This website has been deserted for too long. I considered shutting it down but ultimately decided to keep it going. I’ve never really got the hang of personal blogging or journaling, but I’ll give it another try. Let’s see if it helps with accountability and implementing learnings – or not repeating mistakes.
It is still the off-season and I am slowly making plans for the next year. One decision has already been made – it will be a season without triathlon. Maybe a tiny one for the sake of it, but definitely not the focus. Instead, the first half will be dedicated to cycling, to see whether I’ve reached a performance ceiling proper during tri-training, or whether I could still be faster. Over the past season I haven’t really improved on the bike, it has always been hovering between 3.8 and 4.0 w/kg FTP without even a significant progress across the season. I’d come out of the winter block relatively fit and then spend the rest of the season moderately improving endurance at speed and manage my fatigue. The question is, is that all or could I be faster if I dedicated more time to the bike? There are no real races on my calendar, apart from an MTB marathon in late May and a week in the French Alps in July. Maybe a weekend in Flanders, if work & family allow for it.
The second half of the season will be dedicated to running, where I know for sure that I can improve significantly if I become a runner instead of a triathlete. Frankfurt Marathon at the end of October will be my A event. The goals are to run a PR (<3:13, pretty safe) qualify for Boston (<3:07, realistic) and possible go sub 3 (stretch).
But until the year I am not going to stress myself out and treat the time as a long off-season. Which doesn’t mean that I’m not active, but there is no structure. Instead, the focus is on rediscovering the joy, especially in running. Now is the only time of the year when I can rgo trail running with my mates. In season our plans are usually not compatible and everyone goes about their own business, but now is the time when we can run trails together and no-one is worried about pace or mileage. We’ve recently done a tour on Mt Brocken, in horrible, yet fun conditions.
It is also the time to manage my weight, especially with the early season focusing on cycling. With age it is becoming increasingly harder to shed my off-season extra pounds. And when I recently weighed in at my pre-triathlon stress- and party weight I figured it was time to get a bit more serious about it. It is thankfully not much, maybe 6 – 8 pounds I’d like to lose, but they won’t go unless I work for it.
The work shouldn’t be too much, I believe that counting calories, avoiding a sustained calorie surplus, a balanced diet and well timed exercise will do the trick. After a season of fully embracing the carbs loaded training philosophy it is now hard to get used to low-intensity under-fueled exercise and I can feel that my fat-metabolism needs improvement. It also helps recalibrating my mind to low-intensity work, which I will have to do anyway when I raise to volume in cycling and running.