Paweł ChalacisPaweł Chalacis

Back in January, when I received confirmation of my spot in 2013 London Triathlon it seemed like a really long time to prepare. Suddenly it's only one week till the race. While I am prepared better than I've been expecting few months ago, there is still high level of anxiety involved. After all, with 17000 participants, it is the biggest triathlon in Europe. And I am going to be a part of it.

Race pack

I've received my race pack this week. Nothing fancy, two stickers with number, one for bike, one for helmet (I have no idea where to put it on my Kask), wristband, bib number and booklet with all informations. Finally I got to know what time do I start. I was put into wave 12, that goes at 12.00 on Sunday. I'm afraid it might get really messy, waves to start every 30 minutes, and it takes more or less something between 20 and 40 minutes (depending on swimming skill) to go through 1.5km.

Map



The swim is quite straightforward - go, turn, go back, finish. Bike is two laps between Tower Bridge and Beckton, and run is 3 laps near the whole event. Best thing is that bike leg will be held on closed roads, so I expect to fly with the real time trial speed.

I love the drawing of the map, with fancy buildings etc. The thing I don't like is the fact that it's not the real map. There are no street names or actual streets, so I've created a course using Garmin Connect website.

I don't know if it's exactly the route, but I hope to confirm that in next few days. For now - it's downloadable from Garmin Connect website . As you can see, the route is basically flat. If the weather holds in London, that will be really fast course.

Preparation

It's funny how priorities change. IT was supposed to be my first and my main event this year. Well, right now its neither of these. I've done my first race already and I'm planning to do something even more crazy in next few months. But still - I took it really seriously and last month was dedicated for preparation.

Swim

After blowing up the swim in Mumbles, I've really focused on technique and volume. I even got a swim coach, who created a drills set for me. I've been swimming every Saturday (drills) and Sunday (long distance) on top of two shorter swims during the week. My stroke feels stronger and while I didn't eliminate my mistakes yet, at least I can identify them now. I also have a mental checklist that I go over and over again while swimming. Is the rotation good, where are my elbows, do I hold my breath or not, how is my kick, how is the rotation. Over and over again. Boring, but really helpful.

If I mess up this swim, I will be really devastated. But I know that I've done a lot and I feel much more confident in the water now.

Bike

I continue to cycle to work 3 times per week. On top of that I do two turbo trainer sessions per week - intervals (2km work + 3km rest) and 40km around 160 BPM. My wattage improved, but since I don't have power meter at my bike (and I won't have one for a long time, pricey piece of tech!), I plan to use my BPM as an effort indicator.

Run

I've been running to work every monday for few weeks now. That is 14 km and I've been able to make it faster every time, with average moving pace of 5:10. Not super fast, but ok for a longer run. During intervals I manage to keep my pace around 4:00m with heart rate at 173 BPM. Is it enough? We'll see

Weights

On top of usual swim / bike / run, I've been doing weight training twice a week, mostly deadlifts, squats and legs. This is aimed to make my legs and back stronger as well as well as boosting metabolism.

For the next week I will change the plan and only do lower intensity and lower volume training, while still focusing on swim technique. I plan to go through bike course at least once on my Tri bike. Hopefully I will time it all right and arrive at race day rested and full of power.

If you have nothing to do on next Sunday (28th of July), you can come and watch me not drowning and smashing the bike! Otherwise wish me luck!