a hose pipe (thought there was a ban on!) to cool us down (31C) "The Olympics will be easier to organise than this race!" [Human Race are the official organiser of the Olympic Triathlon race in Hyde Park in August]........Overall a really fun day out for me and the family - my daughter thinks I will win every race I enter from now on! Oh dear.

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