2016 Training and Racing Review

2016 was a great year for me on several fronts. A part of this was my improved triathlon and running abilities. I would rate myself at 8/10 if I had to score my triathlon performances in 2016…

2016 Highlights

Bronze Medal at the ETU European Sprint Duathlon: I still can’t believe that I’m a European medallist at something, especially considering that I was below average at endurance sport (running!) at school. It was so unexpected. The bike leg of the ETU Sprint Duathlon was the most fun that I’ve ever had on a bike; flying along smooth, flat German tarmac to drag myself up into medal contention.

etu-bronze-medal
European Sprint Duathlon Bronze Medal

7th Overall and 2nd in Age Group at Outlaw Half: For the first time since 2013, I was gaining places during a triathlon run! Four of those who finished ahead of me were domestic pros.

10:07 at Ironman Wales: I missed out on an IM World Championship slot by only a few minutes. The 3:24 marathon (after a 3.8k swim and 180k bike) was probably my best ever run and, despite the pain, I enjoyed running right on the edge throughout.

My First Race Wins in Smaller Races: at the Velopark Duathlon races in January and December along with the Windmilers’ club 3-mile running race in April.

General Running Improvement: Last year, I wrote about how my running speed was impeding my triathlon performances. I made the necessary changes to my training which resulted in much improved triathlon race performances and some running PBs (at 5k and half marathon).

other-medals
Medals for my M30-34 age group runner up position at Outlaw Half, overall and age group wins at two Velopark Duathlon races and IM Wales finishers medal

2016 Training Review

In 2016 I hit the following volumes in each activity:
ACTIVITY 2016 VOLUME 2015 VOLUME PREVIOUS GREATEST ANNUAL VOLUME
Swimming 365km 369km 501km (2014)
Cycling (on the road) 5,930km 3,491km 8,511km (2013)
Cycling (on the turbo trainer) 132 hours 153 hours 153 hours (2015)
Running 3,580km 2,664km 2,664km (2015)
Weekly Activity Time 14 hrs 20 mins 11 hrs 35 mins 11 hrs 35 mins (2015)
My training was consistent throughout the year in the build-up to my target races:

 
Training Hours per Week during 2016 (click image for larger version)
With a few reasonable assumptions (average swim speed, outdoor cycling speed and run speed), it’s possible to draw up the following pie chart that shows where I spent my training time.

pie-chart

With around 40% of my time spent running, the concentration on running improvements is apparent (typically a well-balanced triathlon training programme would around 30-35% of time spent running).

2017 Targets

I only have one main target; to get an IM World Championship slot at Ironman UK in July 2017. I’m therefore aiming to place in the top 3 in the M30-34 age group with indicative splits of around 55 mins for the swim, 5:20 for the bike and 3:15 for the run.
In order to hit these split times, I need to make improvements in all three disciplines. In the last few weeks, I’ve upped my cycling frequency as a first step and have further plans for the coming months as to how I’ll get the necessary improvements. I’ll post more on these in due course!
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