Sponsored rider and tester Tom has emailed over his January report from South Wales:
The switch: after a very successful season on the domestic middle distance triathlon circuit during which I was crowned 2012 British Middle Distance Champion I have decided to change focus a little for 2013. I will be hanging up my aero helmet and tri suit for a while and turning my attention to road racing. The decision was half made not long after the national championships when I raced a 5 day road stage race. Whilst I didn’t come away with any great result overall I absolutely loved it and given the lack of preparation (I started only 2 days after my main triathlon of the season which usually takes me about 3 weeks to recover from) I was really pleased with how I got on. My mind was made up after the Vitruvian triathlon in September. I didn’t have a great day that day and was disappointed to finish 4th, part of that was down to me falling apart on the run and part of it was down to the bike leg; very heavy traffic did not mix well with 1000 competitors of mixed ability and resulted in me having to spin along for a good 30% of the route (I saw a couple of ambulances out and so am very glad that this was all I had to get worked up about!). I have had a good amount of success in triathlon over the last few years both domestically and international and have really enjoyed it. Unfortunately I am not in a position to fund a full season of international racing, which is what I’d really need to make the step up to the next level of performance and my motivation to return to the same circuit with which I am now familiar is beginning to falter. The last thing I want to is not enjoy competing so the switch to road racing seemed to tick a lot of boxes. I am relishing the challenge!
Winter update: it has been 3 months since I started back training with a new set of goals. I am fortunate enough to have some of the same team behind me: I am still expertly coached by David from Physfarm and, of course, still riding Darren’s finest! Between us we are well on our way to making a successful transition from triathlete to road racing. Winter training is all about consistency and, with the help of my trust turbo and rollers, I have had a very consistent block over the last few months. I have been focusing on ‘top end’ high intensity efforts indoors to try and increase my capacity in that department as I’ll be calling on it much more than I used to in triathlon! At the weekend I am able to get some long rides in which are made as smooth as possible thanks to Darren! If you are considering a pair of the wider rim offerings from strada you really shouldn’t hesitate; the wider contact patch and lower pressures that you can run make for a fantastic mile-eating set of wheels. Especially at this time of year the last thing you need is an excuse to turn for home (see photos!) and you’ll find none in the wheels!
I am a big fan of training with a Powermeter (without doubt the best bit of kit I’ve got in terms of performance gains) and all the numbers are heading in the right direction. I am already in as good-a-shape as I have ever been on the bike which is great news given that it is only January. The next priority is to shed some Christmas kilos and get back into some solid ‘threshold’ power work to bring that into line with my new-found ability in ‘the red zone’! Roll on the race season.