Royal Windsor - What I'm Hoping For
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Hey, PC67, sounds like there's an echo in here. I'll be in the Men's 40-44 Olympic set, as well. I didn't do Windsor last year, so I don't know what to expect from the course. Are there many hills on the cycling or running sections? What's it like swimming in the river? Does the current play any factor in the swimming?
I'm hoping to do around 32 minutes in the swim, around 1:10 on the cycling, and maybe 50:00 on the running. If transitions go well, and everything else doesn't go wrong, then I should be able to get in around 2:40. But, as I say, I've not done Windsor, and those time projections are based on other Olympic distance races (London, Clacton, South Coast) and my training times.
I've been doing most of my swimming at London Fields Lido (50m), but will be switching over to Parliament Hill a few times over the coming weeks. Although, now it's just time to keep loose and limber and not worry too much about hammering it. I reckon that Parliament Hill is great for hill running and Dartmouth Park Hill is great for hill cycling, so we should be prepared for anything that Windsor has to throw at us.
Have you had much oportunity to do open water swim training? I've been doing some sessions at Roydon Lake in Essex, run by SwimForTri, and they've been excellent. Do they let you wear a wet suit in the Parliament Hill Lido (the water's usually cold enough, anyway)? It would be great to get to the part of feeling totally 100% comfortable in the wet suit before the big day. Maybe I'll see you there one morning.
Will you be doing London, too?
I haven't entered London - is it too late? I have half a eye on Dublin (where I'm from) in mid-August.
Yes, you can wear a wetsuit in Parliament Hill. Quite a few do.
I haven't done any of the open water courses, but I'm fairly comfortable, albeit slow, in open water so didn't really feel the need.
I've only once got up extra early during the week to do a bike / run mini-brick. It went fine but I'd like to have done more.
My swimming has been up and down. I can do the distance but I reckon I'm heading for 32-33 mins again, not the borderline 30 mins I was hoping for when I first posted.
My running has been good, I did 10k plus 3 times alone in last 5 days but I've done no other long cycles though I'll have a go tomorrow am before work.
I actually took a day off yesterday to do some training but took it easy instead - I've been feeling very tired & run down last week and I see no benefit pushing myself at this stage.
I'll do a little bit of everything over next 7 days but it's too late for any breakthroughs. I'm away on business the week before Windsor so this weekend will be pretty much the end of my prep.
To further answer your question: the bike route is very flat & I think it's a great route. It's a bit longer than 40k apparently.
I did a recce last May before the June race and it was windy which made it a bit tougher but on race day it was really calm and it was a super course. There's a really fast bit in Windsor Great Park near the end.
The run is mainly flat, but there's a tough hill up to the castle only 500m in. Be prepared! You have to do it 3 times and I saw many people walking it lasty year. My own ethos is that the course is there to be conquered and anyway, I quite enjoy the challenge of a hill in a sadistic kind of way.
I didn't notice any major effect from the current. The first 1km is upstream which should be harder but it felt pretty even both directions. I was knackered after what I know now was about 1200m and had no idea how far was left or how long I'd been in the water, but it's a really surreal sight peeping up from the water and seeing the outline of the castle ahead. Then total joy when you see the little island beside the exit ahead. Give me your race number & I'll draft you!!
Good luck, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did last year's. Let's compare notes on 18th.