Thursday, January 23, 2020

Time to build

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It’s funny; you spend the whole of winter kinda wishing that the triathlon season didn’t feel so far away, and then all of a sudden it’s early March and you realize that you have just eight-and-a-bit weeks till your first ‘A’ race of the year. Gulp!



I think it’s fair to say that base training is over and it’s time to start the build for Mallorca 70.3. No pressure!

But with a series of PBs under my belt from recent weeks, I can (or, at least, should!) be confident that I’m in good shape to start my build period ahead of my second visit to the half-ironman based in Alcudia.  In fact, it’s not just running PBs that have been falling lately; I also managed to set a new 400m swim TT time of 5:30 dead.  I’m not 100% sure if it’s a lifetime PB, but it’s certainly a 14-second improvement on my last test five weeks ago, so I’ll take that!

As you might know, I’ve been working with Adam Gibson from Greenlight PT on my swim lately.  He sets the sessions, I do them as best I can and we check up once a week or so to make sure things are on-track.  I have my next face-to-face with Adam on March 30th (the evening after I race Newbury Duathlon, joy!).  Although there don’t appear to be groundbreaking tactics at play in Adam’s sessions, the mix of technique, speed and endurance work is obviously paying off.  Our joint target is for me to swim a sub-28 minute 1.9km in Mallorca.  A tough challenge, but Adam is confident we can do it.

So that’s good progress being made on both the swim and the run at the moment.  Great for Aquathlons, but I’m a triathlete.  I just have the small matter of being able to smash out a fast 90km ride before I even get to the half marathon.

And so the bike is giving me a little cause for concern.  I’m just worried that with all the focus on running over winter, I’ve not only failed to make any progress on the bike, I might actually have lost some power. So I think it’s time to get back on the Wattbike and start putting it to good use.

A flying visit to Mallorca over the weekend gave me the opportunity to do two short (well, short by Mallorcan training camp standards!) rides from Port de Soller up Puig Major, over to Sa Colobra and back. Enough to give the legs a good test (3100m climbing in 100km!) and determine that they really don’t feel all that strong! With the weather so nice back in the UK, rather than re-build my road bike on Sunday afternoon, I whacked the Garmin Vector pedals on the TT for the first time and headed out in the late afternoon sun.

It felt great to be back on the TT, the first time since last November’s Chilly Duathlon, although the position felt a little strange.  I definitely need to get used to it again (and maybe have the fit checked just to be safe).  I could feel the climbing of the last two days in my legs, so it wasn’t overly fast, but I certainly felt more ‘racy’ than I had on the road bike.

I need to enter one of the local Saturday TTs to get a feel for where I am in the ‘real world’ (as opposed to the artificial feel of the Wattbike) and then hopefully use that to inform my training for the next two months up to Mallorca.  I have the tools at my disposal, so as long as I know how to use them, I have confidence that I can build the power up.

I have some targets in my head, but we’ll just have to see how things go.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the build phase, working on my power and speed and testing myself at a few local events. It’s time to see if all that work over winter has given me the base I need to perform well in the coming months!

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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