Tom 2nd at Lanesboro & takes a mid season break!

1 CommentTuesday, 22 July 2014  |  Admin

Tom gives thumbs up to Lanesboro!

Firstly - Lanseboro, what a gem of a place for triathlon. 
Secondly, congratulations to Lanesboro Triathlon Club for organizing a great event and hosting over 700 athletes. 
After Tri-Athlone I raced again. Week on week. I was not sure how my body could cope. This is probably first time since 2005 I had two tough races within 7 days of each other. 
The week between Tri-Athlone and Two Provinces Tri, I used mostly to recover and tried to taper. I did my normal tempo run on Wednesday and beside this session; all training was used as a recovery. You cannot do much in 7 days, can you?
DRAFTING: Big focus on drafting. TI changed some rules and the Race Director made sure every one was aware. Lots of information about drafting in the race registration and also long chat just before the race. Strict rules and no leeway was to be given. 7 athletes got the draft penalty anyway. Drafting is so difficult to eliminate and it happens across the globe. 
THE RACE PLAN: I knew it would be tough one. The plan was simple – try to swim hard and hope the gap to Aaron O'Brien is not that big. Then push on bike to close it and try to stay with him on the run.

Lanesboro Two Province Triathlon Tom Gagola
THE SWIM: (750m anti-clockwise with two 90º turning buoys). The swim took place in the warmest water in Ireland, Lough Rea. I would say the temperature was around 19-20 degrees. I had a very sluggish start or everybody else went just before the horn sounded. My fault. It is sprint race and I need to be ready even 2 min before the start. I made my way through the swim and exited the water around 15 sec behind 4-5 other athletes and 60 sec behind the leader Aaron O’Brien.
THE BIKE: (20km not flat, not hilly)
Started the bike with the normal heavy legs. It took around 3 km to overtake the group which finished the swim 15-20 seconds before me. Now I was asking myself, am I making or loosing time to Aaron. I saw him close to the turning point and started counting – I am only 30 sec behind him. Let’s push and see if I can close the gap. At this point my plan went flat – I overtook Aaron but hesitated and did not try to jump and put some daylight between us. So we entered T2 shoulder-to-shoulder. 

Running Flat out in pursuit of Aaron O'Brien
THE RUN: (5k out and back course) Started with Aaron but he quickly put 10sec in to me. Did my best to stay with him but couldnt. I saw several guys after the turning point and I pushed hard to make sure that I would finish second.  Again the last km was slow. Same happened in Athlone. I always push too hard, but well it is only 5km at the end of the day. My split was 17:30. 
Overall I am happy with my performance. I had a similar race to Tri-Athlone and this race wraps up the first part of my season. 
2 x duathlons (twice second), 3 sprint distances (first, second and third) and one Olympic (first).
After the race everyone enjoyed the finisher zone and well deserved meal. Hats off to the Lanesboro triathlon club for the finish zone. Wide open with shelter from occasional rain and wind. They  provided plenty of grub. I finally met with the rest of team (Rachel and Derval) and had nice chat. We, triathletes talk a lot after the race about the next one...

After the racing getting back our breath

The race in Lanesboro and the way it was run is a good example that shows starting with the fastest athletes in the same wave works. It is much safer race(no fast swimmers coming over slower swimmers from previous waves or dangerous passing on the bike at high speeds) which can be enjoyed more by both athletes and spectators. We can race each other and it drives improvement. 

Plan for next couple of weeks: After a week of recovery I am going to get myself in shape for Dublin City Triathlon. 5 weeks with no competition. It means basically hard training. It is going to be a tough race with all top athletes competing. I might do something differently with the training, not sure what yet, perhaps a long hard swim in NAC once a week. 1500m in Athy took a lot out of me and I want to be prepared this time.


P.S. It looks like TI checks my blog ;) as they are now trying to come up with new way of racing. More focused on letting top athletes race each other and dispatch them first. We need to wait for the final proposal but it will be interesting to see. Some people won't like it some will. I like to idea that we are going to have two groups, top and AG and anyone racing in top category won't get AG prizes. This is very fair! However, do we need so complicated license structure. It could work with the same license and your wave based on your current ranking. Let's wait and see.
P.S. 2. I guess racing in SwimCycleRun gear is getting me noticed, as I got some quirky looks before the race. 

Pictures from the race by James Shelley are here! 


James Hudson
Wednesday, 23 July 2014  |  14:34

Tom, we are delighted you enjoyed the visit to our community. Your words of commendation are very much appreciated. We are deeply grateful of the hard work that the Tri Lanesboro committee puts into this event - and the positive exposure it gives our local community. Looking forward to meeting you next year. BVR

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