Tej Thaker Age Group Blog: A challenging 2016
15th November 2016
The past year has been challenging, and my triathlon season non-existent.
On crutches again after ligament damage to my ankle, a slipped disc following a back-workout, starting a 60-70hr/week new career & zero races. Oh, but I did get engaged: she gave me a resounding ‘well yeah’ after I popped the question.
I stepped up to the challenge of a new job, in a new sector which has been demanding. Much like everything else I do, I have given it my all and more, with the occasional 34hr Brexit shift. I was wearing socks, they came off.
Similar to training, I focused my efforts in the office to working smartly, not just putting in the hours for the sake of it. It worked. I quickly made myself a valuable member of the team, and importantly was able to get back to training. Before that, a friendly game of footie. I put myself forward to play a game with the guys at work; network, score some goals, be an all-round winner basically, right? Wrong. The reality went something along these lines; play an average game, get injured and end up on crutches, before tri season has started.
Two years ago my season was ruined by glandular fever following a swim race in Windsor, and last year by a torn calf at an early-season duathlon at Dorney. This was supposed to be my year. I was going to put everything physically and mentally possible into earning my Team GB vest. What now? So, I sulked for a day, then began racing commuters whilst on crutches, in Victoria station. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy that (or win), and yes of course I wore my HR monitor.
For three years, I have had the same goal, but the “universe” has confronted me with setbacks. And by universe, I mean the absolute unit of a bloke I was playing football with, who couldn’t control his aggression… for example, that is. It’s a lot easier to quit, and it would’ve been a lot easier to quit at each injury. I mean, I have a stupendously sweet tooth which I could’ve spent time training instead (12 Krispy Kremes/ 14mins earlier this year, video available on request). But quitting doesn’t get me to my Team GB vest (or to the point of vomit after devouring 12 donuts). So, have a quick strop, then crack on with a plan. My competition is still training, getting fitter and faster.
Surround yourself by the best, learn the recipe and copy it. It’s theoretically simple. Theoretically simple like Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals, which take me an hour. In order to achieve my goal and develop as a triathlete, I’m planning on aligning myself with someone who is successful in triathlon, inspirational and who I can learn from. I’ll couple that with addressing everything else that I am doing in and out of triathlon, to give me the best possible chance. Marginal (legal) gains.
Considering I haven’t killed myself in training this year, this autumn, it shall begin. And by God, it will continue throughout the winter. Same plan, same goal: Team GB. I haven’t hit it yet, and this blog hasn’t been the fairy tale I was hoping for… so far. But the story isn’t finished & it only means the goal, once achieved, will be so much more.
Ok, less motivational-esque writing, more swim/bike/running…