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Why do I ache so much after Bristol Tri?!

I completed my first open water swim triathlon at Bristol on Sunday (M 40 -44) and was well chuffed with a time of 1h16m25s, my goal was to get in under 1h30m!
But now everything aches soooo much. I've only done 2 tris before, both pool based last year & while I ached after, nothing like at the moment. Again, recently completed the 100km Dartmoor Sportive (3h46m) and ached after as expected but not too bad.
I know I didn't do a cool down when I crossed the line, which may of helped, but did have a massage on site - the most painful part of the whole day, especially upper hamstrings & calves!!
My calves especially are so tender that sleeping the last couple of nights has been really tricky. Last year's tris were on hilly courses & so a mix of in and out of the saddle. This is the first time I've used tri bars on my road bike in one position for the whole course, could this be a reason?

Any recovery advice, and prevention for the future greatly welcome!
Really enjoyed the day tho


  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425

    The answer is in your first sentence; 1:16 against a target of 1:30. You worked a lot harder than you have previously & you've got a touch of DOMS. Well done.

    The swim probably didn't make a difference. Being flat I'll bet you were pedalling flat out all the time. Something you don't do in a hilly spotive or even a hilly tri. As you worked harder on the bike I bet that your legs were tired, particularly the quads. With some muscles more tired than others your body adapts and uses other muscles differently to compensate. Hence sore calves. Bike setup may have had an effect but cannot comment without seeing.

    DOMS is a sign that your body is rebuilding the sore muscles stonger and fitter than before. It is natural and welcome reaction to exercising outside your comfort zone. Congratulations! The soreness will ease and gentle traing can restart. Live with it. Avoid pain killers and anti-inflamatories. A cool down in your circumstances may not have been wise on exhausted muscles. No need to buy £50 idiot socks either.

    How to avoid it in future? Train specifically for the event you wish to race in. If it is flat do some training on the flat. If hilly the do some training on the hills. Simulate the race in training.


  • mtbkimmtbkim Posts: 2
    Thanks for your reply! It all makes sense, most of my riding is hilly whereas this was a constant cadence in a fixed position on the bike, which I've only done a couple of 10mile flat fast training rides this year. Better get some more specific training in before my first olympic distance in London in Sept!!
  • willieverfinishwillieverfinish Posts: 1,381
    This is the first time I've used tri bars on my road bike in one position for the whole course
    I'm not a fan of clip on Tri bars. Get a bike fit.
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