Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lisbon Half Ironman post race analysis

Unfortunately I can't do much analysis as my Garmin completely let me down. Here is the heart rate graph from the event - bear in mind it was a relatively flat course, so my heart rate should have been pretty constant. What am I supposed to make of this?

I think there may be a few minutes of lucidity around the 2:44 mark, which indicates that I was at around 150bpm, which is what I had set myself as my target. The run looks ever so slightly more reliable, with my heart rate around 160, rising to 165bpm for the last fifteen minutes or so. This is consistent with my feeling that I could have pushed the boat out a bit further on the run, had my general well being after the race not been of any importance... Even so, the run was pretty fast, even if I say so myself! Here are the official results:

I was 84th overall (out of about 650) which isn't bad, 21st in my age group but, on the run leg, I was 33rd overall! I know that a Triathlon is not won on one leg alone but the run leg being the last one does say something about how much gas was left in the tank.

The swim is obviously where I am lagging behind, not to mention the transistions! I don't remember being quite so lacksidasical in changing from one sport to another, but the results make it look as though I was taking it easy. In an event that lasts around 5 hours, I refuse to get all stressed about making the perfect transition - you are more likely to forget something vital and regret it later. According to my not so trusty anymore Garmin, the swim was 2.27km in 35:40 but, even if I did stray from the course a litttle, it is bound to have exaggerated the distance due to GPS error. What I find more striking is that I seem to have lost nearly a minute struggling to get out of the water and tripping over the red carpet. For what its worth, you can compare the swim route with the one I actually did.

If you ignore the top right hand corner where it looks like I took a dip in the middle of my transition (maybe that explains it!), I think the line I took is pretty good - you have to remember that there are a lot of people in the way so it isn't always possible to go in the direction you want to. Perhaps those extra 300 meters come from some fractal wobbling (how long is the coastline of Britain?, that kind of thing). I'd be interested to know what readouts other people got, but I don't suppose anyone else was quite so nerdy as me, to have put their Garmin in their swimcap.


  1. Hi Rob,
    Congratulations on your race. As coincidence has it, we will meet again in Floripa in a few weeks. As to the swim - quite interesting as my swim felt good but my time was about 5min off - could the course have been indeed longer as per your Garmin?

  2. Thanks Christian, but did we meet already? Or are you using "meet" as in a running meet? :-)

    Regarding the swim, there's always hope! I'm beginning to think that it's because I don't swim in a very straight line - but then it's too much to expect the Garmin to pick that up. I'll compare the swim times of the pros to other races they've done and see how it looks.

    See you in Floripa! Drop me an email if you like, its teticio "at" gmail.



  3. wow robert! a fantastic race! not bad at swim, but terrific bike and specially run!
    im sure u are now really confident for your ironman. we (me and fernando) are still in progress. we will be racing at various triathlons in madrid during june. are u racing in any of them?
    best wishes for you last weeks of preparation!

  4. Hey guys! It's a funny coincidence that you should post just now. I was just thinking about you and wondering how you were getting on. I'll catch up over on your page...