2017 was a good year of swimming, biking, and running. The focus of the year was really just to be a build year as I continue to creep closer to age group podiums. The 3-4 year plan is still qualification for age group triathlon world championships at the Olympic/international distance. I wanted to be consistent with the training, stay healthy, and take a poke at qualifying for duathlon age group world championships with running and cycling being my strengths. I also decided to do some straight road bike racing and join the local crit race series to get stronger on the bike.
Looking at my stats I’m generally pleased with what I see. I averaged 1.2 workouts per day according to Strava, and had 76 rest days. A lot of this was tapering on either side of races, so with a decreased racing calendar in 2018 I hope to be more active in terms of # of workouts. While 8,047km cycling isn’t a huge number for dedicated cyclists, I’m happy I got there while also swimming and running consistently. It’s also by far my biggest volume gain from 2016 when I did 5,921km.
As the goal is an overall increase of speed across the 3 disciplines, I would be disappointed if I’m not seeing consistent PBs. And, 2017 didn’t let me down, with lots of good numbers across the board. I only count PBs in a race situation personally.
5k run – 18:24
10k run – 39:25
Sprint Triathlon – 1:06:11
Olympic Triathlon – 2:23:21
No bike or swim time trials this year, so will be sure to do some in 2018 to get stats on the books for comparison sake.
Off the top of my head, I raced 4 triathlons, 1 duathlon, 2 road bike races, 3 runs, 1 cyclocross race, and 1 bike track event this year. Throw in a number of local crits and cyclocross races and it was a busy season for events. Of these events, the following 3 stand out in particular:
Overdrive Duathlon – 1st age group – 5th overall (10k, 40k, 5k): This event was a qualifier for the age group world championships in Denmark, 2018. I was over-joyed to punch my ticket and look forward to making this a key race of my 2018 calendar. Read the report here.
Ride Across the County of Elgin – Although this was a fundraiser ride and not a race, a group of us rode it all out and I was happy to come in as the first rider back, averaging 36.8kph over the 126kms. Read the report here.
Dash for Dads – 1st overall: Although this was a relatively modest, local run, it was my first time winning a running event overall (and possibly the last, as I’m not getting younger). Read the report here.
Lots of highlights this year, from hanging out with great people, funny stories on the road, and ferocious racing. However, these 3 stand out in particular:
- Being paced by Canadian Olympian Rachel Hannah in the Forest City Road Race 10k. Rachel decided to pace a 40 minute 10k group, and after the rest of the runners faded away one at a time, she stayed with me to drag me across the line in a PB time. She was super cool about the whole experience and has become one of my running heroes.
- Finishing in the pack in a crit race. My road bike racing got off to a rather depressing start, being lapped out at the Springbank Road Race and dropped in my first crits. As someone who is usually one of the better cyclists in triathlon, this was humbling. However, I stuck to it and kept riding hard, finally achieving 1 point overall in the crit series with a 5th place. More importantly, I can now hang with the pack (in D group), and in 2018 hope to be more of a contender.
- My birthday swim. Swimming your age x 100m has become quite a birthday tradition in our master’s swim group. This year I managed 3600m in a 1:39 pace, both a massive volume and an exceptional pace for me (now, don’t get me wrong, the fins went on for the last 600m or so, but it still felt fast). Great camaraderie at these swims is what makes it go by so fast.
So, while I have focused on the ups so far, 2017 also came with some downs (literally). That said, where other seasons have included very long and horribly frustrating stretches knee, hamstring, shoulder, etc. injuries that required physio and time off, this year was far less injury prone. The longest was a knee issue that developed during the Bluewater Triathlon. The sad part about this was I was supposed to spend the next weekend bike camping but had to play it safe and take a pass. Perhaps 2018 is the year I finally get an extended bike camping trip in?
The other injury this year was a fall at my first track cycling event. The first race went quite well, and the second was elimination. In a tight pack on the second sprint I was right at the top of the pack after going up and over and the group drifted up. I clipped the rail and slid down from the top of the track at 40kph. This led to a pretty significant loss of skin and a lot of time out of the pool. However, I seem to have rebounded ok and the swimming is going well leading into the new year.
So, what’s in store for next year? I’ve always wanted to race the Paris 2 Ancaster gravel ride, so have already registered for that. I also want to do a few less races and more fun events such as the Turas Mor ride. I still plan to spend a lot of time in the pool and really need to see lots of sub-2:00 paces in races this year. I’m hoping a new wetsuit will also help contribute to this. The 2018 Duathlon World Championships in July will obviously be a key focus, although there won’t be a lot of changes to my training for this, maybe just slightly more running volume. Lastly, a friend noted that my 5k time from last fall is enough to qualify for the Canadian 5k Championships, so am thinking about entering that.
It was a year ago that I decided to start this website, and it has been fun having a venue for my thoughts, opinions, and race stories. Thanks all for reading and supporting me this year, and here’s to 2018!