I am a multi-sport athlete again (Race Report)
Wow, May 2017 and my first blog of the year. That’s really bad. Let’s say I’ve had other things on my mind.
However, it’s not all bad news.
I can at least claim to be a multi-sport athlete again. More specifically a duathlete. And, with a run like mine, I would never normally claim to be a duathlete! But yes, I’ve finally completed a multi-sport race, my first since being taken out of the Cotswold Classic last August.
Okay, so it was only the mid-week sprint duathlon at Castle Combe and the result was nothing to write home about (8th overall, 4th Vet), but I’m back in the game. Sort of!
In fact, the race wasn’t that bad considering the lack of structured training I’ve had lately. A 12:06 first run for the (just over) two miles isn’t the worst I’ve ever done and my 22:23 10-mile bike (on a pretty blustery evening) was there or thereabouts. As usual, it was the runs what did it (hence I prefer races the start with a swim, rather than a run!).
Anyway, one thing that seems to be going well (again despite lack of a structured training plan) is a switch from the S-Works Shiv to the new 2017 Giant Trinity TT bike, as supplied by my new team, Race Hub. I haven’t had much time to bond with it yet, but so far together we’ve managed a PB on a local ‘slow’ 10-mile TT course and another PB on a local 25-mile TT course (H25/1 – 57:27 straight after a week-long intense training camp in Mallorca). In short, the bike is fast, even if I’m not!
Speaking of Mallorca, it was great to train with some fellow Race Hub athletes in the relative warmth of late April in Mallorca as well as be treated to the culinary delights of Michelin-starred chef (and annoyingly-handy cyclist), Alan Murchison. If I couldn’t match him up the climbs, I could at least give him a run for his money in the sock-doping stakes…
The lack of structured training over winter was highlighted by my inability to get a PB on any of the major climbs on the island – the first time I’ve not shown a year-on-year improvement. And possibly a good kick up the backside. Having almost everyone on the camp struck down by a tummy bug doing the rounds on the island probably didn’t help, but I can’t escape the reality that my fitness is lacking right now.
So, I’m currently wrestling with the decision whether or not to hook up with a coach for (what’s left of) the 2017 season. I’ve got a couple of low-key races booked, but still can’t bring myself to invest in a full M-dot or Challenge type race when I doubt I’ll do myself justice. As Alan himself would confess, my work / life balance (or lack of) combined with international travel at least two or three times a month, makes me a nightmare to coach. But maybe someone out there would be able to help me see some results.
Like I said, it’s not all doom and gloom. I can at least call myself a duathlete again and hopefully (no crashes this year, Matt!) I’ll be a triathlete as well by the end of May. No mega expectations from me, but I really just want to get back into racing and give myself some goals to chase. Again, the question is whether I can do that self-coached or whether it’s time to stop messing about and get some ‘professional help’.
At least the enthusiasm is back, even if the body isn’t quite there yet!