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January 2013 Review

January has been somewhat of a mixed bag.

Last year I became a Gold Member of Man Tri for the first time. And whilst I was entitled to attend all the sessions on offer, I only actually went to the Moss Side morning swim sessions.

This year being my third season of tri (shit, have I been doing it that long?) I’ve decided I want to try and kick on in every discipline. I’ve carried my swim momentum over from the end of last year, and hit an impressive (for me) 11 sessions, and 38,300m swum – only 2,100m shy of the 40,400m I did in Feb last year, albeit it over 17 sessions. My goal for the year is to try and average 3 sessions a week (excluding the month that I’ll be in Japan), and I was on track for that until the last week of January when I blew off a session due to fatigue – in the long run, the extra 4hrs in bed were probably more beneficial

Next up is Cycling. The awful weather has had a big impact here. I made it out on my first Man Tri Group ride on the first Sunday of the month, a relatively short run up Brickworks, followed by Wyngather. The ride reinforced what I already knew, my cycling is awful, and my climbing is worse. Then came the snow and ice, which put paid to my intentions to start commuting to work at least twice a week. Extra curricular activities, and the snow, stopped me from attending the Moss Side turbo sessions, or any more Sunday group rides, and general apathy stopped me from getting on the turbo at home. The main aim for February is to man-up and get on the bike, one way or another.

Finally, running. It started so well, the first session of the year was also my first ever track session, at Longford Park with the Man Tri crew. I opted for the slowest group, and had a nice gentle introduction to track running. The following week I was working and so had to miss track, and then the snow and ice hit, effectively closing the track for the next two weeks when I was able to run (I was working again last week). The snow also cancelled the Helsby 4 Villages Half Marathon, which has become my traditional start to the season with a hit out at my Half PB. My general road running also suffered due to the weather, with it being too dicey underfoot, and far too cold, to run on many days. I still managed almost 100 miles for the month (and 100% for Jantastic), but have finished about 30 miles short of my training plan for the Manchester Marathon.

With the Helsby 4 Villages cancelled, the only other race I was signed up for in January was Match 4 of the Manchester Area Cross Country League at Boggart Hole Clough. Situated not far from the hospital where I was born, I thought it would have been rude not to partake, even though the weather was starting to take a nasty turn – it started snowing on the way back to the car! Although many of my fellow Man Triers where saying that this was their least favourite course (in some cases tied with Sheardley Park) I quite liked it, except for the 1/4 mile of the stickiest mud I’ve ever seen through the woods at the back. My otherwise excellent Salomon trail shoes kept getting sucked into the mud, and I had to very gingerly pick my way through the mud least I lose a shoe – which, of course, I did on the final lap, through the final muddy section, losing me 3 places.

I have two events booked in for February, the final round of the MACCL at Woodbank Park, and the MTC vs Trafford Metro Swimming Gala. I had a hoot last year, and am looking forward to this year’s one.

The beginning of March sees me return to the Trafford 10K, where I’m going to try and knock some more time off my 10K PB. Next up is the Wilmslow Half where I have unfinished business. It was my first ever Half in 2010, and I went into it slightly under prepared (in terms of sleep, nutrition and hydration) as I had been on a Japan Training Camp the day before, set off too fast, blew up early, and suffered to the finish. In 2011 I got injured crossing the finish line at Helsby, and barely trained in the build up, and so ran it conservatively, finishing 5mins slower than I did at Helsby. As Wilmslow has a repuatation as a fast course, I’m gunning for it, especially as Helsby was a blow out.

Then, to finish off the month, and to start the Triathlon season properly, I’m returning to the Pwllheli Sprint Triathlon. I did it last year, and found it to be a nice, gentle, and odd opener to the season.

Training Stats – cos that seems to be the thing to do:

Swim: 38,300m 11:05:26 hrs
Bike: 40.5mi 3:42:46 hrs
Run: 94.9mil 14:32:39 hrs

Posted in Triathlon.

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