Overall, 2015 was a successful year for me. I have begun to achieve age-group and overall podium placings at small-to-medium sized triathlon races. To cap the year, I was awarded “Multisport Athlete of the Year” by my club, the Wimbledon Windmilers; it was a great honour to collect the award.
Training volume doesn’t count for everything but it does matter. In 2015 I hit the following volumes in each activity:
PREVIOUS GREATEST ANNUAL VOLUME
Cycling (on the road)
8,511km (2013) (I didn’t own a turbo trainer for most of 2013)
Cycling (on the turbo trainer)
153 hours (equating to 4,600km assuming an average speed of 30kph)
140 hours (2014)
Average Training Time in 2015: 11 hours and 35 minutes per week (across all weeks, including rest weeks, taper weeks and bigger weeks).
A large proportion of my swim and bike training is now at medium-to-high intensity, whereas that wasn’t the case as much previously.
Training Hours per Week during 2015 (click image for larger version)
Main Positives from 2015
Outlaw Half: this really was a breakthrough race for me. In 2014, I had finished this race in a time of 4:56. Before the 2015 race this year, I thought that I could potentially dip under 4:40 if I had a great day. Even with a few minor issues during the race (such as not taking the quickest route through T1 – schoolboy error, getting road debris stuck in my rear derailleur during the bike and the awful weather), I still finished in under 4:35 for 12th overall and 4th place in my age group.
Outlaw Full: this was my main target race for 2015. I had set what I saw as an ambitious target of sub-10:30 around 6 months prior to the race. In 2013, during my second year of triathlon training and racing, I had completed the race in 11:36. This year, I executed the race plan fairly well to finish in 10:08. This was almost 89 minutes faster than in 2013 and 22 minutes faster than my target time.
I have managed to increase the volume of my run training to mileage which I previously didn’t think would be possible for me (free of any significant injuries) and I believe that I’m now starting to see improvements in my running speed. I’ll write my thoughts on running training in a separate post soon.
I don’t have a personal coach (I’m currently really enjoying the journey of self-coaching) and have seen improvements in swimming, cycling and running throughout 2015. The coaches at my club (Wimbledon Windmilers) have helped me a lot since I joined in October 2014, particularly improving the efficiency of my swim stroke, and I have gathered information from other sources on effective training / racing.
What can I Improve for Next Year?
Running remains my weakness and it has been a case of damage limitation in every triathlon as my swimming and biking have been notably stronger than my running. To illustrate this, at Outlaw Full I was the 24th overall individual finisher. If (big if!) I had the 24th fastest run leg at Outlaw Full of 3:29:50 (excluding the relay teams) instead of my actual marathon run time of 3:47:11, I would’ve finished in a total time of just over 9:50 which would have placed me 12th overall (rather than 24th ) and 3rd in my age group (rather than 5th). As stated previously, I’ve since been working on increasing my run volume to address this issue.
My bike power during races has been slightly below my pre-race target. At Outlaw Half I was targeting 265W normalised power and finished on 251W normalised power / 242W average power. At Outlaw Full I was targeting 215W normalised power and finished on 207W normalised power / 199W average power. There are a few possible reasons for this lower bike power, but I suspect that a contributing cause may be because I do a lot of my bike training indoors on the turbo trainer. In 2016, I aim to ride more outside on the TT bike; this will be particularly important for Ironman Wales which I intend to race in September 2016.