2014 season roundup

What a year! My first full season and it started in April at the halesowen triathlon, a race where I did a few things badly that showed in my finishing time. A poor swim followed by a frustrating bike and a slow run due to drinking too much, but, lessons learned and notes taken to help improve. I still enjoyed the race though and I also met my first triathlon starlet, Non Stanford. Non was there with Brothertons cycle shop, where she used to work and even though she was suffering with a plantar fasciitis, she was still happy to chat with people like me :)

Training was really going well too, I was still losing weight and my running was really improving.
I also joined a triathlon club, the Oldbury swimming and triathlon club. Every Wednesday night I was swimming with the club and having a proper structure and some friendly competition really helped my swimming. I also started to swim at the gym pool, which is only 12m long, but it’s been great for technique training. I’m still rubbish at tumble turns though.
Kit wise I’ve had a few big changes too. I tried On running shoes, which at first I thought were great, but I later found out that they aren’t really for me, I’m more suited to Newton running shoes.
I also got a new bike! :) a proper TT bike, a Cervelo P3, awesome!
It’s so light and so quick, I love it
My first race with the new P3 was Nottingham, an ITU sprint race, which went really well apart from one major issue
My back wheel wasn’t secure.
I didn’t check it, I should have checked it. checking everything is tight and right on my bike is now part of my pre race procedure (I really must make a procedure) 
The lose wheel was due to a bike fit I had had a few days before the race. My rear skewer was swapped over during the fit and not secured properly when refit. So, as soon as I started to pedal hard, my rear wheel skewed to the right, grinding a nice groove into the carbon frame of my new bike.
Not happy at all
I had to get off the bike twice to fix it
One thing I have to sort is my anger management, although maybe it helps? I was so angry, turning the air blue. I had a similar situation at halesowen, dropping the chain at a junction and totally losing the plot.
Something to work on I think
I certainly rode my bike more this year, cycling with Rich Savage from work.
He took me round some fantastic routes and introduced me to the infamous edge hill, a really steep long challenge
I really noticed a difference in my cycling too, much faster and much more confident.
Running around Gaydon has been fantastic too. I have a nice 11.5km loop which I can run  clockwise or anti-clockwise, it’s a nice mixture of flats and hills.
It even has a nice hill at the start of the route which I have been using for hill repeats.
Learning to run fast downhill has helped in my racing too, I noticed at the Jodie Stimpson aqualathon that I was flying past people down hill.
This year I set myself the running challenge of a 5km in less than 20 minutes, well, I smashed that one, doing it in 18 minutes!
My A race was supposed to be Newcastle, which was to be in the city centre with the swim in the Tyne, but at the last minute, it was relocated. This took some of the magic out of the race and on the morning, I really couldn’t be bothered! I was feeling rough from drinking and eating too much the night before and not having enough sleep
I really felt like quitting 
I didn’t though, and once I got into my stride in the water, I noticed that I was passing people. Because I hadn’t raced off at the start, I got into a nice rhythm early and started passing all the people who were now out of breath! 
Maybe only 50 meters into the swim, my headache disappeared and I started to feel great, so I pushed on and had a half decent race.
I did however destroy my feet in my Newton MV2 shoes, the first two lace holes rubbing holes through my skin.
The triathlon of the season was my best, the BRAT Olympic distance triathlon.
It poured down with rain, we even had thunder and lightning during the bike, yet it was still my best performance.
I took it steady start to the swim and got myself into a nice rhythm straight away and soon caught up with many of the people who shot off.
Coming out of the swim, I un-clipped my Garmin and gripped it in my mouth while I pulled my wetsuit off, that seemed to work fine. The bike was wet, but I pushed hard on the straights and took it easy in the corners and the run, although still pouring down with rain was great! I loved it.
I seemed to have just the right amount of nutrition and finished in a great time.
My last event, the Great North Run would turn out to be a bit too much for my legs
It was a great day and my best half marathon result, but I didn’t take enough time to recover  after the race and picked up an injury :(
Eventually diagnosed as an issue with my right tibialis posterior. An over use injury which stopped me running for the rest of the year.
Some highs, some lows and a new hip strengthening routine to sort out my knackered ankle
2015, can’t wait
Anthony TowersComment