As I start to plan for next year’s events I’m trying to work out my training plan. Not only do I want to complete the challenges I’ve set for myself, but I want to do them as we’ll as I can. So I’m going to train and I’m going to ask for advice and tips. However, I’m not going to employ a coach.
In the lake I trained in this summer I would hear a lot of the triathletes talk about their coaches and every time I heard it it sounded strange.
“My coach thinks that…”
“I’ve entered this event because my coach…”
“The training plan my coach has me on…”
The reason it sounded so strange is because it felt like they were abdicating responsibility for their own training. Don’t get me wrong, nearly all of them were faster than me – and I’m sure the coaches had a hand in that. But it still felt wrong.
If I was a potential Olympian it would be different. But at my age (nearly 40) and ability (not very good) having a coach feels wrong.
One of the things that gives me the most satisfaction about my swims this year is that I did them and I did it all. I worked out a training programme. I motivated myself. I planned which events to enter. And I made the decisions.
Could I have done it all quicker – almost certainly. Could I have done it better – no way. It was because I was doing it all that it was so special.
Do any of you have a coach? Let me know if you think I’m wrong.
Originally the plan was to swim Windermere next year – so my plans were quite simple: keep swimming. Now, having done it a year early I need to revise those plans, or at least reconsider them.
Windermere was obviously a big thing for me so I’d like to do some significant challenges and not just drift back into my old slobbish ways. That said, training for Windermere took a lot of effort and time and I need to be able to do other things with my time (not least family and work).
The compromise I’ve reached is that I’d like to set myself some big challenges for 2014 and that 2013 will be a bit of a “transition” year. I’m not fully decided on what the 2014 challenges will be yet, but it may be (and please don’t tell anyone just yet) a half ironman triathlon (I’ve done the Olympic distance previously) and another marathon (I’ve done two – London and Dublin – but way back in 2004).
So, to prepare for those, 2013’s challenges look a bit like this:
– More swimming. I want to re-do Bala and Coniston and to beat my times. So I’m aiming for 4hrs 15mins for Bala and sub-3hrs for Coniston. I also want to do the 7 mile Ullswater swim.
– Triathlons – I’d like to do at least three sprint triathlons next year. Luckily for me there are two organised in my village every year (run by One Step Beyond).
– Running – To help me focus on the running a bit more I’ll enter at least two 10k events.
– Cycling – Of a triathlon, it’s the cycling element that I enjoy the least, so rather than ignore it I need to “face the fear”, so I’ll enter at least one long cycling event.
– Three Yorkshire Peaks – on top of all of that I’m going to do the Three Yorkshire Peaks next year. It’s the year I turn 40 and an old mate of mine and I decided a couple of years ago that we’d do something to celebrate this landmark year. What we really wanted was an excuse to have a weekend away drinking beer, but this attempt to prove that we can keep up with the youngsters appeals to us as well.
Hmmm, busy year then 🙂
I’ve been pretty ill for the last week and it’s really frustrating. Although the big swim is done, I still want to complete the 1,000kms challenge and to do that I need to be exercising. On top of that I’d signed up for a triathlon for next weekend to keep me motivated and give me something to aim for after the swim.
Now I’m going to have to cancel the triathlon and I haven’t done any proper exercise since Windermere.
I’m pretty sure that the illness isn’t related to the swim (ie it’s not something I drank), but the timing is possibly linked – after the swim while I was at my most physically run-down it’s not surprising that I’ve picked up a bug and caught it more severely that perhaps I would normally have done.
The only thing to do is to wait it out and make sure I’m better before I start again, but still… GRRR!
The one thing I wanted to avoid after the big swim was spending too long feeling pleased for myself, but doing nothing. It’s too easy to relax and think “I’ve done it” and then of course nothing happens for weeks – that’s exactly what I did when I ran my second marathon, although in that case it lasted about 6 months.
To avoid all of that I entered a triathlon in a couple of weeks time. Now, however it looks as th0ugh I’ll have to miss that.
As I had always intended, I did sit around last week – I needed a bit of time off, plus I’m not sure the shoulders would have worked anyway. However, the plan was to get back into it at the weekend, especially with the cycling and running. Unfortunately though I’ve caught some kind of bug and am not well. I’m just at that stage where I’m [kind of] well enough to work, but certainly not well enough to train.
So it looks as though I’ll be sitting around for longer than I intended.
I’ve decided to sign up for something as soon as possible after Windermere, so that I don’t just sit around on my backside feeling pleased with myself (or sorry for myself depending on the result).
So I’ve entered the One Step Beyond Last Minute Tri. It’s actually in my local village which is a help. The only problem is that I’m not sure that I can cycle and run the distances required.
I suppose that’s why it’s a challenge.