George Goodwin – My hope & ambitions for 2022

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Leading UK triathlete and Ribble ambassador George Goodwin reflects on the trials and tribulations of 2021 and looks to the future for further success.

After the performances of 2020 propelled him into the spotlight, George Goodwin entered 2021 full of confidence and expectations. But with opportunities to race limited by the pandemic, the highs and lows that followed instilled in him a hunger to add to a title haul that includes the Ironman 70.3 European Championship secured in Elsinore, Denmark.

As athletes, we are always looking to improve year on year regardless of how successful a season has been. After a 2021 season that personally left me disappointed, despite earning a European 70.3 title, the desire to improve is even greater than normal.

The circumstances of the 2020 season, what many may consider my breakthrough year, led to very few opportunities to race and heavily influenced how I approached this last year. The outbreak of COVID-19 saw races around the globe cancelled and meant the singular focus of the year was the Professional Triathletes Organisation Championships (PTO).

This caused me to train focused and uninterrupted throughout the spring, summer, and autumn with little to no racing; what followed was a considerable success on the NASCAR track in Daytona where I secured a 3rd place finish. I carried this approach forward into 2021, with the saying ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ at the forefront of my thinking. However, things change when you are no longer perceived as being an underdog.

Despite what you might tell yourself when standing on the start line. I had only 3 races on my schedule for 2021; the North American champs, European champs and World champs. The 3 biggest races in the World of 70.3 racing. If I could do this last year, surely I can do it again this year? Well almost.

In May I was so close to having a great race in St George at the NA champs but a couple of issues on the run saw me jogging home outside the top 10. This was followed by probably my best ever performance at the European 70.3 championships, posting a 68 minute half marathon to close out the race and take the title.

However, what followed a few months later at the World Championships, back in St George, was easily one of my worst lifetime performances. A combination of overtraining and the pressure that I had put on myself to perform meant I needed around 10 weeks to fully recover from the hole I had dug myself into.

How does this translate into my aims for the 2022 season? Well, I still won’t be shying away from the big championship races. Those races attract the best fields and that is what excites me the most. I will race more frequently though, by adding in other half distance racing throughout the year I’m pretty certain I can get back to enjoying the experience of being on the start line.

In theory, at least, that will lead to more performances like the European 70.3 champs. At the moment, my race calendar has the far more traditional 8-9 races on it over the course of this year. So keep an eye out for me, there’s a lot more chance I’ll be on the same start line as you this year.

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