Monday, 31 March 2014

The end of my 2013-2014 season. Whats next?

It has been just over a week since my last triathlon race for the 2013/14 season. I have just finished my 2nd Ironman event and came away smiling and content that I did my best and exceeded my expectations.

The (same) race last year left me empty because of the shortened swim (3.8km became 1.5km due to the wind gust) and the wind-change on my 2nd lap left me with nothing in my tank and started the run off in such a negative state that I cried 3 times on the course.

This year, I had no expectations of the race except to push myself and race smarter over all 3 legs of the race. With the swim, it was a gorgeous 3.8km swim in flat and clear water - saw several jellies too! I could not have asked for anything better (although I am a bit biased to a swim with a bit of swell as it keeps it interesting). I tried as much as I could to stick to people's feet and it started the race off in a great form. What I will need to work on for the next season will be my speed and how quick I recover from swimming in this zone. I know that for what I am capable of, I can only improve this time by 5min (give or take). I know realistically that I am no where near swimming close to the hour mark. So for the next off-season, be consistent with swimming with the squad.

The bike is something which I can see the most improvement. Compared to run training, training for the bike will less likely lead me to injuries (more on this later). During winter, I am going to ride into work more, riding the MTB and getting some bike handling skills if I am to race Busso (in 2015, thats the plan). Busselton has plenty of sharp turns and U-turns! I am going to do the BC Gran Fondo (in Canada) in August so I will need to train for this. I will do as much of the Saturday rides as I can and work on my anxiety of the descents. It started to become a real issue and it impacted on my training as I was hesitant about riding out at Kinglake. I couldn't handle the pressure when people questioned my ability (or lack of) when descending which is something I have a great fear of. I will also incorporate some strength work in the gym which came in handy over the holiday break leading up to Ironman. I worked on my core, glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves and as a result, went into the Ironman with no niggles. I want to be able to ride (comfortably) a sub 6 for 180km in Busso 2015.

Having the newly formed bayside run group now with Coach Rupert will be great for my run training. I see myself doing a double session on Tuesday more often than the last season as the training group is more intimate and the coaching method of Rupert is what I am comfortable with. I will monitor my body more closely and be more aware of weaknesses. I want to increase my speed for the next season as one of my goals will be running a sub 2 hours as part of the half Ironman for 2014/15 and to be able to run 4:30 for Busso 2015. I am not going to be entering the Melbourne Marathon (half or full) this year as I will be away in Canada during Aug/Sept 2014. Running is my weakness mainly due to my hyper mobility and my joints hurting during impact. I must increase the strength in my muscles without stretching my ligaments too much as well as being consistent with my core work.

As you may have gathered, I am taking a break from racing the full Ironman distance until Busselton 2015 (fingers crossed for the finances by Dec 2014). I want to work on my strength and speed as I (personally), felt that the increase in the distance needed for Ironman training, I had to decrease my speed in order to pace myself better. I want to have a better crack at another full distance only when I have my base (long course) foundation well cemented.

Even though I am not training for the 3.8km/180km/42.2km event, I will still be part of the long course training group. I am still setting (achievable) goals for the next season. I have signed up for 2 races so far:
  • Challenge Shepparton (half) on the 16th November 2014
  • Challenge Melbourne (half) on the 1st February 2015
With both races, I will have goals in mind of not only being faster in all 3 legs of the race but to be able to recover well enough from the efforts to move on to the next discipline. I will most likely do the Melbourne Corporate triathlon for fun as I haven't raced sprint in about 2 years.

This is just a rough plan for the next season (2014-15). For now, I am taking a few weeks of triathlon training and will slowly get back into the swing of things before May. I am looking forward to getting acquainted with both my cyclocross and mountain bikes. I have a ladies CX session next Saturday at Darebin Parklands which I am looking forward to (and slightly hesitant at the same time). Wish me luck!

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