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I got it wrong at the end

I did my first triatholon yesterday(Andover). I thought my swim and cycle went very well, i was the first out the pool in my group and didnt have anyone over take me on the cycle..... Then came the run. 1Km before i got of the bike I drank a Go gel. By the time it came to the run I was doubled over with cramps. The whole 7KM run was a painful one. Many people pasted me so I think my overall time will be rubbish.

Can anyone give me some advice on the run. Not only did I have cramps all the way round on the run, not matter how hard I focussed I could not get my legs to work in a pace I felt comfortable in. I was so frustrated as people passed me(although everyone was encouraging) that I could not pick up my speed, at one point people walked faster than me but i refused to stop the running pace(even if slow). Im being hard on myself and should be happy i finished my firstone but felt i let myself down at the end. Is it a case of more practice on the bike/run stage or is it always this painful.

any advice would be great



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    MGMG Posts: 470
    First question, had you used the gels frequently in training? if not then a valuable but harsh lesson learnt, dont try anything radical on race day. If you havnt trained using these then they're are best avoided. If you do need to use them (i prefer not to, they're gross [:'(]) I would suggest timing it about halfway through your ride, that way youve had time to digest it and youl feel the benefit more. If youre taking it too close to the run leg then your stomach is trying to digest it and being bounced about whilst you run, not ideal!

    With reference to your run, it sounds as though you need a healthy dose of BRICK (bike to run) training. These can be done either from static bike to treadmill, from turbo trainer to road run or from road ride to road run. You need to condition your body (your legs) to feel comfortable from riding (using mainly quads) to running (hamstrings etc) so the more you do it the more natural it feels, and the quicker you can settle into a rythm. Start with 25min ride to 15 min run, then progress from there.

    Good luck, and congrats on your first tri!! [;)]
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    samanthasamantha Posts: 9
    Thank you so much, yes this was the first time i had used them. I wont use them again i think as it didnt do me any good.

    I will defo try the bike to run training, once i master this hopefully it wont be as painful.



    BTW: apart from the pain I loved it and am hooked
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    Hi Samantha, firstly congratulations on completing your first tri, it sounds like you had a decent race!!

    I am no expert in nutrition but am guessing that the high sugar levels in the energy gel has caused your stomach cramps. When you took the gel did you wash it down with water or energy drink? Gels should really be washed down with water, using an energy drink will only enhance this problem.

    The correct nutrition before and during a race is a big part of success, my advice therefore is to practice taking different gels or energy drinks during your training to see what works for you. Always make a note of what you have taken and what the effects are, you'll soon find out what works best for you in terms of giving you that much needed boost when you really need it. During a race is not the time for experimenting with new ideas or new equipment in my opinion...............just put this one down to experience!!

    Try to take the positives out of the race instead of being hard on yourself, after all it sounds like you had a great swim and bike section!!

    Perhaps some more experienced tri athletes can also give you some advice, just in case I am completely wrong in my diagnosis............
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    BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Well done Sam..you finished & are hooked..our work here is done..well only just begun.

    If it was a sprint then water would have done just fine, as mentioned mostly on the bike unlesss you have practiced drinking on the run, if it was oly, then most likely water & maybe a sports drink would do...as above mostly on te bike unless used to it.

    These gel manufacturers have lot to answer for..personally almost never, maybe when I get to middle distance half IM or IM racing.
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    BARNYBARNY Posts: 157
    Let me give another view to the anti gel lobby above.

    1) SIS go gell - you dont have to take this with any drink - Go gel is as far as I am aware the only (mainstream) gel that is isitonic and so drink not required with it. (of course drink is required with excersise however)

    2) 1 x gel = same energy as 1 x bottle of sports drink...... unfortunatly the sports drink take the whole bike leg to consume v.s. the gel which take 15seconds to consume.. so in say one hour you can have one gell at start, one halfway and one at end of bike and triple your energy intake for the run.

    3) I will put my neck out and say that SURELY EVERYONES FIRST TRI ended in a horrendous run from hell?? .. it teaches you valuable lesson which is what tri is all about - YOU HAVE TO Take it slow to go fast - sounds like you where riding like a bat out of hell and you legs were done for the the run.

    > for me sports drinks on the races up to olympic is too sickly for the pace - gells work much better (1 before swim then every 30-40mins througout race) and plain old water for my drink.

    The problem is that I find that the only way to test nutriton is in an actual race.. on triaining runs/bricks you just cant mimic conditions.

    COngrats on your first tri, keep testing stratagys and KNOW that you will do much better at your next race.
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    BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Gotta go with Barny on point 3.

    Nearly dying after T2 is a rite of passage for your first tri. Time to realise the sad truth that how ever many bricks you've done.. it will never be enough.

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    AdyShawAdyShaw Posts: 19
    Definately agree with above, this year is my first Triathlon season. My first race at Mallory Park i had a great swim and bike, and like Samantha by the time i got off the bike and out of T2 i had crimpling cramp in my stomach and legs of lead.

    I managed to drag my sorry ass around the 5km course in 26 minutes, 6 minutes slower than ever before.

    The moral of the story is that your body is never prepared for your first triathlon, i had no gels to blame, my body just wasn't race fit, and since then i have finished 6 more with a lot more success.

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    BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    However.... you can shovel gels &/or drinks in as fast as you can swallow, however the body can only absorb at a given rate...which of course I can't remember, but I am sure is slower than 15sec to gulp a gel down, hence drinking thru the bike taking in fluid & carbs steadily hydrates & refuels rather than it sitting in the stomach waiting for the body to catch up..as mentioned individuals vary but absorbtion rates are pretty constant.
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    BARNYBARNY Posts: 157
    For info - Personally I feel a (GO GELL - can't stand all the other gells) gel coming though as energy about 10mins after taking and it lasts about 30mins.
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