Race Report: 1KM swim, outdoor

Today I would take part in the 1km outdoor swim, just like last year. My goal for today was simple: swim faster then last year. My indoor time was good, around 17.30. So that promised something. Here is how things went down.

Registration would be around 18.30, with the start sounding at 19.00. However, I was stuck in traffic, big time. By the time I got home it was around 18.15. So I quickly gathered all my stuff and rushed towards the starting area. Dinner would have to wait until after the race.
The starting area was a mere 5 minute drive, so I made it on time.

Registration was at the start line, well, on the bridge over it. You just had to say your name, retrieve a swim cap, and you’re set. After a swift change into my wetsuit, into the water it was. There wasn’t many time left for a warm up, so a quick up and down towards the start would have to suffice.

As I am not the fastest swimmer of the pack, I lined up in the 2nd or 3rd row, waiting for the horn to sound. Rules for this race are simple. Swim to the buoy, turn around, and swim back. Stick to the right side of the canal, no hitting, kicking, or pulling wetsuit zips.

A quick sound of the horn and we were off! As expected, the line in front of me blasted off, not to be seen again. A few were swimming my pace so I tried drafting of them.

About 2/3 towards the turnaround I had to let them go, to stick to my own pace. I was swimming in a nice gap, so I could focus on my technique. On the turnaround, I used a backstroke to quickly turn and swim in the other direction. Never did this before in a race, but worked well.

I pushed on, and while breathing to either side, I noticed a group started to gather behind me.

As we progressed, I kept monitoring their progress towards me. At the final 100 meters or so I sped up, ensuring they wouldn’t pass me.

With that, my race was over. The results were in. I ended up finishing 13th out of 25. In a time of 17.33. This is around a 1.5 minute improvement over last year.

Race Report: 1km Indoor swim

Today the training was replaced by the 1Km indoor swim race. As usual I went down to the pool around 18.45, as normally the training starts at 19.00. It’s only a 5 minute walk so I was good there. I was in for a big surprise when I entered the pool area 5 minutes before the start, and 34 people were already in the water, warming up. Me and another were the last to register and were lucky there was still a few spots open in the last series.

The race would go down like this: 4 out of the 5 lanes will be used for racing, and one for warming up. Then, everyone will be divided in 3 series. 4 lanes a series, makes 3 people a lane. I was matched up against 1 of the fastest swimmers from the lot, and a guy from our club, but doesn’t take part in our swim trainings. So I wasn’t too sure how my pace would be compared to him. I know he is a better cyclist then me, but when it comes to swimming I figured we would be about even.  My race would be in the 4th lane in the last series, next to the warm-up lane.

Just before the start, we agreed on sticking to the far right of the lane, swimming in circles, so the fastest swimmer would have enough space to pass us. So when we set off, we let him go first, and we would follow close after. I took the middle position, but within 50 meters he was gone. No drafting off him. So I went with my own pace, which went good. A couple of lanes in and I dropped my chaser, slowly but surely increasing the distance. About midway I lost count and had no idea of the distances covered, or better, distance to go. I did count how many times I was overtaken by the faster swimmer, so when he would get out of the water, I knew where I was again. Before I knew it, that time had come, he passed my 5 times, so about 200-250 meters to go. At this point I lapped the other guy once.
At the 100 meter to go point, they would tap you on the head with a foamy stick, they use for aerobics. A final push, and the race was over.

My finish time was 17.38. The only comparison I had was the 19.10 from the 1km outdoor race. So I was pretty stoked.

This race was part of the swimming competition. Before the start someone told me I was 4th in the men’s competition, and that I would have to post a great time to be able to take 3rd. But, the full top 3 posted quicker times then me, but I managed to maintain the 4th place.

No hardware, but still great!

Race report: Swim 100 & 200 meters

Instead of a swim practice, we would have the first race of the “Progression” competition. This competition is a bit different then most. The winner is not the fastest, but the most progressive participant.

The first race will be a 100 meter swim. A nice thing is that the race is not limited to members of the local triathlon club, but to anyone who would like to participate.

The 25 meter swimming pool was divided into 5 lanes. The 3 inner lanes were used for the race. The outer lanes for warm-up and cool down swims. I would be racing in the middle lane. My direct opponent is normally training in the same lane as me.

When the whistle was blown to get us started, we set off. My race was quite close, The first 50 meters we were side by side. The second 50 I slightly pulled away.

The result:

Dennis Mijer
50 mtr time: 40’05
100 mtr time: 1’23″30
This meant I finished 6th out of 13 earning me 84 points.

In points, I was on a shared 6th place.

 

After a short break, we were up for the 200 meters. This race went down similar to the 100 meter race. Just after we set off, I took a small lead to my direct opponent. The first 100 the lead stayed about the same. But as we entered the second part of the race, he hit the wall and my lead grew significantly. I was on my limit as well. In a last attempt to sprint the last 25 meters.

The result:

100 mtr: 1’31’46
200 mtr: 3’07″06
Points: 188 and 94,0 After race two, I dropped to 7th place / 13.

Next races to come:

– 500 meter indoors
– 1 KM indoor
– 1 KM outdoor

 

See you then!

Race Report: 1km open water swim.

Every season my triathlon club has 4 swim competitions. The races are over 4 different distances, indoor and outdoor, to check your improvement. How is this done? Simply said, you race each of the races, and all your time/distances are calculated to one specific distance. This particular race would be the last of the 4 races, but my first.

Around 6.45 PM I went to the starting area to check things out. Without any transitions to set up, it was really relaxing for a change. Slowly more and more people gathered, while I was watching a small zodiac in the distance. Putting the turnaround buoy in the water. As the race would simply be 1 lap. Swim to the buoy 500 meters ahead, turnaround, and swim back.

When more and more people changed in their wetsuit, it turned out their was some confusion around the starting time. Some thought it would be 7pm, others went for 7.15 or even 7.30 pm. Apparently they put up different times on the website, the club magazine etc.
Either way, most of the people already entered the water, including one without a wetsuit. They decided to postpone the start by a 5-10 minutes or so, to give the last people who just arrived the possibility to change and quickly make their way to the start line.

Before we knew it, a small horn sounded, and we were off!
Here is some footage of the start. I am wearing number 6.

The one with the white goggles starting just in front of me would turn out to be the male’s winner. He is too fast for me to keep drafting of him though.
The first few 100 meters I had some troubles getting my breathing down, but eventually things started to even out.
Somewhere halfway I got a bit of a surprise. As their was a small ramp to drive your boat into the water, water got really shallow for a moment, so I was dolphin diving for a bit, gaining some distance.

Before I knew it, I was at the turnaround:

As there weren’t that many people competing, positions were pretty much settled at the time. Personally, I didn’t really care about the positions, as I know the fastest few guys racing, and know I can’t beat them. (The winner would swim 13.24 that day).  So for me it was all about my time. In the pool I would swim around 20 min/km in general.

On the way back I started to enjoy it more. Here you can see the last part and my finish time.

As you can see in the video above, my final time would be noted as 19.10. Not too bad given I expected to swim around 20 minutes. I finished 10/17 in my category. Happy overall, but enough room to improve!