August 2012 summary. End of the racing season and long term plans

Run 102km/10
Cycle 1070km/14
Swim 13200m/5
Erg 24km/3
Weights 0:55/1

Hours 48:43 (11:00 per week)
Rest days 6

The month started with me still feeling a bit creaky and lacking motivation after my good race at Challenge Roth, but I managed to get it all together for the Breckland CC 12-hour TT despite feeling like I was “going through the motions” for the first 4 or 5 hours. It was disappointing to miss the national trike record by 300 yards, but I gave it everything in the last few hours and certainly the rest of the month I’ve been tired as a result. I missed a few races, a DNF in the Team Swift 100 and then didn’t even bother going to the start of the 10-mile TT and the two mota-vation races at the end of the month, so it was nice to finish the month on a decent note with a 4th place in the Oxford Tri sprint. I’ve got a 25-mile TT on the fast Welsh course to come in September, and then that’s that.

I’m still struggling with a sore right achilles tendon. Almost two months of it now, brought on by a change to a new pair of running shoes for just a couple of runs before Roth. I seem to be managing to get a little running done, but it’s not ideal. Plenty of stretching and massage still and I’m hoping the problem will sort itself out soon – I would like to have been ramping up the mileage for the Luton Marathon by now. My left calf has also been a little tight at times, frustrating when my running was going so well in May and June.

Other than that I think I’m generally just a bit worn down from the last few years of hard training. There’s been no let-up since I recovered from my knee problems early in 2008 and it’s time to wind down, maybe even for a whole season in 2013. Just doing local TT events, a bit of audaxing and maybe adventure/trail running, and merely completing the distances for the timetrialling BBAR, seems an attractive prospect right now. Becoming chairman of my cycling club at the end of last year has also added an extra, unexpected, layer of stress. I’ll be racing in the +50 age group in triathlons in 18 months’ time and it’d be nice to come back fresh for that.

I’ve recently given up on monitoring heart rate too closely/at all and also bought a Forerunner 410 so I can just go out running for a set distance without worrying too much about other metrics – trying to relax my approach a little. If I’m to train less though, I’m going to have to keep a closer eye on what I eat. I’m giving the 5:2 alternate day fasting plan [BBC health linky] serious thought. It seems to have generated quite a bit of comment on the various fitness forums I read. It’d  certainly be a more sustainable way for me to maintain my racing weight than doing 15 hours a week of training all year! (It’s also worth noting that this 5:2 fasting has other long-term health benefits, aside from simple weight maintenance.)