Since my last blogpost I've been really busy.
I managed to complete more races than planned.
Epworth Sprint - struggled with bike and run but pleased with 6:40 swim off little swimming since I broke my arm.
Askern 10k - predicted a 52 minute 10k, ran a 52 minute 10k. Happy days
Tyram Tri - 3rd out the water, 3rd in off the bike and 6th male finisher overall. Please with this last minute local triathlon. Felt strong on the bike and died on the run.
Nottingham Sprint - Good swim, disappointed with my bike (I couldn't get the power down in TT position) and ran to feel which worked okay but I was about a minute down on what I wanted. I was more annoyed with myself for knobbing around in T1 and T2.
After that batch of racing I decided to knuckle back down with some serious training.
After my poor bike at Nottingham I booked an appointment with Mike Taylor of Bridgtown Bikes to assess why I couldn't put the power down. My reps on my Wattbike show that I have power in my legs but for some reasons in this race I couldn't apply it. After a few minor tweaks to #Rinnie and some exercises for me, I managed to increase my power output by about 100W for the same effort. I went in outputting 220W and left outputting 340W in my TT position.
My run is getting stronger with each passing week. I am now back below 25 minutes for 5k at below my threshold HR. Last week I posted my fastest ever sub threshold 5k in 24:17.
My swim bizarrely is getting quicker considering I only swim once a week. I was shocked the other week when I finally broke through the 6 minute barrier for 400m.
I was so thrilled with this that I decided to set up a targets board in my garage. The reason I set this up was so that there was something tangible to remind me what I want to achieve when I am spending hours in my #paincave. Also if the targets are out there then I am accountable.
Today marked my first "A" race of the season. I picked this race out to find out how I ranked against others in ETU qualification. Yes I know we can make comparisons on paper but until you race the same race against you competitors then it is hard to know by how much you need to improve.
In 2013 I wrote about my dream to own a GB trisuit and this race was my first step on that journey towards qualification outright.
When I sat down with Coach Curly at the start of the season to plan my season, we decided that I am on a two year journey towards qualification. This first year was about learning to race and also seeing where I was at against those who qualify from my AG.
I have tapered well this week and my workouts have shown that my run speed is better than it has been previously. Following my bike fit I knew my bike power was there. Now it was just time to execute my plan.
I've been keeping an eye on the weather this week to help decide my wheel choice for my TT bike. As the week drew on, there was a deterioration in the weather as the wind speed went through the roof. I decided with the help of Curly to run a skinny rim on the front to asset with handling and give me more confidence on my aerobars.
The swim at Southport was in a marine lake and as the hooter went, it became apparent that it was going to be a punchy affair. In the end I decided to move away from the melee and swim my own race. I got to the entry to T1 in 12:26 and was pleased because I swam relaxed, which was the aim.
The wind had really picked up, I was eating sand while preparing for the race and I am not going to lie, the wind scared me a bit. I knuckled down and managed to hold 240W for the entire 20k. Given there were 12 roundabouts and 2 dead turns to contend with I am pleased my wattage was as high as it was. Given the wind I backed off on all the roundabouts to enable me to steer around them safely. I think I performed well on the bike. My bike time was 36:39 which compares to 32:06 for the fastest cyclist in my qualification AG. Given the wind and my lack of confidence on my aerobars since I broke my arm, I'm pleased with this.
I wanted to do myself justice on the run. My current PB for 5k is 22:48 and that was a standalone at park run with a pacer. I wore my watch to monitor my average pace and was shocked with the time of 23:07 which is only 19 seconds slower than my standalone 5k time #lactatetrainingpaysoff
In my current AG I finished in 17th place (after sorting out a slight timing issue where I was with the wrong wave which added 8 minutes to my time). Given I am moving up an AG next year (which is the category I was aiming to qualify at), my finishing position and time in this AG wasn't really important. What mattered most was how I compared with the other athletes in the 35-39AG.
I would have finished in 19th position in the 35-39AG out of a possible 32 athletes.
But now for the really exciting part.
To qualify, you either have to finish in the top 4 in your AG in one of the 3 qualification races or be within 120% of the first qualifiers time where you then become eligible for roll down places.
My time today was c. 118% of the winner of my AG which means that I am now eligible to qualify for roll down places. It is a slim chance that they will roll down this far but it is a chance all the same. Given this year was about finding out where I need to improve and by what margin, to have completed my "A" race and be eligible is honestly more than I expected especially when you consider that it is 76 days since I broke my arm coming off my bike.
If you'd sat me down 77 days ago and told me I would be eligible I'd have bitten your hand off.
If you'd sat me down 75 days ago and told me I would be eligible I would have called for the local asylum to cart you off.
I can't really convey how happy I am.
I would like to thank my coach Curly for all his help this year including answering about a zillion Facebook messages. Without your encouragement, patience, coaching and plans, today wouldn't have gone as well as it did.
I would also like to thank the companies who continue to believe in me and support me on this crazy life changing journey I find myself on. Thanks Huub, Blizard Physiotherapy and Trionz.
Thanks for reading,