Monday, April 30, 2012

David (Duathlon) - Back in The Saddle

As we approach Summer and adventure racing season, the weather has decided to replicate mid-Winter and over the last week, has thrown up high winds, driving rain with hail stones, warm sunny spells and temperatures ranging from 0-15 degrees. I wont be able to say on race day that "I've never raced in these conditions" anyway. To the experienced cyclist this type of thing is just standard fare but to me, I don't think I'll ever get used to the numb feet and stiff necks that persist long after the obligatory half hour hot shower (don't know how I'll survive after water rates are introduced).

Besides all that, training went really well. I felt strong on both hill climb sessions and again yesterday (Sunday) on my 40k jaunt. Fitness is definitely improving and, combined with the necessary circuit training and gym work as a substitute for road running, I hope to be in good shape by May 19th. The foot injury is still troubling me and running any distance is still out of the question but, having seen the eminent Dr Eanna Falvey on Friday last, I'm hoping for a complete recovery over the next two months. Whether or not the treatment will interfere with participation in the race is still unclear but, until I know for certain, training must continue unabated.

At this stage of training before a major race one might be working out a strategy for race day. Local knowledge can be worth a lot in this situation and I do know the course well at this point . For me, it's a case of finishing (hopefully mid pack) but for the competitive I would advise going hard on the run and on the first bike section. The Duathlon will be won and lost by the top of the Vee. A good lead here will be difficult to reel in given the descent is so fast and, even if you're really tired at the top the 12k descent, it gives ample time to recover before tackling the admittedly gruelling last 2k. Unlike most Duathlons, you finish on your bike so saving a little for the final run does not apply here. Most cyclists I talk to are delighted by this, whereas the runners are hoping to make ground early and try to hold on for dear life.

Maybe by next year I'll be up with the leaders, but for now it's all about getting back in the saddle (lol) of competitive racing. I have not toed a line since the Dublin marathon last October and for someone who has raced at least once a month for years, this is a famine. Nothing compares to racing (PB's are never achieved in training) and the longer you're out, the further behind you fall.

Still, head up and prepare for another week of training. This week will bring us into May and time to race day will be counted in days rather than weeks. If you're feeling a bit lazy this week that fact should motivate you.

Till next week, train hard, race easy agus beir bua!


David

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