Well it’s been a while since I’ve given an update of what’s going on! Yesterday I raced at British University Championships and it was not an ideal start to the season but it’s over now and I have taken some points good and bad from it but many things to learn from that I’m glad happened now and not later in the season. Here are my thoughts on the race in tough windy conditions.
It was in my initial opinion a very disappointing performance on my part, this is possible to a number of thing partly I had trained very hard leading into the race and had a lot of underlying fatigue in my system that didn’t make itself known till I really stressed my systems. First of in the pool swim I swam way down on what I know I am capable of and what I can mainly think of is a lot of my swim race prep has been based on open water which is where most of my races will take place and not a bad thing to be better at in this stage of my career. My bike split was still one of quickest of the day but I had expected so my more of myself and thought my engine was capable of much more but as my coach Blair and his brother Fraser, a far more experienced endurance athlete, told me that I’ve not exactly been training for a sustained hard effort and have been focusing on crit style riding which are both hard but still very different! and not to be so hard on myself because I am riding well. Finally my run was not very fast at all, however I have been struggling since I came back from Spain which shin pains when starting to run harder so as a consequence I have done virtually no hard running in over 4 weeks so I should not really have expected myself to produce fast running on demand and I realise that now. I made another mistake by having never run off a time trial bike and as a result the first kilometre was not as I expected it to be which was a real shock, being in the tucked up position really restricted my chest and upper body tightness making breathing and chest expansions limited till the muscles relaxed. These are all important thing to learn from and are mistakes I won’t be making again! All in all thinking about it now I would not have considered myself properly race fit and I actually probably performed realistically quite well for the type of training I have been focusing on in the swim and the bike and the swim which is what is more important to stick to what the majority of my races will be.
On a positive note, I finished the race totally pain free in my shins and after wearing racing flats which is only a good thing which will allow me to train my running properly now. This makes the end result of the race seems much better! A big, big relief and gives me new energy to push harder and with even more focus.
Finally a big thanks to Blair and Fraser for driving the mini buses the whole 430miles down to Calne for the race, this was a huge undertaking out of their normal routine and we all really appreciated it allowing us the best chance to perform well. Also it gave me a chance to learn a lot on the drive up and down form Fraser which was another big plus!