Every year for almost the last 10, I have run in the Folksworth 15 mile hilly road race. It’s always a shock to the system to be at threshold for 90+minutes but a great test of my base fitness coming out of my conditioning phase.
My 2012 season ended in Kona with a great performance but an ankle that was very unhappy, having been nursed through the season it finally called it a day. So, like every triathlete would, I gave it three weeks complete rest then ran a marathon, unsuccessfully. The remainder of the year was characterised by sporadic physio sessions, periods of complete rest, tentative training then more resting up as the ankle refused to improve. As Christmas came I was at a loss as to what would bring it round but, slowly, it improved to the point that I was able to start running again (bizarrely the ankle seemed happier to run than ride). My rehab. formula, coupled with the weather conditions, meant I ended cramming, with 70 miles of running (and little else) the week before Folksworth.
Whilst not excited going into the race weekend, I was at least confident that I had the running fitness to complete, but not necessarily compete. However, for the first time I can remember, the race organisers pulled the race on the Saturday morning as the course was a sea of black ice. I can’t claim to be too disappointed as I sauntered round Rutland Water instead of smashing my way round the race course. The good news is my rehab continued without the stress of an unnecessary race. It’s odd, I should never have really contemplated doing the race in the first place but a mixture of sentimentality and steely routine put me in a mental state that said I had to go. I guess its times like this that it pays to have a coach watching over you.
So, having successfully navigated my first race of the season I am off to warmer climes for my annual week of quad busting bike training with 10 other souls. Work, family and injury have all conspired to ensure I am the least prepared I have ever been for this camp, to the point that I haven’t yet entered IM Wales until I see how quickly I respond to the strong medicine that awaits me next week. I am trusting that five years IM training has hard wired some deep endurance ready for me to unlock with a little encouragement from Steve Lord et al. It would be nice to shift the 5kgs of cake i have accumulated over the winter as well.
All being well, I should be able to string together some consistent training post camp and be ready for the Valentines 30k road race in February. No more reasons, just results.