Off to Almere

Somehow I’m pretty much packed and ready to go for the ITU Long Distance Triathlon Championships in Almere. All part of the glamourous lifestyle of an athlete, I’ll get a train to Gatwick and spend a night in a Travel Inn before flying out to Amsterdam.

The bike is prepared for a championship race, well it’s got my flag and name stickers on now. It’s actually a bit on the dirty side and with perfect timing my front derailleur broke this week. Fortunately it seems to hold together still and with a flat course I’m not going to be changing too much. When I’m back I will have to get a new one though, can’t really rely on it too much anymore.

I guess that kind of sums up my attitude going into this race. For once I’m relaxed and not in the least concerned because I don’t have any expectations. It’s not a standard distance I race so I don’t really know how my times will work out and even so I know I’m not at the peak of my fitness right now. It won’t be a terrible race, but I’ll not be at my best that’s for sure. Still it’s fun to race in GB kit and it can’t go worst than the last time I raced as a GB age grouper. My race plan this year is not to get a virus/food poisoning and spend the day before the race throwing up. As a race strategy goes it doesn’t work too well if you’re concerned about getting to race weight there are better ways. Still I struggled through the Duathlon worlds last year and wasn’t last despite running on empty.

And the helmet has its flags too. Sure that’ll go down well in Oz too. Next year’s long distance triathlon championships will be in Perth so the plan is to be there and to be ready to race. That said it’s only a month after Hawaii so the exact state of my fitness could be interesting. And by interesting I mean that race will probably hurt. However I can’t really turn down the chance to race the Worlds in Oz and I’m committed to racing a lot in the coming year. There’s a new championship series coming in Oz and even though it’s Olympic distance I’m keen to give a few a go. Whilst you need to balance training and racing, this year tipped too far to training and the lack of racing showed in my race nerves.

This weeks continued the theme of high volume training, too much to count as a proper taper for my race. I still feel like I’m just getting back into a position where I can do decent training, it’s hard right now to pick up my pace and do anything above basic aerobic training. Checking the powermeter files it’s clear right now I’m training below where I was in July. I doubt it’ll take too long to get back to where I was and the plan was to back off completely and then rebuild. A good massage yesterday has certainly helped me feel a bit stronger. Once I was warmed up I was riding better this morning and my open water swim felt the best in ages. After months of being a cheapskate it’s back to regular sports massage for me. At this training load weekly I think, but should be cheaper in Oz!

I just need to fit a run in before I head off. Run volume has been low this week, a not entirely planned taper in a sense. One thing that is clear is I need to get onto a fixed schedule soon so I stop wasting time. Once I’m back from Almere I’ll switch to my planned weekly structure at the lower end of its volume. Hopefully that’ll ensure I’m more effective in getting my training completed and getting the rest and recovery I need.