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TriHardAlan - Tales of an Age Grouper
TriHardAlan - Tales of an Age Grouper

2016 - The year in summary

TriHardAlanby TriHardAlanDec 6th 2016
Without a doubt 2016 has been dominated by the Hip Resurfacing surgery I had at the end of 2015. I obviously knew at the beginning of the year that it would be all about recovery rather than setting new pb’s. But I think I underestimated just how much it pierces through nearly every thought, nearly every day. But that is far from being the horrendous thing that it sounds. You do sort of become another person. You are no longer Alan, you are Alan who had Hip resurfacing. Nearly every greeting when you see somebody you haven’t seen for a while is “how is the hip”. But not only do you not tire of this, you actually miss it a little bit when somebody doesn’t ask. It becomes your “thing”. Am I looking forward to the day, in the not too distant future, when it’s largely forgotten? I’m honestly not sure. And as such it’s now, over a year later, that I truly understand the warnings I was given before the op that this is “major surgery”

So, how did 2016 go? I had three main recovery targets:

Racing a Triathlon by Summer
Running pain free
Break 20 minutes by xmas

The first of those targets I accomplished with the first Tri being in June and managed 5 in total, including an Olympic distance in Aug at the London Tri. I finished the season with a Sprint Duathlon and an AG win in October, albeit in a small field but pleasing none the less.

Running pain free has been up and down. Both London Tri and the Duathlon were a step too far and there was some discomfort. But generally speaking, since starting a new strength and conditioning program in September, there has been huge progress. My longest run has been 13k and that was totally pain free and this has been the case more often than not. I know as I still learn my boundaries of speed training/frequency and continue to build strength this will continue to be the case and as long as the discomfort stops as soon as I stop running this shouldn’t be a problem to manage.

The sub 20 before xmas target is now looking like its gone. Soon after starting the S&C program I reduced my 5k time from 22.30 to 20.30 but it has since stalled and gone slightly backwards. This has been deeply frustrating as even at 20.30 I am still a couple minutes of what I am capable of and should be running. But there are some adjustments to my training I have identified which will deal with this and with a little patience I am very confident I will get there in 2017

And talking of 2017, I have set myself two targets:

Qualify for the World Age Group Championship in Rotterdam
Win my Age Group in the London League

These are ambitious targets. And even though I move up an AG to 50-54 next year there is no guarantee this makes the task any easier. When qualifying for European and World championships in the past I have always been a little border line, and that’s with my good run speed. Without that, well. I will spend the winter improving my swim and bike so I am not so dependent on the run leg but even so, the pressure is on.

Targeting the London League is part of the strategy of the Thames Turbo Development Squad that I will not only be a member of next year but will also be co-managing having stepped down from my role as Club Captain. The TTDS is an exciting development for the club because unlike previous years where we have had a Race Team the TTDS has a range of athletes with varying ages, abilities and targets and the ethos of the squad will be to worth together to improve. I am confident that this new model will provide a shared pool of experience and knowledge and an environment for myself and the other team members to improve and develop.

As 2016 draws to a close I look forward to a 2017 and another year of Tri-ing to be the best athlete I can.
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