Looking back on 2012, first let me admit that I am really happy to see what I have done in triathlon. Mainly, a first and second iron-distance finish in the same year. The first, HITS Naples, concluded my 2011 season. The second was my big race at Great Floridian. Two seasons culminating in two iron-distance races in the same year. However, my “season” this year was merely a shell of the 2011 training season and mistakes were made. So although I am proud, I am not content as there are more than a few things to improve.
Here are the main lessons I learned from mistakes I made this year:
- Plan Ahead and Change Accordingly
Having lucked out in planning on the go in 2011, I decided to do the same for 2012 but it came to bite me in the butt. While I had my “A” race picked out, that was about it. I struggled to match my training schedule and proper recovery to race dates chosen on the fly and life stresses, such as moving into an unfurnished apartment in the middle of the season.
- Discipline and Focus
I lacked the focus and discipline that made my 2011 season so successful. Confession: I rarely trained in the mornings. I also became content with just completing scheduled workouts. This bare bones approach to training for an iron-distance race left me far short of my goals. In reality, I need the discipline to wake up when that early morning alarm sounds and focus to make workouts meaningful.
- Offseason and Recovery
I wasted last offseason by training too much when it was not needed. I tried to carry the fitness from early 2012 into the long 2012 season. I was clealry burnt out by the time race day came. I do not even think I swam in the last month before the race. I trained 24 weeks for Great Floridian and the resulting stress and fatigue caught up to me.