WEEK­END WAR­RIOR

As Brunty plans his 2019 sea­son, he shares the top seven dan­gers that can steer you off a sen­si­ble, race-cal­en­dar-plan­ning path

220 Triathlon Magazine - - CONTENTS - MAR­TYN BRUNT Mar­tyn is tri’s fore­most av­er­age ath­lete and is liv­ing proof that hours of train­ing and end­less new kit are no sub­sti­tute for abil­ity.

‘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:

1 FACE­BOOK

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.

5 SUC­CESS

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.

7 ME

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!”

DANIEL SEEX

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