Sunday, 18 December 2011

2011 year Review, 2012 plans

Ok so it's been a while since I did a blog post so said id make an effort before the year is out.

It's been a busy and progressive year and has gone about as well as I could've expected.
I had some basic goals heading in to the year, but overall was to complete the National Series and set a base line for improvement and see how I get on.

It was my first full season of triathlons, I completed my first Olympic Distance race and a few more, first near middle distance (1.5, 100, 10), along with a couple run races and first Duathlon and first marathon.
Who knew they'd all be so enjoyable and fuel my addiction even more eh?!

I managed to do 8 National
series races and though I started off around the 100th finisher, I managed to progress through the season to finish in top 30 in a couple races (CK & DCT).

That's perhaps what I'm happiest with, showing progress as the year went on and I got fitter and more experienced.
I also managed to avoid injuries, and transform my heel striking run technique to a near mid foot strike. This is an ongoing work in progress!

Looking at my training, I averaged around 8 hours a week, more in non race weeks (up to 12) and sometimes less in busy weeks.
I didn't have a specific plan, just did up a spreadsheet with basic swim or run or intervals or long session and that was it. I didn't use HR zones nor power.

I did manage to improve my swimming to be able to complete a full swim in front crawl, something I couldn't do at my first couple races!

Onto 2012...

So, where to go from here...

Well, I've learned I absolutely love triathlons, training and am very much addicted.
I've also learned I want to improve, be competitive and get faster.

So it's on to the next level.

So what is the next level and how do I get there?

I see the next level as breaking into top 10 at NS races, hopefully better. I know this will be hard, I see the same names for the last few years there and it'll be hard to make such a significant jump. But I'm going to try my best...

How is a combination of the following:
- dedicate more training hours
- structured training and tracked via Training Peaks
- coached training plan
- power meter for bike
- use proper HR zones
- planned A, B and C races
- consistency, probably key!

So I've applied the above over the last period.
I took 3 weeks off after DCT for September (bike slide cut foot).
Started back into prep then for 6 weeks, did the Dublin Marathon in middle of that and eased back running after that.
So back proper training about 8 weeks plus now.
Thankfully, I've noticed decent swim improvements and hope to continue this.

I've started training with a power meter on the bike. It really does bring effort to the next level in my opinion. I'm using a Computrainer as a trial, and looking to purchase the Garmin Vector in March hopefully. Alternative being a Powertap on race wheels but would prefer the Garmin solution if it's proven and accurate/consistent as can be used for all training and racing.
A solid will answer this for me and many others come March!

So I'm into Base 2 training now and things are going well.

I've my race calendar planned out and just making final decisions for next year.

So onto Xmas period where hopefully I don't eat too much treats and still get some training in.... ;)

More blogs to be added more regularly.