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Triathlon Training & Races - Matt's Blog
Triathlon Training & Races - Matt's Blog
Sharing my experiences in training, racing and learning the 'science' of progressing in Triathlon - from total novice to top-ten finisher (and hopefully beyond!). Stop by to listen to what I have to say, but don't forget, the whole point of web 2.0 is interaction, so don't be afraid or too shy to leave your own thoughts!

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Thoughts and musings after a year of Triathlon - and questions for the future...

prhimby prhimSep 10th 2010
It occurred to me recently that it┬'s nearly a year to the day since I made the decision to give triathlon a try. I was on a working visit to New Zealand and Australia and had arrived a few days early to sightsee (having never been to Auckland before) and adjust my bodyclock.

The hotel I was staying in (The Langham, very nice!) had a small but deserted roof-top pool and I decided to take advantage of it. While swimming lengths I realised that I fancied a new challenge. In the preceding year or so I had lost 6kgs of excess weight and become a bit of a gym bunny; but it wasn┬'t really exciting me anymore.

So for whatever reason, my mind turned to triathlon. I think it was the combination of an endurance sport (and thus fitness) but with the need for both physical and mental strength.

So not long after returning from Oz, I bought a cheap road bike and training began in earnest ┬- leading to my first race, the Chilly Duathlon at Castle Combe in November 2009. I came in mid-field (256/512), with a time of 1hr 3mins ┬- not bad for my first attempt, but certainly plenty of room for improvement.

Some ten months later and, despite some ups and downs, it┬'s fair to say I┬'m completely bitten by the triathlon bug. Obsessed might even be a better word. I┬'ve competed in nine Duathlons/Triathlons so far in 2009 (plus a couple of ironman swims) and it seems that every spare moment is now an opportunity to train, and every penny of disposable income (and probably much that isn┬'t!) is now dedicated to buying the next piece of ┬"essential┬" (yes, essential I tell you!) kit ┬- TT bike, carbon wheels, aero helmet, race shoes, etc etc.

Highlights of the year so far for me were a 2nd in age group (10th overall) at the Marlborough Triathlon and 39th out of 1,400 odd at the London Sprint (despite a heavy cold and nearly crashing out on the bike). Lowlights include almost every run (I will be faster in 2011 with help from friends!), hurting myself badly the day before Marlborough when practising flying bike mounts (stupid boy!) and realising that, now in September, the season is practically over and I only have one more open water race to compete in!

So my attention is turning to next year (although not before I┬'ve done the Chilly again in November, got to smash last year┬'s benchmark) and now I admit I am torn as to what my plan for 2011 is going to be. While I enjoy the sprints (and believe I still have much capacity to improve further), I┬'m also feeling the ┬'pull┬' of stepping up the distance ┬- perhaps to 70.3.

So clearly I have a lot of thinking to do over the winter months so that I plan more effectively for 2011 and give myself the best chance of achieving my goals ┬- whatever they might be!
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