I thought it was about time for an update! It has been a busy, but productive, time and there has been lots going on. As always there have been ups and downs along the way, but on the whole I am making progress and things are building nicely into what is going to be an exciting season!
So... where have I been and what have I been up to?
Hampton Pool has been my venue of choice for countless swim sessions. This morning, nearly 50 other people were mad enough to get up for a 6.30am swim on their Saturday!! It is great chasing the Teddington Swim Club masters length after length, but what makes it even better is the fact that they are all in such good spirits for that time of the morning (mostly)! I have made it a real focus to swim with others this winter and I am seeing the benefits. Hampton have continued to support me to do this on a Friday morning and our triathlon group is still reaping the rewards. More recently, swim sessions have been made even more fun with the new kit arrival..... Everyone loves a new kit day and Orca made it one of the best ever!
I-ride UK is down in Burgess Hill and I went down to visit them at the end of February. It was an exciting day as I collected my Argon18 E118, the Fulcrum wheels I will be racing on and a Catlike helmet that makes me look super fast (or like a bug, depending on who you ask and which way you look at it). Adam gave me lots of good advice about the wheels and bike and I am really grateful for the support. I look forward to racing hard and hopefully doing the bike justice!
Fuelling with Etixx and getting nutrition advice from their expert Glenn Kearney has been a good addition to my winter preparations. The products makes fuelling and recovering easy. My particular 'go to' options are the Recovery Bars and the awesome magnesium tablets. I am looking forward to getting more input on my own nutrition over the coming months and will share what I learn and the impact on my training and performance soon!
Every week I speak to coach Andy and everyday I check my training plan. This is a routine part of my days and weeks and fundamental to me completing sessions, maintaining quality and developing as an athlete. As two busy people I value the fact that Andy and I can have such a good way of working and the the fact that the thinking behind my training has been done allows me to get on and do it!!
I recently went to Freespeed studios for an expert bike fit and lots of brilliant advice from Richard. It was a really enjoyable visit, not only because I came away with a position that I feel confident and fast in, but also because it is always nice to spend time with someone who is passionate about sport and willing to share their experiences. I would highly recommend Richard to anyone looking to get a bike fit or anyone who loves to talk bikes and triathlon!
The gym.... Not somewhere that triathletes might be known to frequent, but my twice weekly strength and conditioning session has been so important to staying fit and strong. I have also had some pretty tough treadmill sessions, one of which ended with a staff member asking if I was ok!
Cycling, cycling cycling! Some of this has been less than pituresque, but commuting into work is a good base and a time effective way to travel, build bike volume and keep the legs ticking over. Slightly more appealing and where I think the best quality lies is the turbo. The best of the cycling however, has been thanks to the friends who I have been able to join around the Surrey hills and the Windsor loop staple! Thanks to Rich Newey for a 100km smash fest and thank you to Tom and Chris for teaching me business whilst they single handedly keep all the coffee shops in the area in business. Tomorrow I will be joining Jane Hansom for the first TT ride of the year.... Let's hope she goes easy on me as I am pretty sure she will be in great shape as always!
Running, running, running around all the parks, to and from train stations, up hills and down hills. I also had a good hit out at the Kingston Half Marathon . This gave me a good indication of where my running is and also the work I need to do to get to where I want to be. As a run lover I have found it frustrating not being in the run form I have been in previously, but I know it is in there and my most recent sessions have felt more like the run I no I have!
Most importantly... I have been at home and I have been shown by PS... that sometimes you do not know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have! Thanks for all the support and always being there for me, despite everything. This year we are a team that will be unstoppable!