It occurred to me recently that I have been racing for around 7 years now. Starting off in triathlon while also entering a few running races, and then gradually drifting to racing predominantly running races. One thing that has remained fairly consistent has been my performance – fairly average to upper middling.
This year has seen me concentrate on running, and the early season looked good. Two spring half marathons with a personal best in the second of those – along with 5km and half marathon PBs in the run up. I felt as though I was flying, and was finally beginning to see some improvements in my performances. I wasn’t in danger of winning any races, but I began to get into the top 10-15% (inside the top 8% at the Plymouth Half). This new found optimism was then brutally snubbed out by Plantar Fasciitis (I may have mentioned this injury before).
I am on the mend now, but it has made me conscious of running volume. I don’t want to give up running, far from it. I just don’t feel confident running the volumes required to see those performances come back, not for the moment. This has been one of the reasons that led to a change of tack.
The other reason has been seeing a mate of mine, Amy, tear up triathlons left, right and centre – cumulating in her qualifying for the age group world championships in Mexico. Where she finished the top UK female athlete in her age group (11th in the world). She is pretty bloody good. To be perfectly clear, I am under no illusions that I will ever be as quick as Amy, but it has got me wondering how good I could be. Even with my half arsed, hotchpotch attempts at structuring my training I have had some okay results and my running this year has suggested it might not be as weak as I had previously thought.
So, if I am even remotely serious about seeing what my best is I have to sort out some proper structured training with a clear goal. To do this I have bitten the bullet and got myself a coach – this really is getting serious. Once this decision had been made, the choice of coach was easy. Actually I think I decided on the coach I wanted, and then decided I “needed” a coach.
The coach in question is my best mate Laura, who has recently set up her own coaching/personal trainer company (www.fryfit.co.uk). Having Laura as my coach seems like a really natural decision. I’ve known her for the best part of 15 years, and she has seen me go from a right fatty to a wannabe athlete. Having raced with her – we ran Man V Horse as a relay and in the same wave at the London Triathlon – she has an idea of what I might be capable of, and knows me well enough to tell me to “suck it up and get on with it” when needed.
So next season I will be concentrating on triathlons again. I’ve missed racing them, and I’m really looking forward to the variety in training that multisport racing brings. initially I’m aiming to race over sprint and standard distance, but that could change if all is going well. I am trying to stay away from setting any performance goals, I just want to get as fit and fast as I can and see where that takes me.
To give you an idea of what Laura is up against, while writing this I had a Snaccident involving an entire packet of custard creams.