So, slowly but surely, I’m developing what could loosely be called a Season Plan.
Until recently it was looking quite different to the last couple, there wasn’t much running in it at all, but slowly things are creeping in that might just change that.
In May I’m going on holiday to Gran Canaria. I mentioned this to my boss the other day and she said “Really? I didn’t really have you down as a Gran Canaria visitor. What are you going to do there? Won’t you get a bit bored sitting on the beach all day?” at this point I explained that I’m going with some people who are CONSIDERABLY better cyclists than I am, and that in their trip last year they averaged 150km a day. I expect to have my legs ridden off, it’s going to be a “sufferfest” but it’s part of the plan; it should leave me in the best cycling form of my life for the tough bike leg at…
The First Race
The first and only event I’ve paid for is UK IronMan 70.3 at Wimbleball Lake. This will be my fourth time there. I was trying to give an explanation to a colleague the other day about why I’m going back; I couldn’t come up with a convincing argument!
There’s something about the event that I really enjoy, its great scenery, it’s a tough course, and it has a really good atmosphere, in my opinion and experience. There are other races out there which tick many of these boxes, “A Day in The Lakes” is definitely a tough and scenic course, but it doesn’t draw me.
VEGAS BABY… MAYBE
The results of Wimbleball will affect the rest of the year… How? Well, Wimbleball is a qualifying race for the 70.3 world championships in Las Vegas in September. My fastest time on that course was 5:48, this year the slowest qualifier in my age group was 5:26. He was in 15th in the Age Group, there are only 5 slots and this “rolled down” to him (i.e. there were 9 people who were faster than him but chose not to take the slot). I think Vegas is going to prove to me much more popular than the old World Championships in Clearwater were so I don’t think it will roll down that far again (2011 was the first year it was in Vegas) but if it does, and with a concerted effort, I believe I could get into that 5:2x finish time.
Should I qualify, then my plans for the remainder of the year will be geared around doing as well there as possible, but for now I’m looking at also doing…
Another Return race…
You know I mentioned cycling
I’m doing a charity bike ride; I’ve been asked many times relating to many events “so, what charity are you doing that for” and it’s always been for me; partly I don’t want the added pressure to finish, but mostly because in my mind it’s just not the event’s just not that big a deal, it’s a progression from where I started.
I’ve seen lots of people do the London to Paris Cycle for Charity and always thought “Really, 3 days?” well this one’s 24 hours. So that should make for a good challenge, and I’ll have to get over my dislike of cycling in the dark! My biggest concern is around the raising money for the nominated charity (Scope) but I’ve got a few ideas that might help along the way.
Not much running starts here
I didn’t have any ultra running plans, until the other day I noticed the “North Downs Way 50”. It’s an imaginative title for a 50 mile run along the North Downs Way starting in Farnham, finishing in a place called Knockholt Pond. There’s not really much else to say! It’s in August, on the 11th.
IM Distance tri, that doesn’t count as running…
I really enjoyed IronMan UK in Bolton, and while I would do it again, its date doesn’t really fit in with the other things I want to do; Challenge Henley, an Iron-Distance race in Henley fits better, and since it’s much more local (so no need for 3 nights in a hotel) should work out cheaper. It’s in September, on the 16th.
Definitely still not much running!
In 2009 I did the London to Brighton Ultra Marathon, it’s an off-road self-navigated largely self supported affair in which I got wet feet at around 26 miles, and added 4 miles and a considerable period of time by getting really quite lost. I would like to know how I do with a reduction in getting lost, a reduction in how wet my feet get and a considerable increase in just “manning up” when it gets tough. It’s in September too, on the 30th.
See, no running, honest
The keen eyed among you will have noticed that despite saying “there wasn’t much running in there” there are two ultra marathons, both considered worthy of 2 points for UTMB qualification. They make an Ultra-IronMan-Ultra sandwich with 36 days and then 14 days rest between them. This seems like too much racing, not enough sitting down, so something has to give… I don’t want to lose any of it, but if I had to step away from one right now, it would be London to Brighton.
First things first
But before I worry too much about that, I need to get fit again, running strongly enough and enjoying it enough that I can put in (and enjoy) the training.