I'm off to Turkey tomorrow for the European Triathlon AG Championships in Alanya. I'll be racing in the standard distance event on Friday morning, and I'm looking forward to having a good crack at it. I think my form is coming around, and Friday will be a test of my training over the last x months since breaking my clavicle last year. I think my training has gone well, so with some luck I might be able to squeeze out a good effort and a respectable performance to go with it.
Nope, not racing this weekend! I took photos this morning at the club's Cosmeston Sprint Triathlon. A beautiful location, an altered bike course, and a fair bit chillier this year. Have a look at the Flickr set.
Well done all for completing this, especially the fella that almost gave up near shore. Big effort!
Oh dear. They say you learn more from your bad races than from your good ones, so I'll try to do that here.
The Deva Triathlon up in Chester was a World Age Group Triathlon Championships qualifier, and as we have a home World Champs this year, and a home World Champs on the Olympic triathlon course I expected qualifying to be tough. I don't think I expected it to be this tough. A lot of very talented, experienced and fast athletes are coming out for this, and I imagine that many are pulling into the sprint and standard distances from other distances too, as these will be the only races in London 2013. So in Deva there was a lot of carbon and a lot of abs. And a lot of it was in my age group. We're the guys with money and a mid-life crisis; either that or we're hitting our peak performance years for triathlon. Something like that. There are a number of reasons but the 35-39 age group is a hard nut to crack.
The first race is in the bag! It was good to get that out of the way, and great fun on a sunny day in Gloucestershire.
The TTG Gloucester Tri is a sprint distance race starting athletes off in a 25m pool at 1 minute intervals, so it feels like a time trial. It was a bit more like a time trial for me as I put the wrong predicted swim time down (clicking drop down boxes on the online entry thing) and started a little earlier than I normally would. Last year I fell in the pool at the start and lost a shoe from my bike running into transition, so this was a minor error in comparison.
I've updated the Skull iOS app. It is now a universal app, so it will work on your iPad or your iPhone. The iPhone version has pretty retina-ready images and is sized for the iPhone 5 (it will work fine with 4, 4S and 3GS iPhones that I've tested it with).
Go download it (it's free):
Steve Atherton built this 3D computer model that nicely illustrates the Circle of Willis and the cerebral arteries between (and within) the brain and the bones of the skull. We worked on it a while ago and I've used it in teaching (it looks great on a 3D TV) but I've only just got round to putting it into some HTML with a little text so that the rest of the world can access it.
It's simple, and effective. We like simple.
Link: The Circle of Willis
I'm getting older, so regular strength training is even more important for me now than it was when I was younger. I enjoy it more these days too. Olympic lifts are fun, and sometimes it's nice to train indoors where it's dry and warm.
Many endurance athletes worry about strength training. I think their concerns are linked to bulking out and getting heavier, and with balancing the limited amount of time they have for training with sport specific versus non-specific training.
It's May, and I start racing at the end of the month. The triathlon racing in South Wales is kicking off, with our own incredibly popular Try-a-Tri yesterday, followed by Blaenavon and Llanelli triathlons in the next couple of weeks. I'm skipping those and starting with the Gloucester Triathlon at the end of the month as it suits my schedule better, the first World Triathlon Championships (Age Group) qualifier is the following week, and I won the Gloucester Tri last year. You can't say that very often, so it seems like a good place to start.
I haven't raced a triathlon since July last year as I broke my clavicle at the beginning of August, and it feels like a very long time ago. I've lost the feel, and although I'll be practicing the mechanics of things like transition in the next few weeks it will take a race to trigger my brain. Will it all work?
Time to start buying some new race kit - that should get me in the mood for racing!
I was nominated for some teaching awards by our medical students, and the award ceremony was last week. I think I agreed to go before anyone told me that it was a black tie event (I haven't worn a dinner jacket since I was a student) but I'm very glad I did. I won the Swansea College of Medicine Teaching and Innovation Award and was a runner up for our Clinical Teacher of the Year Award too. On top of that I won one of the major prizes of the evening, the BMA Wales and BMJ Teaching and Learning Innovation Award for 2013. Nice, eh?