The New Year has been good to me, and I've been training hard ready for my races this year. I've got a focused goal and a plan to achieve it.
I went for my longest ever run in December and finally pushed through the half marathon barrier by running 15 miles. It took me 2 hours 45 minutes which is an average pace of roughly 11 minute miles. I know a lot of people will scoff at that but if I average 11 minute miles in the marathon, I will achieve my goal of finishing in under 5 hours which I would be happy with.
My biggest struggle this month has been motivation. Training in winter is a pain, and a lot of people I know who have run marathons say the same thing, that the winter training is the hardest and worst part. I'll be fully honest and say I have skipped a few training runs, so I need to make sure I stay focused from now until April so that I don't kick myself when I inevitably struggle with the marathon.
While marathon training has definitely taken over for now, I still have my ultimate goal of completing an Ironman in 2019 in my head and so I am taking steps to prepare for that. I have already outlined my races for 2019, and the year will culminate in doing Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote in October. I think this is definitely an achievable goal if I continue to work hard.
One of the steps I am taking to improve my chances in a triathlon and Ironman is to buy myself a new bike! The Boardman has served me well, but there is only so much I can achieve on such an entry-level bike. I have therefore decided to get my hands on the stunning Liv Envie Advanced 1 (2018).
Liv is an awesome female-only brand who do road bikes, mountain bikes, and various items of cycling gear. Apart from the fact it's a ridiculously cool looking machine, I'm hoping that together we'll be able to take my cycling to the next level, and that it will serve me well not only during the 40km bike leg of the London Triathlon but also on the two sportives I have signed up for this year. I'll be sure to give my verdict with a full review once I've received this beauty.
One of the biggest challenges I faced with my cycling last year was comfort on the bike. I found that my back and groin were in agony after a couple of hours on the bike, and by the end of the 4-hour Garmin Ride Out, I was in pieces. I discovered that by not having had a proper bike fit when I purchased the bike, I had set myself up to fail. This is something you're not really told about unless you're an insider in the world of cycling and triathlon, and is a prime example of why I'm writing this blog; to educate others who can learn from my mistakes. I found that no matter how premium your padded bike shorts are, if your bike doesn't fit you properly, you're doomed. So when I go to pick up my new Liv bike, I will be having a full and professional bike fit before I leave so that I know I'll be able to spend hours in the saddle without wanting to cry. I'm really hoping I'll have some sort of miracle epiphany and realise that cycling is actually super easy. One can hope!