With a clear month since IM wales a lot has been going on. Not so much on the training front as this is normally my time off to recover from the year and relax with family and historically a few days of golf abroad.

The golfing trip to Portugal was a fantastic break (the golf wasn’t stellar but the craic was !) with some great friends with only one disappointment of the week, nobody knew it on tour but Saturday night was a little sad for me, the Ironman World Championships were being played out on the other side of the planet while I drunk the night away in an Irish bar in Vilamoura, I never even knew who won til the Tuesday.

The result although not a foregone conclusion didn’t throw up too many surprises, many think Pete Jacobs coming runner up was a surprise, maybe you don’t follow IM as closely as I do, the boy is on fire and it just showed that the swim/runners worked some magic in the year to bring their ‘weaknesses’ up to a level playing field and beyond. A reminder to any AG athlete who wants to know how to improve ….. work on the weaknesses, til they become the strengths.

Most recently in my come back, I managed to fall of my bike, nothing serious at the time but its 3 weeks ago and I am still in pain, the ribs apparently take while to repair when you clatter them at 20mph. Biking outside and on the Computrainer starts in earnest today.

As part of my rest I also try to plan out the next years exploits and breakdown what went right and what went wrong with the previous one.

What went right ?

Being injury free was a real bonus, it enabled me to have the ‘ability’ to train consistently.
Computrainer – this gave me a new element to my training and one that I intend to continue with in anger over the winter and into next season, a superb tool and I feel that my cycling improved – just not enough.
I got married – yay ! Family is very important and the balance is sometimes a hard one, having a great wife who supports me is awesome, until I take the pi55, then its someone who can put me in my place. Balance 🙂

What didn’t go right ?

I may have been able to train consistently but I didn’t, I didn’t use the time I had effectively. I don’t know why, but the stats don’t lie. Below is the weekly volume of training for the year. The bars should really be going up in a linear progression from May and you can see the weeks where this didn’t happen. Life and work got in the way or maybe I just made excuses, not this year, I want that to be a consistent chart.

True, I got married and there is a lot that goes into that, having the 2 week break for wedding and honeymoon impacted the build up phase but I would never have had it any other way. We also headed to Disneyland Paris for Kellys birthday weekend, the coach wasn’t happy about the timing but this sport is not just about me, its all encompassing for Kelly and Teya.

I suppose one way to externalise the inconsistency is to blame those events but we can all work around these things if we are determined enough, time management is a wonderful thing used correctly and this year I should try to put all of those management courses I have been on over the years and execute some of the theory ! Not find excuses.

However, importantly, when it comes down to it, there are priorities. Mine was getting married and enjoying that experience.

Once back the focus turned back to Hawaii qualification at Wales.

I gave it what I had on the day and the results will show a missed slot by 57 secs but this is just paperwork, the 2 guys in front of me would never have relinquished those places if they had known I was coming so it’s a bit misleading in terms of how far I was away from Kona, the reality is, I was too far outside qualifying to justify being disappointed.

Placing at IM Wales ? I suppose its not a bad showing but no, not happy, next year is all about winning, not looking for the last place in the slots and wondering what time I need to get, but giving the podium a crack, why not ! I shouldn’t settle for the last slot, I need to be aiming higher. Go out and give it everything and if its not good enough at least I know I didn’t settle for mediocre.

Looking to the new season I have worked with Kelly on finding the balance to racing and holidays and because the main race is going to be IMUK we are off to Majorca in May to do the Mallorca 70.3 half Ironman.
I will be entering in November all going well with the rest of the season so far mapped out. Lawrence has warned me about deviations next year, we need to decide on a plan and stick to it.

So with that in mind my race season so far looks like this

November – Get back up to speed gradually in all 3 disciplines.
December – XC races and potentially a race or two to stay sharp.
January – Helsby 4 villages 1/2 marathon
February – Wrexham 1/2 marathon
March – Wilmslow 1/2 marathon
April – Return of the Fudge Packer camp. Already decided to be in Lake District again.
May – Majorca 70.3
June – Cotswold 113 Half IM
July – IMUK

October ?? who knows ………

I have also decided that this year is time to start looking after the body, strength and conditioning and core work will be part of my training for the first time, I will be working with Simon Ward using his workouts – and paying for them of course – to improve the core strength I feel that I need to maintain the training I want to do as I get a little older.

For now, let the body heal and work back up to fitness, over the years I have ended up injured this time of year trying to get back to speed too hard, too early, I am learning, build slowly, train smarter.

Most importantly I will be supporting my sponsors, Phil at D&M Cycles is very encouraging this time of year, my IMUK slot is down to him and I owe him to work hard to prove it was a good investment, the races that we plan out for next year and the winter training is very much based around the at the shop and we have a great group all itching to get started. Most of them are doing Lanzarote and I hope this will encourage the early season banter and hard work.

Simon is also investing in my support and feedback, I will be starting the new PIG programme come November and working towards improving my output on the Computrainer and then making sure this is reflected in the races for next year.

All in all I am very positive about next year and it starts today, none of this 1st of the month crap, get out now, start as soon as possible, there is no time like the present etc etc.

I hope to get an update on the Computrainer starting watts and Majorca 70.3 in the next week or two, keep you all posted.


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