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

End of Season Summary

TriHardAlanby TriHardAlanNov 14th 2013
Last Saturday I completed my last race of the season, the Ballbuster. For those not familiar it’s a Duathlon which starts at the top of Box Hill and you run an 8 mile loop, cycle the same loop 3 times and then run it again for the last leg. Each loop finishes on the Zig Zag. When I entered months ago I intended to target this as a big race and try an ambitious target of sub 3 hours after doing 3.09 last year. As it turned out I did a disappointing 3.15. But after a season of 4 aquathons, 7 duathlons, 15 triathlons and a marathon I felt jaded, mentally and physically, before the start so was not surprised.

So after such a busy season it’s now time to reflect and consider whether it has been a success. But before I do that what was the aim at the beginning of the season and did I achieve it? Well, the aim was simple, go sub 10.30 at Roth. That was it. Nothing else mattered. I knew I would be attempting world duathlon, aquathon and triathlon qualification and various other races but they all paled in to insignificance compared to Roth. And I failed miserably, nowhere close. I have since come to appreciate that time targets are not the be all and end all of success, especially if you can honestly say you have raced to the best of your ability, but I had not. The possible reasons for this I have gone in to in a previous blog but that’s by the by, the question remains, despite the only original target going badly, even if that original target was ill conceived, can the season still be considered a success?

As I type this I honestly haven’t dawn any conclusions so I will now look at some of the positives and negatives;

I managed to qualify and race at the World Duathlon and Aquathon championships. I also posted pb’s in both and came away feeling I couldn’t have raced a second quicker on the biggest stage.
The sheer number of races I did confirms I managed my body well. No DNS and only one DNF at the Wokingham Half Marathon.
Olympic distance triathlons. I only raced 3 of them but took 13 minutes of my pb. Whether this is a case of I underachieved previously or improved tremendously is irrelevant, I went out there and did it. It made me realise this is the distance I should concentrate on (and Sprints).
And connected to that, Roth made me realise that Long Distance is just not for me. Having the one target has clarified things for me enormously and I feel very comfortable with this decision months after making it.
My swimming improved. Not as much as I would have liked but that doesn’t make it a negative because I know how it improved and can take that in to next season to improve further.
My biking improved. Part of this was the ongoing process of getting more experience. I also adjusted my training at the beginning of the season and it worked.
Towards the end of the season I proved I can run at last season’s pace whilst cycling at this seasons pace. That was important, no good gaining in one area to lose it in another.
Trying new races. Events like the Kingfisher Aquathon, Fast and Furious Duathlon (despite atrocious conditions) were little gems. It’s not always about the big events.

And some of the lessons learnt for next season;

I need to analyse my training, maybe break it down in to blocks, something like 3 weeks hard, 1 easy maybe. I will also need to make some adjustments to cater for the fact I will no longer be racing long.
Swimming. Whilst I know what I need to do to improve I still have to figure what 3rd party help I need and will employ to take me to that extra level.
Race less. I definitely burnt out this season and over did it. Combining that with trying to schedule the races in to my easy weeks. Or should that be the end of the hard weeks? Need to research that….
Fuelling. Don’t like the word diet but do need to look at some of my eating habits, they are not all good and a few less pounds wouldn’t go amiss.
Perspective. Putting all my eggs in one basket, Roth like, is a bad idea. Put far too much pressure on myself.

And the negatives?

Well, hhmm, considering the only one, Roth, turned in to a positive, there were none. Guess that means it was a good season after all.
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