A first season of coaching and racing with Absolute Tri

It’s always great at this time of year to not only get a race review but also a season review from our athletes. This athlete started with us last winter and with a few downs we ended up with much more highs in the season

‘Building on last year’s success was always going to be a challenge with the intensity and time commitments of my MSc Physiotherapy beginning to mount up. To do this I decided to take on my first coach (Steve Lloyd, Absolute Tri) to oversee my entire training programme and to focus on domestic races to ensure qualification for the GB team for the 2015/16 season. After what was initially a very strong base training phase I came down with a left knee injury, which would go on to become a continuous niggle throughout the season. With swimming and cycling still in full flow, running was taken right back to basics. However, I went onto achieve a 1:21:40 half marathon time at the Milton Keynes Half Marathon. A time which is 3 minutes down on my PB but still a strong time considering the early season injury. The early tri season commenced with the British Middle Distance Champs being cancelled half way through due to a tragic death on the bike course. Therefore, the season didn’t really kick off for me until 28th June at Ironman 70.3 Exmoor. I took 4th in the U24’s with a time of 5:13:10, a course PB by a modest 20 seconds but having showed some great form on the run course holding off the leading pro female and the 5th place U24 in a 1km long sprint to the finish. I haven’t yet found a middle distance triathlete in my age-group who can beat me at a side by side push for the line!

The July and early August was a time of consolidation and targeting some weakness. Doing some great work with Steve we focused on transferring my pool swimming speed to the open water and improving my high speed bike handling skills. It is amazing how much more confident you get a taking corners at high speed when you are placed onto a velodrome at 30mph!

Mid August saw my return to the Excel London Triathlon, an Olympic distance race for me to focus on some speed. A sluggish swim saw me onto an aggressive bike and a lung busting run to give a 35min 10km. By this point it was safe to say that my post injury running form was returning!

Early September saw my first visit to the Rubicon Middle Distance Triathlon based in Yorkshire. What was originally supposed to be a warm up race showed a very competitive field pushing me to achieve a 56 mile bike course PB of 2:14 and a 17th overall finish and 7th non-professional.

The final race of the season was the Weymouth Half Triathlon, probably my peak race of the 2013/14 season. Waking up on race morning I felt awful! Anything I ate just sat in my stomach and I felt like a total lead weight. The swim, like last year, was extremely choppy so any form of tactics went straight out of the window. Heading out onto the bike for the first 15-20miles I felt sluggish with my body reluctant to push at anything harder than an aerobic pace. But then slowly I hit my rhythm. Improvement in my bike handling saw me hit corners and descents at much faster speeds and confidence in my fitness allowed me to push hard and know that I’d still have the legs to put in a good run. Hitting T2 onto the run I was in total limbo, the nearest competitor was about 4 mins ahead so I had my work cut out. It wasn’t until about 12km that I caught my first man and then it was a question of pushing from one to the next until the finish line. The final 1km saw me with more work to do with the next competitor approximately 100m ahead. I took the chance and pushed on and made sure that I kept the pace up once I passed the man. Luckily he could not match my pace, as secretly my head was screaming for me to stop in those last few hundred meters to I am not sure if I’d had another push left in the legs. I crossed the line in 13th and 2nd U24 with a top 10 run of the day.

The end of the season now leaves me with 2 weeks of no training and wandering what to target next season! With my performances this year I have the qualification criteria in the bag for GB so I think its time again to get back on that start line and win that medal which was denied me in October 2014 ;).’

weymouth sept 2015

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