One of the things we encourage our athletes to do during the winter to supplement their training is some racing. This isn’t to say we want our athletes racing all during the triathlon season and then continuing to race during the winter months when they are trying to lay the foundation for next season but more racing which is low key and can supplement their training.
These will mostly be single discipline races such as cross country, half marathons, 10k events, parkruns and even some off road duathlons that can replace your long run at the weekend for example with a more intense run. We encourage these for a number of reasons:
- It provides the training you are doing with a little more focus. During the cold dark days when no one wants to train hopefully it can provide more purpose if racing in a few weeks time, thus encouraging you to get out the door and train, once out of course people really enjoy it.
- It provides the athlete with a high intensity session without having to plan it into their programme hoping they will do it in the cold and wet weather.
- It provides the long winter months with more focus, thus breaking up a long period of training with what can sometimes feel as though it has no real purpose
- It provides team and club athletes an opportunity to get together; meeting up for an event from a social perspective.
- It provides the athlete with an opportunity to race with no real pressure. Racing more can help an athlete who may suffer with pre-race nerves, especially in low key races with no expectation apart from their own personal performance.
Over the past few months a number of our athletes have been competing in races culminating in a local half marathon, the Turkey Trot last Sunday. Additionally, and for the first time, we have entered teams into the local cross country league. It is wonderful to be part of a team whereby everyone is evidently having great fun, getting very muddy (and cold at times) and putting in some solid performances which have shown real, tangible progress with each race. Our female Vet team have secured a place on the podium which is a great result. A few of our athletes have competed in some off road Duathlon racing. Such races provide opportunities to enjoy the triathlon ‘off-season’ as well as enabling them to put in some really hard efforts. Such races also allows them to pick up some useful bike handling skills racing off road.
Returning our focus to the half marathon last Sunday, 14th December which is the last big, local event before Christmas. Although none of our athletes focus on the outcome of the race per se, they clearly all wanted to put in some solid performances. Absolute Tri Coaching had 8 athletes racing with a number of our former coached athletes also racing. Great performances all round from everyone with a number of PB’s, several results very close to PB’s but more importantly everyone had great fun, enjoyed the racing but enjoyed the camaraderie even more. Absolute Tri Club also had a great number of athletes racing, 16 in total so overall 24 athletes from the Absolute Family supporting one local race.
With more races to come in the early part of the year we know that our athletes will benefit from these during the long winter months; using them to enhance their winter training whilst enjoying the camaraderie displayed in and out of the muddy, cold conditions.