2017-2018 Triathlon Season Review

For my first season I worked with the excellent ATP template in Joe Friel’s Triathlon Bible. My goal setting was a bit wooly - it was a first season, I had very little idea on what I was doing and it was a very steep learning curve. This second season has seen a lot of new things - I’ve joined a local triathlon club, done a few group swim sessions, finished an Olympic distance Triathlon and feel that I’m getting a much better rhythm on training as a whole. Whilst it’s not had some of the flexibility of paper, having it in Dropbox has meant that it’s immediately available everywhere. Combined with Strava and Garmin Connect, it gives a very good feedback cycle of planning and review.

2017-2018 Season Results

Focus on this year has been on Sprint Distance. Unlike previous years, I’ve looked for club-run events, rather than commercial races. On the whole, they’ve been excellent - Deva stands out. Cat has been support crew for most races this season, and I had the experience of racing with friends at Coventry. Finished the season on the North West triathlon to act as a benchmark against the 2017 season.

Race Date Distance Swim Type Swim T1 Bike T2 Run Total
Coventry 20/5/2018 Sprint 400m Pool 0:09:40 0:01:16 0:42:43 0:02:46 0:28:35 1:25:03
Deva 3/6/2018 Olympic 1500m River 0:38:39 0:04:10 1:18:49 0:02:32 1:05:21 3:09:33
Boundary Breeze 22/7/2018 Sprint 750m Lake 0:18:14 0:01:15 0:41:54 0:02:18 0:25:02 1:28:46
Lancaster Uni 10/9/2018 Sprint 400m Pool 0:09:10 0:01:39 0:40:48 0:00:58 0:27:43 1:20:19
North West 30/9/2018 Sprint 500m Pool 0:11:34 0:02:44 0:39:41 0:01:22 0:23:46 1:19:07

I’ve only done a couple of running races this year (with the exception of Parkruns):

Race Date Time
Bolton 10K 22/04/2018 0:52:52
Manchester 1/2 Marathon 14/10/2018 1:59:00

Times have improved over the season, mostly through significant improvements in run time. There was also a new bike in July - this has had quite an impact on bike times, almost instantly knocking two minutes off identical 20k routes.

Season Goals

1 Olympic Distance Race - Deva Triathlon

Deva came early in the season in June and despite having trained for it, I didn’t feel ready. I had never completed a river swim, all my open water swimming had previously been in reservoirs or lakes. Once in the water, I found a stride, and the swim went fine. I came out at the back of the group and made up some time on the bike. Bike went mostly fine, although on reflection - I put in a 20k effort over 40k. This left me tired on the run and I ended up run/walking the 10k. I finished, and now have a greater appreciation of what’s required for the next one.

Run 5k Under 25 Minutes

Finally broke this back in March on the flattest Parkrun in Poland. Sierra helped with pacing, and this started to set the running pace for the remainder of the year. 25 minutes started to become the normal rather than the exception.

NW Sprint under 1:10

Unfortunately I missed this. I’ve done this event four times so far. The three most recent have been:

8/9/2017 1:;50:26 13/8/2017 1:27:57 30/9/2018 1:19:07

1:10 may have been a bit ambitious, but the trend is downwards. Running has come a long way, but there’s a lot more time that can be shaved off on the bike and swim.

Training Objectives

Comparing my 2017 ATP to my 2018 ATP, there’s a clear difference in the approach to goal setting. In 2017, I felt like I had to set something for my training objectives, for 2018 I felt less compelled to set objectives. For 2019, I’ve got a stronger body of results, and a clear direction of where I want to improve.

This seasons objectives were:

Consistent Weekly Training

I started structured training in February, and aimed for around 8 hours for week. That’s light for most triathletes, but with other commitments to balance, I wanted to be realistic this season and aim for consistency. I hit the targeted time 75% of weeks. I’m happy with that - I also raced 4 sprints, 1 Olympic a 10k and a half marathon, that feels like a reasonable amount for this season.

Sessions have also been pretty structured - most training sessions have had a goal, this helps with motivation if nothing else.

Flip Turns

Flip turns were added as a placeholder as a way to force myself to evaluate my swimming. My swimming plateaued at 2:30/100m and hasn’t really improved since. And to be honest, it hasn’t really improved much this season. I can do longer, but not much faster. My technical ability is poor, and is not improving on my own, and this is feeding demotivation.

Next Steps

My aims for the next few seasons are to go longer. Next season will be more Olympic length events, and a middle distance. Summer has been kind with the weather, so I have no qualms about spending time with the turbo trainer, and I’ll probably hit the trails a bit as well as the roads to mix the running up a little bit. I’m going to spend a bit more time on S&C and may sacrifice some more regular training time on gym time. Finally - I need help on swimming. Group swims are where I’ll start, but I’m looking for private swim coaching this winter.