I’ve competed in a few sprint triathlons in the past three years, but never really had a structured training plan.
After looking at ways I could improve my performances, obtaining a coach to support this vision was the only way to go.
I contacted a local Pro cyclist/coach called Jacob Tipper in 2014, who has given me structured plans to attain my goals. This was the best investment I have made, as working alongside a coach lets you work on your strengths and weaknesses without trying to second-guess what they actually are.
We set out my objectives of sub-goals and primary goals, all contributing towards what I wanted to achieve.
Qualification for the ETU 2016 Sprint Duathlon Championships was early 2015 and I knew I needed to work hard to make the 35-39 age group team.
There were 3 qualification races to choose from and, after much deliberation, I went for Clumber Park Duathlon and then Vale of Glamorgan Duathlon.
Naturally, I did a couple of races before to get a bit more experience as I was relatively new to this type of competition. One example was finishing 3rd in the 1485 No Frills Duathlon…
The event itself is one of the biggest I’ve competed in. Approximately1100 people take part over the standard and sprint distances and the atmosphere was electric – even though it was a cold, windy day.
As I approached the mass start, butterflies started in my stomach but I felt good.
The first run went well coming in at 18:16 and I had one of the quickest T1s. Then disaster hit, the bike mount line was a bit hectic and for some unknown reason I mounted before the line.
I was penalised for this and was told to wait at the side; it must have cost me about a minute in total but felt like 10x that long. What a schoolboy error, but I had to carry on.
Like I said before it was a cold and windy day and I just could not get into a decent rhythm on my bike. My hands were suffering to, I was getting white finger it was that cold!
I came into T2 and set off on my second run, but my calves then started cramping… this was getting worse! I finished a disappointing 73rd out of479 and 14th in my Age Group.
After sitting down with my coach Jacob we addressed the weaknesses of the race and worked on them in the month prior to the Vale of Glamorgan.
This race day soon arrived and I was feeling good, albeit suffering from an injury which had been plaguing me for the last 12 months. I’ll leave that for a future blog.
I arrived the day before the race and did a course recce, which was extremely beneficial.
The run was on a racing track and flat country lanes, whilst the bike route was an out and back and was undulating. The distances for this race were as follows:
Run 1: 5.5k
The race itself was on a smaller scale than Clumber Park, but Aim2Tri did an excellent job of organising such a good event.
For this race, I decided to take my turbo trainer with me to warm up and did a good 20mins with a few efforts. The bike was racked and I was raring to go.
Run 2 was tough as the wind had picked up, but I just kept plugging away,In the hope I’d done enough to make the top 4 in my Age Group (AG).
Waiting for the results was nerve wracking, but I’d done it, just! I’d grabbed 3rd spot in my AG and couldn’t have been happier.
I got the confirmation Q next to my name and just had to play the waiting game for the location of the Championships.
They have been announced to take place in Kalker, Germany on 16/17th April 2016 and I can’t wait! Training has already begun and I’ve been very fortunate to attract a number of sponsors, who are making this challenge a possibility.
I’d like to say a big thank you to:
• RaceCo Cycles UK
• Holly Cottage Chiropractic Clinic
• Cucumber PR Ltd