Running for speed

I recently asked my coach to change my program so I can work on getting faster now that I’m running again. Next goal: 30min 5km run. I told her that the races on my calendar would be “just for fun” and not the primary focus of my training.

So – the interval run/walk sets have started in earnest. And what do you know? I can actually run at sub 6:00 pace for a minute at a time! Who would have thought???

I did a 5km fun run on 1st November. Official time 32:55 (although my garmin registered the distance at only 4.87km). I’m finding that while I can’t run for long, I’m running faster than I used to. So even with walk breaks my times are coming down. The faster pace is offsetting the breaks. Win-win.

I also completed my fourth Sprint triathlon last Sunday.

This is what is was like after checking the bike into transition and waiting for my race wave to start (photo from


It was freezing standing in the misty rain and wind in a lycra trisuit! A friend and I hid out of the wind behind the toilet block.

The rain stopped just before our race and the wind died down about halfway through the swim so the chop disappeared too. The roads were still a bit wet for the ride. The sun came out about halfway through my run leg.

This was my first race with a split transition. You get on the bike at a completely different location to where you get off (several kilometres this time). When you register they give you a bag to put your “run” gear in and a second bag for your “swim” gear. You hand in the run bag when you put your bike into transition and they take it to the bike finish area (T2). When you get out of the water you put your swim gear in the other bag and leave it behind when you hop on the bike. At some point they take your swim bag to the finish area. When you get off the bike, your run bag is waiting for you.


  1. Finish. 
  2. In under 2 hours is weather is good. 
  3. Enjoy all three legs.
  4. Ok to walk SOME of the run. I don’t exactly have a lot of km under my belt at the moment. 
  5. Don’t stress about split transitions.
  6. No real time/pace goals but also going for good cadence on bike even if I’m not fast.


  1. DONE
  2. DONE – even with not-so-good weather
  3. DONE – run was “ok” certainly didn’t hate it or “endure” it.
  4. DONE – and was okay with walking while walking.
  5. DONE
  6. DONE – average cadence 81 (aiming for 85, usually around 70).

All race goals achieved, and 6 minutes faster than last year. The course was quite different so difficult to compare. Still last in my age group but that’s okay. 

Do I have any tips for beginner (or not-so-beginner) triathletes?

Learn to swim. I’ve found if I have a good swim then the rest of the race is easier mentally. If the swim is hard, all my energy (physical and mental)has gone by the time I’m out of the water.

Learn to swim without a wetsuit. The water temperature on the Saturday afternoon was measured at about 28°C – no wetsuits allowed. It rained a bit overnight so the temperature dropped enough for the Challenge (long distance) competitors were allowed to wear wetsuits. Sprint, Enforcer and Enticer races were still non-wetsuit swims. This put quite a number of people off. It suited me just fine given my history of wetsuit swims. Much better off without it at this time.

This post needs another photo, so here’s the finish photo for our team at the half ironman the other week. I decided to buy it because when am I ever going to have a chance to get a half ironman finish photo again? I am the shorty – if you couldn’t tell.



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