10 weeks have now passed since my last blog entry and what a busy 10 weeks it has been. On the 28th of November I headed down to Falls Creek, Victoria with the National Talent Academy and the NSWIS squad to engage in some quality altitude training. This was the second time I had been to Falls Creek and it is always a great opportunity to be asked to come down as the standard of athletes/coaches is extremely high with the likes of Aaron Royle (U23 World Triathlon Champion), Brendan Sexton (2012 Olympic Triathlete) and Bobby McGee (One of the worlds best run coaches).
I was in Falls for 2 weeks prior to my first major race of the Triathlon season. I left Falls on the 12th of December and flew Straight to the Gold Coast, Queensland to compete at Race 1 of the Scody National Junior Series at Runaway Bay on the 14th. The temperature difference between Victoria and Queensland was insane, a couple of days before I left it was snowing and in the minus degrees, upon arrival in Queensland the temperature was over 30 degrees Celsius. Only had 2 days to adapt before I went into competition.
Race 1 of the Junior series was a Super Sprint Weekend, 7 races in 3 days. Day 1 included 50m, 100m and 200m swim time trials, 8km criterium race and a 1km run time trial. Day 2 included an Aquathon (400m swim, 2km run), Super Sprint Tri (300m swim, 6k bike, 1.6km run), Ultra Sprint Tri (200m Swim, 4k bike, 1.2km run). Day 3 was the Grand Final Triathlon (400m swim, 8km bike, 4km run). After each race athletes were awarded points depending on their position, top 16 gained points.
Day 1 went really well, huge PB's in the pool (50m= 26.5, 100m= 58.1, 200m= 2:06.6). The criterium race was not as good as I hoped, the run before and after let me down. There was a 200m sprint into transition before getting on the bike and then 300m after the bike leg. Got off the bike in 1st but due to my lack of speed in the run ended up in 5th. Run time trial was very impressive for me, ran a 2:35 in my heat which put me through to the final in which I ran a 2:36 placing me 9th. After Day 1 I was sitting in 6th position.
Day 2 had the Aquathon in the morning, was pretty happy with my race in the heat but when compared to the other heats I was placed 10th, picking up only some points. The Super Sprint Triathlon was a terrible race, had a really bad swim coming out of the water mid pack, bike was OK and suffered on the run after getting cramps just after two laps. Managed to finish but did not pick up any points for that race which put me back to 11th position overall. The Ultra Sprint that afternoon was a better result able to pick up some points but not enough to move up the ranks. Recovery was a major focus that night with the last race the next morning and keen to give it a good crack as I was in the A Final.
Day 3 had finally come around, Grand Final Day. The best 16 Juniors were put into the A Final to race each other one last time. I was feeling quite good that morning considering what I had done the past two days and keen to get racing. Come out of the water in the lead pack and had a strong bike leg coming off in first. My legs were shattered as soon as the run started but as the laps ticked over my pace kept getting quicker and started catching back up. Was glad to have passed a couple of people in the last laps but was enough and had to settle for 7th.
After the race weekend, the best 45 Australian Junior Triathletes were selected to attend a development camp. This was my 3rd time at the camp and was really looking forward to it once again. The standard of coaches that attend this camp has always been really high and was definitely the best this year without a doubt; Bobby McGee, Sara Carrigan (Olympic Gold Medallist) and Craig Walton (2000 Olympic Triathlete) just to name a few. Learnt a lot form the camp and gained many new techniques to incorporate into my own training.