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


TriHardAlanby TriHardAlanMar 7th 2018
Who inspires you? Alistair Brownlee maybe? Chrissie Wellington? It is natural for the homegrown superstars of the sport to spring to mind but for me, they have little relevance. If I am having a dark moment in a race or pushing through the pain of an FTP test on the bike will I be thinking “Alistair can run 29 minutes for a 10k, I can do this”. No. People like Alistair and Chrissie are freaks of nature. They of course work hard so they can compete on a level playing field with the other freaks of nature but that in itself doesn’t make me want to work hard. So what or who does?

For me there are a few things. Competing against my club and team mates is one. At the end of the year after being prompted by Strava a bunch of us were comparing our Swim, Bike, Run totals for 2017 and apart from the Run mine was one of the highest with the net result of a small gain or a small deficient in overall speed/race times. So from that I have to conclude I am not the most talented of athletes amongst my peers and I have to work hard to compete. Similarly, whilst I retain the desire to qualify for an compete in World and European Age Group Championships, I do so knowing I am competing against a bigger pool of peers of which a fair percentage are quicker than me. Either through talent, hard work or a combination of the two. Regardless of the how and the why the one thing for sure is that I have to keep training hard simply to stay where I am on the fringes of qualification and relying, thus far, on roll downs. Probably trumping both of those though is the simple desire to improve and go faster. Nothing feels better than a PB and knowing I have gone quicker than before and I am still improving.

So does anybody in the crazy world of the pro athletes inspire me at all? Maybe somebody like Cameron Brown does. Obviously still producing stats that have no relevance to the average Age Grouper like me but in a world where we see these crazy figures all year round so as such we are rarely impressed by them Cameron did at least make me go “wow” when I saw the result of Ironman New Zealand at the weekend. Competing there for the 20th time, and with all 19 previous finish’s on the podium including 12 wins, and now at the grand age of 45, he managed to break his previous course record and in the process ran a 2.41 marathon. I will say it again, wow! Again, that’s just plain crazy figures that mean nothing on their own but the relevance you , well, I at least, get is the fact that after 20 years and past an age where most Pro’s have retired this guy is still improving. When I have that next FTP test, tonight, I may well think of Cameron.
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