For the past two weekends I have been venturing up to Mooloolaba to run over the #Mootri course in preparation for the triathlon. I have raced all forms of the Mooloolaba Triathlon from Age Group to the World Cup. Lately I have settled for the non-drafting open race as it sits better with my Long Course racing style.
Practicing over the course had me thinking of some of the key tips for this event. I assume it will be an ocean swim this year, but you never know.
Get familiar with the course: This is the first tip that comes to mind and the reasons for my visit to this beautiful location. The swim can change under different weather conditions, the ride can be windy and the run can be hot or even wet.
Swim Land marks: Make sure you know the landmarks in the swim. The first buoy is out to sea and requires minimal navigation but the next turning buoy requires some navigation and the final turn for home requires skill to ensure the best route to shore. So take a look before the race and see if you can line up the buoys with landmarks behind them. Hint for goggles: Ocean = Clear Tint, Canal = Moderate Tint (there is morning glare after the first turn buoy).
Know the conditions: Mooloolaba is often a non-wetsuit swim. Get your hands on a speed suit if you are keen for more speed.
Ins and Outs: With any ocean swim it is always prudent to practice your entry and exit from the water. You can do this in the organised ocean swim the day before, or you can just jump in early on race day.
Run through the wash, lift your knees when you hit the water, roatate your legs to the side for clearance as you get deeper.
Once it is too deep to keep running start dolphining by diving under the waves grabing the bottom and propelling yourself out the other side.
The exit is as important as the entry at Mooloolaba so make sure you know what the waves are doing. Experienced guys will catch one in.
Check out this short clip for the correct technique:
Footage: Kristen Walker, Photo Bomb: Charlie and Mike
Transition: The Mooloolaba transition is huge. Make sure you know exactly where your gear is and walk through the flow of the transition. When I go through a transition for the first time I take photos so that later I can run my eye over them and remember the location of my bike.
Bike: The bike will almost certainly have a wind in one direction that will build for the later wave starts. Make sure you pace yourself accordingly. Don’t get caught up in the big packs (it is non-drafting, don’t forget to keep your distance you don't want a penalty). Make sure you spin your legs out (easy gears) over the hills in the last 2km as you roll home into transition, ready for the run.
Run: The trick to the Mooloolaba hill is to concentrate on high leg turnover on the way over the headland. Try to maintain the same amount of effort while increasing your leg speed and shortening your stride, concentrate on keeping form and using your arms to drive yourself up the headland. On the way down, relax and let the hill do the work.
Finish Fast: It is a fast finish. So don’t be shy to ramp up the leg speed down the hill (past the club tents) and try and carry it through to the finish!