Amateur Age Group Triathlete
Amateur Age Group Triathlete

2013 in Review

roborobby roborobJan 3rd 2014
Really happy with how 2013 went. Some particular results I'm proud of, but importantly a year with a hefty race schedule (28 in total) with no DNFs and no stress-related injuries for the first season since crushing my foot in a motorbike accident back in 2008. I'm putting this down to having a proper coach, training consistently with a purpose, and getting all holistic with the health, fitness and well being. At the beginning of the year I'd never heard of 'paleo' or 'primal', and now I feel like I could write a book on the topic (not that I would, as there are countless amazing proponents of this way of life already doing a great job of this already - I'll share some of my favourites here).

So the main goals for 2013 were to qualify for the Sprint World Champs in London, then do well at the Sprint Euros in Turkey, and then do well in the Triathlon London Region League (both for myself in the individual league and for my club). All of these were a success, as I did qualify solidly for London at the 2nd of 3 possible events (Bristol in June), got a 9th AG position in Turkey which was 8 seconds out from getting under an hour (hope to do that one day), and won the men's senior comp in the London League (with my club winning the team league). I had also added another goal halfway through the year of actually getting a decent result in London, which on reflection was unrealistic given the quality of the field, and this pressure and disappointment during the race only resulted in me putting in a worse performance than i otherwise might have had. Lesson learnt - have dreams but keep them separate to goals. After all, I'm just a guy in his thirties who wasn't into sport as a kid and who didn't compete until I was 27, when I discovered and fell in love with triathlon. I liked riding my bike and could run a bit, but couldn't swim for sh*t (still struggle a lot with it but enjoy trying to get it right)

Best results in 2013:
- Won the Dragon Slayer Duathlon in April. Felt like a proper win as was a London League event, and a tough race at that with 23 ascents of hog hill, but mad fun winding around the purpose built cycle circuit which felt like a crit race at times. The great thing about duathlon is that the entire field usually starts together, meaning proper head to head racing, unlike most tris where it's one by one, or at best multiple waves.
- Won the Mud and Mayhem Offroad Duathlon in November. Love racing offroad but don't do enough of it, so this result gave me the nudge to get more involved and set my sites on GB AG racing in Cross Tri in 2014.
- Second at the Crystal Palace Triathlon. Amazing event; the biggest buzz racing when all the marshals are your friends; and another London League race which filled all 600 or so spaces within 12 hours, showing how popular this race is. Came second to a great triathlete and good guy, who then went on to whip my butt at a few other races, including London!

Most important things I learnt in 2013:
- I sat down in 2012 and thought about what I wanted to achieve for 2013, then worked out with my coach what it would take to get there, and then decided i was willing to give it a go and that it would be worth it. Having a coach i think is key in establishing the 'what it takes' bit, otherwise all your goals are just dreams really.
- the more holistic and consistent your training, the better you're gonna race. I was lucky that my coach (Nick Dunn) was into paleo, as i first looked into it on his advice as just a means to perhaps being able to train and race better, but soon found myself on a journey of complete enlightenment. Paleo is just one of a number of approaches to life that expose how badly the western diet has become in the hands of the food and pharmaceutical industries who have shaped and controlled our beliefs as to what is healthy and what is not. Ditching these dogmas and relearning nutrition without bias has led to some pretty profound improvements in my wellbeing that I never expected at both a physiological and psychological level. I'll leave the anecdotal stuff there and suggest, if you're interested, that you start off by reading this amazing book which explains not only what you eat and why, but why this isn't what the government and all the other powers that be are telling us to eat
- Having support of those around you is really important. I owe a lot to friends and family who understand that I would love to spend more time with them but don't have much time after work and training, but most of all to my amazing wife who has to put up me me on a daily basis! Thanks Em xx

Next post will be plans for 2014. In the meantime, here are some great resources that helped me in 2013 and may help you too: Mark Sissons is the author of the Primal Blueprint which is a version of Paleo. He blogs on here pretty much every day, so I'm on it most days. James Dunne is a local running coach. Running is a skill sport as much as swimming (or something like golf I assume!), and learning how to do it properly with his help is one of the reasons I'm sure that I didn't get injured in 2013. His podcast is incredibly insightful and very interesting. Like a lot of the products and advice on here, but the best one by far is Dave Asprey's signature dish; Bulletproof Coffee. You have to try this stuff!
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