Of the people I started coaching this year George gave me the least notice to work to the goal. 9 weeks - if I am generous.
George got me on a confident day though, having just had such a wonderful experience with a similar type athlete in Salim Hammad and his 4.34 finish in Poznan 70.3.
Both men are 33 , both have endurance pedigree and both are relaxed but determined people. Salim had reminded me of the virtues of muscles memory and youth, even in a very busy life. George is busy and has a young family but definitely still has age on his side.
George comes from a brilliant cycling background managing data numbers not dissimilar to professional triathletes on the bike but had struggled on the run.
I had a healthy, light human with massive physiological ability and understanding of coaching and training but I did not have have much time. We had to work on what we had already in terms of form and draw on his cycling heart and lungs to train into the run.
Our only aim aim for the half was to get to the stage where George could run it all with no problem. If we ticked that box and he got back in the sea to train for the swim we could go under 5 with time to spare.
The results came in :
Georgios Barachanos 3-34
IM 70.3 Vouliagmeni
When someone rides a 2.19 I do get some anxiety about the matches left for their run but with George this was a conservative ride. He is that able.
Furthermore as I planned George's rest weeks and base phase for 2023 he decided he wanted to race an Olympic distance in Rhodes a week on.
With no expectations nor specific prep George recovered from 70.3 by Wednesday, primed a little with some easy training peppered with activations and hit it again.
4th at Rhodes triathlon overall in 2.10 and races fastest bike split and a 43min 10km to boot. George was elated, I am impressed.
We are so pleased of the late but productive results of the summer. Preparation now heads towards a faster 2023 where a solid base and build period can develop George's run leg and adaption to the mechanical impact exclusive to running whilst working on his run form and efficiency.
How fast can we go ?
Time will indeed tell.