Sunday, 13 September 2009

What's next?

With H away at the BIPP National Photographic Awards I'm sat here on my lonesome with the task of putting together a joint entry covering both of our athletic aims for the next few months and beyond. If you happen to pass our house in the early hours of the morning and it looks like we're up early... that's me sleeping with the light on!

H always knew that this year would be her last season of Ironman, and I promised myself that if I didn't make the big one in 2009 then 2010 would be my last. Well time really flies doesn't it, and here we are with another season of triathlon speeding off into the distance. What seems like only moments ago we embarked on the amazing adventure that is ultra-distance swim, bike & run and suddenly we've got nine Iron distance finishes in the bank and find ourselves thinking 'what next?'....

Training for both of us starts a week on Monday, and as for what that will be geared towards,

I'll start with H...

With her photography business pushed slightly up the pecking order of daily commitments, something needs to give in the time department and that's likely to be around 5-10 hours of weekly training... reducing her seven-day budget for exercise to around 10-15 hours. Rather than this resulting in a proportional drop in performance she's decided to focus mainly on running and have a crack at a few old single-sport pb's. If time allows her to maintain swim and bike fitness over the winter then we may see her in the odd TT, duathlon or even shorter triathlon in 2010. For the time-being though we're looking at the Brass Monkey half-marathon in January, another half in March and the the London Marathon in April to provide the main sources of inspiration for her winter training.

As for me...

It's been a funny old year for me, I've knocked out a couple of great Ironman races over the summer in times faster than anything I could have even dreamed of when we first embarked on this wonderful journey. But, I feel surprisingly unfulfilled... and on reflection I don't think that's down to the lack of a Hawaiian plane ticket, rather a sense that in focusing so hard on what (I thought) I'd needed to do to get there I forgot the actual reason why I needed to do it. It's not, for me at least, about a finishing position or qualifying slot, rather the knowledge that I really truly could not have given anything more to being the best I could be. Somewhere over the last 12 months I let that principle fall by the side and in doing 'enough to qualify' not only did I not 'really truly give everything' (don't let the training hours fool you) but I also didn't do 'enough to qualify'... just. Perhaps that slight miscalculation in what it would take to achieve my 'dream' actually allowed me to re-focus on what my dream really truly is. Anyway, that's the subject of another Sunday sometime later this year. Getting back to the point...

I've entered Ironman Lanzarote 2010 with the aim of being the best I can be, and although I'd absolutely love to grab a Kona slot it's not about that. This year it went to 10.03, I'd hate to do 10.02 only for it to go to 10.01 and leave me wondering yet again. Whatever position I finish in in Puerto Del Carmen on May 22nd it will be the absolute best position I could possibly have achieved based on my starting point a week on Monday and the time available to me from then until the race. What will that be? Who knows, but I really believe that I can take a significant step forward this winter. Funnily enough, the only other race between now and then that I really really want to do well in is the Chevin Chase, I've done it for the last few years and it's a truly brilliant event. Seven (ish) miles over just about every terrain and gradient you could imagine provides one of the best tests of fitness around. I've always wanted to go well but coming as it does at the beginning (or end, depending on how you view Boxing Day) of the year I've normally hit the start line rather short of match fitness. My good friend Dave McGuire showed me the way in 2008, taking me down by 3 minutes and 20 seconds, and this year I intend to follow him into the top 20.

Other than that.....?

We're both gonna race more than ever, we love it, it's great training and this year we really missed it. For the rest of 2009 we'll be focusing on running and have already entered the Harewood 10 mile trail race (three weeks today - it's gonna hurt!), Guy Fawkes 10 on November the 1st and the Abbey Dash on November the 22nd. We're also going to run as many parkrun events as possible and enter not one but two winter cross country leagues, one with our running club and one with our tri club. I'll be doing plenty of swim and bike training at the same time and H will be fitting those in where possible. December will mean Chevin Chase and January the Brass Monkey. February is likely to be a big training block before the BallBuster Duathlon in March (probably both of us although H may run Fleet Half marathon the day after instead) and then the Circuit of the Dales (me definitely, H possibly) & London Marathon in April. H is gonna hit London hard, I'm not sure how I'll approach it yet... I've previosuly had mixed results doing it in the build up to Ironman but as I've already said, this year is going to be different. All that leaves is May... Irontime ;)

and then...?

Who knows... loads of plans but we'd only be speculating ;)

For now...?

Apart from the fact it was taken on South Beach, Miami, today's picture sums us up pretty well at the moment. In the last 21 days I've swum for a total of 15 minutes, done around two hours of very easy jogging and not even touched my bike. Perhaps a little more activity would be better for me but I'm an all or nothing kind of guy and in eight days I really truly will be giving it my all. H is doing a little more, not a lot, and will no doubt be giving equal amounts come Monday week.

See you in seven... if the bogeyman doesn't get me tonight that is!

T (& H)

p.s. you might have noticed a list of each of our race results from 2009 appear, you can access these via the link on the right hand side of this page and as time allows I'll be adding 2008, 2007 etc etc.


Ove said...

Looks like you have some definate plans in place to achieve what you want next year. Are you planning on upping training volume or doing something different this year?

Hoping to join you for a couple fo the runs and definately doing a few park runs they are supercalifrag! Roll on next season.

Onwards and upwards, Well done on all your races this year, a fantastic year for you both.

Jevon said...

whatever you do... be happy... that will make it a successful year!
see you both soon

H said...

Rest = good for brain... bad for hips :) looking forward to life in general, training, not training etc, with you there Jevonelly and Ove can't wait to chase you round Hyde Park on Saturday mornings. :)

lord_lordy said...

A couple of years ago I set a schedule for a friend who for a couple of years had been targetting sub 3 marathon and just missing. I convinced her to target 2:50 and thats what she trained for. She went 2:54 and was chuffed to bits.
From what I've seen of you there shouldn't be talk or consideration of what time got the last slot. Bugger the last slot. Aim and train for the podium in Lanza and the slot will take care of itself. Train so you don't need the perfect race to qualify just an ok one.