I hope you all had a relaxing Christmas break, it all seems a long time ago now! For some I am sure it was a much needed rest, for others a time to catch up on some training and for all, a time to fulfil the annual mince pie quota!
For me it was a chance to take stock following a change in job in late October. I am no longer bound to an office cubicle wishing the minutes away. Luckily I now find myself working back in the triathlon/cycling industry on product which should be along later this year, so keep your eyes peeled. However, the job change hasn’t been great for the training! That said I tested myself with a boxing day ride at the Long Eaton Velo 5mile TT. This let me know there was something still lurking in the legs. A run out at the Nottingham AC Christmas relays on the 27th with the TFN race team, also showed me I wasn’t lacking too much fitness on the run, perhaps just endurance. We came fourth overall and all ran within 15 seconds of each other, not bad for a bunch of triathletes!
So what’s this all about then? At back end of last season, I really started to enjoy triathlon again after a couple of seasons just going through the motions. This was probably due to a lack of goals and any real focus. I was consistent enough, “Consistency is King” after all! There was just not the drive and effort in every session to ensure real physiological development, just maintenance. However, I produced a bit of form late in the season for the OneStep Beyond team relays. This was a great weekend of racing with the TFN race team competing on both days and gaining some great results. The new team time trial format was particularly exciting, even more so with the wind which made echelons vital to a decent team bike split!
At the back end of last season, I also competed in my first middle distance race at the Rubicon up in t’Yorkshire. It was interesting to see how I coped with the longer race as I have struggled before with the yoyo nature of the draft legal races and crits, whereas the self-paced time trials and none drafting triathlons have seen me compete at my best.
I found that I really enjoyed the tactics of the longer bike and run and the added importance of nutrition! I had a relatively slow swim but I deserved the time, given my aversion to swimming in the months leading up to it. The bike went better than I expected. It’s a fast course but even so, I was surprised at how quickly the bike seemed to pass. I’ve had standard distance bike legs that have felt longer! The only issue I encountered in the race was cramping on the run. This dashed my hopes of a sub 1.30 half mara as I had to walk it off for a good portion of the final run lap (this wouldn’t be a triathlon blog without at least one excuse). However, every day is a school day and I now know that I have a high sweat rate and will likely need to go to town on the electrolytes for my next one, which will be the Outlaw Half (the original one!).
I have been at almost all the Outlaw events since the first one in 2010. I have done the swim twice for relay teams, worked on a couple of the feed stations and latterly been in attendance with the shop. The events always seem very well organised and have a very welcoming atmosphere. What is also noticeable is a distinct camaraderie that I have not seen at other comparable races.
And so begins the countdown. I am hoping to try and write two blogs per month (Like all good intentions for the new year, this will start in Feb) in the lead up to the race. I will try give and give an insight into my training and how it differs now that I am no longer a care free University Sports Scholar. Alas I am now a weekend warrior…. who doesn’t have a stressful job…..and has no kids….or responsibilities…or other excuses…… I had better do some more training then!
Training up until the 26/01/16
Total hours: 24hrs 5mins
Swimming: 9 swims
Riding: 6 rides
Running: 7 runs