Saturday, October 21, 2017

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I’ve been a bit crap at keeping my blog up to date lately. I guess during the winter many of us go into a kind of hibernation regime. Not hibernation from training, or indeed planning, but hibernation in terms of just getting on with base training – building volume, improving aerobic efficiency and (hopefully) staying injury free!

 

And I guess that kinda sums up my late December and January so far.  With the exception of getting to run 16x 400m reps shoulder to shoulder with a multiple Ironman world champion, there haven’t been any stand out sessions of late.  No ‘epic’ rides, no ‘smash fests’ or deeply dark experiences in the ‘pain cave’ – just lots of (again, hopefully!) sensible base training.  Sorry if that sounds boring, but that's kinda been my world for the last 4-5 weeks.

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Looking back on 2013, it’s hard not to be a little disappointed. I really feel like I’ve struggled to make good progress this year. Thankfully I haven’t lost too much, despite turning 40 (and therefore making me officially an old git!), but in triathlon you have to be making progress even just to maintain your normal position.

 

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‘Tis the season to spoil the triathlete in your life.  The trouble is, triathlon isn’t a cheap sport and most of the stuff we lust after costs hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds!  But fear not, you can still bring a smile to your triathlete’s face on Christmas morning with my personally-selected range of triathlon stocking fillers!  Each one costs less than £50.

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I seem to recall closing out my last-but-one blog piece with a comment about looking forward to getting over a bout of man flu, setting my race plan for 2014 and enjoying a solid start to my winter training.  Hmm, well that didn’t quite work!

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As the season draws to a close, I thought it might be an opportune moment to reflect on some of the lessons learned from my first attempt at focusing properly on middle-distance, 70.3, or half-ironman, whatever you want to call it. Now as usual, there's a big fat caveat coming up. I am NOT a triathlon pro or coach. Just another average Joe who's trying to impart some hard-earned knowledge in the hope that it helps fellow amateurs.

Now to be fair, 2013 wasn't the first time I tried middle distance, and with having to miss my final planned race of the year (Lanza 70.3) due to work commitments, it didn't exactly all go to plan (distracting myself with qualifying for the ITU Age Group world champs wasn't ideal, either).  But I did manage to learn a few lessons along the way, as well as identifying some more key areas to focus on for 2014.

So if you're currently competing at sprint or olympic distances, but are looking to step up in distance for 2014, hopefully the advice below will set you on the right path.

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