To misquote Vince Vaughan in Wedding Crashers – “What do you like better: Christmas or Triathlon Season? Err… Triathlon Season!”
Ok, that is not strictly true, but the point is that as things warm up, evenings get lighter and the football season draws to a close, we are now getting into Tri Season. This might seem a strange concept as technically it can be done all year round – as I am demonstrating with the Chile Challenge – but it is not the easiest sport to partake in the UK winter given our slightly unfavorable climate. Yes, there are events such as the ‘Ballbuster’ in November but to be honest they do not really waive my flag (yet) and my current view is if you are going to be enjoying the event it may as well be in reasonable conditions.
In one of my favourite films, a character called Yorgi has the line: “Most people talk a lot, but few are up for the moment”. I am fully aware that despite everything I have been writing here, I have not yet completed any races. Well that is about to change, and I am pleased to say that I have my first of the year coming up this Sunday – The Stratford Triathlon.
This is a first for me in that it is pool based, which given how cold open water is even in a wetsuit at the moment is nice, and I am looking forward to seeing how it pans out. In actual fact, this is supposed to the the largest pool based triathlon in the UK, and the start is sure to be interesting as rather than a mass brawl, competitors set off staggered every few seconds (my start time is 8.46.15 am!). It will also be my first go in a 33m pool which is cool, and will make me fell a bit better about being indoors for that part.
Fortunately the rest of the race will be outside, riding and running around the beautiful Warwickshire countryside and seeing some of Stratford’s iconic sights – although it is as yet unconfirmed if anyone will be doing it in full on Shakespeare get up! I am doing the longest available distance which is only a sprint, but the main thing here is getting in some practice with transitions to the new bike, in preparation for some of the bigger events I have lined up later in the year. Time-wise I am hoping for 1.30-1.40 but as I don’t know the course it depends a bit how many hills, how much traffic, etc there is, so I won’t be too competitive yet.
Funnily enough the actual time this will take will be much less than my normal Sunday training, so I have also decided to bring in (another) new rule to take into account the reduction in training leading up to a race (tapering in Tri speak) and the recovery time afterwards for the extra exertion. So from now on, and distance covered whilst racing will count double towards the Chile Challenge, starting this weekend…
So check back on Sunday (or Monday if I am too tired!) for an update on how I get on!