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

Only one way to find out.

TriHardAlanby TriHardAlanMar 23rd 2014
As I end another 3 week hard block of training and with an easy week to come to finish the month its nice to sit back (well) and reflect on what has been a busy and successful period since my last blog. When I posted that I had just taken part in the F3 Sprint Duathlon at Dorney, racing well, and knew I had running races the next two weekends. And today too. But first of all training wise....

Its been very consistent. I am still injury free, unusual this time of year, running 5 or 6 times a week, swimming 4 and cycling 3. I repeated my 21 length 36M Hampton wetsuit 756M time trial of last month and came in 3 seconds faster at 11.59. Essentially this is no improvement at all but that was totally expected as after such a big improvement over the last few months. Cycling, whilst fearing I haven't been doing enough has started to show some promise. Haven't raced since the F3 Duathlon on the bike but on some of my regular routes, and taking the opportunity to enjoy the sunshine and get the TT bike out, I have posted some decent times and felt good. Looking forward to pressing on with that and getting sharper before my first Tri on the 4th May. Running, completed my longest run before tapering for Manchester of 30k and also posted a pb in a lunchtime 5.5k handicap race with we run at work. Back to the racing......

First up was the G3 Cross Country 10k, part of our club championship. I came 25th overall and 6th in the club champs but cant say I raced well. And didn't even enjoy it either. In summary, I am not suited to off road racing. I don't mind the hills but the constant worry of falling over (yes, I should man up!) does nothing for me. Also took me nearly 4 days to recover, legs were trashed like I had run a marathon!

Next up, and back on terra firma, the Surrey Half marathon. Before the race, thinking 1.25 was a realistic target, when calculating the splits I needed exactly 4 min K's, or 4 x 20 min 5k's. Could I do that? As it turns out, yes. As the race progressed with me knocking out regular 3.55 K's I was feeling good and running consistently. With the 3rd 5k marginally quicker than the 2nd and regularly overtaking people I resisted the temptation to start considering a finish time. The 4th 5K was a tad slower but still under 20 min's and a final K of 3.47 bought me home in a pleasing 1.23.08 for 53rd place from 4139 finishers and 8th in the V40 section from over 700. Climbing from 83rd at the 10k point was testimony to good pacing and at 4 weeks out from Manchester that a sub 3 was at least possible. Also my quickest half marathon in at least 4 years.

Today was the Richmond 10k. Wouldn't normally race 2 weeks out from a marathon but very confident of my physical condition right now and resistance to injury and felt maybe, just maybe, I might be able to threaten my 8 year old pb of 37.38. Standing on the start line a competitor asked me "does the route go round to the left" and I replied I think so but hardly expect to be leading so not worried about the route. But then the gun went, we started and lo and behold, I was leading. As we settled I kept expecting at least a few to go by me but nobody did. With the 1st four k really quick, and still leading and no audible footsteps behind me I hit the longest straight of the race of nearly 4k along the towpath and a big headwind. Started to lose about 8 secs a K but not my lead. I was starting to dream a little now. Of the towpath, the wind eased a bit and 2k to go and feeling pretty good. But as I hit the last section which is all on grass and then saw the 9k mark a guy came storming past. And he was shifting. I responded. And I ran a 3.32 for the last K. But it wasn't enough. 37.50 was only 12 seconds outside of my pb and given the windy conditions that's a great result but was a bit gutting to lose the lead so close to the end. Opportunities to win races don't present themselves too often!

Next up is the Manchester Marathon. I will be aiming for a sub 3, last done, like the 10k pb, 8 years ago. I have the speed but have the reduced long runs to keep me injury free left me short of strength? Only one way to find out.
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