Training, motivation and looking ahead

It has been a long season. One in which I have realised that it is hard to stay in top physical shape throughout. I have concluded that my triathlon season is over. I had the aim of five races but only four were completed. The Windsor and Leeds Tri were my A races and I am happy at how I performed in both. Blenheim saw me blow the early season cobwebs out and then Hertfordshire left me puffing hard. I still have a few events lined up but not triathlons. I will take on the Serpentine swim on the 24th and then possibly the L’Etape London sportive just up the road from me the day after.

There have been lots of events I have taken on this year and I love the variety when you swim, bike and run. I would certainly not change this. I understand that when planning my yearly event calendar (which I enjoy doing), it is important to pick out what your A race is. The training you plan to do and everything that leads up to it should see you perform well in that race. My A race next year will be Ironman Staffordshire 70.3 but I have the Outlaw Half four weeks before. I will use this as part of my training and to get my head around the rigours of the middle distance.

Motivation to do well is key for me and my aim is to go close to 6 hours for this event. I have devised my 16 week training plan that should allow me to be in peak shape for the event. To then expect myself to stay in this kind of shape for the rest of the summer would be foolish and disheartening. The summer holidays are planned relaxation. Everyone needs some down time when they can eat and drink what they like. The key is not to go too mad! If you do not have this key rest and recovery time planned, training becomes monotonous and motivation is lost. I think I was a little hard on myself this year and really wanted to be in good shape for the Hertfordshire tri, but just wasn’t. I realised that I was probably still a lot fitter than most people but the more I do this, the better I understand my fitness levels and body.

GVT – German Volume Training

My plans now are to lower my volumes a little in swimming and cycling and change my training for 8-10 weeks completely. I am taking on GVT (German Volumn Training) in order to strengthen up my body again ready for the season next year. You can read about this training all over the web and it is quite brutal but ensures strength and muscle are built through intensity. I will carry out this mostly until Christmas time. I still intend to swim, bike and run but with no set defined patterns. Why do this you ask? It goes back to motivation. I am motivated to train but by doing something differently and keeping things interesting ensures things stay fresh. Plus, I know from previous years that a little strength training before specific swim, bike and run training does wonders for injury prevention and performance.

The next series of blogs will see a write up of the two events mentioned above as well as a 2 or 3 parter on the tri-bike build. I am really looking forward to doing this even though it will cost and arm and leg.  I will no doubt have numerous questions and researching to do.

Stay tuned! And remember….what you plant now…you will harvest later.