New Zealand National Aquathlon 2017
The New Zealand National aquathlon 2017 is a 1000m open water, 2 lap swim and a 5km beach run. We were fortunate to have stunning conditions, the sun was warm, the sea was also warm (therefore no wetsuits allowed) and so was the sand for our late afternoon race.
Men and women started together, so it was a pretty busy mass start. Once into my stroke, I found some feet to sit on and had a good first lap. Exiting the water and going in for the 2nd lap, I was neck and neck with another female athlete, so we swam together for the second lap. The transition was fun as sand seemed to be filling my shoes fast, but I was out and onto the run. The soft sand and people milling around the beach made for a testing 2 lap run, but it was great training and warm up for the sprint event the next day.
I was pretty stoked to come away with the win and to be National champion for 2017. It will be great to represent NZL at the World Champs later in the year. [Gen UCAN: That is awesome Vicki! Congratulations on the huge win.]
New Zealand National Sprint Championships 2017
The following morning I prepared for the National Sprint Championships (draft legal) and again was lucky to find ideal conditions, although the temperature in the water had dropped and it became wetsuit ‘optional’. As the race was only about an hour long, I had one serving of UCAN half an hour before the race.
All the sprint females started together and I had a great swim, exiting the water 5th female. Onto the bike and I quickly caught up with two competitors and we biked the next few laps together. The pace wasn’t quick as there was a lot of riders out on the 10 lap course who we had to avoid and so our group became seven for the last three laps. Clearly none of us could count, as in the end we did ELEVEN laps, not TEN – epic fail! We didn’t realise though until we finished, thankfully. A quick transition and out onto the run. I kept pace with another athlete, but two of the girls I had biked with caught up on the run and overtook me.
I eventually finished with a top ten place overall and was first in my age group by five minutes (despite the extra lap!). A good weekend of racing on the whole. Now back to school to learn how to count! ?
Vicki, congratulations on the excellent win. Can you please give some insight in to your preparation the night before and the morning of a big race like this?
In the preparation for a race I make sure I’m really well hydrated for at least the 48hrs leading up to it. The night before a race I like to have pizza. I know, not a particularly healthy option, but it provides enough carbohydrates, a little protein and some fat. The good work in nutrition is done in the weeks/months before racing and after getting food poisoning the night before the world championships in 2015, I said I would only stick to ‘branded’ plain food.
On race morning I have one serve of Generation UCAN (about 30 mins before racing) after breakfast of white bread and honey, while keeping hydrated with water. As this was a short race, I only consumed water on the bike. After racing, I have half of a serve of Generation UCAN to recover, along with a jog and plenty of stretching.
Given the intense energy expenditure and muscle fatigue during the Aquathlon, how did you manage your recovery and prepare for the Sprint Championships?
Good question, I wasn’t quite sure the 12 hours in between racing would be enough. I have to say, I didn’t go flat out on the aquathlon and kept some in reserve for the sprint champs. I had a serve of Generation UCAN after the aquathlon, did a jog and did plenty of stretching. I also kept well hydrated throughout the evening and wore my compression pants to sleep in. It worked!
Vicki runs a business in New Zealand specializing in Sports Podiatry and Biomechanics. She also is a qualified Sports Massage therapist treating athletes from recreational to elite level. When not working or training, she coaches in triathlon (Level 2 BTF coach) and is a Cycling New Zealand track coach and mentor.