Winter miles and plenty of smiles
Just recently I’ve put a lot of miles in and had a lot of reasons to smile…
My first reason to smile this winter is the recent confirmation that Racetime Events team boss Johnny has decided to put up with me for another year and I proudly pull on the Racetime colours for a third season. We have the best sponsor line up of any other triathlon team in the UK and a level of support that goes far beyond ‘free kit’! Being part of Racetime Events is very special, team boss Johnny and our team sponsors have became much valued friends over the last 3 years, they are all genuinely invested in the development of every athlete in the team from the abundant and rising talent of our Junior athletes right through to the ‘well seasoned’ Age Group campaigners such as myself and husband Duncan. Alongside the race team, Racetime provides a fast growing Triathlon Club open to all levels of ability, where ALL members benefit from affiliations with the race team sponsors. We have had some awesome club socials during the off season… most seem to include a curry and recently we took to the indoor climbing wall for some ‘unique’ team building and cross training, my ‘finger DOMS’ were epic!
I have also been enjoying getting muddy, very muddy, in the North Midlands XC league. I always enjoy racing cross country in the winter months, I genuinely LOVE racing and September to April is a long 6 months with no Triathlon racing. I’ve been running really well this winter, producing some of my best XC performances and am currently placed 10th lady overall in this uber competitive league and leading the V35 standings with one round left to go. I will also compete in the County Cross Country Championships in the New Year, hopefully my good cross country season will translate to some fast half marathons in the Spring.
The winter is a good time to take advantage of those less pressured long rides and I love nothing more than getting well wrapped up and enjoying some social rides with great company… and, better still, some well earned cake! One such opportunity presented last weekend when Kona AG Podium triathlete (who will be racing pro in 2015), Caroline Livesey, invited me to join her and Ele Haresign (Challenge Weymouth 2014 Winner) for a ride in beautiful Yorkshire. The sun shone, the hills did not disappoint and Caroline made a delicious cake and provided about 5 litres of Yorkshire tea post ride. It was such a privilege to ride with such class athletes and the chatter during the ride and in Caroline’s cosy farmhouse kitchen afterwards gave me plenty to smile about.
We had so much fun Caroline and her husband Mark made a wee film of our day – click here.
I have made a few changes to my training this winter to address my weaknesses, testament to Jack’s brilliance as a coach that after coming up for 8 years under his direction he is still bringing in new sessions and content to my programme and I am still moving forward… even at 37 years old! The big changes have come with a real bike focus, not simply riding more though but looking at my strength and conditioning programme and training like a track rider on the Wattbike up to 3 times a week in addition to my road riding. I’ve had some expert input on my cycling from Dr Jamie Pringle who has worked with Michael Hutchinson and Julia Shaw and the gains I have made already this winter are hugely exciting… watch this space.
I have also joined LR Multisport’s weekly swim squad session at Welbeck College, it’s a quality group that contains GB Triathlete, Youth Olympic Triathlon Champion, Ben Dijkstra and Elite Open Water Swimmer, Georgia Amison. Under the close supervision of Louis Richards we typically complete sessions of 4.5-5k with ongoing video analysis, one to one stroke technique development and individualised sessions. I am probably swimming better than I have in years as a direct result of joining the squad.
It’s lucky my swimming is going well as in February I will be travelling to Egypt with training partner Georgia Amison to a 10 day training camp culminating in a 10k Open Water Swim event in the Red Sea. This will be the first time I have raced in an Open Water swim race and the furthest I have ever swam, I am both excited and daunted in equal measure but I can worse places to train in February…
I look forward to blogging with updates in the new year but until then I’ll keep smiling and getting the miles in… Happy training everyone.
Thank you to Racetime Events and team sponsors for their ongoing support.