Training Update - March 2015
My first big race of the year is now looming large. At the end of April, as a member of the Team GB Age Group squad, I'll be heading out to Madrid to toe the line at the European Standard Distance Duathlon Championships. The race is a 10k / 40k / 5k (run / bike / run) event over what promises to be an interesting technical course.
Qualification back in October was straightforward enough but in order to be competitive at this level I know I need to make some significant improvements. My racing is usually pretty consistent with a good balance of abilities between the run and bike disciplines but I am still lacking some out-and-out speed in both.
Training has been solid throughout the winter. I have been dedicated enough to my program, but I have on occasion fallen foul of a very common mistake amongst amateur athletes - not making the hard sessions hard enough and (equally importantly) the easy sessions easy enough. In general I try to fit in three run and three bike workouts per week with, for each: one dedicated speed or hill interval session, one tempo effort and one longer easy endurance training. Of course being a multisporter I sometimes look to double up sessions in a single day, or combine them into a single workout called a brick.
Also very important to my training plan is rest and nutrition. I aim to have two days a week to allow my body time to adapt. I try to eat reasonably well too - luckily I'm a fruit addict and my wife is a great health conscious cook, but I don't mind a helping of chocolate, occasional junk food and good red wine either. I have been lucky to find support from the family behind Profile Protein too - their recovery Protein shots are great at fuelling my tired muscles. More recently I have been experimenting with their pre-workout fuel ProStart. It provides a mixture of protein, sugars and natural energy boosters - a single shot gives my training or racing a great kickstart without the side effects of caffeine. I'm finding this product especially useful as I do a lot of early morning (and I mean pre-dawn) workouts.
Results so far this season have been encouraging if not dramatic. I've laid down a 1:00:07 25mile TT and I completed the recent Cambridge Half Marathon in 1:20:29.
If I can build on this solid base in the remaining few weeks I should be able to do myself proud in Spain. Tomorrow (March 29th) I'll be testing my form at another Standard Distance duathlon event - this one taking place at Bedford autodrome. All being well that'll give me a good pyschological boost for the main race ahead, even if it does look to be rather windy out there right now!
Finally, a few weeks ago we welcomed a new addition to the family - my new Boardman TTE bike frame. After a few evenings swearing at the intricate internal cabling I had her built up and ready to ride. I've only pushed the pedals once with real purpose so far but the feeling of speed was very promising. I'm very much looking forward to some solid bike splits and rides this year.
Thanks for reading