2014 Season in Review: Training and Racing

Silly faces with my little sister over the holidays

Although I’ve been slacking off on posting my training logs to this blog, I have been meticulously keeping a record of all my workouts. In fact, this is my first year keeping a record of all my workouts, so I thought it would be cool to analyze my totals and averages from the 2014 calendar year.

Although I didn’t get to race nearly as much as I would’ve liked, I have also have outlined a summary of my racing season.

Overall: 482 hours
Swimming: 206,000 yards (117 miles)
Cycling: 243 hours (4,056 miles)
Running: 1,246 miles

Weekly Averages
Overall: 9 hours
Swimming: 4000 yards (2.3 miles)
Cycling: 5 hours (78 miles)
Running: 24 miles

Number of races: 6
Number of age-group (19 and under) victories: 4
Number of top-10 overall finishes: 3

My racing season started off with a summer triathlon series in the East Bay called Tri for Fun, which was essentially a sprint triathlon (400 yard swim, 10.5 mile bike, 3.1 mile run) held in June, July, and August. It was great to race on the same course over three months because it provided an excellent opportunity to gauge my improving fitness before my more important events.

In my first go at the series I had a relatively sub-par performance given my level of fitness. However, this was my first triathlon in over a year, and thus my biggest goal coming into the event was to reacquaint myself with the pain that goes with racing competitively. I was able to capitalize on this knowledge (and a higher level of fitness) at the second round of the series. At this event, I had a very solid execution across all three sports, which was good enough to score me a top-5 overall finish. This provided a huge confident boost in my racing ability after the disastrous race I had in June. Going into August and the final race of the series I was consistently getting more and more fit, and so I was excited to see if I could get my personal record on this course even lower. Unfortunately, I ran into a couple complications on the day of the race (hyperglycemia) and ended up disappointed with the result; however, the accumulation of training over the summer developed enough fitness to produce a respectable 6th place overall, even with the diabetes complications.

My favorite training destination: cycling to the top of Grizzly Peak in Berkeley, CA

Coming into October, which contained my two biggest events of the year, I lost a bit of fitness getting caught up in college life. First up was Challenge Ranch Cordova, a long distance triathlon. The race started off very well: I had a relatively relaxed swim in great conditions, and subsequently set a 10 minute PR over the rolling 56-mile bike course. Coming into the half-marathon run, I had a bit of difficulties adjusting to the ever-increasing heat. I ended up running from 5km to 10km at a sub-maximal effort so that I could adjust to the heat and get my nutrition right. From the 10km mark through the finish, I was able to increase my pace and negative split the half-marathon. I strolled across the finish line well under five hours, which I was happy with given the course and conditions. I also established a new PR over this distance, and won my age group!

Three weeks later I drove south to an area near my hometown and participated in Lifetime Triathlon Oceanside, an Olympic-distance race. Similar to Rancho Cordova, the race started out very well for me: I had a relaxed opening swim in the (protected) Oceanside Harbor, and once on the bike course I was immediately able to hit my target power output. However, by the end of the 40km bike course I found it difficult to maintain the same effort, and thus I slightly dropped off the pace in an effort to save my running legs. My legs felt fatigued but still strong as I headed out of T2, and so I immediately started running at my race pace. I kept my effort consistent throughout the entire run, which timed my energy to leave me absolutely exhausted by the end of the course. This net me a 2:20 overall finishing time over the Olympic distance, which was good enough for an age group victory!

I closed off the season with my first stand-alone running event in quite some time: the Forma Gym Turkey Trot. I participated in the 10km distance, which is currently my favorite running event. Coming into the event, I was slightly nervous regarding the pacing and effort to expect. However, things came together quite naturally on race day, and I was able to put out a solid performance despite running slightly too fast for 80% of the race. This event got me excited to get back into regular track/speed workouts, and also inspired me to compete in more road races in the near future. It was certainly a great way to close out the season!

Looking Forward

I am very excited for the 2015 season! Not only will I be coming into the year with a significantly higher level of fitness than I did in 2014, but I will also begin racing earlier in the year and more often in general. The West Coast Collegiate Triathlon Conference (WCCTC) begins in mid-February and spans through the end of April, so it will be exciting to start off the year racing for UC Berkeley’s triathlon team!

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