Saturday, 30 November 2013

Hanging on...........

Well if i had to rate 2013, i'd give it A**, only where A is for amateur. The two *'s are the couple of high points, which i'll get to shortly. I've raced triathlon for around 8 years, had a great coach for a good part of that, and have also been lucky enough to peer through the window of the elite side of the sport on occasion. So during this time i'd like to think i've learnt a bit. Only this year i trained like an beginner! I put virtually no base in during winter, then started trying to rev the engine up as the season approached. Race 1, Chirk, went well, so i revved the engine more, got sick in time for my next race, The Slateman, missed a few weeks training post race, then revved the engine even harder, and got sick again for my next race, Chester Deva. Took a couple of weeks off, then started with more top end. This is where i hit lucky, i was actually hitting peak form, but without realising it - i thought i was just working hard to make up for lost time. Next race Llandudno Sea Triathlon - Oly distance - which was the Welsh Championships, this is where i hit really lucky! I hit decent form, the Sprint race which was held on the same daywas a last chance qualifier for the World Champs, meaning some fast guys chose to do that instead, and finally my main opposition for the title, my very fast team mate Arthur Connel, lost time with a puncture. BOOM, Welsh Champion!! I've made the podium previously, when carrying very good form a few years back, but to grab the title, whilst being not close to my best was fantastic. I sometimes feel our National Governing Body, Welsh Triathlon, don't really rate our National Championship much, but for me it's been an honour, i'm National Champion, it means alot.
Next up was the Eirias Standard, i entered at the last minute, and i am so glad i did. Looking back, i'd hit peak form without realising. I had a decent swim, then absolutely nailed the bike leg, held a decent run and took third spot on the podium. Chuffed to bits! Next day i woke up with another virus, took a few weeks off training, then tried more top end stuff. I was also losing motivation, struggling to get in the pool more than once a week. I'd burnt the engine out, by over revving it with too much top end work and not enough base and recovery sessions. Bloody amateur. I knew what to do, but panicked and ignored my own advice, hoping for shortcuts. The last few races of the season, were painful, just going through the motions without the physical ability to actually race how i wanted to.
For the past couple of seasons, i keep thinking i want to get back to a high level of form, finish on a high note. The reality is, I've been slipping down, hanging on by my fingertips. To have good form, you need to be dedicated and train hard. I question whether the dedication is still there? I want it to be, but only time will tell.........

Thursday, 6 June 2013

All Change.....

It's been a while since I last posted, and as the photo to the right shows there has been a few changes! In December I became a Dad, for the first time,to the most beautiful little girl, Rosie. She is perfect in every way! From the first moment I held her, when she was only a few moments old, and I saw her blue eyes looking up at me my heart was taken.
Training for triathlon with a baby has now become more of a juggling act for both me and Rhian. If anyone would like to read about triathlon training whilst pregnant, read Rhian's Blog post from Birth to Chirk .
First off, we are incredibly lucky to have very supportive family. Rhi's Mom, Dad and sister are always helping out so Rhi can get her training done in the weekday, so I can get mine done in the morning or night. Weekends have become more like Tag Team training, Rhi rides Saturday morning, I run in the afternoon and vice versa on Sunday. The biggest thing I'm having to learn is to be flexible. I'm used to having a training programme to follow, which I do not deviate from. This goes out the window now! Babies DO NOT respect your schedule! You quickly adapt to theirs!!

Another big change for us this season, is that we are racing for Evolution Bikes in Bangor. I'm so chuffed to be representing the shop! A local business, run by athletes, who sell some really cool kit. They have a wide range of triathlon kit, including 2XU wetsuits, neoprene hats, energy gels, Pearl Izumi & 2XU tri suits, aero helmets, tri bars, number belts, everything you need. The bike stock is great too, they deal in Scott, Trek, Kuota to name a few, with some seriously bling tri specific bikes as well as road bikes, MTB and cyclo cross. Give them a try, they love sport and they know their stuff.