Tri Liverpool

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After Blenheim I felt I needed an extra week or two’s training into the body before I raced again. My plans were to put my name in for a Euro cup in mid July but with how I felt in Blenheim I knew I wasn’t in that sort of shape.

My new plans would give me two more weeks training and another race, the British Elite triathlon champs before I stepped up.

Although Blenheim wasn’t the greatest race for me, it kicked my body into action and since id arrived home training stepped up a level. Swim speed was up and i was hitting session I couldn’t before Blenheim. The numbers on the bike were up and I was runner faster/stronger and more consistent. Needless to say I was pretty confident traveling to Liverpool of a top 10/15 performance.

When it comes to traveling to races I like routine. If it’s a race I’ve been to before were talking The same flights, same hotel, same dinner in the same place… It’s not as bad as it sounds, when I start counting the steps I take to and from dinner then its time to worry! Liverpool was no different. I booked the same flights as before, booked into the same hotel and brought the same amount of porridge. Liverpool is a nice city and I had a great view of the race venue from the room.

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Race morning we were greeted by exactly the same weather as 2014! Rain, wind and cold. In a ‘old man yells at clouds’ situation I told Liverpool “don’t even think about it”.

Cycling to the race venue I was glad id lowered my tyre pressure as the roads were slippy. The women’s race was on and it was clear the slippy roads had taking their toll on the field, with small packs of riders instead of the usual bigger bunches. The road rash and bandages on the girls in the athletes lounge who had go down confirmed this.

Full rain gear on, headphones in,  Annie Mac turned up to 11 and out for my warm up routine. Jog, drills, jog, stretch cord, swing the arms and legs around a bit, done! Glad to have the athletes lounge to get outta rain and get the Trisuit and wetsuit on. Quick transition set up and up to swim start for a warm up.

With close to 80 guys all wanting the best starting position there was plenty of ‘elbows out’ before the horn went. When it did go I got into relatively clear water pretty quick and avoided what looked like carnage over to my right. The swim was fast and 4/5 deep till the end. I felt good, it was one of the few times ive felt “comfortable” during the swim and not completely at the mercy of the pack.  A short run into a packed transition. Transitions are one of my strong points and im confident during races when it comes to them.  Wetsuit off and helmet on smoothly before the long run to the mount line. A quick scan of the names on the suits around me I knew I was near the front of the race.

The race was lined out for the 1st 5-6km. My legs felt great and along with Neil Eddy we moved ourselves up the line to the front of the race. Just as the front group was forming there was a crash going around one of the dead turns which split the bunch. A group of 15 got away followed by my group of 8 or so and then a few groups of what looked to be 20ish strong each. We never got back on and the groups behind never got back onto us. As frustrating as it was, I didn’t hit the deck and I wasn’t in a group behind. We worked ok together but not great. I took my turns and done my bit, but with guys not rolling through or only moving halfway up the line we were a little on/off. The roads weren’t as slippy as they looked but I was glad going into T2 that I wouldn’t have to take the cobbled corner again!(video on my instagram)

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Into T2, bike racked, helmet in the box and runners on. Legs felt good starting the run. I knew there was guys in the front group I could catch and guys in my group I could out run. About 1km in my stomach was a bag of lego and it wouldn’t allow me to kick up through the gears. I suffered through till around the 3.5km when it cleared up and I finally got up to speed. My closing lap was quick and I picked of a few guys. I was happy to cross the finish line and have the race over. I was in the shape to run into the top 15 but it didn’t happen. Disappointed with 26th as it’s not a true reflection on where I am at the moment. Or the performance I put out that day.

There are plenty of positives to be taken from the race though. Swim was one of my best ones, I felt strong and in control. My legs were good on the bike, a lot, lot better than in Blenheim and my run speed is up. I just gotta get all three to come together on the day. Plenty to keep me motivated and push forward during the rest of the season.

Being mid race season I didn’t sample the legendary Liverpool night life but I did have the Annual post race two pints with Niall, Sinead, Michael and Nicola. Thanks for entertaining me every year!!

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A late flight home on Monday gave me some time to be a tourist. I caught up with my mate John. He spent the day filling me in on how he invented imagination and world peace. Top bloke!

I recovered quickly and by Wednesday training was full gas again. I love the feeling in the pool the week after a race. After been dragged along by the pack theres speed in the arms and I uses this to knock out some quality sessions to help me move my swimming forward. A top-notch session with Physical therapist Ciaran McDonagh put my legs back into action and ready to crank out the work on the bike and run. Over the weekend I got a bike race in to help drag some speed outta myself. A very short Crit at just 35min but with all of that above FTP.

Credit DC Images
Credit DC Images

This weekend I head to Latvia for the Riga ETU Sprint Triathlon European Cup. I’m really looking forward to this one. My body is feeling great and I want to put out a big performance. Riga looks like an amazing city aswell. With a few hours to spare on the Monday the railway museum is defo getting a look!( I’m a fan of a good steam engine)

Thanks to my sponsors Westpark fitnessAmphibian King and Rotor for there continued support. Along as there websites check out there social media. You can find them all on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

And sure while your on the aul social media give me a follow on Twitter @neilbolger and on Instagram @neilbolger

To quote my mate John,

“Imagine”

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