Flipping Heck where has 2016 gone.
Its the eve of my first triathlon race of the season, Immortal Mega Sprint 900m lake swim, undulating 20 miles on the bike and 4.5miles of trail running. Never know for taking the easy options facing this sprint is actually quite scary !
Sprints, 5km runs and generally the shorter stuff are the devils distances for me, and with the local lake water only recently risen from 10c I have had one paddle dipping my toes in the icy waters. I have had a few successful seas swims ( not sick) this year in Mallorca and Gower, Wales so have squeezed myself into my wetsuit and then also walked straight into the pub from the sea still wearing the wetsuit for a refreshing pint to celebrate sitting in beer garden enjoying the sunshine and views.
Its been a mixed year of training, I was away for the month of February snowboarding & surfing but I have had a few solid triathlon dedicated training days together in the Gower with Chippenham Triathlon mates and also a weeks training camp in Mallorca with my coach Neil. But in between these I also was wiped out with bronchitis for a couple of weeks with forced rest. Then its been about trying to get consistency back and increasing distances – Outlaw full will be upon me before I know it. I have managed a few 80 mile hilly rides since March including the challenging White Horse Sportive and Mallorca mountains and my longest run of the year 12 miles. I also have Velothon Wales, Wiggle Dragon ride, RUN24, ironman Exmoor 70.3 to tackle and use as training before Outlaw.
The Gower Wales – four days in May
The Gower was mainly about getting some hilly bike miles in as preparation for Exmoor 70.3 which is a club championship race and still claims to be the toughest 70.3 on the planet. We had a mixed group of upto 10 coming and going work depending. I was pleased with the seas swims and loved the coastal ride to the Mumbles and up and around the Brecon Beacons. Plenty of climbs, hairpin decent and a mixture of coastal views and mountains. A highlight was having a 99 ice-cream at the top of one climb, one Welsh sheep trying to lick my ice-cream, just like the Mallorca goats at the lighthouse !
Mallorca training camp with Performance Edge week in April
This was my third trip back to Mallorca to VIVA Blue for a triathlon training camp with my coach Neil. Again we had a great group and all showed improvements on riding strength and skills from previous camps. The weather was kind to us allowing plenty of saddle, swim & run time in warmer temps than back home.
My favourite highlight was tackling Sa Colobra for a second time and smashing it. In October it took me, Jon, Ann & Sean over two hours to climb out of there, this April I was an hour and 8 minutes and not too far back from the group at the front, they didn’t have chance to have a three course meal and two coffees this time !
Highlights include group rides up mountains and across the island on a 88mile coast to coast return ride. First open water of the year in Mediterranean Sea. Swimming without being sick in clear warm turquoise water off a white sand beach. Sharing an outdoor swimming pool with Olympic gold medalist & seeing the ‘Doc’ coach pool side. Running hill reps up a wooded mountain trail. In contrast to few yoga classes and daytime sleep to help relax & stretch.
Smashing all my mountain climbing times around the island with a haul of STRAVA gold PR’s including Sa Colobra.
Total training time around 25 hours this week including approx 300 miles cycling, with a lot of climbing, 9km swimming in pool & sea and a token 6 miles of running & hill reps.
Felt stronger as the week went on, just a touch of saddle sore from rental bike saddle, must remember to take my own in future.
Thanks to a great bunch of camp mates again – Sarah, Jas, Will, Kev, Sam, Adam, Beth & Neil.
The annual May bank holiday PSOF DIY TRI took place in Macclesfield, and it was damn cold this year, in fact freezing and after the thunder & lightening storm and the hail came down and created slush and ice for safety reasons it was decided to stop the bike ride on the Saturday. One went in a hedge, another brakes failed, fingers & toes were frozen and it must have been miserable for the supporters. It was the right call to abort. Luckily Mr Holgate managed to stay upright at all times, navigate the speed bumps at pool so no ambulance required !
It took me & Julie about 5 hours to warm up afterwards. I was fine when cycling but when I stopped at the feed station to be told the event was off I got 3 drenching in quick succession by passing cars, so soaked with gritty flood water from helmet to shoes and a soggy chamois ! Sunday was a few degrees warmer and just above zero but still a wet one. Although being pirates we made the most of the extra pub time and the spiced rum was flowing nicely.
So am I ready for the start of my triathlon season ? Not really but I’ll be there to give it all I can tomorrow and use it as a building block of training and practise for events to come this year. Also my sister and family are coming watch as at Stourhead not far from them, no pressure then !