Race season beckons: 3 weeks out from my first race of the year and the season has definitely changed: the sun is out and I’ve just done my first ride without leggings on! My training has gradually morphed over the last few weeks and is now in full blown race preparation mode which is exciting! I remember writing a few months ago how I was excited about getting my head down over the winter to build on my form from last year. I have to say it was very lucky I went in with that attitude as its been a very long, hard winter!
When I left Loughborough last august I was pretty apprehensive about the solo training ahead but I’m pleased to say that, with the invaluable help of David at Physfarm and my strada powertap wheels (probably the welsh hills too), I’ve gone from strength to strength: The combination of the powertap and the Physfarm software took out all the guess work that I had previously used to structure my training and has enabled me to track my progress over the winter much closer. Without giving away any top secret data since first re-starting my training in October I’ve pushed up my threshold power by 90W (admittedly from a low starting point after a prolonged end of season /moving house break) to a very encouraging level for this time of year.
Swimming has been a bit more tricky as I was never going to find a house as well placed as mine was in Loughborough (3 mins walk from a world class 50m pool!). I do however have access to a few pools reasonable close by and have enjoyed getting some training company with the masters clubs that are based at them. I’ll have to wait until my next trip back to Loughborough to find out just where my swimming form is at compared to the training partners I left behind but its a three sport race and the other two are going well for me! Running in the Brecon Beacons is fantastic. No matter what the weather you can’t help but smile when you are out in them, truly inspirational environment. Oh and its HILLY which, if my speed work along the canal is anything to go by is a good way to get fast!
I was surprised with how well I took to solo training especially when I was confined to running on ice and riding on rollers for a good two months and whilst its all academic until I start racing I feel more confident in my ability than ever before: Last season, whilst I raced well, I was under-performing and regularly able to train better than I raced. Being more selfish and focussed with my training should have solved that problem and I can’t wait to see how my form develops over the season!
On that note my season is going to be a reasonable long one: I wanted to kick it off early so I can get an early indication of my form and from there on in aim for one major race a month giving myself enough time to build my fitness throughout the season. My first race is ‘tristar 111 Mallorca’ in a few weeks time after which I’ll be doing a couple of UK based races, including the National middle distance championships and some Tri Grand Prix events around europe. My main aim for the season is going to be the ETU long distance championships in August.
Stepping up to the next level of competition is as daunting as it is exciting and, as hard as it will be, I can’t wait to get out and race the world’s best!