Planning the next season

Planning the next season

Time to make plans for next year! Actually I´ve already completed like 70% of my plans but haven´t written about them because I don´t know. Probably because didn’t´t feel like writing. My laptop sucks and I´ve been traveling a fair bit and overall had the „no-one cares anyway“-blues. Then I relized how much writing stuff down regularly helped me this year and here I am.

So, they say your goals shall be hard but within reach. They should scare you a bit, but be attainable (just!) if you work hard. After successfully entering the half distance world this year I´ve found that much like in running the middle distance is where I feel at home. It is short enough so you can hammer at least one or two of the three disciplines, but still long enough to be scary. I´ve never done an olympic distance, which might be even nicer, but for now I´ll stick with the 70.3 as my focus distance. My races this year went well and so did my training. After one year of structured power based bike training I am faster than ever before and I´ve PR´ed the half and full marathon this autumn so I hope to improve my times significantly and creep a bit closer to the pointy end of the AG field. This year I´ve been leading the mid-pack (or was the donkeys end of the front pack) and I am confident that I can move closer to the front. No specific position goals because things happen.

I´ve checked for races and with work, family and a new house soon my A race won’t be several flight hours away. Instead my finger landed on St Pölten in Austria. Acceptable swim, semi-tough bike course and an okay run course should play to my strengths. It´s taking place end of May, almost exactly half a year from now. With a fair bit of climbing on the bike course and an Australian exit (and entry into another lake) it is not the easiest or fastest of courses and hence I do not set any time goals other than beating the 5 hours. I figure after besting a 33 swim last June the very low 30s should be within reach. I`ve also clocked a 2:33 (very flat) bike in that race and bested my open half marathon at 1:27 in October so I am hopeful that with proper preparation I`ll be able to go something like 33 – 5 – 2:40 – 5 – 1:35. It´ll be awesome and I can´t wait.

And then there is the second race I already signed up for. This requires a bit of a background story. When we moved into our current apartment we quickly learned that one of our neighbors was a triathlete. At that point I was a runner and mountain biker and triathlon was so far outside my reach I can´t even imagine today. The guy is in his mid 50s, seems well off / doesn’t work much and is among the most wonderful people I have ever met. When IM announced the inaugural Hamburg race for 2017 he signed up as a „one last time“ kind of thing. The guy is awesome, but he is also a free spirit. Monday before his big race he asked me if I could help fitting his bike. On Friday he asked whether he could borrow my wetsuit –  it turns out he didn’t swim once before his race and only biked occasionally with his city runaround. Still he finished a few IMs before and is an accomplished ultra runner so I figured he  knew what he was doing. On raceday the live tracker showed him barely making the swim cutoff and after the the first bike lap he was gone. Talking to him after the race I learned that he took it was as he always does and was chatting with volunteers at aid stations on the first bike lap. He didn’t attend the athletes  briefing and wasn’t aware of the additional cuts after bike lap 1 which cost him the race. I tried to cheer him up and said:“don’t worry buddy, if you sign up next year I´ll be there with you!“ – never expecting him to attempt it again. The next day I get a text reading „HAVE YOU SIGNED UP YET BECAUSE I HAVE ITS GONNA BE AWESOME!“ and here I am signed up for my first 140.6. Pretty scary. To make it bearable I´ve decided to approach it the same way I went for my half and full marathon in October: Prepare to bury myself on the half and aim to just finish the full.

And that is the plan for 2018 so far

  • 08.04.2018 HAJ Marathon Hannover (Half)
  • 27.05.2018 IM 70.3 St Pölten
  • 29.07.2018 IM Hamburg
  • 11.08.2018 100 Miles Berlin Wall (Support)

There is still room for more to come in September and October. I haven´t nailed the dates yet, but I´d like to do another 70.3 in September, race the 100k bike race in September, run a marathon with my mates in October and ideally I can squeeze in a MTB endure or marathon somewhere.

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