Do as I say, not as I do. Finally my studies are nearing an end; or they would be if I was getting on with my writing. However, this weekend, I have a small distraction to take my mind off my essay, if not my studies.
Back in October, I won a competition to race at this weekend’s Bastion Tri; aka Hever Ironman. courtesy of Alice Hector. It seemed like the ideal way to ease myself back into competition. My last ‘triathlon’ had been the indoor world record in 2012. Since then I have been struggling to overcome injuries sustained in a racing crash in the Spring of 2013 and, as many of you know, this has not met with much success. This has been complicated by my ageing knees and I am awaiting a scan to determine whether I have debris in my left knee or a meniscal tear…or both.
Whilst ordinarily I would recommend that noone contemplates such activities without having conducted the appropriate training, this weekend provides me with an ideal opportunity to test out the theory that I am currently exploring for my MSc at Loughborough. By placing myself in a disadvantaged position with minimal physical preparation, I will be exposing myself to extreme psychological pressure, and it is this mental battle that I will no doubt undergo that interests me. I have tried this before a couple of times – the indoor 12 hour world record and the return to Snowdon Marathon, but in each of these events I had an incentive. The indoor record was a very public affair with both the record and fund-raising as a motivator, and at Snowdon I was trying to compare my marathon time with a previous attempt on that spectacular but grueling course without having trained. I had lost a mile in 17 years. In both cases however I tapped heavily into my reserves and paid a high price for doing so.
This time, I have no residual endurance fitness levels to tap into and therefore it will be a purely psychological battle. I am about as far removed from P Company as I can be – 30 years – but this will probably be the closest I can get to replicating that experience, albeit for just one long day. My aim is to race, notebook in hand, and record my thoughts as I go.
For safety, I have completed two open water swims in excess of 2,000m and two rides of 90km to test my bike, nutrition and set up. Otherwise, this year has been one long taper. As a triathlon coach I obviously do not recommend such foolishness, but as a sports scientist and researcher, I actively do. @naturalrunform @CastleTriathlon @woburnosteos @AliceH82 #BastionTri15