March 2019 - Performance Assessments
Most of March consisted of continuing the buildup towards the start of the triathlon season. Due to an injury which had hampered my running training in early winter, I took things steady and worked mainly on improving my aerobic running capacity by focusing on long tempo runs as opposed to the faster track sessions which usually start to become the focus around this time of year. Despite this, I was confident in my fitness, and I knew, despite not being terribly fast, I was in strong fitness going into the first race of the season, the British Performance Assessments in Loughborough. The first day consisted of an 800m pool time trial swim. I swam 8:52, 6 seconds off my PB of 8:46 in January. I was a little disappointed with this performance, but it set me up reasonably well for the second day, placing me in 4th. The second day of racing consisted of a staggered start bike-run, based on the previous days' swim results. With one athlete 20 seconds ahead of 2nd, 3rd, and myself, and another cluster of athletes just behind me, I knew I had to make the first part of the bike as hard as possible if I wanted to ensure I was in a small breakaway group at the front of the race. I did this successfully, and in a small group of 3 riding very hard at the front I was well positioned. However, the huge effort to get this group away and stay away put me deep in the red for the rest of the bike ride, and I was really suffering by the end. The 3 of us went out onto the run together, and one athlete soon dropped off the pace, leaving just 2 of us. At the halfway mark of the run, I decided I was going to make my move and ran away from the rest of the field. Having had no speed work, I was keen to test my legs and see what they were capable of. I managed to hold on for the win, running a time of 16:07. Despite not being the fastest time, I was very pleased with this considering my current form and the extremely hard bike leg. I can now look forward to a European Junior Cup in Portugal next month with a little more confidence, and I am very excited to test myself against European athletes and see what I am capable of with a little more run fitness. I will also be working very hard over the next few weeks as my A-Level exams draw ever closer. Without a doubt a challenging few months lie in store for me, but I am excited to test myself and see what I am capable of, both academically and athletically.