Six months and counting...
I guess when it takes you six months to update your blog, you should really be questioning why you still have it at all! But surprisingly (to me, anyway), I do still get the odd mail and social media message from people kind enough to let me know that they’ve found previous posts and advice articles useful.
So, at least if I’m being a bit crap at keeping it up-to-date lately, there’s still some half-decent content lurking in here somewhere.
For me, it’s been a largely quiet winter, keeping my head down and trying to make my mind up what the goals for 2018 should be.
Having had two disappointing years of 70.3 racing (crashing out of my ‘rehearsal’ race in 2016 and missing the start line for what I had hoped would be my WC qualifying race and then having a shocker at Weymouth 70.3 in 2017), I had to seriously question both my commitment to – and ability to train effectively for – middle distance triathlons in 2018.
And so I’ve decided that, at least for the first half of the year, I’ll stick to racing some local short course triathlons, as well as throwing in some dedicated running (I haven’t competed in a run-only race since 2015!) and cycling races. Certainly not the spectacle or glamour of m-dot racing, but hopefully more achievable with the prevailing work-life balance.
The worst thing about my job (from a triathlon training perspective) is that every week is different and most weeks involve some kind of travel. Great for work, but utterly disastrous for achieving any sort of consistency in training. Some weeks I can find a way to get 12 hours training in, some weeks it’s less and eight. Some weeks I can swim four times, sometimes none at all (just depends where I am). At least I can always get some kind of run in.
I have to admit it’s been refreshing (and knackering!) to get back to some short, hard training sessions. Speed work aimed at improving my 5km and 10km times (rather than the usual half-marathon) and smashing out sub 60-minute bike sessions are much more manageable given my current time-poor situation. Hopefully, I can make good use of the limited time available to me.
One disappointment was a recent FTP test on the bike, which showed I’m about 20 watts down on my best 2016 form. Probably no great surprise since the lack of structured bike training in 2017, but definitely the kick up the backside I needed to refocus the need for purposeful bike training, rather than simply just enjoying riding the bike (of course, there’s a time and place for that as well).
My first run-out of the year is now just three weeks away. A 10km road race on what I’m promised is a fast course. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll break the 40-minute barrier for the first time in a couple of years.
Anyway, I’m going to commit to being a bit better on the blogging front this year. Feel free to come along for the journey and see whether this has-been can get back into any kind of competitive form!