It started off rapid as always but I knew it would so psyched myself up for a hard swim and had it in my head that I would just work as hard as I can until the end as I wanted to limit my losses in order to keep me in it so just put my head down and drilled it. I ended up swimming the whole swim pretty much by myself apart from some guy behind me who I think liked the feel of my feet and occasionally touched it throughout the swim, maybe he’s one of them people who have got a foot fetish or something!:) I managed to have one of the best swims I’ve had being only 25-30 seconds behind the 2nd pack which contained Paul Hawkins, Ben Howard and a few others which is pretty good for me but still 1m 50 behind the fastest swimmer.
The course was literally straight out 180 turn and back. It was very windy and the race was literally all in pieces so there’s not much to say about this other then I wanted to put myself in the best possible position for when I started the run so I just beasted it. I ended up being with Ben Howard (turns out he can do more then just sing) and we just worked our way up the field. With my swim being what it is at the moment in one of these Olympic races I have 2 options which are:
Pace the bike but be out of contention but will have better run legs!
Go really hard on the bike put yourself in contention and get near the pointy end and x your fingers in the hope you still have your run legs.
I don’t like the sound of number 1 as it’s a race it’s not supposed to be easy and plus you will never feel like your at the pointy end of the race. Anyway I got off the bike in 10th with Ben Howard and some other guy just ahead in 8th and 9th.
I started off pretty had but after the bike I struggled to get a high leg turnover going and get my lungs really working but I gave it my best shot and by the end of the first lap I got overtaken by Lawrence Fanous. Starting the 2nd lap my legs felt as though they got into it and I could get my legs going better and work my lungs a bit more. I saw Richard Stannard catching me. Although at the time I was not liking I did kind of relish the opportunity of trying to hold him off and have a sprint finish with him, well he caught me with about 400 metres to go and put in a surge he got a bit of a gap on me and I had like to voices in my head one saying it’s alright Joe don’t worry it’s only for 11th it don’t matter just jog in and the other saying MAN UP you PUSSY don’t let him get away you can beat him, at this time as well I heard a lot of the guys who I know cheering me on so I dug deep and was really on the limit I managed to get back on his shoulder and new if we got to about 60 metres to go I would have him. We turned the corner to the finish with about 200 to go and it kicked up I went to sprint, he went to sprint and my legs just went bye bye Richard! Yep unfortunately he got me but I like to think that I gave it my best shot and when I went to sprint I literally couldn’t and blew up massively ended up going so slow for the last 100 metres but it was fun.
It was a very good race I finished 12th place but ended up only 1m 23 seconds off Macca in 5th place so you couldn’t ease off. Also it was the best Olympic distance I’ve ever raced as it was full on the whole time everyone just went flat out and hoped they didn’t blow. I know a really good race like this 3 weeks before Antwerp 70.3 will pay massive dividends.
I also want to say a massive well done to Roger Witz Barnes a fellow Man Tri member who finished in 7th place and was running shoulder to shoulder with Macca for a while.
Reflecting a bit more on my own performance I think that physically I was feeling good but I wasn’t as mentally up for it like UK 70.3. I mean don’t get me wrong I was still well up for it but to get the absolute most out of myself I need to get my head in the zone for a good 3 weeks before the race and just visualize it and try and think where abouts it’s going to hurt and just basically get myself ready to completely f**k myself up. I’m mentally getting ready for my next race Antwerp and just going to go so hard, I don’t know what position I’ll get but I think I’m going to be very tough to beat and I am going to give it absolutely everything.
One other thing I wanted to say was that if you know me you will know that I’m probably like the least biggest fan of compression clothing, I will never wear it certainly not during sport and I’ve never even tried it after sport but at the expo there were some guys from this company called 110% play harder who let me try these ¾ recovery tights on where you can fit ice packets in to simulate an ice bath. Now I tried them on and I have to say they worked amazingly the next day I felt surprisingly good and I don’t know if they made a difference or if I didn’t try hard enough but it’s got me thinking and I may have been converted! Only for recovery purposes though!