This past Sunday I competed at the Stanford Treeathlon. Well, actually it was a duathlon this year because the water temp in Redwood City was under 50 degrees. Thankfully the race directors decided that it wasn't in their best interest to have almost everyone competing in their race to end up with hypothermia, so the race was changed to a 2k run, 20k bike, 5k run. This race is a great early season fitness test and gives you a chance to see your hard work paying off. The Treeathlon usually draws a good amount of talent for these reasons. Even though I wanted to test my swim and see if all the yards and flip turns I've been doing in the pool would actually translate to a straight open water swim, I was pretty excited to hear that this duathlon would favor the runners. My training parter, Kyle Leto was joking with me before the race, "now you get to experience what it's like to be on the bike first. Don't get lost."
I'm not really sure how accurate the actual distances were, but When the horn sounded, I took off. It was me and one other guy from Cal Poly at the front. After about 600-800 meters, I took the lead and kept the pressure on. I finished the "2k" in 5:17 (which is 4:15 pace....hence the quotations) and was first on the bike by about 10 seconds. Dustin McClarty had a blazing fast transition and actually took the lead from me 1 mile into the bike, but I immediately took it back. I was riding at the front (and not getting lost) for about 3 more miles when, as expected, Kyle took over. I held on for the rest of lap 1, fell off the pace a bit in lap 2, riding in 4th, and in lap 3 after a GU, I started to reel Kyle and another rider back in. I finished the bike at the back of the 4-person lead pack.
This time, I had a fast transition. I was the fourth in and second out, about 150 meters down from a Cal Poly guy, with Kyle and Noah from Cal right behind me. I passed the leader a half mile into the 5k and like before, kept the pressure on. Last year I was woefully out of running shape for this event, running 16:40 for the 5k. I wanted to see what kind of time I could run I ended up taking the win, running a 16:07 for the "5k" (again in quotations). Cal Triathlon team coach John Dahlz told me he had me at sub-5 for the first mile, but that's not important.
What's important is that I can see my hard work paying off. What my coach and I are doing is working. I haven't done a single bit of speed work and I'm running close to 5:05-5:15 pace for a race. I'm biking 26 mph averages for time trials. Things are looking up, and I can't wait to get in the water and rock it! I want to give a shout out to Kyle Leto, who has really impressed me with his running fitness. When an athlete like him, one of the fastest swimmers in the sport, can come up with a competitive run to back it up, it's scary. He is on his way. Also, Noah Beyeler from the Cal Tri team who is in crazy shape right now. Thanks for the help and motivation on the bike. Keep an eye out for this guy at the front of the pack at Collegiate Nationals.
The next 4-6 weeks will be my dive into some more strength and speed work in preparation for Wildflower. Happy training!