Monday, February 17, 2020

Friday lunchtime musings... or maybe just waffle...

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Well, I can't deny, it's been a fantastic few weeks.  Despite not really feeling like I performed to 100% of my ability, I have scraped onto the Great Britain Age Group team for the sprint triathlon world champs in Beijing in September.  And I've accepted a new job!

Both of these events, fabulous as they are, leave me with some dilemmas, such as how the hell will I find the money to get myself to Beijing to take my place on the start line, and how will the new job affect my ability to put in quality training hours.  I don't know the answer to either of these questions right now, but it's all about priorities, right?

For whatever reason, there isn't actually a doubt in my mind that I will be in Beijing.  I will find a way, by hook or crook (or hopefully sponsorship!) to be there.

With regards to work, sometimes you've got to decide what comes first - and given I will never be a professional triathlete, I'd better stick to (and prioritise on) the day job!

That said, I'm in the enviable situation of already acheiving my goals for 2011.  At the start of the year, my number one goal was to qualify for Beijing. OK, ideally I would have liked to have qualified at standard/olympic distance (who knows, I still could...), but I'll happily take a sprint place over no place!

I've also been incredibly honoured to have worn the blue Team GB suit once already this year, at the European Duathlon Champs in Ireland.  So, two international appearances (and qualification for the sprint duathlon world champs in Spain to boot), is more than I could have reasonably expected just five or six months ago.

As such, the key now is going to be concentrating on quality.  I may not be able to put in 15-16 hour training weeks like I did earlier this year, but I am sure that with a little intelligence and adaptation, my coach Mark Shepherd and I can come up with a training plan that helps me continue to improve.

For Beijing, the focus is going to be on the swim and run.  I know I'm there, or thereabouts, on the bike and my swim is okay.  But my run is still letting me down and so putting in a good performance in Beijing is my new #1 goal.  I'll stay sharp on the bike with regular TTs and some Bricks.

Looking ahead to 2012, I have some decisions to make in the coming months.  First among these is deciding what distance to focus on next year.  There is no doubt that I am far from top of the pile in sprint races, so there is a temptation to sort out my 'unfinished' business and really focus on developing more speed in the swim and run.  But there's also a strong pull to go long and maybe step up to half Ironman.  No decisions need to be taken just yet, but it is something that regularly occupies my mind.

On Sunday morning (at about 4am!), I'm off to Shropshire for the standard distance triathlon which also happens to be one of two ITU world champs qualifiers I have entered.  I have to admit that knowing I already have a place in Beijing has taken a lot of the pressure off and I am really just viewing the race as training.  It will be interesting to see whether this lack of pressure has any effect on my overall performance. I may even try to smile for the photographers! Best of luck to you if you are also racing - try not to overtake me on the run, please... ;-)

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Matt Fisher runs - so it's all his fault! He pretends to be a triathlete, but really he is a husband, father and company VP. But he has raced for the GB Age Group squad a few times and is a two-times qualifier for the IM70.3 world champs