Tri Talk HomepageTri Talk EventsTri Talk ForumsBlogsTri Talk TrainingTri TradeTriPlayerWikiTeam Tri Talk
Helvellyn Triathlon-Summary of racing tips for 2010

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    TriTalk.co.uk Forum Index -> Events
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Rich-C




Joined: 07 May 2009
Posts: 650
Location: Wigan

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:32 am    Post subject: Helvellyn Triathlon-Summary of racing tips for 2010 Reply with quote

In preparation for the Helvellyn Triathlon this year, there were several questions about the route and race preparation that seem to pop up in several forms several times. For anybody looking to do this hard (but fabulously challenging and satisfying race) in the future here's my summary of hopefully helpful pointers:

Is the lake cold? Yes. This year (2009) the lake was 11 degrees and so the swim was cut short to somewhere between 1000-1200 metres. Because Ullswater is so deep it never seems to warm up properly and while is wasn't cold like Derwent water in the Keswick Mountain Festival (you naughty organisers! 11 degrees my ar$e) it was as cool as was practically swimmable. EDIT June 2010. I took a little dip in Ulswater last week when camping with the Family. It is still blimin cold

Should I use a road bike or TT? This is a personal choice. My view is that the marginal gains you'd get on a TT bike would be outweighed by losses on the significant climbing sections. From looking around transition this year the vast majority of bikes (90%ish) were road bikes with tribars on. The rest were TT bikes and there were a handful of mountain bikes usually with slicks on. The bike route has 2 significant climbing sections and the rest of the course undulates. If your normal Tri speed is say 20mph on a 'normal' bike route, bargain on going at least 3 mph slower and less if hills are not your thing.

How should I feed? Think of this race as an intense slightly short 70.3, rather than a longer Olympic and you're on the right track. What worked for me was take what I use on an olympic distance, double it and add a bit more on. Again it's personal, but this is what worked out as perfect for me:

1 gel right before the swim,

Bike - 1 litre of High5 drink on the bike, a chunk of maltloaf & 2 gels

Run - 500ml of High 5 drink, a chunk of flapjack & 3 gels (one at the start of each climb).

I know the nutrition guys in 220 talk gubbins about 60g carb per hour and GI distress, but that was comfortable for me and kept the wall far away.

How hard is the Struggle? It's a tough climb. In preparation for the race I mistakenly thought that the struggle was the finally section of the climb over the Kirkstone pass, but it actually refers to the entire 3 1/2 mile climb from Ambleside village to the pass summit. It's tough for the entire ride but I'd guess there are 3 significant 20%+ gradient sections - immediately out of Ambleside, halfway through and then the final climb to the summit where the photographers capture the pain. I found it hard but made sure the effort was steady throughout and got to the top without being too uncomfortable and my legs still in decent shape. But I'm a decent hill climber so........ I'd suggest the key to the struggle is to hold back very consciously at the start and not push at the first steep section.

How to approach the run? This is not a run in any normal sense. This year I was on the mountain within the first 200 and once the climbing started I only saw a handful of waif-like fell specialists run up the serious inclines. Everybody else powerwalked the steeps and then ran on the plateaus/ ridges and descent.

The first part of the run is flat from transition and then quickly turns into a rockstaircase that was taking ~ 40 minutes to climb. After the 'hole in the wall' there is maybe a mile or so of flatish section to the tarn that then turn into a climb along the ridge edge to the Helvellyn cairn. The later stages of this is literally scrambling up a rock face. After the climb there's a section of undulating path that follows the ridge contour before starting on the descent. Prepare for 3 significant climbing sections.

What sort of shoes? Again it's personal preference but you'll need either Trail runners or fell shoes. Running shoes just won't give the grip and traction you need for loose climbing or controlled descent. Nearly everybody had some sort of specialist off road shoe on.
_________________
If not you then who? If not now then when?


Last edited by Rich-C on Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:28 pm; edited 4 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Toyota_Crown




Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 15890
Location: Lincoln / Scarborough (Algerino-Land) / Fircombe-on-Sea. sandbagging for daveM

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

good work Daffy. nowt i disagree with on there. in fact youve made it too easy Smile
why not just change the thread title to Helvellyn 2010 Thread, and we can refer newbie numpTies to page 1 Idea
_________________
EnduroManChamp:Euro2010-12,Deca12, Quin11,D10
HH1x2 HM30 1&3 SRock1 BelC2 GP2 VLM2h58 FellsM
Ard2 D2 FMan-11 TT2 Out16 10.15 CDS5 Ang3 IMUK-11 Jx1 Ult6 BW3 Stap1 Hel23 IMW11 Hx6 BxD1 Wx9 RR8
88IM+11DIM+D+3Q+3T=144IM
UKIMGrandSlam04-17
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Rich-C




Joined: 07 May 2009
Posts: 650
Location: Wigan

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Modified TC.

I guess I've answered the questions I wanted to know in advance of doing the race. In prep for the race it's hard to know just how hard it is, even if you've done some reccies in advance.

I must admit it's been my favorite race out of 2 seasons of racing by some stretch. It's hard to explain why, but it feels more real than other Tri's if that makes any sense. It's all about the mountain and because of that it doesn't feel contrived like some of the multiple lap races you can do. You swim to the mountain, cycle around the mountain and then run up the mountain.

Simple. Surprised
_________________
If not you then who? If not now then when?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Leedsarmy




Joined: 12 May 2008
Posts: 825
Location: Marlow, Bucks

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice post Rich.

If you enjoyed the experience of Helvellyn and love hills, get yourself over to the Wensleydale Big Cheese in 2010 as well. It doesn't attract the entries and razz-a-mataz of Helvellyn, but its a cracking race, very friendly, cheap as chips, and your sense of achievement after will be x2 Helvellyn Wink
_________________
I swore never to read a book again after 'To Kill A Mockingbird' gave me no useful advice on killing Mockingbirds! It did teach me not to judge a man by the colour of his skin, but what good does that do me??
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Rich-C




Joined: 07 May 2009
Posts: 650
Location: Wigan

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers for the positive recommendation Leeds. The main goal for next year is Wimbleball 70.3. and the year after that IMUK.

The missus is very unreasonably insisting that we sort a foreign holiday in August 2010 so I've had to pick and commit to 'main' races a bit earlier than this year. I was thinking about the Big Cheese for the future because I did the sillyly hilly White Rose Classic around the Dales this year and enjoyed every minute of climbing 13000ft Twisted Evil. Hitting the wall at 80 miles was a stern lesson in rubbish feeding and I made sure I didn't repeat it for Helvellyn!
_________________
If not you then who? If not now then when?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Maca_Lad




Joined: 09 Aug 2005
Posts: 1991
Location: Beds/Herts

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leedsarmy wrote:
Nice post Rich.

If you enjoyed the experience of Helvellyn and love hills, get yourself over to the Wensleydale Big Cheese in 2010 as well. It doesn't attract the entries and razz-a-mataz of Helvellyn, but its a cracking race, very friendly, cheap as chips, and your sense of achievement after will be x2 Helvellyn Wink


Ditto!

I did Wensleydale this year and thought to myself that no race could be better.

Having also done Helvellyn a week ago i am still trying to workout which was best.

In conclusion: both events are truly awesome. They are both top class in some of the most beautiful parts of the country!

They are also have a few hills. Twisted Evil
_________________
2011
JAN Winter Tanners (5h33 7th)
FEB Pilgrim (10h16 4th) Camb Boundary Mara(3h31 23rd)
MAR Dunmow Du (1h36 32nd) Charnwood Mara (3h42 3rd)
APR Oxon 40 (7h29 1st!!)
JUN Marston 5K (18:46 29th) Forestman (12h36 36th)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Andy916




Joined: 08 Oct 2011
Posts: 654
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rich-C - great description, many thanks even though I'm 8 years late.
Really looking forward to this race.
_________________
2016: Triathlon X Windemere, Monster Ely half, Evergreen 228 Chamonix
2015: Wasdale X, IM Wales, Rimini half, Ely half, Strathpuffer 24hr
Previous: IM Lanza, IM UK, Forestman, Outlaw, Mallorca half, XTERRA, IoM e2e, Dart 10k, 3PYR
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SwimsLikeAWalrus




Joined: 30 Apr 2007
Posts: 1476

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is helpful.

Wise advice. I wish I'd read it before I did it for the first time.

Helvellyn is my favourite race Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JeffB




Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 1025
Location: Middlesbrough

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget the mandatory kit as well for the run.

The lake doesn't get a lot of because of the mountains so is probably another reason it is so called, there's a bit you swim through about half way round where the temperature must drop about 2-3c and you feel it for about 50-100m. After that it feels warm! I think this is where some stream or something must come in.

There's also a few fast bits on the bike but be careful on the descent from Kirkstone pass, it's twisty and those walls don't like very nice.

One of my favourite races but never seem to have a very good day there.

Jeff
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Andy916




Joined: 08 Oct 2011
Posts: 654
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JeffB wrote:
There's also a few fast bits on the bike but be careful on the descent from Kirkstone pass, it's twisty and those walls don't like very nice.Jeff


Kirkstone descent is fast but fine if you're looking/thinking well ahead. On my last time there, tucked-in at 40+mph, I felt something press against the inside of my knee. A full 750ml bottle had jumped its holder and was held between bike frame and my leg. I carefully reached down, retrieved it and popped it back. Have never lost a bottle in any race and would have been miffed to lose that full one!
_________________
2016: Triathlon X Windemere, Monster Ely half, Evergreen 228 Chamonix
2015: Wasdale X, IM Wales, Rimini half, Ely half, Strathpuffer 24hr
Previous: IM Lanza, IM UK, Forestman, Outlaw, Mallorca half, XTERRA, IoM e2e, Dart 10k, 3PYR
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    TriTalk.co.uk Forum Index -> Events All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1
  Share
 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum





Home | About TT | Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Advertising | Contact TT
Copyright ©2003-2015 TriTalk®.co.uk. All rights reserved.