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

Beginning, Middle and End

TriHardAlanby TriHardAlanApr 7th 2013
With my last few Blogs being race reports I thought instead for this entry I would share my musings on some of the things I have been doing since my last race, the marathon in Rome:

Sports Psychologist - This was a seminar organised by my club, Thames Turbo, and was facilitated by Brendon Wylde, ¬"The Sporting Brain Ltd¬", . The mental side of the sport, of any sport, always interests me and I knew I would enjoy this. Brendon spoke at length about various preparation and coping strategy¬'s techniques. Did I take anything from the session I could put in to practise to assist me? No, I don¬'t think so. But this was largely because I am already doing a lot of the things he spoke about. There was two observations I took from this session; It was more helpful for the newer athlete to open his/her mind to this side of the sport and to truly get the benefit of somebody like Brendon it needs to be a one on one session to address individual weakness¬'s. Maybe something for the future.

Marshalling ¬- This was for my clubs first of four Sprint races that took place on the Easter Bank Holiday Monday. For any readers that did the race I was at the Traffic lights where you turn left. And whilst I have marshalled before it was the first time I have occupied this responsible position where you have to report anybody that rides through the red light who are then subsequently disqualified by the Race Referee. And I did rather enjoy the experience. I was at the club for 6.20 for the briefing and on my post by 7.00 and standing still made it a bitterly cold experience. My instructions were simple, tell people to turn left (you would be surprised how many miss the big 3 yellow signs), note any numbers of those who jump the lights and advise those that do get stopped you are better of waiting rather than dismounting your bike and walking round, something from my own experience I can confirm is correct (I have tried both methods). So did I have to report anybody? Yes, 3 people, although one got a lucky escape as I noted her number incorrectly. But most of all I enjoyed the seeing the enjoyment on people¬'s faces, despite the cold conditions, and to give something back to the sport and my club.

Training ¬- Since my last race I have had the luxury of a week of work and because the kids were at school (I had to take it before the end of the financial year) I had some extra training time. How did I spend this? Lots of biking. Having just come back from an injury I resisted the temptation to do any extra running but did make up some of the lost bike training from when I ran the marathon. How did I find this, tiring maybe? No, not at all. I was in the middle of a two week period of feeling great, one of those spells where you feel improvement coming on. However, the following week, this one just gone, I have been very flat. Every session was slower, harder and a complete slog. Thursdays club swim session I only completed as a battle of wills to see if I could, totally spent. Did I overdo it on my week of work? Not sure, but maybe. Today saw a return to form (ish) with a very solid ride in which I got faster and stronger as it went on. The one thing that was different today (apart from the big yellow thing in the sky) was having my gels in bottle as part of a feed/hydration system. I seemed to allow me to have more gels quicker. I will be conducting more experiments on this and will probably report the finding in more depth at a later date.

And finally some thoughts on:

The Season ¬- Has it begun? That strange thought passed through my head today. I normally only feel my season has begun once I do my first Triathlon and frankly I don¬'t know when this will be. Currently my first scheduled one is Grendon on the 26th May but suspect I will do something before then. Saying that the thought of Open Water is not appealing right now and pool based Tri¬'s are not really my thing. But with my 3rd Duathlon of 2013 next weekend and a marathon under my belt in some ways it feels like the middle of the season. One thing is definitely for sure, it¬'s a long, long way from the end.
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