2013 Season…The Long Road Ahead

I really should have written something like this a lot earlier in the year, as one of the main goals for the season has already come and gone, that being the National Duathlon Championships! Anyway, forget the whole time-continuum thing and I’ll write this as if I was plotting out a season ahead on a cold, damp, rotten evening in the depths of Winter…Wait a minute, are we still in Winter??!!

The basic focus for this year is to improve on each of the 3 disciplines. Sounds simple enough right? Well, I guess it is, especially when you are coming from the level of swimming I currently race at! At the start of January the only thing I had going for me was the run, coming off the back of a great Cross Country Season and some good training on the track with very solid performances in some 10Km, 10Mile & Half Marathon races. This means this season is about trying to bring the swim and bike up to scratch. Knowing how much of a bastard this can be I’ve already written 2013 off as an improvers year. Basically try to at least get the technique right in the swim and just start getting the muscles used to going hard and long on the bike. The times I want (and need) to compete don’t come overnight though so I already know it will have to be 2014 season before I start to seriously have a chance to give the big guys a run for their money.

As with 2012, I will be breaking the season down into a series of C,B and A races and targeting each accordingly. The C races are there to train through and act as little testers (basically all the duathlons in the early part of the season, 1-2 of the smaller triathlons and a few 5k-10k road races). The B races will get a little bit more of my attention (the 6 National Series Triathlons I plan on racing). The A races are the ones I will be focusing my entire season around. The biggie is towards the end of the season – the World Triathlon Championship in London, 14th September. So after peaking for my mid-season A race at the National Sprint Championships at TriAthlone in early July, everything will be about building back up for September. The final A race is (or was in this instance!) the National Duathlon Championships.

The National Series Rankings is another important part of the season ahead. Last year, namely due to very poor swim times, I found myself way down the overall standings (141st) and 23rd in the 25-29 Age-Cat. With what will hopefully be an improved swim time, a more consistent bike and even faster runs than last year I am targeting a top 50 overall and top 5 in the Age-Cat. The Age-Cat position is the one I am gunning for most as this is my last year before moving into the 30-34 year old category, as a tougher more wile old bunch of triathletes. After helping the Kilkenny Triathlon Club men’s team to 13th and the mixed team to 15th in the club rankings, and looking at the standard of male/female athletes we have in the club now and the serious early season effort being put in, a top 5 in both the male and mixed team standings should be the minimum we go for. Keep your eyes on KTC this season!

Everything, and I mean everything, is going into building towards the World Triathlon Championships. Having had a taste of what is on offer at the World Duathlon Championships and the fantastic buzz that goes with it and pride of racing in the tri-colours, I can only imagine what the World Triathlon Championships can offer. Apart from getting to Kona, I guess it is one of the coolest things an Age-Group triathlete can experience. The plan was to give the Olympic distance a lash to see how everything stacks up against the real big boys but given plans to attend a friends wedding on the day of the Olympic distance race (the real world gets in the way of everything!) I will be racing the Sprint Distance. I don’t mind this at all really, considering I can’t swim! It also means the chance to get done earlier and sit back and really soak up the atmosphere at what should hopefully be the Tri event of the year!

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