Onwards and Upwards: Paul Burton’s Pre-Season Musings

Tick tock. The passage of time means that as the new year dawns numerous races have been entered, flights have been booked, a winter base is hopefully being built, and dreams have been built on winter cycling holidays and endless chats over Spanish lattes and leche leches (seriously – try one of these in Lanzarote. Amazing).

So here are my reflections on my 2013 and aspirations and pre-season musings for 2014. Feel free to abuse/heckle/doubt/praise/laugh as appropriate. All comments welcome.

Black Line London Bananaman


The Good:  The entire first half of the year, 1.21 half marathon, 2.55 Ballbuster, 9.30 Ironman South Africa, qualifying for the GB age group team at Hyde Park worlds, pretty much anything on a bike, winning Thorpe Sprint, winning Bananaman team TT with Sam and Jim, riding a bike round London in the world champs like I stole it, crossing an Ironman finish line with a friend (twice), training and racing with Black Line Londoners, testing my limits, racing in Budgy Smugglers.

The Bad:  Most of the second half of the year, blowing up at 30k on the run at Ironman UK, walking in a race for the first time, injuring my foot in winning Thorpe Sprint, most of my running off the bike, finding out where my limits are a little too often, missing a Kona slot by one place, racing in Budgy Smugglers.

The Ugly:  Stomach shutdown at Ironman 70.3 UK and spending most of the run in the bushes… whilst racing in Budgy Smugglers.



What will change:  Lots… working with a proven coach to improve my run technique, track sessions, lots of core/glutes/leg strength work, easier easy sessions, harder hard sessions, swim squad, big gear bike work, less volume chasing, understanding my training data better with the help of Training Peaks geekery, more balance in my diet alongside the easier easy sessions to help build a fat burning machine, more sleep, and more diligence in planning the year’s training and racing to peak only at the right times. Oh, and coffee. I’ve started drinking coffee. Truly life changing.

What won’t change:  Testing my limits in races, using my bike strength in races, having fun training and racing with Black Line Londoners and other Lycra-clad friends, keeping the Spanish economy afloat with numerous training holidays (Lanzarote and Andalucia already ticked off since the end of last year) and unnecessary purchases of expensive objects made of carbon fibre.

What I’d like to happen: Get better, be as good to the finish line as I have been to T2, cross the finish line of an Ironman alone (for once), watch Kona unfold from the race course rather than the sofa and for the Budgy Smugglers to get left in the drawer.

See you at the races. First up for me and a number of the Black Line London gang, is Ironman South Africa on 6 April. Let’s see if I can ride for show and run for dough.

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    Good read – good self awareness – You’ve got heaps of ability. If I was a betting man I’d bet a fair bit that you’ll be watching Kona unfold from the race very soon. Good luck.

    Love it Paul!
    And where did you manage to get the UK Budgy Smuglers! Brilliant!

    All the best for 2014, looks like you have the best attitude and approach and desire to make it an awesome year!

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