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

Out with Old and in with the New and Old

TriHardAlanby TriHardAlanFeb 3rd 2017
It’s a new year and a new resolve to blog more regularly, once a month to be precise. During the race season this will be easy as I will have lots to say but right now…… it’s training, training training. But of course there is more to it than that. We partake in a complicated sport and there are lots of aspects to consider.

So with a season with specific targets ahead for the first time in 3 years and bearing in mind I do not hire a coach I have made a number of changes. Some are about going back to Old routines, some are New:

Old - Moving back to a 3 hard weeks, 1 easy schedule. The idea here is not to burn myself out in the last 3rd of the season, which I have done several times in the past. I found this worked well in the past, when I stuck to it!

New - Not racing too much. Linked to keeping fresh this is another area where I have got it wrong previously. The days of 17 triathlons (plus Duathlons, Aquathlons and running races) are over. Not being able to overwork the hip should look after this and remove temptation (hopefully!).

Old - Return to Heart Rate training. My HR strap stopped working months ago. And even when it did I never really trained to it, just wore it. So that falls in to the New category too!

New - Being part of a team. As a member and Co Manager of the Thames Turbo Development Squad there are shared objectives and a knowledge pool. As such I will be venturing in to the new territory of both using this and contributing to it.

Old - Strength and Conditioning. Every day. Sometimes it will only be 10 minutes but there needs to be at least 3 a week of a good 30 minutes or so and to get to the gym once a week for the heavier work. This has to be seen as the fourth discipline.

New - Working with Partners. As part of the TTDS we have various partners; i-ride who support us with Aregon bikes and accessories, Saddledrunk who supply our Trisuits, Cyclepowermeters who supply Power Meters for the team, Kitbrix who are helping keep our kit organized and tidy (and dry when it rains!) and a new addition to the team Speedy Swimming who will be providing swim analysis, bespoke swim training schedules and more.

New - Benchmarking. This isn’t completely new but hasn’t been structured enough previously. I will be recording various distances, routes, sets in all three disciplines and tracking improvement.

Old - Listen to my body. Back at the beginning of December I had a calf strain at a track session and pushed through it making it much worse. And then compounded it by rushing back and made the lay off a lot longer than it needed to be. I mustn’t be scared to miss a session, niggles needn’t become injuries.

So how has this gone so far? For the 3 disciplines:

Swim - Probably the most pleasing. Amassed 33k for Jan. Not a record for me and I didn’t manage 4 swims a week every week as I intended but I managed a minimum of 3 every week so was very consistent. I am probably swimming faster than ever before with 200’s at a sub 1.40 pace as an example of this and can regularly hit 1.36 for 100’s. Also finding I am holding my pace to the end of sessions much better then previously which bodes well for when the race season starts.

Bike - Very hard to say what progress is here. No HR, cadence or Power to train to. It’s all on Perceived Effort. This method has served me well in the past but with no club rides in Jan for me and not doing many of my regular routes I don’t have anything to measure against. I have however been cycling regularly and done a good mixture of 312k on the road and 332k on the Turbo. How do I feel? In reasonable shape but not at my best. The changes above will be implemented for next month!

Run - Due to the above mentioned calf injury, this has gone backwards. I am running now and managed a steady 10k at the end of Jan with no problems but way off the pace I would like. Calf at least seems healed. The hip isn’t perfect right now but this comes and goes so isn’t a concern. The sum of 46k for Jan means nothing, this will hopefully dramatically increase for Feb.

Talking of Feb, my plans are;

To implement the above. Apart from that I have the Thorpe Park Half Marathon on the 26th February but will only take part if after slowly increasing long runs between now and then the hip and calf respond well. There will be no obvious risks taken. I also intend to do 2 Parkruns, the first this weekend as a benchmark and the second 2 weeks later to see if there is any improvement. If I recover from the Half well, or indeed don’t do it, I plan to enter a Duathlon in March as that month is currently free. I am keeping an eye on the Clumber Park one which is also an ETU AG Qualifier but if not then will just pick a local one.

Happy training and racing.
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