December was a bit of a dull month in terms of training, just plugging away followed by a slight reduction in training over Christmas then building back into things and trying to negotiate my way through the chocolate etc. Doing as little damage as possible! Having said that, it’s good to relax and enjoy yourself and I’ve come out the other side having absorbed some fitness and in good shape for this time of year. I’ve produced some decent swims and run sessions, a good step on from last year. Bike wise I haven’t really been out on the road much other than a few steady long rides when the weather has permitted it so it’s hard to tell where I’m at exactly, but I’m feeling strong.
In a few weeks time I’ll be heading back out to Paphos, Cyprus with ETE and Perry’s squad to put a solid three months of training in before some racing towards the end of April. Last year this block was hugely effective for me as I was able to fully concentrate on training with no distractions and the obvious benefit of better weather. Last year was a heavy development year for me, I spent a lot of the time pretty knackered having to adapt to training load required for myself to race Ironman at professional level and I came out the other side much stronger for it. Last season I did back to back Ironmen only two weeks apart and then straight out to Switzerland for a month’s altitude training in St. Moritz with my coach Perry at the TriSutto base, along with team mate Seb Garry. This was the toughest period of the seaso, I had a lot of built up fatigue from heavy training and racing but kept it together for my last race of the season which was Ironman Wales where I placed 5th in a strong international field on my professional debut at the distance. Therefore this year I am going in a more experienced and developed athlete, which is an exciting prospect, as last year I enjoyed a huge leap in performance and genuinely feel I still have a lot of performance to unlock.
Until I go away it will be business and usual training wise, setting myself up ready to absorb some big training blocks. I still have some things to sort out with regards to equipment so that I’m well prepared for training and racing as I plan to hit a few European races from Cyprus as a base.