2014 season down. What’s next?


November 11th, 2014 by



Well, that’s it. I’ve decided to call it a year. 2014 was one of my favourite years so far. All in 70.3’s I’ve taken two wins in Wimbleball, and Lanzarote. 3 x 2nd places in South Africa, Calgary, Barcelona. Then I finished 10th in the World Champs which was very satisfying if I consider I got that with a puncture after losing two minutes but also frustrating of course as I was looking at something much higher without problems. I also took wins in Jenson Button Triathlon which was actually my tightest race of all against Dave Bishop and the Mallorca Olympic Distance Champs in May.

It was also made so much better by being part of the mighty Uplace BMC team. I had so much fun wearing their colours and participating at the camps at Sands Beach and Mallorca and of course travelling to the races as part of a team and having the support plus being around 9 other great team mates + staff. I’m very chuffed I have at least another year of this.

Now the season is finished, I have had time to reflect on the year, analyse what could be done better and discover ways to do that. This year it wasn’t very hard for me to figure out how to do that as it was clear that areas I can improve.  Ironically I need to move forward the two areas that were a strength for me coming into this. My Swim and Run.  I spent the last two years working very hard on my biking to bring it up to the level of the other guys but to do this I had to give the swim and run a back seat. I’m not sure if that’s the way it’ll always have to be and in a way I have to let the 1:10’s and the 3min K’s go a little bit in order to be good at Ironman but right now the next move is to try to bring my swim and run back up while maintaining/improving my biking. I think the only way to do that is to train smarter become more disciplined and keep putting in the hard work.

One of the main changes I’m making next year is I’ll change coaches. Mat Steinmetz from Boulder has been really instrumental in getting me competitive in 70.3 racing and was perfect for me starting out and it’s been a pleasure to work with him. I learnt so much from him and want to thank him for that and I’d recommend him to anyone looking to really get going in Non Drafting triathlon. Problem was I’m unlikely to be around Boulder next year and will be spending more time at home with the family so it’s not a viable option now.

11 years on from when we first met, I’ll now be joining forces with Mark Pearce. We’ve had a lot to do with each other because he used to be our sports scientist at Loughborough and more recently head coach of the high performance division at Loughborough University. Now he’s independent from British Triathlon and starting his own thing at Intelligent Triathlon Training and I’m really excited to finally get to work together. After a handful of meetings I’m really sold on what he can do for my performance and really impressed with the level professionalism so far. He’s also looking for new clients and athletes for our swim squad up in Loughborough so get in touch…

2015 will bring new challenges for me as it’s going to be the first year where I have a real crack at Ironman. I’m really, really excited to try it but to be honest have no idea what I’m letting myself in for and quite apprehensive. I’m not really letting myself think about the fact it’s almost a 4k swim, 180k bike and a bloody marathon! I’m just doing it…They all say the jump from Olympic Distance to 70.3 is a lot smoother then that of 70.3 – Ironman and I have full respect for the distance so going into it realising I’m going to have a lot to learn to master this distance.  Watch any ironman and you’ll see how easy it is to muck it up!

Anyway, next year my aim is to qualify for Ironman World Champs in Kona and try to post a good strong performance there. I already have 1600 points before 2015 even starts which is a nice advantage so I’m hoping it’ll just take 1 Ironman to qualify. I think that one will be in South Africa in March with a back up in Lanzarote.

For my last race of the season I took a trip to Silverman 70.3 in Las Vegas. I’m not going to write much about it because it was a nightmare. I got sick on the flight on the way over, slept bad on the first night and then pulled out of the race after a drafting penalty! I wasn’t ever in it mentally after my win in Lanzarote 70.3. It took a lot out of my head that race because I pushed so hard and when I went back onto the course to cheer on my friends on the run course I was actually happy I wasn’t racing any more! It was SOO HOT and brutal! Anyway, I was also there with 6 others to celebrate one of my best buddies Stag parties. So we actually got a lot out of the trip in the end… Some very big nights out, a bit of racing in a Lambo and well…what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas so we’ll leave it there shall we? As soon as I got back I checked straight into Ragdale Hall spa with my wife to recover…what else do you need to make you want to get fit again?!

After 3/4 weeks off I’m now spending a few weeks in Sands Beach with my friends getting some shape back. I’m not too unfit after my month of dossing about and feel like I’m starting from a good place. I’m in no rush though, this is the nice part of the years training. I took some snaps below of the past month. Check it out :)

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1st Lanzarote 70.3


September 25th, 2014 by



I had an amazing week in Lanzarote. Took a big, hard earned win against some great athletes, caught up with 1/2 of the Uplace-BMC Team and spent lots of time relaxing before and after the race at the Active Sands Beach resort in the sun. 

I have to say that things were really rolling in my favour ever since returning from Mt Tremblant World 70.3 Champs. I was carrying a lot of fitness from my time altitude training in Boulder and after the race in Canada I had renewed confidence, and was sufficiently sharp and race fit plus after 2 weeks backing off I was pretty fresh as well.

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The field had some very good names but most notably, my main threat was the animal Victor Del Corral who killed me by almost 5 minutes last year on the same course. He’s one of the best guys in the Ironman World, racking up amazing run splits and to make it worse this is his favourite course! He also lives here full time which makes him a little bit invincible in this race! Other then that, to be honest I am one of the faster runners so my main worry was just keeping everyone else in touch on the swim and bike.

The swim in Club La Santa lagoon was pretty solid, unfortunately it was wetsuit legal so it got very, very hot in there but never the less we all exited the water as expected although Victor was a good chunk of time behind us which is normal for him and doesn’t mean you write him off…

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At the start of the bike I felt good and tried to break it up by riding the hills hard but it was mostly in vain because we all pretty much stayed together. Then at 20k Romain Guillaume attacked and it was obvious that we had to let him do his own thing. I knew that a 5 mins gap was probably possible to catch back and I think if anyone had tried to stay with him they’d be on their hands and knees in he 1/2 marathon! Good news is at the foot of the main 30min climb Tabyesco we had 4 mins on Del Corral and after hearing this I thought he’d have big problems to catch us.

I felt good on the climb breaking our group down to 4 athletes and stringing it out, we didn’t drop anyone because we mostly needed each other to get home! Team mate Axel Zeebroek made it over the top so was good to have him to ride with. However as we got near the top news came through that Victor was now only 2 mins behind us. In my experience he could easily catch us before the end of he bike and my chance to win against him would be then looking very slim!

We rode as hard as our legs could manage for the rest of the ride and luckily Axel decided to sacrifice himself to keep the pace high. Thanks mate! We finished up 4:20 behind Romain and just 50 seconds ahead of Victor!

After 3hrs of slogging it out, I was a gutted to see how close to us Victor was. I knew I probably needed more time then I had to beat him but I set off running at an ambitious pace, I had to start making in roads to Romain anyway who’s little pistons carried him a long way ahead…!

I was clipping along pretty well considering we just rode very hard but at every turn I could see that Victor was still catching me and fast. Coming into he last lap we had caught Romain but Victor was now only he was now only 15 behind me.

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As soon as I saw that my head began to fill with negative thoughts, “I’m dead and he’s just stronger then me”, “all the pain would stop now if you just accept 2nd place”, “2nd is still a good result”. Too often this has been my downfall and this time I made a conscious decision to replace the negative thoughts with positivity and stop being a pussy. “You’re not f**ked, you’re fine, if he was feeling good he’d have caught you by now”, “push super hard for 1k and see what happens”.  So I did that and gave it everything I had for the last 7k.

I ran past our team manager and parents and all were saying the same thing: “just go for it, attack, this is yours!” He was now just 10 seconds behind after over 4hrs pushing, then I kicked so hard up the hill that I vomited straight away onto my shoes! However soon enough I made it onto the track and was home and dry and could enjoy the last 50m and give some high 5’s!

I was super happy to win but I was more satisfied to win against a champion like Victor when the chips were probably stacked against me.  For me settling can be a problem, waving the white flag and accepting 2nd place because it’s a way out of the hurt when you’re so sick of it after 4hrs. I’m not a Brownlee it’s not enjoyable for me to me to go that deep but today I learnt something. Maybe sometimes I don’t believe in myself enough. I hope it unlocks more and more of these wins.

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Big ups to Victor for 2nd and Romain for just hanging onto 3rd place after a super bike effort. Not an easy way to race. I’m hope he kills it in Kona this year and also  Helle Frederiksen for her amazing win! What a weekend for Team Uplace-BMC :-D

Next up for me is Silverman 70.3 Las Vegas. I’m going to duke it out one last time this year, although I’m tired now! It’s my friends Stag party directly afterwards so ultra fitness will be replaced very quickly post race with something on the other end of the spectrum! I don’t want to imagine the flight home!!!

 

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10th 70.3 World Champs.


September 12th, 2014 by



Mont Tremblant 70.3 World Champs and the big goal of the year finished for another year.

It didn’t all go smoothly, but I’m feeling proud of how I executed my race and how I over came the adversity to rescue a 10th place and the last prize money position.

It was the best 70.3 I’ve been to so far, they kicked off the Pros with a Fighter Jet fly by followed by the horn blowing. Pretty inspiring!

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I had a decent swim, as usual nothing particularly special! 50 secs behind the leaders. Needs work next year for sure.

I have to say once I got on the bike my legs felt amazing, and we ended up riding up to the leaders by the 30km mark. I didn’t do anything to help, Joe Gambles and Terenzo powered us up there. I know my level and played the game, thinking I’ll save it for the run. Hats off to you boys for riding so strong!

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By 75km we had established ourselves as a group of 10 and had a healthy lead on some very handy athletes then I hit a stone in the road square on and it punctured my front (and eventually my rear disc) I put my hand up and fortunately a motor bike with spare wheels was not too far behind. So I was changed within 2 mins and back on my way.

I muscled to T2 in 11th and now had a 2:30 gap to the leaders. I knew I could catch some of the guys but also knew that I’d get caught by some as well.

I didn’t feel too swift any more unfortunately but I did end up running myself back into 10th by the finish line after getting caught by Lionel Sanders and Bart Aernouts. Surrounded by some real World Class quality athletes.

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Just a shame because if I had finished the bike at the front I’d have been racing for 5th place as our run splits were similar.

Fair play to the podium guys, Javi Gomez and Frodo were a different level and Tim Don killed it to snatch the 3rd place and the ladies especially Dani Ryf and Jodie Swallow.

Recovery time now but heading off to Lanzarote 70.3 next. A super enjoyable race and I’m motivated to give it a really good crack.

 

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