Gaining experience

Sunday i completed my second road bike race. It was much better than the first experience at the National Championship last year, but still not good. There is room for improvement and more experience needs to be gained. You need to be fit, but its much more about your position in the peleton and being able to read and have your tactics during the race.

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The race took of at a fast pace directly from the beginning. We were going to do 7 laps on a 10km course. The course was quite technical with some small hills. This is not beneficial for me as im lagging confidence since i had my bike accident. It feels like the heart is going to stop before i enter in a roundabout, going down hill or just making a simple turn. So, i was thrown to the sharks to overcome some fears. Are there any better way to tackle your fears than in a race where there is no time to think twice?!

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The strongest girls started off with some attacks, but i followed without any major issue. All girls were together till the 3rd lap. On the most technical part of the course two girls attacked and managed to escape. I was far back in the Peleton and tried to react, but i couldn’t get there. (Lessons learned; I need to work on the positioning in the peleton and become more aggressive and make sure i keep my spot) I managed to go with the chasing pack. The 4th lap was basically just attacks…

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During the 6th lap i tried to make a strategy. Two girls had escaped and we were 7 girls that would fight for the last place on the podium. My idea was to attack on the 7th lap and try to get away. So i did, but i just managed to get rid of 2 girls. So, now we were 5 girls that would sprint for the 3rd place. Hmmmm….sprint finish, actually never done one before. There is in fact a lot to know about sprint finishes and they need to be practiced.

I did many errors sprinting to the finish line. I was the first to react and the first who ran out of gas, well done Larsson. I should have waited for the others to react and then hit the gas.

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Well, there is only one way to learn and that is to participate in these kind of races and gain experience. I have not doubt that my physical level is on the same level as the other girls.

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Another week

Training is going well, lots of focus on the bike now. The next objective this season will be the National championship in Time trial. I really want to be fit for that race as i want to try to defend my title from last year.

Been investing some time in the gym focusing on increasing the strength in my legs and i can clearly feel the difference on the bike.

Yesterday i did another photo shoot with Alexandre Cabrita together with some players from Sporting’s inline hockey team and the very talented trampoline athlete Silvia Saiote. We took pictures with Sporting clothes that are being sold in Loja Verde, Sporting official store for merchandising. Have seen some of the pictures and they are great.

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Pic from the photo shoot

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This weekend i was supposed to race in a Duathlon, Olympic distance, but the race was cancelled. However, i will still be racing, but in a road bike race (60km) on Sunday.

I have started to read a very nice book that i recommend to all of you, despite not practicing Triathlon. The book is about Chrissie Wellington, 4 times World Champion over the IronMan distance.

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A book to read…

A great weekend

Had a fabulous weekend that was filled with workouts, a birthday party, a race and football.

Saturday morning was the same as any other Saturday, three workouts on the schedule. The morning started with an open water session, followed by a hill workout on the bike and ended with an easy run.

Through triathlon i have got to meet very nice people and one of them is Stephanie. She started in the team about six months ago…

Andre and i was invited to her 40th birthday party on Saturday afternoon that took place at a very nice place, Quinta Casal do Frade. It’s a farm that is located about 45km from Lisbon, close to Lagoa de Albufeira. Stephanie had rented the farm for the weekend to celebrate her birthday with friends from all over Europe. It was one of those parties that ill always remember… Thank you Steph!

Below are some nice pictures from Quinta Casal do Frade

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Sunday morning we had to leave early. I had a 10km run race on the schedule and Andre had to give a workout. I was feeling better than expected and took the lead together with another girl right from the start. We ran together for 6km and then she dropped off and i managed to win the race. It was a flat course, but the warm head wind made it more challenging.

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winning the race

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with some friends

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The podium

Sunday ended with football! Sporting won 4-1

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Weekend

The summer has arrived to Portugal, 30 degrees and sun. Even if i have lived here for almost eleven years the first heat always comes as a shock to me.

This weekend, Saturday, i did another photo shoot with Alexandre Cabrita, pictures coming soon.

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One of the pictures taken this weekend

On Sunday i participated in a fashion show that was arranged by my sponsor Tribe Shop Cafe. The purpose of the event was to support woman with cancer. Its always a good feeling participating in an event with such a good cause.

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Modelling my favorite brand ZOOT

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At Tribe Shop Cafe with Catarina Casteleiro

My rest week has come to an end and it’s time to put some volume again. The body is feeling good and i feel that i have recovered well from my “little” break down. This week i will do another Vo2 Max test. This time it’s to measure my running capacities. I have no expectations to perform as well as i did on the bike.

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Nice hill workout with these boys on Saturday

Vo2 Max and Supplements

I’m recovering very well after the race. I actually think that if the race would have taken place this weekend i would have performed better.

I guess I’m also, slowly, changing my opinions  towards supplements. There is no doubt that it’s helped me to recover.

Yesterday i did a VO2 Max test on the bike and to my surprise i reached 510 watts which is very, very good.

The tests starts at 90 watts and you increase 30 watts every 3 minutes. I could never imagine that i would reach so far. It’s good to get the confirmation that there is some capacity in my body.

Next week I will start to pick up on my workouts. Next race on the schedule is a Duathlon race over the Olympic distance (10km run – 40km bike – 5km run). I have never done a Duathlon over the Olympic distance before.

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Preparing for the test

4th in Lisbon

I finished 4th yesterday at Lisbon International Triathlon. The race was won by the swiss girl Simone Braendli. Im pleased with the result as it was around 70 woman racing (6 in the elite class and 64 in the age groups) As i registered in the elite class i could not get my classification as age-grouper. Nevertheless it feels good knowing that i would have won my age group.

The swim went very well, left the water in 2nd. Had some issue in the transition and dropped my water bottle. As i had my special drink for the race i had to return and pick it up. However, that had an minimum impact on the final outcome of the race.

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I never felt good on the bike, not physically, but psychologically. Andre had set up an objective for the bike and i didnt mange to keep it. If i had done so i would have been fighting for the podium yesterday. In long distance you have to focus on the bike and make sure you keep the pace. I was not focused and there were moments i was questioning my participation in the race. Its not easy to move from short distance to long distance and do 90km alone, at least not for me. I will need some more races to adapt.Three girls passed me on the bike and i was in 5th heading into transition for the run.

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The run was a true pleasure. passed the girl in 5th place and ended up running 1h26 for the half marathon (21km). I think it was slightly short, but even so im satisfied.

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I have lots of work ahead of me and i truly need to improve the bike for the longer distances.