6 of 7

Happy New Year. OK, I’m late; 6.5% of the year is already gone. That depressing number is the sole statistic within this post because today I’m focusing on the rarely discussed topic of me and in particular my plans for the remaining 93.5% of 2014.

Last year I got married, bought a house and successfully coached many athletes to their goals. It was a good year. Amongst all that I did very, very little training. Really. I’m not about to do that triathlete thing of revealing that very, very little training means 8 hours a week. Some weeks I did nothing, some weeks I rode over a couple of big hills to meet friends for breakfast or went for a swim with Gill. Completely unstructured and unplanned. I’m not going to feign frustration, I wasn’t bothered in the least, I enjoyed the freedom from an exercise routine.

It would be easy to continue this into 2014. Except for the imminent training camps I need to manage and – perhaps as significantly – the small, but perceptible increase in body mass I’ve noticed in the mirror. Things do need to change.

I thought about entering races – setting myself a goal. The TT Triathlon on my birthday seemed the perfect target, except that it didn’t motivate me. On reflection it was clear that while I had a desire to be fitter, I had no desire to race or more specifically be tied to the training routine that might require. Having wasted more than enough on race entries in the last couple of years I scrapped any plans before they started.

I’m going back to basics, to where I personally started in fitness and what I’ve always enjoyed: just training. I have only one rule: train 6 out of 7 days a week. I can do whatever I like for however long I want to. Currently it’s the weather that chooses the sport; running for the most part. I am trying to progress each week, but given I neither wear a watch nor measure my routes it’s imprecise.

Interestingly after a few weeks my enthusiasm is building and I’m determined to hit the 6 of 7 target. I still have no interest in measuring or recording my own performance right now. There’s no detailed analysis of my training on the horizon. I’m satisfied knowing I’m getting fitter (and thinner) and more importantly I’m enjoying the process again. Racing will come in its own time. Maybe I’ll want to set some targets later in the year, maybe I won’t.

So while many triathlon bloggers have set ambitious goals, I’ve not. 2014 for me is about regaining fitness and enjoying the process. I can spend hours planning and analysing training and performance for others, but it kills the process for me. Perhaps it makes it a little too much like work. I know how effective well planned training can be, but right now it’s the last thing I need.