1. How did you get into Triathlon?
I lived for racing cycles up until my early 20’s but after a bout of illness I “retired” from the sport, started work and forgot all about competitive sport.
After (too) many years of gradually becoming more unfit and out of condition I decided enough was enough earlier this year and from now on I would take on a different physical challenge each year to get myself fit and have some fun..
This years challenge was to complete the Tatton triathlon and next year move on to something else. I successfully completed Tatton Tri in September but the only problem is that I am now completely hooked on triathlon and I’ve had to bin my other challenges in favour of harder tri’s! Looks like a half ironman is imminent in 2012!
2. What training do you enjoy and what do you hate?
I love any chance to get on my bike, preferably with a bunch of others from the club to make the ride a bit more sporting! Throw in a few hills to shoot up and I’m a happy camper! Swimming is a different story though. I couldn’t swim more than a length of the pool when I started in April, and I still find it hard now, but the wed night swim session has made a massive difference for my confidence. To say I enjoy the swimming now would be stretching it though….
3. Give us an insight into your day dreams when you are out training on your own?
Winning triathlons. Even if I never get good enough to actually win any, I will still be dreaming of winning them!
4. Give us one top training tip?
With 3 different disciplines there never seems enough time in the week to fit in all the sessions I want to do, and it’s easy to overdo the training – my top tip is to always have a rest day and to never train if you are still tired. That and to eat lots. Cake usually does the trick i find.
5. Talk us through your best and worst tri events to date?
I’ve only competed in 3 tri’s and a duathlon so far so not a lot to pick from! Best tri was the National Club Relays in August this year. I was in the KTC stags team with Pete O’Malley, Mark Hudson and Matt Rushbrook and even though we didn’t threaten to challenge for a podium place, it was just a cracking laugh and really memorable day.
It’s dead easy to get carried away and take tri too seriously but this was a reminder that it is fun above everything else. My worst tri wasn’t bad at all but it helped me learn how not to do things. All year I had been working towards completing the Tatton Olympic distance tri, and although my cycling and runnning felt strong, my swimming still was very weak.I had only swam the required 1500m once in training and I expected I should complete the swim leg in 40 minutes. Well, 54 minutes after starting the swim I was dragging myself out of the water on my knees! Because biking is my strongest discipline I tried to make up lost time in the bike leg, and I cycled like a man possesed. I had a great bike split, but by the time I started the run I had completely hit the wall and practically crawled round the last leg. The big lesson for me was to aim for consistent 85% effort in each discipline, not 125% and blow up before the end!
6. If you were doing (or thinking of doing) a triathlon for the first time, which one piece of advice would you give?
Just get on and do it! A few friends of mine have told me that they want to do a tri, but they are worried about making idiots of themselves racing against a bunch of elite athletes. The beauty about triathlon is that everybody can compete in the own age group and that means there is a whole spectrum of abilities.
The majority of people doing a big tri event are doing it for the first time anyway, half seem to be on mountain bikes and most don’t look the part but they all seem to enjoy it. So just do it and you’ll love it!
7. What’s your ultimate triathlon dream (e.g. win a race, complete an Ironman)?
An age group place at Kona is probably the most realistic “dream i could hope for. I’m just not sure which age group I’ll be by then!
8. What’s your favourite piece of tri kit/gadget that you own?
My wetsuit. It’s the only thing that keeps me from sinking.
9. What’s your post race indulgence (food and drink)?
Cake, obviously. And a pint or 3 of Timmy Taylors.
10. Finally, who from KTC would you most like to pip on the finish line?
I’d love the chance to pip Matt Rushbrook to the line. He’s the better runner by far, and I’m the better cyclist but right now he’d hammer me on the swim. If I could beat Matt I’d know I’d cracked that 3rd discipline. It’s all a moot point though because he keeps on entering Sprint events and avoiding that head to head!