I just finished my first half distance triathlon yesterday beating my goal of sub 5 hours using the level 1 70.3 training plan (legs feel very sore today haha). It was a great program and i thoroughly enjoyed the workouts. I have been doing all of my past 4 weeks rides on the TT bike and have cut back on strength training a lot due to time restrictions.
During the race about half way through the bike everytime i got out of the saddle (rolling course) I felt my quads were quite fatigued but didnt feel them when in the aero position. Was able to push through the bike at a relatively constant speed across the 90km. During the run i got 4km in and almost felt a cramp coming on in my quads so i dropped the pace back a bit and starting taking additional salt tabs (was already taking adequate hydration and fueling). Anytime during the run i got under 5min/km (around goal pace) my quads felt like they were on the verge of cramping. Luckily i got through the run fine, just holding the pace back a bit and walking through some aid stations.
I am just wondering for future races (i have another half distance in 9 weeks) whether this quad fatigue on the bike during the race would go away/become less noticeable on the run if i was to add in the strength training (might be limited with time), or whether to increase the interval lengths and reduce rest time on the CAe19 and CAe8 workouts to replicate pushing race pace for longer periods than 20-30 minutes. Or is this something that would go away with more fitness over time (only been training for a bit over a year).
What you experienced is quite normal. When we race we encounter our limits, so it’s only to be expected that those limits make themselves felt in one way or another. If you hadn’t been limited by quad fatigue at the power output and pace you held in your race, it’s very likely you still would have been limited by quad fatigue, just at a slightly higher power and faster pace. The best way to push back all limiters is to increase your overall fitness. But it’s always going to be something.