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Triátlo de Alvor ‘Troféu Valter Pais’

-By: Tomas Swift-Metcalfe

Last modified: May 12, 2014

first Alvor triathon

So a couple of weeks on from the Luz Triathlon I’ve done another sprint triathlon and got another 2nd. This time to David Caldeirão, one of the best triathletes in Portugal, a former national champion, third overall in the long distance national championship last year.

I had better fun at the previous triathlon, but this was good. It was good to be able to race on closed roads.

I was out of the water in 6th. It was a wavy, windy day. I didn’t have Paulo Sousa, swim coach at my local club O2 Portimão, to help me out tactically with the swim as he was organising the event. Lacking his advice, I found it a bit trickier than the previous weekend. I got mauled by the pack and while that’s quite fun, it isn’t efficient. In that time, a couple of guys got of the front. I only got a clean line to chase about 300m in. Regardless, I couldn’t have done much: the two guys out the water first swam like fish and I lost 1:33. On the plus side, David Caldeirão swims times that see him out in the lead of an IronMan race, so I was happy with that relatively ‘crap’ swim.

out of the water
here starts the chase!

The bike was draft legal, but luckily this fact was largely inconsequential as the front guys are few and far between. I quickly caught up to second place and began chipping away David Caldeirão’s lead, which wasn’t easy. A couple of guys sat on my wheel for a while, but they were fairly easy to shake by taking some rapid lines through the roundabouts. After the bike, his lead was reduced to 45″.

my sport: I love bike racing… even in a triathlon. There’s nothing like it

The run was tough. I hadn’t expected it, but running on hard packed earth/gravel is harder and slower than running on tarmac. So my run was slower than in Luz, despite the course there being super hilly and this one being pancake flat. I clawed back a further 20″ on the run… My running doesn’t seem at all bad, but obviously if I aim to fly higher, it needs to improve.

last bit of the run was on tarmac
chasing hard here… last few hundred meters

what’s next?

In terms of what’s next, I’m not sure. There’s a lot to organise before I can have a proper crack at it. I do need to sort out proper equipment: triathlon shoes, a tri suit, tri bars… As minimum. Then there’s licences, travel… I’m hoping to get a TT bike from my former cycling team (an in kind payment) that I can get by on and ‘race’ some long events.

In terms of training:

Bike wise there are huge improvements I can make, I know that much: I’ll be venturing back into the mountains occasionally.

Swimming is the incognito, I know how fast I’d like to go, but now how fast I can go. Scheduled: lots of open water volume.

Running wise it’s a mater of getting the quality training in and I should be pretty quick. Lots of speed work.

I’m looking forward to the next triathlon, although I am not sure when it will be.


podium alvor triathlon
final podium

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