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Trials, tribulations and triathlon challenges

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George Papadakos - Triathlon

The trials, tribulations and challenges of the 2016 triathlon season have come and gone.

I love this part of the season, when I can look back at all the hard work that I put in, and say "I did that."

My triathlon season was a huge success, and not largely because of how well I raced, but more importantly how I felt, mentally and physically.

Going into the 2016 season I had a few minor goals, actually let's call them objectives, or even better, stepping stones to a much larger prize.

My first objective was to stay healthy, and other than a few little aches and pains I accomplished just that. The step back from Ironman training not only gave me more time for other adventures, but also allowed me to enjoy my training sessions with desire and vigour.

My second objective was to "race" every race, and not hold back.

I had four races over the season, and even managed to pull off an age-group win, but my best results were not the icing on the cake. I relished the effort that I put out, and the suffering that ensues when you put your physical fortitude to the test. The ebb and flow of racing has an allure that when you truly are in the depths of what I call racing hell, the strong find a way to prevail.

I have never in my racing career, loved the finish line more than this year.

My third objective of the season was a bit of a pipe dream, but had some merit.

I have always wanted to run the 5-km portion in a triathlon under 20 minutes, which would give me a 4 min/km pace. It was nice to have this goal, as it pushed me all summer long, and made the speed workouts that much more important.

I have a challenge with the Wifey that I can't do another Ironman until I can run 15 km in one hour, which is that magical 4 minute pace I was talking about. I will be working on that all winter, and hopefully with some luck, a 15-km course that is all down hill, and the wind at my back, I will be able to achieve this.

Going forward, I learned a few things that I hope you will take to the training grounds with you.

Keep your training philosophy simple. The KISS (keep it simple stupid) method changed the way I trained and allowed me to actually enjoy a summer that was beautiful.

I trained no more than 8-10 hours a week of triathlon specific workouts, which allowed me more time with the most important part of my life... my family.

I broke down the three disciplines, and made three separate workouts for each, and made them no longer than an hour, and sometimes they were shorter.

I hammered the hard days, and enjoyed the recovery days, and was able to share my training with my friends, family and you.

Along the way I got to see one of my best friends cross the finish line of his first Olympic distance race (1500m swim, 40 km bike and 10 km run), and see my daughter Zoey race in the Ontario Youth Cup which goes all summer long.

I met my idol Lionel Sanders, who is racing the Ironman World Championships this Saturday, made plenty of multisport friends and even challenged for the points lead in the Multisport Canada triathlon series.

2017 CHARITY DUATHLON

On a side note I am also resurrecting the Tillsonburg Charity Duathlon in May of next year, hopefully filling a void during that part of the season.

I am also spearheading a triathlon team in Tillsonburg to introduce athletes of all ages to the triathlon world. Triathlon has enriched my life, and I want to share it with everyone and anyone that wants to see what they are made of.

Until I see you at the start line, train safe and have fun!

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