After having such a good year in 2012 it was going to be hard. What I didn’t expect that was that it would in many ways be better and see more improvement.
The year started with a few training races in the build up to the London Marathon with the Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon to start run as a tempo training run for a 1:30. Unfortunately because of poor (read none) signage and no marshals we ended up taking a wrong turn and although ran 1:30 pace actually ended up with a 1:34 for nearly 14 miles. Just as well it was only a training run.
Like 2012 I got second place at the Portsmouth Triathletes Spring Duathlon sprint distance race in freezing conditions and also did the Paddock Wood Half Marathon as a last race before London as I did last year.
Unlike 2012 though I treated it differently to last year and ran to a decent time of 1:20:11 (a PB though was more than a bit gutted about the 11 seconds!) rather than running at marathon pace. This, combined with the fact that the race was 2 weeks before London rather than the previous 3, definitely had a negative effect for London.
In hindsight it was a bit of a daft thing to do 2 weeks before London and not something I’d recommend to anyone else. I knew I was running better than the 2012 London Marathon with longer long runs and faster paces in training and had a genuine hope of a 2:40 something time. In the end I faded in the second half of the run to a 2:52:41, a minute or so slower than my 2012 PB having gone through halfway feeling great and bang on the 2:48 schedule I was running. Next time maybe.
After London came the start of the triathlon season. I had a good race at the Swashbuckler Middle Distance race coming 14th Overall with a 4:27 and with a bit of a late decision decided to enter the Midnight Man Iron Distance race.
The build up to that went really well with a 4th overall at the Portsmouth Sprint Triathlon and a week later went to the Dambuster Olympic Race. Again as an after thought I paid my entry fee to register for the GB Hyde Park squad – something I never really thought I had a shot at largely because of my relatively poor swim times compared to some. Somehow I managed to come 7th in my AG with a 2:10 on a hilly course on a very windy day and get the last automatic qualifying place for the GB Age World Championship group squad. Bonus.
After a few more weeks build up came the Midnight Man. At the start of the year I had no intention of racing that distance in 2013 and was going to do another year essentially at middle distance but the novelty of racing overnight appealed to me. I had trained well and had hopes of a sub 10 time but the race remarkably panned out exactly as I had wanted and I achieved all I wanted and more by winning the race with a 9:36. That couldn’t have gone much better.
Having had a niggling Achilles issue after the London Marathon I mainly concentrated on the bike with a very small run volume. I rode a few 25′s the quickest of which was a 57:21 on the H25/8 in Bentley but I also rode a few 2up TT’s looking toward the end of year Duo Normand.
Before entering the Midnight Man I had intended that the Zell am See 70.3 would be my priority of the year but in the end I was disappointed with a 4:43 – after a good swim and bike (31 mins and a 2:23 respectively) my lack of running caught up with me.
Two weeks later was the AG World Championships in Hyde Park which I was determined to enjoy. I knew I wasn’t in the greatest shape and really just enjoyed the day – and it really was a great experience.
Race wide the year finished with the 2up TT at the Duo Normand with was again a great weekend. Having joined Hampshire Road Club earlier in the year it was a fun weekend away with a race thrown in.
The last couple of months of the year have been training with a view to racing next year and the plans I’ve got. Again it will be a difficult year to top but I’ll give it a go.
Stats for the year
Swimming 397 km (33k/month; 7.6k/week)
Cycling 10,572 km (881k/month; 203k/week)
Running 1,606 km (134k/ month; 30.8k/week)
Swimming was up by 85k from last year although there was no real improvement in times. Something to look at for next year. I managed a 31 minute HIM swim and 1:05 for IM. I was swimming at my best of the year in November and December when my volume was at its highest point of the year, perhaps no real surprise.
Cycling was also up by a good margin of nearly 4000km. Again no real surprise that I’ve improved. Joining Hampshire Road Club and starting to ride TT’s has been great and a good motivator. I wanted to ride a sub hour 25 and to do a ride first a 58:36 and a 57:21 in my first non sporting 25′s was good. Along with the 5:09 IM bike split (with a good run afterwards) was a good return for the effort.
It wasn’t the greatest year for running with fewer km’s run by 176km. It was also front loaded in the year with a really good build up to the London Marathon which rather than culminating in a good marathon rather peaked 2 weeks before at the Paddock Wood Half. As well as not running the marathon that well I came out of it with a sore Achilles which persisted for the rest of the year and I ran very little.
60% of 2013′s run volume was in January, February and March and while I ran OK at the Midnight Man and the Dambuster with a 38 minute 10k off the bike after that, perhaps unsurprisingly, my run form dipped. I didn’t run at all after Hyde Park in September and October to give it a rest and since starting to run again have so far been OK so hopefully as I build up gradually during the beginning of 2014 that will continue.