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

The Long and Short of it

TriHardAlanby TriHardAlanDec 30th 2012
My race calendar for 2013 is far from full but I have now started to pay it quite a bit of attention and started to enter some races and think about my aims and targets. I will be racing both Short and Long course events but without doubt my Triathlon A race for the season will be Challenge Roth.

IÂ'm quite lucky that there will be over 50 of us from my club taking part, 38 in the individual event, so will have plenty of people to compete against, train with and indeed inspire me. My aims; 1.15 swim, 5.30 bike, 3.15 run which when you add in Transitions will take me just over 10 hours. My last Ironman, 11.14, so I need to find another hour. Achievable? Yes. How?

Swim; Last one was 1.27. The problem, my legs are awful, they provide a lot of drag by splitting as I breath. If I can sort this that will easily save 12 minutes. Will be doing some band/pull bouy work and probably a Swim Smooth video analysis.

Bike; Last one was 5.47. This is easier, carry on the progress from last season. Will be a slight shift in emphasis in reducing the amount of 100 mile rides and replacing them with shorter, harder efforts cycled at above IM pace.

Run; Last one was 3.50. This is probably the hardest one, despite the run being my strongest discipline. I got of the bike feeling 100% last time but faded half way through the run. Mental strength? Maybe, but will also be looking at nutrition (research since last year shows this can be improved on) and similar to the bike will be doing brick runs at faster than IM pace.

I am excited by the challenge of this, one potential danger is not to get too excited on the bike and aim for a sub 10. Must stick to the pacing plan to make sure I have enough for the run. It was the one area I got right last time.

I have also entered three (so far) Age Group Short Course qualifiers, Althorp Sprint Duathlon for the 2013 Euro Championships, Grendon Sprint for the 2014 Euro Championships and Bristol Sprint Triathlon for the 2013 World Championship. With Bristol being on the 23rd of June at the beginning of my IM taper period for Roth can I realistically expect to be at my best for the Sprint distance? Well, undoubtedly Short Course racing helps your IM preparations and I try and do as many Sprints as possible and being lucky enough to live near Dorney have a season long selection of evening races to aid with this as nothing replicates a high intensity brick session like a race. But it doesnÂ't apply the other way round, the long distance training does blunt your front end speed a little. Last year I did a Sprint qualifier one week before my IM and that did not go well, I just wasnÂ't up for it, I was too focused on the IM as well as the physical limitations. Will this year be any different? Added to this, even if I wasnÂ't going Long and focused on Short, my AG is very competitive, I may have struggled to qualify anyway. So why have I gone to the trouble and expense to enter? Simple, itÂ's an awesome experience to represent your country and I canÂ't imagine how exciting that would be to do it on home turf at the Olympic venue. I simply have to try. The other qualifiers? Well, hopefully people are focused on qualifying for London and the other events have slipped under their radar! Added to this, I do intend to improve :-)
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