Well, Sunday was the Sudbury Spring Sprint Triathlon. I enjoy doing this race since it’s a great check on triathlon specific speed potential from year to year. This was my 8th time doing the race. Here are my finish times over those attempts:
2000 – 42:53 (35th OA)
2001 – 40:06
2002 – 39:51
2003 – 38:31
2004 – 37:48
2005 – 36:53
2007 – 35:40
2008 – 35:16 (3rd OA)
I have PR’d it at every attempt. As you can see, I was not born fast nor did I start this sport fast (also note that I had been racing triathlon for 3 years prior to this). But, slowly and surly, I became faster through solid training protocols, sacrifice, and consistency. I think these results illustrate how consistent training from year to year can really result in consistent improvement. During this period, I never had an injury or sickness that sidelined me for more than a day or two and I only took off 3 weeks each year to recover at the end of the season. I just kept passing oxygen through my system for 8 years while slowly building weekly training volume from 8 hours per week to 25 hours. Gradual build-up and proper training intensity was the key to not being sidelined with injury. Most people think they can go from 8 hours to 25 hours much quicker than this but then realize that they were wrong while sitting on the couch sidelined with an injury. It takes patience. The QT2 training protocol is based on two major components: speed potential, and durability. My Sudbury results illustrate speed potential improvement from consistency. Durability on the other hand comes with volume and years of experience. Although these results show an 18% improvement over 8 years, you would see that my half iron times over this same period improved much more. Why? Because of the additional durability gained through volume and experience over that same period. At Sudbury, durability doesn’t factor in at all….that’s why I like it. It’s an objective look at speed potential. At the half iron distance, durability does become a factor and therefore over this period those results show a much larger percentage of improvement (due to training volume getting much closer to critical volume).
How’d the race go? Great! I PR’d by 24 seconds. This race is quite a shock to the system when you haven’t yet done any speed work other than a few races. It goes something like this: push off the wall in the pool, then cross the finish line and wonder what happened in between.
Next Up: Mooseman Half where I’ve struggled in the past to have a good day. My most recent performance indicators point me to a 4:12-4:14 goal, which would be a 14+ minute PR on that course. We’ll see in 3.5 weeks! It should be a great weekend either way with a whole bunch of QT2 athletes racing and getting to see the results of their sacrifices over the winter.