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

2020 and 2021

TriHardAlanby TriHardAlanJan 2nd 2021
2020 and 2021
It is always nice to reflect back on the year to try and measure your levels of success. And the first thing to note is not whether you have succeeded or failed because if you have trained regularly, kept healthy and enjoyed, then success is a given. Things like race targets, championships, getting faster, these are all a nice bonus but should not be a measure of success. I have to remind myself of this from time to time.

So, lets have a look at 2020 and then at what 2021 may hold......

Like most people I didn't race much. And was probably lucky enough to race more than most. And I talked about most of these races in other posts. If I had to pick one racing highlight it would probably be Blenheim. I did it last year and was quicker in all 3 disciplines. I did have larger training volumes on Cycle and Run so not totally unexpected but to manage on the swim as well was a nice bonus on very limited, lake only panic training. 4th in AG was a nice bonus too. And was the field weaker this year? Well, the same time would have got me 5th last year so no, not really.

So to see the other pleasing things this year we need to look at the data and my training stats from this year and last which is at the top of the page.

For Covid reasons, I simply didn't bother swimming this year. And this together was being on Furlough from April through October has bloated the Bike and Run figures but even with that there is a lot to be pleased about. Firstly, that's a huge increase in running milage. And done so with improved performance in terms of pain level on the operated hip. Previously this was inconsistent but is now non existent and if I get a twinge I can adjust my form and make it disappear before it becomes a pain. This is huge. In Oct/Nov I essentially trained for a Marathon taking my longest run to 30k with zero problems. This included running everyday in October, something I had never done in 26 years of running. I completed this with zero problems but it took out a little of the enjoyment. Hat's of to those who do it for a year, or beyond. Not saying I couldn't but I really wouldn't want to.

And when you add in a substantial increase in Cycling milage too it is even more pleasing as I was able to sustain high training levels and decent race performance levels without tiring. And a big part of that racing was on Zwift. I started the year afraid to race on Zwift. Which is daft I know. I am now utterly addicted. The Team Time Trials with my club Thames Turbo Triathlon has been a particular source of fun. And I have showed a fairly decent level of improvement too. In Zwift. How does that translate to the real world? I am not really sure to be honest, not enough races to judge. I have certainly learnt how to surge for spells when already holding high power so hopefully that along with regular high intensity training has got to help.

I see a lot of people entering races and in doing so making commitments but I am simply not prepared to do that till the world settles. The idea of paying, for example, for a IM70.3 event in Europe and the flights, accommodation etc that goes with it and not being certain you will be able to take part is not logical to me. I also have to factor in that my job may possibly be at risk again come the end of June.

So with none of my regular targets like World/European champs qualifiers to aim at or as already hinted at, a European IM70.3 that I would like to do, what will I be doing?

Nothing is certain right now. Plan, if you can call it that, is to wait to see where we are when the race season approaches and then do only local events for fun. And I am fine with this. I will definitely revisit the whole World/European thing but this is always dependent on it being at a venue I fancy going to and I would want it set in concrete before I commit time and money to it. And also, more importantly, hopes , dreams and passion. But any kind of racing keeps the juices flowing for me. I am fine with small events, I don't need big cheering crowds to motivate me or to find my deep limits.

I would like to do a 70.3 distance event but certainly doesn't have to me IM or Challenge. And if it ends up as a UK event, which is very likely, it will almost certainly not be. I will save that expenditure for a sunnier location so it is more of an experience. I will play this by ear and keep my training levels close to that required for that distance. If I can start swimming again in May I would be very comfortable racing that distance in July.

I will also run a Marathon. I entered the ballot for London for the first time in many a year but given the circumstances success there is even less likely than usual. If I am rejected I will look to do one in April and if the world is not permitting real racing by then I will do a virtual one.

As I go in to 2021 my enthusiasm and passion to train and race is as high as ever. The worlds situation makes no difference to this. And that in itself is success.
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