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

Old Habits Die Hard

TriHardAlanby TriHardAlanMar 3rd 2013
There is always a fine balance between pushing through a twinge and reacting to an imminent injury and taking a rest and I have often got this wrong in the past in my eagerness to prove a point, to myself.

Last season I thought I had broken this habit by only running on every other day and by resting when I thought necessary but the start of the 2013 season has seen a return of bad habits.

After a solid January in the build up to my Marathon in Rome in March I started to feel a twinge in my right hamstring. Ignoring it, and pushing through a tough interval set at the end of the month that twinge became a pain, in my left hamstring. Rested it 9 days and then ran the Wokingham half marathon. This of course was a mistake. I ended up pulling out after 4 miles and then having to jog slowly back to the start. Having to tell countless applauding people I was not winning the race didnĀ't help my mood!

But of more of a concern was the Althorp Duathlon which I was hoping to qualify for the World Championship at Sprint Distance. With only 6 days between events it was looking a tall order. Whilst my Physio didnĀ't rule out the idea I was relieved when the event was postponed for 2 weeks with a water logged Transition area. Four sessions with the Physio later, the 3rd particularly painful, I had done a couple of test runs and was on my way to the start line.

My original targets were 1st run 19 minutes, bike 32 minutes, 2nd run 19 minutes. With the gap in training I thought a revised target of a 20 minute second run would be sensible but that was not how it turned out;

The 1st run started up a hill and it was only when I settled on to a straight that I checked my speed and was shocked to see over 4 minute per kilometre. It seemed that my efforts to not push to my limits and not stride out had made me a little conservative. I pushed on a bit from there but was 3k in before I hit a 3.50 kilometre. At the end of an enjoyable, mixed terrain, 5k I had clocked 19.37 on my Garmin, which for me is slow. However, the results show 18.51 so I obviously hit the lap button at the wrong time and had picked up the speed for the last 2 kilometres. More importantly, not a twinge and felt good.

On to the bike and up that same hill. Once I settled on to the Tri bars I concentrated on keeping my HR above 160 and chasing down as many people as I could, which given that IĀ'm a better runner then a cyclist isnĀ't always easy in Duathlons. However, was catching quite a few with nobody going by. As the rolling, and again, enjoyable course stretched out so did the field. Had a couple of people go by but figured I had still gained places. Average HR at the end was 159 so had applied an appropriate effort and a time of 37.19. Way of my target but the course was never one for pbĀ's.

On to the 2nd run and despite this being a 2nd run I was determined to run faster than the 1st one. I came out of T2 with the 1st lady, who admittedly had started 2 minutes before the men, but provided a target to chase. As the gap ebbed and flowed between us I was digging deep to keep in range. As we went up a hill towards the 3rd kilometre I was closing again when my shoe came of in a mud patch! A quick curse, not under my breath, about turn and shoe back on and I set of again. I was running out of people to chase down now but put in one last spurt round the final field near the finish. DidnĀ't catch what was now the 2nd placed lady or the guy just in front of her but came very close after a lung busting effort which resulted in an 18.43 time. Astonishingly, this was a pb for a Tri/Du 5k run.

Total time 1 hour 16 minutes 33 seconds. Was it good enough to qualify? Well, no, not automatically, missed that by 28 seconds! Was it the shoe coming of in the mud that cost me? Well, my garmin showed a difference of 12 seconds between my time and moving time on that 2nd run so probably not. No, instead it was the lost training time due to the injury. I may have run my targets but the course was slightly short and I would have been quicker if fully trained.

Old habits really do die hard.
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