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

Rubbish or Good

TriHardAlanby TriHardAlanApr 11th 2017
In my last Blog I spoke about engaging a coach for the first time. And as somebody who grew up as an only child and is very much used to working solo I did wonder whether this would feel like I was handing over control and might be at least feel a bit strange as I am used to doing what I want, when I want and whilst I have always been pretty dedicated and stick to my own schedules, there are occasionally last minutes changes too. Because that’s life for you. But in reality what I have actually found is almost a feeling of handing over responsibility. This is of course isn’t really the case. No matter what your situation, in Triathlon or life, YOU are responsible. If someone is guiding you it is your decision and responsibility to take that guidance or not. And of course anybody that has been coached will also know schedules are not carved in stone, they can be adjusted to fit around our lives. You don’t want to be changing every session, that would be pointless, but there is some flexibility. What is really happening is the simple thing of not having to think about what training to do has had that freeing feeling. And when you add the variety in to that its added to a very positive feeling start. So how has it actually gone so far? Well, I lost some training due to illness and now have a recurrence of a calf injury I had at the tail end of last year so its still too really for significant improvements but I have had my first race……

I booked the Ful On Duathlon a while ago as it was part of the London League and as per my list of objectives for 2017 I am keen to try and win the 50-54 Age Group. Nick did ask me for a process goal for this race but me being me I was only focusing on comparing what I did the last time I did this race in 2014 and making comparisons, and they were not favorable. That was my best season and I didn’t see any way I could match either the run or bike times. But this whole mental approach is rather negative and something we will work on. But as it turns out, it was a moot point as the calf injury forced me to drop the run and after a last minute email to Ful On they kindly allowed me to swap to the relay if I could find a run partner. My Thames Turbo Development Squad co manager Angelo Bella stepped in and with Angelo being a quick runner our thoughts quickly turned to a relay win! The day before I had failed to get my race wheels on my new Argon 18 E117 tri bike so was forced to use the standard wheels but considering how I had been flying on the previous Sundays training ride I wasn’t overly worried about this. On the day we had lovely sunshine and after registering and watching Angelo head of on the first run along with the veterans and ladies I headed in to transition to get ready and chat to the other relay riders. When Angelo came storming in to T1 not only was he the first relay runner but there was only a handful of vets in before him so I knew some very fast cyclists would be following me out on to the 5 lap course. First job was a smooth mount. Not a running one but with shoes clipped in, and after practicing the day before, I opted for sliding my left foot straight in to the shoe before slinging right leg over saddle and straight in to right shoe. Down on the aero bar to do the velcro straps up before I hit the main course and before the cyclist who left transition just before me and with a first K of 1.46 that was my first target hit. After that, it was head down and peddle like mad! With no run to come after this was basically a Time Trial and after the 1st of 5 laps nobody had overtaken me and despite their seeming to be a headwind round three quarters of the course I was holding a good speed. As the laps ticked off I saw a few fellow Turbos out there as it was also our Club Champs and tried to shout some encouragement to them all. About half way round the 3rd lap I spotted a tall figure that I was very slowly catching and took me another lap to reel him in and we then proceed to swap places as he fought back thinking I was in the full race and maybe I should have told him to save him roasting his legs for the second run but didn’t and before we knew it we were both taking feet out of shoes and getting ready for transition. A smooth dismount and across the line and stopped the Garmin at 37.40 for the 24.4K course and an average speed of 38.8kph. Angelo then went off on the 2nd run, not knowing that at that point he had a big cushion, and ran another strong leg for us to take the win! As I often do I analyzed the results and despite my original gloomy, negative predictions I managed to:

Beat my previous cycle time by a 1 minute 30 seconds
Had the 3rd quickest veteran bike leg (with only seconds in it)
Had the 12th quickest cycle overall

And it would be easy to say all of this is influenced by not running but I know from previous experience my multisport cycling and Time Trial cycling really don’t differ at all. Which means I am either a rubbish Time Trialer or a good multisporter!
Rubbish or Good
 
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