I’m beyond excited that my duathlon season has FINALLY started after a long winter of training! My season kicked off last weekend at Oulton Park Duathlon which was great to blow away the racing cobwebs and identify areas that need work ahead of my target races.
It was a stressful start to the race to say the least… I arrived at the venue with less than 15 minutes to register, rack, and get to the mandatory briefing. A great test of my ability to stay calm and not lose my head!
The first run leg was interesting to say the least as my legs didn’t want to move very quickly which was unsurprising given the lack of warm up. Around 2km into the first run, my legs started to play ball and the final part of the run was a far better reflection of my current form. I ran into T1 in first place and got on the bike ready for a very lonely ride around the race circuit.
Despite it being a draft legal race, I spent the entire bike alone which is never fun! I always love the drafting races because of the interaction you get with other riders and the chance to get tactical in a race. Coming into T2, I had extended my lead and just needed to keep my cool and push on the final run.
The last leg of a duathlon is always the most challenging… Your legs are heavy from the first run and bike, your pace has slowed, and every stride forward is pure pain. It’s often at this point, I really have to dig deep and focus on getting to the finish.
Very pleased to have taken the win at Oulton Park Spring Duathlon and I have definitely identified some key areas that need work… my transitions weren’t as fluid as I would have liked, and my run-bike and bike-run legs still need some attention. But all in all, a pretty successful first race!
Next up for me is the British Duathlon Championships where I hope to equal or better my bronze medal from last year! Wish me luck!
About the author: Laura Smith is a Team GB Triathlete and Sundried ambassador.