Looking back at 2016 how did you feel the year went and what were your highlights ?
I had a season away from Triathlon in 2015 due to family commitments and I think it made me stronger for 2016. Highlight has to be winning the Trentham European City of Sport Sprint Triathlon, such a high profile event not just locally but Nationally too. My winning piece of Moorcroft has pride of place on my mantelpiece.
What will you take forward from 2016 into 2017 ?
That less is sometimes more. I was forced to take an extended taper into my final biggest race of the season, but I won the race. The hard sessions I’d done all summer provided me with a solid enough base such that I just had to remain injury and illness free to capitalise on this.
Now it’s the off season what is a typical training week like and how do you manage to fit it round family and work ?
I have two boys aged 4 and 2 and they are my priority, but I always have in mind what I’d like to do, with the understanding that sometimes a bounce on the trampolines, collecting leaves and building snowmen will come first. A perfect week would be:
Sat: Velo Club road ride or long run. (+ coffee and cake)
Sun: Velo (un-official) Evening MTB Ride.
Mon: Steady Run.
Tuesday: Velo MTB Tuesday Night Ride or Run Intervals and Swim.
Thursday: Steady Run/Swim.
Friday: Steady Run.
I try to run in my lunch hour and fit a cycle in sometimes by taking my boys to nursery in the cycle trailer then riding to work. The extra 50kg (feels like it) in the trailer certainly helps with leg strength!
What is it that you enjoy about each of the Triathlon elements and isn't one sport enough?
Swimming: Gliding through the water in the pool and the freedom of the open water – not to mention Post Swim food! You know you’ve had a good swim when you’re sweating before you get into the sauna (giving my secrets away)…
Bike: Being out in the open along quiet Country Lanes, the feeling of speed, when doing 25mph in a race in my head I’m doing 100! Timetrialling is hard but rewarding.
Run: Running is such a good way to explore the countryside hopping over stiles and heading off down paths. Of course my NB trail shoes make this even better.
I get bored with one sport, also doing more than one sport can help if you’ve got an injury caused by one discipline.
What advice would you give to anyone new who is thinking of taking part in triathlon next year ?
Just do it! Ask yourself… Can I swim (or doggy paddle)? Can I ride a bike? Can I run (or walk)? If the answer is yes enter a Triathlon (distances from as little as a 200m swim, 10km (6 mile) bike and 2.5km run… If you can’t do those things then start, don’t think you need to spend a fortune on kit. If you need any advice pop into The Velo Store and ask about affordable equipment that will get you around the race. Take the bare essentials for each discipline, and visualise the race and the transitions in your head beforehand.
Do you need a time trial bike to take part in Tri ?
No, any bike will do. Doesn’t even have to be a road bike, a MTB or a shopper will do! Perhaps avoid a BMX it would be hard work. Some races are now draft legal so a Time Trial bike wouldn’t offer any advantage. I love Timetrialling though so would always pick a non-drafting race ☺
Thinking of next year do you have any targets you want to tell us about ?
I have entered the Staffordshire Ironman as a Team, so I hope to increase my bike mileage and maybe take part in some 50 Mile Time Trials early in the season. I’ll have to make my position on the Argon less ‘aggressive as it’s set up for short course events, but either way it’s going to hurt!
I am looking to take part in some Standard/Olympic distance events if I can increase my mileage realistically, but not take too much edge off my speed for the shorter distance events.
A sub-17 minute 5k is a constant goal, along with a sub-21 minute 10 Mile Timetrial.
So plenty to go at.