I had a baptism of fire introduction to triathlon from coach Matt, when I naively agreed to join him on a training run. What I didn’t know at the time was that Matt was well into his Ironman UK preparations and the run ended up being 13 miles long! Although I was actively involved in sports it was the longest I had ever run in one effort! Matt suggested I give triathlon a go and before long I had signed up to my first race.
Prior to starting triathlon my fitness priorities were heavily focused on weight lifting and other than the odd spin class I had never done any endurance training. I didn’t own a road bike and I hadn’t been in a swimming pool for a long time. With the coach’s help and advice I was able to alter my training to be more specific for triathlon. I instantly enjoyed the switch in focus, the training was more structured and I felt motivated to complete the sessions knowing that I was working towards a goal.
The website is incredibly easy to use and for someone who works shifts I find it very useful to be able to move different sessions around depending on my time constraints. Living on the south coast means I don’t have the opportunity to have face to face training with the coaches as much as I’d like but the workout notes and videos for each session are clear and precise and Matt and James are always available for advice if needed.
Being new to the sport there was always room for development. My first triathlon was a half ironman in September 2008 and I finished the race in a time of 5hrs and 40 minutes. Since then I have continued to follow specific training programmes set by the coaches which has resulted in significant improvements to my swim, bike and run fitness. This year in my second full season of racing I finished Ironman Antwerp 70.3 in 4hrs 26minutes, I qualified for the GB age group team to race at the ITU Long Distance World Champs in Germany and in October this year I won the One Last Tri in the New Forest.
Overall my ambitions for the future are to continue to improve and gain experience over all levels of racing. I particularly enjoy the half ironman distance and in 2011 I’m determined to have a strong race at Ironman UK 70.3. This year I set my PB for an Olympic distance in a time of 2hrs and 7 minutes so in 2011 I would like to better that and get as close as possible to the 2 hour mark.
Be patient, honest and listen to the coaches’ advice. The level of support is fantastic and I’ve no doubt my results this year wouldn’t have been possible without their help.