Report from Howard (always eagerly anticipated!):
Hello remember me?
I have been keeping a light race schedule recently to train for the European long and standard distance duathlons in April. This has involved up to 3 hours on the turbo trainer which anyone has used a static bike will know is like watching 10 episodes of Midsummer Murders back to back on a spike! Also shorter speed and time trial sessions.
I ventured out on Saturday to Clumber Park (fabulous venue) mainly to attempt to qualify for my age group at the 2016 European champs. It turned out this race was also the British champs. I shudda, cudda, nearly came first in my age category! First run of 5 K in 21.16 which is not bad considering the lack of speed work recently, spent an additional 30 seconds fumbling with my headgear in transition but did the 20K bike three minutes faster than last year into a strong cold wind at times, averaging 20 mph, so the work on the turbo paid off! Managed a 10.49 second run of 2.5 K to finish a tantalising 31 seconds behind first place. I would have got the odd second in a race to the line I am pretty certain but the wearisome transition had cost the prime spot.
On the plus side I qualified for the 2016 ETU sprint which was the primary objective and also pasted people who would have expected to have been a couple of minutes in front based on past results instead it was the other way round. I came 170th out of 450 starters which is also solid enough and know I have to work on the transition.
The rest of the training schedule is worked out and with another month to go I think I can continue to improve. This includes a couple of 10k races at Guiseley and Wakefield so expect further rambling egocentric diatribes.