As the year ends I think I’m supposed to reflect on the past year. When this blog started in August 2006 (yes, seven and a half years ago!) I was just a runner. Over the years I’ve done a fair bit of running, but now this is just part of a swim/bike/run triathlon training focus.
After a bad end to 2012 when I cracked a (or some) ribs whilst windsurfing I got back into training at the start of the year. In February I run my 250th parkrun and got a super bling golden t-shirt. The main focus for the year was Ironman Lanzarote in May. As part of my build-up I ran the London Marathon in April and loved it. I did it as a training run (quite a long one at that) and even made a little video of the ‘race.’
We then headed to Club La Santa a few days later and I did my first ever standard (or Olympic) distance triathlon. Six days after a marathon wasn’t ideal but I had a pretty good race. I put some good miles in on the bike and got myself ready for Ironman Lanzarote a few weeks later.
Lanzarote was great. I really enjoyed it - well, until about 15 miles into the marathon! Then it got tough.
Post Lanzarote I had a great race at the Thames Turbo Triathlon race near us, had a great race at the Worthing Triathlon (I won my first ever triathlon trophy that day) and then built up to Ironman UK at the start of August. I planned to do the race to see what the course was like and to get a feel for whether I might like to target the race for an Ironman Hawaii qualification attempt in a year or two. Well… the 4th August 2013 was a day I won’t forget in a hurry. I PB’d in the swim, bike and run, went under 10 hours, won my age group and stamped my ticket to Hawaii for the Ironman World Championship! Wow.
Two weeks later the high became a bit of a low when I hurt my left foot - which was diagnosed as ‘bone stress’ - something like a stress fracture but not quite! Well - running stopped for about five weeks, I swam a bit and did some limited cycling. The only thing that perked me up was the thought of going to Hawaii for the Ironman World Championship.
If I couldn’t be physically fit for the Ironman in Hawaii the best preparation I could do was be well acclimatised. Three and a bit weeks should do the job - and then a week post race to recover. Perfect.
Sharon and I had the most amazing holiday and Kona lived up to our expectations, and more as well. I had a fantastic swim, a not so great bike and a conservative run for survival and finished my third Ironman race of the year in under 10 and a half hours. That’ll do nicely!
Post Kona it’s all been about putting a few pounds on, drinking almost every day in December and doing just enough exercise to feel OK about myself. I’ve done a few bike rides, we won’t mention swimming and I’ve started to get some run miles in.
I ran just under 975 miles this year, compared to 1178 (2012), 1346 (2011), 1285 (2010) and 1311 (2009). It was much more about cycling this year. Maybe I’ll do a cycle mileage graph sometime and post that. That’ll look much better I think.
Anyway, here’s the usual annual running mileage chart for the past few years.
I think the above graph is getting a bit busy nowadays so to see how this year really looks on its own I think the following chart does that pretty well:
A good start to the year including the London Marathon in April. A couple of lighter weeks before Ironman Lanzarote and then a gradual steady build-up to Ironman UK in August. Then it all went wrong. I did nothing for a few weeks, pulled a couple of runs together to get me to Ironman Hawaii and then the last few weeks I’ve been trying to get some consistency back into my training. What surprises me is that I only ran over 40 miles per week on three occasions during the whole year.
I’d like the first half of 2014 to look a bit like the first half of 2013. As for the second half - I’d really rather it look a little fuller than this years chart!
See you in 12 months…