Benchmark Testing

TORQ’s Danielle Stewart reports on a couple of benchmark test races, both of which clearly demonstrate the depth of her talent; a 10k in 36mins 30sec which is incredibly fast whether male or female; and a 25m time trail in 62mins thanks to a new bike fit. Both races where done on consecutive days with no taper, so look out triathlon world, the numbers are solid….

Danielle getting dialled in on the TwinBlade at Wilier dealer Stan Jones Cycles Shrewsbury

Having had a winter of practically zero training (November to mid-April) due to injury and illness, apart from a 2-week stint in Lanzarote in January, I haven’t raced as much as would like to have by this time in the season. I am slowly starting to get some fitness back with the goal of staying healthy and getting some consistency at this stage, without too much focus on having to be fast for races. I decided that it was about time I set some benchmarks to start to work on.

Milton Keynes 10k: This was a great evening race that I travelled to straight after a full working day. I hadn’t tapered in any way for this, so wasn’t quite sure how my legs would feel, given the previous weekend’s efforts. I arrived at the race early (I missed the start of my last run race due to getting lost!) so I had time for a short warm-up with friends. It wasn’t long before the gun went and we were off. I spent the whole race trying to stick on the shoulder of a girl called Eleanor (not our TORQ Eleanor), as I knew she was running well. I wasn’t sure how long I would last, but was pleasantly surprised to see I lasted to about 8km before starting to suffer a little. Eleanor kicked in the last kilometre and I followed behind very closely in second place in 36:30. I was pleased with this time as a starting point; definitely something to build on! A taper might have helped?

25M TT – Local club event: The day after the 10km run race, I decided to do a local 25m TT to test the new set-up on the bike since I had a bike fit earlier in the week. All my races have been over 20km and in draft-legal events in recent times, so I wasn’t sure how I would go. The course seemed fairly fast in places and the weather was warm with only a small breeze, but there were a few undulations that could easily catch you out. I had no idea how to pace it so erred on the side of caution. I really enjoyed riding a TT bike fast again (the Wilier Twinfoil goes like a train) and the new set-up was great, although I definitely ached the following day! I finished with a strong 1hr 2mins, which was a nice surprise (to me as well as the event organisers – I didn’t have a clue of the usual procedure for TT’s before and after the race so must have looked like “all the gear, no idea”– I was even accused of taking a wrong turn!).   

All in all, not a bad couple of days training and some solid benchmarks to start to build on. Thanks to all the team sponsors for making training and racing so enjoyable! – Triathlon Frames – Wetsuits – Helmets & Glasses – Cycling Footwear – Cables & Housing – Groupsets – Team PR – Transition Bags – Tyres – Pumps, Tools, Bottle Cages – Lubrication – Chamois cream, clothing