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
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!