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

Snakes and Ladders

TriHardAlanby TriHardAlanMay 30th 2018
Recent years have shown that I tend to race stronger in Aug/Sep compared to say Jun/Jul and this is not a big surprise as like anybody else I will have more race training under my belt by then. However, my main targets this year, qualify for and compete at the 2018 World Duathlon Champs and qualify for the 2019 World Triathlon Champs start in March and end on the 6th July. This being the case a game of two halves approach may not work but of course I had to make sure I don’t burn out either as the season certainly doesn’t end on the 6th July.

So, how has it gone? A bit like a game of Snakes and Ladders, a few Up’s and Downs……

Down: Out of my control this one but my second Duathlon qualifier fell victim to the Beast from the East and was cancelled. This happens but I couldn’t make the rescheduled date of the 5th May due to vacation and worse than that with my place not yet secure it meant I couldn’t book anything till after the 5th May, less than 2 months till the event. So instead I had to watch air fares and accommodation prices go up and up. I felt the BTF should have taken qualification status away from this race and found another to give us all more time but accept on the other hand a lot of people would have moaned at paying an extra race entry fee.

Up: After a poor 2nd run at the qualifier that I did do I wanted to have a sharpner before getting back on the qualifier merry go round and so entered one of the F3 Duathlons at Eton Dorney. Only a Sprint and a training race so didn’t taper for it but a really pleasing first run where I averaged 4.01 per K and could have dipped under if I wanted to was followed by a solid bike and 2nd run to give me 7th place form a field of 86 and 3rd over 40. Bit of a shame with only 2 senior age category’s that F3 couldn’t splash out an extra £10 or so for a couple more cheap trophies for 2nd and 3rd though.

Down: The last week of April and first of May I was in Cuba on holiday and with the first qualifier for the 2019 World Triathlon Championship on the 13th May this wasn’t ideal preparation. Obviously a nice problem to have, Cuba was amazing, but I ran very little, swam less and no biking. But the real problem here was catching a cold on my return. Wasn’t anything major but I was very congested come race morning and coughing up flem so as I entered the water for the start I knew it was likely to be a tough day. But when the gun went it soon became apparent I had made the wrong decision, I was simply too congested to breath correctly and get enough oxygen in. Just a few minutes in I bailed and quit. The organisers said could do the bike and run if I wanted to but I figured it was best to start the recovery process and make sure I was OK for the next qualifier on the 3rd June. The next day I looked at the results and the winner of my AG got the same time as I did last year when I came 10th. This is of course typical. Had I been well I am pretty sure would have come close to last years time, at least but I feel comfortable I made the right call. Sometimes you have to listen to your body.

Up: I qualified for the 2018 World Duathlon Champs! It was again on a rolldown (I’ll qualify outright one of these days) but was at least with 2nd highest % so feels a bit more deserved. The first of my main targets achieved.

Down: Having had a bit of a fail at my last race in OW I thought it best to test the waters by entering an Aquathlon the week before the June 3rd qualifier so headed for the Traithlon Training Centre at Bray Lake near Windsor for the 750m swim and 5k run event. It was now evident I was over the cold but how well could I swim on such little swim training over the last month? After swimming in very straight lines and having no issues during the race with breathing good I was excited to exit the water in 11.57, which would have been a PB. But after a truly dreadful run I looked at my Garmin and the swim was only 609M and as such even worse than the run! I did go in to it very tired after a hard weeks training so no big surprise but didn’t expect it to be quite so bad.

Up: We have added Huub and Skechers to our team of Thames Turbo Development Squad partners. At the time of writing I haven’t received the Huub wetsuit yet but my Skechers Go Run 5 have arrived and I couldn’t be more pleased with them. I selected this model for the 4mm drop (difference between from and back depth of sole) but was very surprised how light they were for such a well cushioned and comfortable shoe. In fact they were so comfortable I broke the golden rule of never race in anything new and wore them for the Aquathlon needless to say barefoot and didn’t even bother with talc or Vaseline. A great shoe!

Next, I have the Deva Triathon, my last qualifier for next year’s world champs. After the last DNF it’s all eggs in this basket. But this is one of my favorite races. Qualification or not, this will be an Up.
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