Sudbury Race Report and Thoughts

Written by Jesse. Posted in Coaching Thoughts, Race Reports

Well, Sunday was the Sudbury Spring Sprint Triathlon. I enjoy doing this race since it’s a great check on triathlon specific speed potential from year to year. This was my 8th time doing the race. Here are my finish times over those attempts:

2000 – 42:53 (35th OA)
2001 – 40:06
2002 – 39:51
2003 – 38:31
2004 – 37:48
2005 – 36:53
2007 – 35:40
2008 – 35:16 (3rd OA)

I have PR’d it at every attempt. As you can see, I was not born fast nor did I start this sport fast (also note that I had been racing triathlon for 3 years prior to this). But, slowly and surly, I became faster through solid training protocols, sacrifice, and consistency. I think these results illustrate how consistent training from year to year can really result in consistent improvement. During this period, I never had an injury or sickness that sidelined me for more than a day or two and I only took off 3 weeks each year to recover at the end of the season. I just kept passing oxygen through my system for 8 years while slowly building weekly training volume from 8 hours per week to 25 hours. Gradual build-up and proper training intensity was the key to not being sidelined with injury. Most people think they can go from 8 hours to 25 hours much quicker than this but then realize that they were wrong while sitting on the couch sidelined with an injury. It takes patience. The QT2 training protocol is based on two major components: speed potential, and durability. My Sudbury results illustrate speed potential improvement from consistency. Durability on the other hand comes with volume and years of experience. Although these results show an 18% improvement over 8 years, you would see that my half iron times over this same period improved much more. Why? Because of the additional durability gained through volume and experience over that same period. At Sudbury, durability doesn’t factor in at all….that’s why I like it. It’s an objective look at speed potential. At the half iron distance, durability does become a factor and therefore over this period those results show a much larger percentage of improvement (due to training volume getting much closer to critical volume).

How’d the race go? Great! I PR’d by 24 seconds. This race is quite a shock to the system when you haven’t yet done any speed work other than a few races. It goes something like this: push off the wall in the pool, then cross the finish line and wonder what happened in between.

Next Up: Mooseman Half where I’ve struggled in the past to have a good day. My most recent performance indicators point me to a 4:12-4:14 goal, which would be a 14+ minute PR on that course. We’ll see in 3.5 weeks! It should be a great weekend either way with a whole bunch of QT2 athletes racing and getting to see the results of their sacrifices over the winter.

Comments (9)

  • IronMatron (Mary)


    Yes, I hear you. But I don’t like it! Some of us are getting to the game a little late and facing down 40 with only one year of experience behind us. That’s why we are impatient. Be patient with us (okay, fine— me.)

    Wish I had discovered the sport early, like you, so that age wouldn’t get in the way of the progression over the years…. In eight years I will be 46! weep!


  • H. James Wilson


    First, great job at Sudbury. Looks like you were less than 2 min behind Beijing Olympic-qualifier Jarrod Shoemaker, plus you had a faster bike split.

    I like how you guys think about durability and the way you baked the concept into my IMAZ plan. When my training buddies talk about durability they tend to think it’s an innate trait that can’t be changed or improved. It’s assumed to be the result of “dumb luck” or being born with “breakdown-resistant DNA.” You’ve found that it’s really something quite different: you can develop it within and across seasons. Gradually.


  • Jessekrop


    Mary: And when you are 46, you’ll be faster than you are now with consistant training! We’re patient, we’d be happy to help you get there. That’s the beauty of this sport; when athletes get into it later in life, they can continue to improve even though their age says they should be slowing down. Just ask your teammates: Keith Manning, Maureen Wattley, and John Barrett.

    BTW…your performance at Sudbury this year was a 7.0% improvement over last year, which tells me a couple of things:

    1) You had a larger improvement over one year than any of my performances above.

    2) This percentage applied to your Timberman result from last year gives in a 23 minute improvement. This based only on speed potential without accounting for durability improvements, which will be significant for you.

    Also, you were amazingly well rounded in your splits Sunday, which tells me you are becoming a triathlete. Welcome to the club!

    James: You are exactly right!



  • Kim


    sudbury sucks ass. but YOU do not! 🙂 congrats on a great race, and how awesome to see your improvement over the last 8 years. way to go jesse!


  • Keith M


    Hey Mary,

    I AM 46 and in the best shape of my life! Jesse is right, the consistent training (and good coaching) has made me faster then when in my 20s and 30s without having either. As for being “later in life” that is what age groups are for and is great about triathlons… you should be excited about reaching 40 soon – a new AG!



  • Qastalla


    This is awesome !!! Good work


Leave a comment