BREAK­ING NEW GROUND

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - T1 - BY KERRY HALE

Many are call­ing 2017 a break­through year for Pen­tic­ton pro Jen An­nett. The out­stand­ing re­sults be­gan with Iron­man 70.3 Vic­to­ria, where she took sec­ond place over­all thanks to the day’s fastest bike split and break­ing 1:30 for the 21-km run. “Break­ing 1:30 was a huge deal for me, and a sure sign of im­prove­ment,” says An­nett. Iron­man 70.3 Coeur d’alene fol­lowed three weeks later, where An­nett took sec­ond again and du­pli­cated her fastest bike split and sub1:30 per­for­mances. These re­sults set her up for a fan­tas­tic 2017 race sea­son. At Iron­man Canada, her “A” race for 2017, she had a per­sonal-best swim, fi­nally break­ing the one-hour mark. The day in­cluded yet another run­ner-up fin­ish, but she “was still su­per­happy with the re­sult,” she ex­plains, “all three podium fin­ish­ers broke the course record.” By the time Septem­ber rolled around, how­ever, her body was tired and the re­sults showed.

An eighth-place fin­ish in her home­town at the ITU Long Dis­tance World Cham­pi­onship was fol­lowed by a dis­ap­point­ing race at the Iron­man 70.3 World Cham­pi­onship in Chat­tanooga, Tenn. Show­ing signs of mid-sea­son burn out, she took a short break and then got back to train­ing. She com­mit­ted to Iron­man Ari­zona only a month be­fore the sched­uled race date.

“It was still a gam­ble go­ing into the race, and race day would tell the truth about how my body was re­ally feel­ing,” she says. “The rea­son I wanted to race there was to hope­fully carry over my fit­ness from the year and get a solid head start on points for Kona.”

After a lack­lus­tre swim, she rode a scin­til­lat­ing bike leg, break­ing the bike course record with a 4:38 bike split.

“The bike has al­ways been my strength, but I have worked hard at hold­ing back enough to have a good run. My coach and I made a few mi­nor ad­just­ments to my aero­dy­nam­ics and I know my bik­ing was even stronger than the pre­vi­ous year. I had biked a 4:43 in 2016, so was con­fi­dent I could shave off a cou­ple min­utes.”

She took a 2:30 lead into T2 and, even with some fast run­ners be­hind her, man­aged to hold on to third place. It wasn’t un­til later in the day that she dis­cov­ered that she had bro­ken the bike course record.

“I put ev­ery­thing I had into that race, so I was still happy with third among such a strong field,” she says. “The big­gest thing I learned was how im­por­tant aero­dy­nam­ics re­ally are. While I am a strong biker, the slight changes that we made, such as re­mov­ing the bot­tle cage on my frame and putting a speed­fill bot­tle be­tween my bars, proved to have a big im­pact at the end of the day. Also, I know it sounds silly, but I cut the straw su­per short on my speed­fill bot­tle, and by con­sciously try­ing to keep my chin touch­ing it, forced my head to be down in the most aero po­si­tion pos­si­ble.”

An­nett’s re­sults in 2017 con­firmed that she is con­tin­u­ing to steadily im­prove in all ar­eas.

“I still have a lot of work to do,” she says, “but am fi­nally get­ting up there with the girls I have looked up to for so long.”

As al­ways, train­ing and fam­ily is a dif­fi­cult thing for her to bal­ance, but she makes it all

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.