Reading Triathlon – a triathlon run by triathletes – just the best!

It’s my local triathlon run by my Triathlon Club – Tri20- it’s not my club, but I am a member 🙂 .  It’s such a friendly club and they really know how to put on a great Triathlon!

Today was the 35th Reading Triathlon and I used this to practise my race strategy for Australia.   Thinking about swim placement at the start of the swim, nutrition on the bike and pacing and the run – we all know I don’t like that bit so much – so I just got myself around on that one.  More later on that!

It was a super early start and I cycled down.  Set up in transition and met a few fellow GB Triathletes heading out to Australia.  It was nice to put a face to the name – they were so friendly.  They have been part of the GB team for a while.  It was nice to see many of my club mates helping out with the event as well.

The swim – the swim can be quite terrifying but you need to position yourself well in the water.  I decided to start on the left, mid way in the pack.  Off I went… I could see some swimmers to my right and headed to the first buoy.  But there was no-one near me – where were they?  I could see 2 white caps further ahead but no more.  I carried on swimming.   And carried on swimming, still no-one around me.  I exited the water in 3rd place – I’ll take that one – thank you very much – 12mins 5 secs for 750mtrs.  That was a good swim and I didn’t even draft!  Happy with that!

Now to find my bike and get ready for the bike leg.  I was unsure whether I would have my bike shoes on my bike and took the decision today to not.  So I put them on and then ran to the mount line – it was a long run in bike shoes.  Lesson learned.  The bike was great fun – I felt strong and my time and speed reflects that.  I drank my drink – all of it!  I decided to do a flying dismount, where you take your feet out of your bike shoes whilst still moving and then you can run with your bike to transition ready for the run.  It was a good bike!  Average speed 30.5kph – 43 minutes, 43 secs for 21.8km.  Great speed for a non draft legal race for me!

Now the run – my least favourite of all 3 disciplines and I knew this would be hard.  It’s not a road run – it’s off road, flat but not that great underfoot.  I ticked along just nicely, talking to myself – you cannot walk V, you mustn’t walk V.. just keep moving.  And, so I did, I kept moving.  I finished.  28minutes, 18 secs for 5.3km.  It’s not fast, but it was consistent.

My transitions weren’t too bad – there is a room for improvement on T1 (the swim to bike bit) but overall happy with those.

I crossed that finish line – knowing that I had done it – I had executed my race to perfection.  I came 4th in my Age Group and 7th overall out of 63 females who took part in the Sprint – not a bad day in the office if I do say so myself.  I cycled back home, very very slowly!

I won’t lie, I feel absolutely shattered typing this and this week I will be keeping my training light but sharp and packing for Australia.

A big shout out to both Kate Hulcoop-Allen and Nicky Rogers, who I coached to their first triathlon – they were awesome – well done ladies!

Less than one week to go before I fly to Australia!

Miss V (GB Triathlete)

 

 

I should be super excited…

I should be looking forward to my big adventure down under…

I have done all the training – it’s gone really well, I feel strong – much fitter than when I qualified which is a good thing.  I am not injured.

But this week, mentally, I have found it extremely hard.  Maybe not just this week but towards the back end of last week also.

I am feeling slightly intimidated – we have a closed Facebook Group for the GB Team – I have switched off the notifications as it’s not doing me any good seeing all the pictures and conversations.  I’ll switch them back on once I am over there as it’s the key communication stream with all GB Athletes from the organisers.

There seems to be so much that has to happen before I even race – does my helmet meet the safety standards, is my medication for my asthma allowed, the course recces, briefings, photos, registration, team parades, building my bike (that’s a first!), and team outings as well as getting myself ready for the race.  I should be so excited, but I am feeling a little inadequate and petrified – I will be honest.  What if I am sh*t?!   What if I am last?

I have a great friend, who has been through the same experience and she has shared her experience with me and it has helped.  You know who you are – so thank you.

I will write a race plan – and I will use that to focus my energy and stick to it.

This kind of thing doesn’t happen to Miss V – I was not sporty as a child and now I find myself with a GB Trisuit – I need to embrace this experience, smile and enjoy it!

So, this weekend I will put all my training into practise and take part in our local triathlon.  I will not worry about things I can’t control and I will smile.

By the way, you will be able to track me on race day by using the ITU Grand Final Gold Coast2018 app – I will be racing on Thursday 13th September at 11.30am (9hrs ahead of the UK)!

Thanks for listening 😉

Miss V (GB Triathlete)

 

 

 

With less than 3 weeks before I race and exactly 2 weeks before I fly, I have found this week extremely hard, both mentally and physically.  I am getting a little nervous.

I have struggled, I won’t lie.  Early morning wake ups to get the training in before my day starts as well as losing my mojo just a little bit.

Training on the bike and run on my own has taken a lot of motivation this week – there have been some strong words said to my little self!  Swimming with Tri20 helps – my swim buddies!

Despite feeling a little flat this week, my training is still on track.  It seems to have all come together nicely.  Today, I ran an easy 5km – and it felt super comfortable.  It wasn’t fast, but previously, for me to maintain that pace, I would have had to work super hard.  The training works.  Put in the time, and the results will come.

I don’t have a coach – I am my own coach which is sometimes hard but I have stuck to my programme religiously.  I can do this!

I am writing this as the second coat of paint is drying in the hallway – using my time efficiently.

I wanted to thank my recent sponsors who have been extremely kind and generous – thank you!

Tonight I am off to the O2 to see Britney Spears – come on.. admit it…who is reading this, and remembers Britney… come on.. I know there’s plenty of you!

Enjoy your bank holiday!

Miss V – GB Athlete

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just under 4 weeks to go before I race the World Triathlon Championships in Australia!

I still can’t believe that I am heading out there.  The suitcase has come out of the loft and a little pile of stuff is starting to accumulate in the corner!

Training has been going well, very well – I feel strong in all 3 disciplines.  My swim has improved both wetsuit and non-wetsuit which is good as it might be a non-wetsuit swim.  My biking is strong whilst keeping my heart rate nice and low which will leave me enough energy for the run.  The run has improved – I was never fast but I have been working on speed and I think I have cracked it.  Just a few more weeks to work on transition ad staying fit and healthy.  So exciting!

I am taking this thing seriously.  So seriously, I was crying on the phone to Garmin early last week as my Garmin watch failed on me, the battery wasn’t charging.  After a few phone calls and online chats, they were still unable to help me, despite the watch being in warranty, as they were unable to replace my watch with like for like as they are out of stock.  I was advised to contact them after Australia.  My watch is like someone’s phone – I can’t live without it.  I need it to understand my heart rate, my speed, distance, interval training, rest periods etc.  An extremely kind friend helped out – thank you – you know who you are 🙂 !  So I was back to my training in less than 48hrs with a watch!

As many of you know, I run my own Personal Training business so it was another exciting week last week, picking up my new business car.  It makes more financial sense for me to have a business vehicle – so I upgraded to a Honda.  It’s a sensible and practical car.  The best bits – it has heated seats and enough room in the boot for Percy (in a crate) as well as all my kettlebells!

So, that was last week… and if you know me well, I will already be thinking about what I will do after Australia!  Yes, roll your eyes – I know you are!

It’s  fitness focussed – it doesn’t include biking, running or even swimming.

I am going to qualify in Freestyle Fitness Yoga so that I can teach Stretch and Relax classes – there seems to be a big demand locally!

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Don’t laugh, as I know some of you will, as you don’t think I can calm down enough to teach something like that let alone have flexibility to teach.  So, there’s my challenge – I will do this!

It’s Monday morning, a PT client has already been trained, just eating my breakfast, off to teach a Kettlebell class and go for my Monday run.

Have a good one all!

V (GB Athlete!!!!!)

 

 

I still can’t believe it’s real!  I am going to Australia to represent Great Britain!

5,000 of the world’s best elite and age group triathletes from 46 nations will be heading to Queensland for the final race of the 2018 season and I am one of them!

In just 6 weeks, I will be racing in Australia wearing my trisuit with pride – today it’s making its way to the local printers, Oliver Signs in Burghfield to have the logos printed on it.  Now that is exciting!  I will do my sponsors proud!

Training has been going well.  There have been some early morning starts to get the training in before my day gets going. I have been having a few doubts about my ability this week but those have now gone.  I can only do my best!

My swimming is good – but I need to practise a bit more in my wetsuit so I am grateful for the cooler weather.  There’s a 50/50 chance that the swim could be non-wetsuit.  As I am a strong swimmer, I don’t mind swimming without – let’s hope a shark doesn’t take a fancy to me!

The bike – that’s getting much better.  I am feeling very strong on the bike.  It’s probably a combination of the training and the excellent work that Pankhurst Cycles did on my bike – switching over my groupsets.

The run – I am working hard on my run.  I am doing more interval work to increase my speed.  My runs off my bike are feeling easier, stronger and faster.  In 6 weeks I should feel much more confident.

I haven’t forgotten about transition, flying mounts and dismounts – those are areas that will get focus in a couple of weeks.

6 weeks and counting – staying fit, healthy and injury free is my priority!

Flights and accommodation have been booked – flying out on 8th September and coming back on 22nd September – super excited.  I am going to Oz!

Thank you again for all the kind donations to get me out to Oz – this is real!

Miss V
GB Triathlete…. whoooah!!!

 

 

 

It’s been an overwhelming week this week!

I picked up my race kit on Friday – to say I was excited was an understatement.  I picked up my trisuit, a polo shirt and a swim cap – cannot wait to get to wear it!

The kind donations for sponsorship has been so overwhelming – I cannot believe the kindness that has been shown.

I want to thank everyone who has donated, every little bit helps and will help me fulfil my once in a lifetime trip.  Thank you to #itgames, Allen’s Dog Boarding, Simon Gerhardt, Lucy Burton, Teneo and Pankhurst cycles – you know why – so thank you!

Today, I popped down to a lovely little gathering at the Fox & Hounds to celebrate Allen’s Dog Boarding 10 Year Anniversary.  They’ve been looking after dogs for 10 years and they’ve been looking after Percy for the last 5 years.  He loves them.  They held a raffle and all the donations are being donated to help me get out to Australia – such a kind thing to do.

So, really, this blog is a massive thank you to all my supporters – I won’t let you down!

thank you

Miss V

Oh yes, I still have it and remember that day very well.

I had moved to London, I wasn’t particularly active – I had lost my ‘teenage’ weight and was trying to make it big in London.

I lived in Wimbledon.

I loved spinning.  The crazy music.  It was so much fun.

I got chatting to Gary – Gary was a runner, he was older.  He encouraged me to try running.  I hated it.

After a while, I realised how easy it was, not as in easy to run, but the fact that you didn’t need to drive somewhere to train, you could run from your front door.  I would run around Wimbledon and Wimbledon village – I wasn’t fast, but I was moving.

So, that was it… I built up my running distance.  Sometimes I would run with Gary on the treadmill at the gym but I didn’t like the fact that there were mirrors in front of you.  That was somewhat off putting!

Then … yes, Gary suggested I enter my first race – Claygate 5 mile – race being used in a very relaxed sense, as I could just about run.  It’s 2001.  Age 27.. almost 28!

I did it… I didn’t pace it well, completely inexperienced, but I finished it.

Gary was an amazing runner.  Even after moving to Reading, I would head back to Kingston to run the Kingston Breakfast run and see him there.  Still a great runner.

That was the start… my love of running!

Miss V