So with the closing of what has been a very successful year for me it’s time to be a little reflective at first. This is an important part of any season. The opportunity to assess the race season, identify things that went well and should therefore be replicated and also it gives the opportunity to identify what didn’t go so well and should be improved or worked upon before next season.
So, let’s start with the goals that I set myself in late 2012.
1. My primary goal was to qualify for the ITU world championships and become a GB Age group athlete.
Due to a variety of reasons I did not qualify for the IT world championships held in Hyde Park in 2013. The one qualifying race I managed to get to was in Nottingham and although I raced well, it was all in vain as I had unknowingly lost my timing chip.
2. My secondary goal was to qualify for the ETU European championship and represent my country in Austria in 2014.
I achieved this goal early in the season (May) for the ETU sprint distance championship to be held in Austria in 2014. This took a lot of the pressure off me which both helped and hindered my season a little. However later on in September I also managed to qualify for the ETU championship at Olympic distance, and I will be travelling to Austria in June to race at this distance in my GB kit.
3. Obtain a PB in ALL race distances in 2013.
This goal was largely achieved with the exception of a few distances. However, I am really pleased with what’s been achieved. I achieved a new marathon PB in Paris in April, then a new 5k PB in Marston in May. I achieved new PB’s in both sprint and standard distance triathlons throughout the race season and achieved a new half marathon PB in November at the St. Neots half marathon. Finally back the distances that I failed to achieve a PB in were the 5 Miles, 10km and the 10 mile distance, purely as I did not race any of these distances throughout the year. These will be added to my 2014 goals.
So in summary, I am really happy with my year. I took the decision early on in the season to leave my triathlon club and take on a coach. This turned out to be of huge advantage and I urge anyone keen to make real improvements to do the same. I have learned a lot about myself, my mentality and what I can achieve. Most importantly I have learned that limits only exist in your head!
I have of course identified areas I need to work on, both physically and mentally. This enables me to return in 2014 stronger, better and faster than ever.
Finally I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout the year. This includes my sponsors (www.inframon.com) , my coach Mark Racher “Mark One Coaching”, Transition Tri and of course last but certainly not least my wonderful family and friends. Thanks for believing in me and supporting me through the good times and the bad.
Next season – 2014
So what’s the plan for 2014? I hear you say. Well it’s a lot simpler than last year and I have hinted at most of the goals in the section above.
1. My primary goal for the 2014 season is to finish in the top ten of my age group in Austria.
This goal will require some serious work in the run up to June. It is very aspirational but I believe in myself and my ability to improve. There is no reason I cannot return from Austria having achieved this goal.
2. The second goal is too again qualify for either the ITU\ETU Age group team for the 2015 season.
I have not looked into the details of races etc. as yet, but as I have worked hard to obtain my place in the GB team, I want to keep hold of it. This itself will be challenging as great athletes are starting the sport all the time, making the competition fierce.
3. Thirdly, step up to and complete in a half iron distance race.
It’s booked for late in the season so I can focus on Austria and then work to make the step up.
4. Obtain new race PB’s in 5 Mile, 10k and 10 mile (run)
This should fit nicely into training for goals 1 and 3.
The timeline for training is already in place and has started already with winter base work. We will then be building up for a training camp in Lanzarote in early May, this will set me up for the base fitness I will need to face the season. All the focus will then be very much on June and the European championships. There will of course be other smaller races along the way but the focus will be around the big one in June.