Paratriathlon National Championships, Liverpool

dan at llanelli

Dan went back to Liverpool for the National Championships.

A change in course meant a much tougher transition for the paratriathletes with a number of steps featuring in the distance from water exit to T1.

I didn’t have the best preparation for a couple of weeks coming into the race so I was nervous the day before the race; this compounded by the couple of changes on the course that I didn’t know about, (the steps from the swim and the very, very long transition). Obviously as we were expecting to catch the end of Hurricane Bertha, the weather was also a big factor.

Physically & mentally I tried to get myself prepared for as much as i could; I focused on the positives that I had from training and my processes; I printed off and reviewed the course maps; I went through transition drills with my handlers and prepared wet weather kit in case it started raining whilst I was on the course, consequently I ended up feeling more prepared than I have ever done in a race and race day was a lot better than last year.

As part of my race day preparations I two breakfasts!! My first one when I awoke & my second one for prior to the race start. I also made sure I had prepared energy drinks to sip throughout the morning.

I got my wetsuit about an hour beforehand which was maybe a bit early as it got a little bit hot, went through my dryside warm up routine and some positive reinforcement, visualisation & breathing techniques.

Race start was enjoyable as I had a chance to talk to Phil Hogg and we had a chat about the route and wished each other good luck. As the race started I was pleased to be in the mix with everyone, swimming alongside Joe Townsend. I stayed with the leaders for a short time before settling down into my own race rhythm, coming into T1 a couple of minutes down.

T1 went well because of the preparation. I knew exactly what to do and the handlers did too. As I was carried up the steps I unzipped my wetsuit to make it easier to rip off, I was put in my chair and my handler took the rest off. I knew this is when it would be possible for me to make me to make some time up. The transition was nearly 800m long of pushing in my day chair but mostly downhill so it felt good to get a little bit of my breath back. I then got my helmet on and got in my bike.

The cycle I was my strongest part of the race, I kept my average high, around 27kmph and reached 35-40kmh on the downhill parts of the race.

T2 was ok; I got from my bike okay but my feet got stuck in the bucket part of my seat which took a couple of seconds to correct.

As it hadn’t started to rain I make my kit selection and headed out onto the run phase; the chair part was tough to start with. I struggled to get into my pacing on the long straight, it felt better on the return leg as i picked up my cadence and felt technically strong at the end, especially on the final hill.

Just as I crossed the line Hurricane Bertha arrived, so I didn’t do my planned cool down. Upon reflection I was pleased with the race and was about 8 minutes quicker than last year.