With less than a week leading up to the Buffalo Triathlon, I am starting to wind-down my harder intensity workouts and set the cross-hairs on race day. Although I feel fit, the old saying goes, "it's always the contractor's house that is in greatest need of repair"...maybe the same could be said for this coach and his training volume.
I drove to Buffalo last night to ride the bike course. I had a support car drive with me to draft off, but the wind and the hills were no less noticeable. The swim, a 1500 meter out and back, routes along the shore of Buffalo Lake taking you out and around the race-iconic rubber duckies.
As you exit the swim the race goes south on Cty Rd 25 and does a good amount of hills until you get to the 8 mile mark...at this point the road flattens out and the wind pushes from the side instead of the headwind. Turning around at the half-way point you get a tail wind for most of the return trip back to the transition.
As you come back towards the transition, you will start to see the runners. The end of the bike overlaps the run course for the last few miles. The run is an out and back on 35 coming back into Buffalo after taking you along scenic Buffalo lake shore. The run is relatively flat, however there is a slight uphill on the way out and a steeper uphill/downhill at the turn-around.
I was encouraged at the completion of my ride. With a good amount of intensity work in my training program, I was able to scurry up the hills pretty good. My suggestion to other racers would be find a good gear for uphill climbing and just shift back and forth on the chain-rings from large to small as you go descend and ascend the hills at the beginning (not really changing the rear gear at all). As you enter the flat stage for the middle third of the course find a harder gear in back with the smaller chain-ring in front...this will help you keep your cadence high without sacrificing speed on the flats. You'll be able to see the finish on the ride back before you get there...so hold on, race fast, and have fun!