As Brunty plans his 2019 season, he shares the top seven dangers that can steer you off a sensible, race-calendar-planning path
‘So how’s it going?’ Now before you launch into a horrifyingly detailed explanation of your FTPs, VO2 max’s and other bewildering performance abbreviations, I am NOT talking about your training plans. Your recent bike ride, run or turbo session is a private matter between you and your chosen social media platform.
No, what I’m interested in are your race plans for next season, because we’ve reached that time of the year when the more organised among you will be diligently working out your race calendar for next season.
I say ‘you’ because despite my best efforts I’m afraid my own race calendar looks like it’s been put together by the time-tablers at Southern Rail. I always start out with the best of intentions, planning to start with a low-key leg-stretcher; before a ‘warm-up for the main race’ race to boost (crush) my confidence; a main race; and an end-of-season ‘fun’ race to cap (rescue) my year. But in 18 years, I’ve achieved this peak of organisation a total of nought times.
The reason for this is because I, like you, fall prey to the cunning machinations of others who plant ideas, doubts, distractions and guilt in my path, and before I know it I have a series of races of randomly assembled distances. So to help you with your 2019 bid for tri glory, I hereby list below the Unmagnificent Seven dangers that you will face in your bid to stay true to your carefully
constructed race calendar:
An evil place full of people announcing what races they’ve entered. I can think of several races I’ve entered merely because someone I know had entered it and thought ‘I’m not letting you get one up on me!’ I can think of several more I’ve entered because someone clicked that they were ‘interested’ in a race, which they then didn’t bloody do.
2 CUNNING INVITATIONS
Somewhere along the line I once gave my email address to someone and I’m now besieged with various GDPR-defying invitations from race organisers tempting me with early offers to partake in grittily-named races. What’s worse, is that these obvious tactics are 100% successful.
A significant proportion of the events I’ve done have been entered at 2am after a night out. There’s something about ‘the drink’ which makes you feel eight-feet tall, bulletproof, and capable of matching Daniela Ryf on the bike, a feeling that’s been replaced by nameless dread come 10am the same morning.
In 2018, I entered my first ever ÖtillÖ race… and came third. The effect of this was to scrap all my other race plans as I sought more swimruns to capitalise on this unprecedented success. But as I was also too proud/ tight-fisted to drop out of anything I’d already entered, I ended up racing almost every weekend, which caused a general plummeting of performance and Brexit-level tensions in the Brunty household.
6 OTHER SPORTS
Because triathlon’s three sports, you often end up training with people who just do one of those sports. They start telling you about the races they’re entering, and before you know it you’re trying to work out how a 400m individual pool medley is going to help you swim 3.8km in the sea.
One of the biggest influences on YOUR race calendar is ME, according to the number of you who tell me that because I’ve written about some race I’ve done you’ve decided to do it too. So I won’t mention that I’ve entered the Jurassic Coast Challenge, Thames Marathon Swim, Ripon Triathlon, Ely Monster Middle and the Great North SwimRun. Ahahahahahah!
“One of the biggest influences on YOUR race calendar is ME!”