Set in the beautiful private grounds of the palace, this is one of the country’s most iconic races and definitely one everyone should tick off their list. Idyllic lake swim and closed road course makes this a great race for new comers to the sport looking to take on a challenge. But don’t let that fool you, this is far from an easy course. With long transitions, technical bike and undulating terrain, you’ll have to work hard before you see the finish line.
To help you conquer the course we’ve asked the RG Active coaching team along with a couple of our triathlon friends to give their top tips on taking on the Bloodwise Blenheim Palace Triathlon.
Phil, RG Active Coach – “Rock up and rack up early”
With the walk from the car park to the event village and then transition, you want to make sure you allow enough time to get yourself sorted without rushing. Once you’ve racked up your bike in transition (to see more on how to do this click here ), it’s important that you recon your routes in and out. For T1 do a complete walk through from the ‘Swim In’ sign to your bike, counting the racks and noting what row letter or number you’re on. Then note how far down the row you are to your bike and see if it lines up with anything in the transition area, for example a window or pillar from the palace or advertising banner. Once nearer your bike it’ll be easier to spot. Then recon your route in from the ‘Bike In’ area, since when you come into T2 you need to find your transition spot by only identifying your trainers. Make sure to plan your shortest routes in and out of transition.
Dan, GB Age Group Triathlete & former Junior Elite Athlete – “Positioning on the swim”
There’s a rope that drags all the way from the start to the turn. You can use this alongside your sighting to help swim straight. Once around the buoy it’s another straight line to the swim exit.
Marsha, RGActive Coach – “Grab a tree”
It’s a long way to transition from the swim exit, around 400m. It’s worth considering taking your wetsuit off early, if you usually struggle, as it’s a lot easier when it’s still full of water. Also, when you come out of the water your legs may feel a little shaky going straight into the run up the hill. Taking your wetsuit off gives you time to catch your breath. So, grab a tree for balance and get that suit off.
John, RGActive Director & Coach – “Pace yourself coming into transition”
With an unusually long and uphill run into transition, it’s easy to get excited and run too hard, as you want to get out on your bike as soon as you can. But while a good transition is important, if you tire yourself out on the run into T1 you’ll spend the first lap of the bike recovering. Pace yourself up the hill, whether it be power walking or a light jog, keep moving but focus on controlling your effort and breathing rate so that you reach your bike calm and relaxed and ready to head out on to the bike.
Ross, GB Age Group athlete – “Don’t go off too hard on the bike”
Pacing is key since 3 laps of the undulating course will take it out of your legs. Push too much, and you’ll suffer on the run. Measuring your effort on the first lap will help you pace the rest of the ride. It’s a fairly technical bike course, with lots of narrow corners and undulation. While not overly steep, there are a couple of climbs that come right after a descent into a corner, so being in the correct gear is key to carrying your speed on to the hill.
Dan – “Control your pace on the run”
You come out of the run and very soon after start going downhill, to the furthest point on each lap, after which it’s pretty much uphill most of the way to the end of the lap. If doing the two-lap run, this will be particularly tough on the second lap. Use the downhill to catch your breath and ease off your effort to save something for the hill. Once you round the corner at the top you’ll see that finish line and it’s flat and straight to that medal.
Best of luck for your race!