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La vita e bella - Niall Cornyn - IM 70.3 Venice



Niall is a first year professional triathlete. After a shock start to international racing in April and an outstanding domestic summer it was time to brave the plane again, back to Italy, to give international racing a taste of Ireland's best.

The step up from top age grouper to professional racer is tough. The toughest change in triathlon. Niall and I aim to make steps each month to getting Niall eventually into a place in T2 where he is fresh and ready to launch his A-weapon - his run.

What makes professional racing even tougher is that, just like age group racing, we get sick at the wrong time. Unable to get out of bed on Monday we spent the week prior to travel reassessing our barometers for this race - concentrate on process not splits and evaluating whether we do the run at all.

Race day in Venice came around. We had some big pros to counterbalance the cons of feeling well under the weather.

The consistency and tenacity of Niall's swim training are beginning to take effect - swimming around others, swimming in packs, exiting with others - they are steps forward in Niall's experience and excellent to see.

Niall got to ride in a non drafting group - experience the pro racing way and measure drafting dynamics and efforts in his data - the ebbs and flows of power rather than the stability of set zones you can ride in age group or sparse pro races.

A solid run 1.16 paced wrongly but still quick in the pro field shows us signs of a fast run leg off the bike at the right race. Move forward a bike pack and then we hit the first page of results. That said 31st out of 46 is a HUGE improvement this year on last and a prelude that the first half of the field is in sight for 2023.

Well done Niall - big improvement despite adversity this weekend. Same old tricks needed- get quick on the swim, pace change tolerance around threshold on the bike and run like you can. The glory is in the work journey.



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