IN THE SECOND of a series of columns, last year’s Triathlon Ireland Super Series winner Aidan Callaghan will talk us through 2016.
The Letterkenny native is broadening his horizons further this year, with the aim being completion of a full ironman.
At the end of my last post, I discussed the cold or virus that was holding me back for a few weeks towards the end of January, and was hopeful of beginning back into some decent training at the beginning of February.
Unfortunately these were only hopes and didn’t materialise into much, maybe two days’ worth of training.
Whatever pesky bug was living inside me, wasn’t dead and wasn’t giving up the fight anytime soon!
I would spend the best part of February doing very light aerobic work a couple days a week, and not logging any decent sessions or even putting good days, back to back.
In the past while I’ve been starting to feel somewhat better and have put two weeks together now without feeling any major ill effects. My fitness is totally gone, especially in the pool, the phrase swimming through soup, comes to mind. My run and bike fitness aren’t as bad, but will take a lot of time and a massive effort to get back to where I should be.
It hasn’t been all bad, I did pick up a Donegal Sports Star award at the end of January and also on Saturday last won a local 5k race – my first ever! I had done over 100km on the bike in the morning and decided the do the 5k in the evening, to support the local GAA club at St Eunan’s and also just to get a good idea of where I’m at. I ran 16:28 which is a long way off my PB but still not terrible, so it was a successful enough outing.
Obviously with the lack of training and decent sessions under my belt my plans for the immediate couple months have had to be altered. I’ll still complete in the same races, but the goals and targets for each even the way in which I approach them will now change or shift to suit my needs which are completely different to what they should have been with six weeks training in the tanks.
On Sunday I completed in the local duathlon. Originally I would have hoped to give this a good go, but I came sixth and that wasn’t bad.
For me now the next month will be about regaining my fitness in all three disciplines. In order for me to get to the start line in Aix en Provence on the May 1 for the 70.3.
Everything is going to need attention over the coming weeks. I’ll be taking everything into account, what sessions are working, what affect they are having, what I’m eating and how I’m recovering, I will need to be fully committed in order to do my best come race day.
If I can get to the end of March with no interruptions and a good block of training under my belt, I can use April to focus on race specifics and introduce some tough sessions in the weeks leading up to the event.
Plans are often interrupted especially in the world of sport, through sickness, injury or whatever else. I have had enough time to rethink and organise my thoughts in relation to training, diet and recovery and set new goals to suit my needs.
Hopefully it will all fall into place.
Aidan Callaghan is the current Triathlon Ireland Super Series champion. He took up triathlon originally in 2010 and in 2013, hired a coach.
Now 32, in 2016 Aidan is targeting the longer 70.3 and Ironman events. He aims to compete in Aix-en-Provence 70.3 in May and from there he will go to race the Ironman distance in Bolton, the city in which he studied. Then, it’s onto the Irish Middle Distance Champs in Kenmare, Co Kerry.
Aidan will write a column here ‘The Iron Road’ on Donegal Sport Hub on his preparations, participation and performance. His website is aidancallaghantriathlon.com and you can follow him on Twitter, @aidan_callaghan