Looking back at my 2015 race schedule it’s easy to call it my most significant year athletically, ever.  I had a bunch of good results, a few disappointing ones, and I was able to make significant progress across swim, bike, and run.

The Highlights

  • Winning AG at Ironman Canada.  This was my main goal for the year.  It was about 30 weeks of focused training, and it all came together on race day.
  • Winning AG, and 3rd overall at Barrelman in 4:18:49.  I’ve had some good results, but I haven’t had a lot of fast results.  This is partly because of choosing races that weren’t fast courses, and also being unlucky with poor weather slowing things down.  At Barrelman I finally put up a fast result.  This was more important than placing, because it has given me a benchmark for what I can do in good conditions.
  • Running 1:24 Half Ironman run splits at 2 different races (Quassy and Barrelman)

2015 Results

Great race results make up the highlights, but I find most of the learning comes from training.  I did some things really well this year, others I didn’t do so well and I’ll need to address for next year if I want to go faster.

The Good

  • Trainer Road was very good for me.  I gave me structure, and I was able to build a swim and run plan around their bike plans.  Also, the plan worked, I was able to push my FTP up 80 watts.
  • Brick running really helped me.  I rarely ran off the bike in pervious years.  This year I ran 5k off the bikes almost every time I rode.  All of my 5k’s were at least 4:30/km pace (goal IM marathon pace), many were closer to 4:00/km.  I got very comfortable running quickly off the bike, and this really helped.
  • Big day workouts were a huge confidence boost.  My second big day workout I held 225W for 180k, followed by a 2-hour run at 4:28/km.  Come Whistler I had a lot of confidence on the bike and kept telling myself that I’ve already done this before for the first 27k of the run.  I didn’t get into new territory until the final 15k of the run, and by that point it’s just about gutting it out.

The Bad

  • My swimming didn’t really improve.  Early in the year I was getting to the pool regularly, but that began to tail off in March.  My biking and running are nearing the point where my relatively poor swimming will begin to matter, and I’ll need to make my swim more of a focus next year.
  • I got lulled into slow running, I did very few speed sessions this year.  I relied too heavily on carry over fitness from my 2014 marathon training when I picked up a lot of speed.  Prior to the Boston Marathon I was doing a tempo run most weeks, but I didn’t do any hard interval sessions or track workouts.  This will need to change if I want to continue to go faster.
  • I think I did too much training alone, especially on the swim and run.  Next year I’ll look at doing some sessions with other people to help push more.

2015 was a great year for me, and I’m hoping to carry the momentum, as well as the lessons learned, into 2016.