Piranha National Series Strategy – Loughrea Sprint Triathlon (Race 5) Handbook

The Bank Holiday approaches, but no rest for the wicked! Next Sunday (August 4th) marks race number 5 of our Piranha National Series race strategy – Loughrea Sprint Triathlon in Galway. With three weeks since Two Provinces hopefully most of you will have had time to relax and recover before we go hard at it again. The closed roads for the bike and descent after turnaround on the run, marks this race as a quick one as the previous year’s results will confirm.

As always there are valuable points up for grabs with it being a NS race. As it stands Piranha are top of the rankings in the Men’s Club Series with four of the men top ten in the overall rankings.

The women’s team are currently fourth but that is down to the fact only one of our ladies has completed the required four races. We will have a better idea after this race, but expect a jump in the rankings.

Remember every point you get in the NS will contribute to the club total and there could even be an AG podium at the end of the year. It is all still to play for. So go hard, enjoy the race, and most importantly don’t let anyone in other club kit pass you.

This handbook has the following sections:

  • Who’s racing?
  • Final Schedule and Race Briefing
  • Pre-Race Advice
  • Getting There and Car Pooling

 Final Schedule and Race Briefing

Start End Area / Function Location
16:00 18:00 Sprint Race Registration Temperance Gym, Loughrea
16:00 20:00 Viewing of Transition, Swim, Bike & Run Routes Long Point, Loughrea
08:00 12:30 Sprint Race Registration Temperance Gym, Loughrea
13:00 14:00 Sprint Transition Open Transition, Long Point, Loughrea
14:00 14:10 Sprint Competitor Briefing Transition, Long Point, Loughrea
14:30 14:35 Sprint Race Wave 1 Start 50m pool, Long Point, Loughrea
14:40 14:45 Sprint Race Wave 2 Start 50m pool, Long Point, Loughrea
14:50 15:55 Sprint Race Wave 3 Start 50m pool, Long Point, Loughrea
16:30 Sprint Race Finish Car park, Long Point, Loughrea

The Swim

The 750m swim takes place in the crystal clear waters of Loughrea Lake. There will be no shopping trolleys, murky reeds or beers cans at the bottom of this lake, just clean, clear water and a sandy base. The swim will be well marshaled by canoeists and water safety experts.

The Bike

The cycle is a 20km circuit which consists of some undulating hills but also some fast sections down quiet country roads. Marshals will be stationed at every turn. This is a no drafting race and it will be rigidly enforced by marshals. Some of the roads will be closed to traffic.

The Run

The run is a 5km out and back course, with a climb to the turn and a fast descent coming back into to transition. The road will be closed to traffic.


Pre-Race Advice

Race Week

In the week before the race, being well-rested is vital. Triathletes have a (good) habit of being very committed to training and often find it hard not to train! However, the week ahead of a race is one of those times when you should take that break and not feel guilty about it – especially those who raced Harbourman last week! The training that matters has been done already and flogging yourself a few days before a race is not wise! However, tuning up in the form of short and sharp intervals across all three disciplines is generally recommended. Eat good and nutritious food and stay hydrated.

Make sure you have everything you might need for the day! Of critical importance is your TI card or one day license – no license, no race! You should know yourself what items you need, but as a guide, see the sample checklist below:





Race Day

Outlined below is a comprehensive warm-up that incorporates all three disciplines and requires a decent amount of time. What is arguably as important as the physical side of warming-up is the logistical and mental preparation. Make sure that you have everything positioned where you want it (the logistics), ideally as early as possible, so that you can then prepare (mentally) prepare. Assuming you have allowed sufficient time, this should incorporate familiarising yourself with the course, in particular, in and around transition. If you have any particular concerns, try to limit these. For example, nervous swimmers might walk to the turnaround point to get the measure of the course and note landmarks that might be reassuring during the race; if your bike handling on a TT is rusty, navigate a few corners. Make sure your bike is roadworthy and operating smoothly (faulty bikes causes anger, anger leads to hate, hate causes suffering………..and we know where that leads!).


Before you rack your bike, try to get 10-15 minutes easy cycle- this will give you a feel for you race position, changing gears and pedalling technique. Keep this cycle at easy intensity- This can be a couple of hours before the race start and the purpose is to give you a feel for the bike (Use run/swim as warm up before race).


When racking your bikeDo a couple of jogs through the transition and visualise where you have to enter and exit for T1 & T2. Know exactly where your bike is – memorise how to get to your bike quickly. Placing a ridiculously colourful towel on the ground by your bike is sometimes useful as it can be easy to spot as you run along a row of bikes. You can place your runners, gels, visor, sunglasses etc. on the towel so you can grab them before you head out on the run. Alternatively, note a fixed landmark (not a bike!) and practice making your way to \ from the entry \ exit point.


After racking your bike and setting up your transition completely, do a run warm up next – complete 10-15 minutes jog with 5x 10 strides seconds at intensity of 7/10. Aim to finish your run warm up approximately 20-25 minutes of starting your race, then get wetsuit on for swim warm up below.


Try and get into the water to allow time for the body to acclimatize. While you don’t want to get cold, acclimatising as best you can is very important. Dynamic movements of your arms and shoulder are suggested (e.g. circling your arms and practicing the swim motion). Start with some aerobic swimming and add 4 x20 seconds at race intensity, with 1 minute easy between each.

Getting There and Car Pooling

The Loughrea Triathlon Festival Headquarters is in the Temperance Gym building at the back of the Temperance Hall, Barrack Street, Loughrea. This will be the location of Registration and the post-race meal. Loads of on-street parking available but please note there is no parking at transition.

Piranhas should be able to get to Loughrea in around 2 hours from Dublin via the M50 then the M4 and M6.  Since there is a large number of us heading down to race it makes sense that we try and minimise our carbon footprint and carpool where possible! If you are interested in giving or getting a lift please post up on the forum and take it from there. The more information and flexibility you can offer, the more likely you are to get a lift! If you are taking a lift please take it as read that you should offer to contribute to the cost of the journey for petrol / diesel and tolls, if applicable!

Wishing you all a Good Race.

Any questions then please do not hesitate to contact either of us.

Good Luck!

Siobhan and Ross

Siobhan Forman and Ross Condy

National Series Coordinators.


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