Winter training, Laurent Vidal, Sands Beach.


December 5th, 2015 by



laurent

All in all it’s been a fairly decent start to my winter training. I had around 8 weeks of un-interrupted training with the Luc Van Lierde programme and I was chuffed because I didn’t miss a thing and I was going pretty well as a result of it. I took a trip to Belgium to visit Luc and we did some lactate testing for Swim, Bike and Run and actually we identified that even after a 13 week lay off aerobically I was still in pretty good shape but my max lactate was low and that is what i’ve been working on since. So not heaps of volume and some quite intense training to get that back up.

I’m now in Lanzarote for a 17 day camp at home from home, Sands Beach. Weather wise it’s a solid 20-25’c, the warmest possible in Europe at this time of year. I really love it here. 25m pool literally on my door step, great riding in the mountains and some interesting off road running. It has everything you need and now i’ve been here so often I know the island and many people on the island to make it more fun. It’s a funny place to train. It sucks you in and spits you out. I’d dead excited to be out here again but I guarantee you after 10 days I’ll be creeping! I’ll be desperate to go home after 14 days and then after 2 days at home I’ll be wishing I was back out. 

I started to make some plans for the year. After Xmas I’ll come back out to Lanzarote with BMC Etixx for our annual team camp for two weeks. I’ll be home for a day before heading out to South Africa for the East London 70.3 and a 5 week training camp in Stellenbosch afterwards. I need to get in a big Ironman performance this year as I have 0 points so I hope to race twice in Brazil for the 70.3 and the Ironman a month later.

Not everything has been going that well though. Recently we had to say good bye to my friend Laurent Vidal. Laurent was one of my closest friends on the circuit and I knew him for around 12 years. We raced in many teams together for EJOT and Lagerdere. We had many close races, hung out a lot and he even came to my wedding 5 years ago. His death hit the Triathlon community very hard showing just what a great guy he was and how many lives he touched. I’ll miss him a lot and I’m thinking of Andrea and the Vidal family every day.

Between that and 5 days later the Paris attacks I also got hit by a car which is always a laugh…For once it wasn’t my fault as I was coming round a big roundabout and the lady didn’t take the time to look and drove straight into the side of me. By now I know how to crash so luckily I only walked away with a broken finger and a fractured/very bruised rib. If you saw my bike you would think the cyclist it belonged to would be a lot worse off. I let my guard down, I assumed she had seen me but she hadn’t. My advice is if you always assume the driver is going to do the stupid thing so you’re prepared for whatever happens then you’ll save yourself a lot of crashes.

Back to the drawing board…


October 23rd, 2015 by



hay

 

I hope everyone had a fantastic season and you were able to enjoy a nice long break afterwards to recover!

If you’ve not been following me, I wrote off the last half of the season as I was getting burnt and racing wise was no good to anyone in the end. My Psychologist made the decision in the end to pull the plug on the year and take what was essentially  career break. Otherwise I’d have probably taken a week and carried on ending up in a worse place. I’m pleased I did now, It gave me the time and the space to think and reflect and my body feels much, much fresher and I’m certainly way more motivated to reach my best level yet.

I didn’t do much exciting on my break, to be honest all the time that I used to train was replaced with doing my bit looking after my son and spending time with family. Which to be fair is much harder then training! I was so busy I didn’t miss training that much and it took me a long time to feel fresh again because it’s not that easy chasing after a toddler. However I did escape to Ibiza for 5 days for the usual end of season blow out and tell you what…once you go there, 3 days later you can’t wait to get back on the bike smash around in the Charnwood Hills again!

So I’ve been back into it for the best part of 6 weeks now. I spent 3 weeks hovering around 10hrs a week getting the legs moving again after the long 12 weeks lay off and now back into the routine of training properly again. It feels good to be back fit and healthy again. I’m really motivated after such a long break and fired up after watching all the big races of the year happen on the screen instead of being there racing myself so in a good place right now to push hard for the season.  Normally I’d aim to start back by November the 1st, its a strange feeling being raring to go already with 3 decent weeks under my belt but I have to be patient and stick to the plan! It’s still a year till the big dance and if I push hard now I can easily be flying by January!

In other news I’ve been a coach slut again… I’m now working with Luc Van Lierde. (he’s a bit of a legend, Google him…) I wasn’t looking to change at first but my Uplace BMC team manager managed to persuade me that this would be a important move and an amazing opportunity to learn from one of the best Ironman athletes ever and already a proven coach. We’ve met up a few times in Belgium, once for Lactate testing and I’m really, really impressed and positive that it was a good move. There is also an obvious link with our Belgium based team so all support can centralised. Only thing I need to work on is my Flemish I guess…

I want to thank Mark Pearce for his support this year. He’s a super coach, great guy and one of the most dedicated and knowledgeable coaches around. I really rate him and don’t think he had a fair run at coaching me in the end.

I’ll keep you updated!

Enjoying the time off


August 5th, 2015 by



poppy ride pic

I’ve enjoyed this first 4 weeks away from sport. Nothing that exciting so far, just hanging out with my family and I just payed a visit to legendary Irish Triathlete Conor Murphy and family who’s also been struggling this year, thanks to shitty coaching and support. Nice to compare notes! Slowly but surely I’m starting to get bored and more and more determined to get back into it but that’s not for a while longer yet.

I have to say it’s really nice to be able to step away and take the time and gain perspective to analyse all the little things I’ve been struggling with that led me to need a career break. 

Triathlon is quite tough and I’ve had my foot firmly on the gas ever since I was a junior, rejuvenating the mind and body again is really important if I want to go on for another successful 5/6 years. When you’re in the thick of racing and training you’re so focused on the work that it can be a struggle to notice the aspects you could be doing better in your life to become more successful. I’m recovering by taking the rest of course but also working with my psychologist to change my mindset going forward.

On my slow return, as well as all the little things I can be doing better such as bike set up, training tweaks the most complicated change is balancing my family life with my sport life and with the new addition to my family 20months ago life is not as simple as it once was! I’m still learning to handle that massive part of my life better in order to be the best I can be in sport but also as a family man. My son definitely is not the most patient guy and doesn’t care if I’m only getting 6hrs sleep a night!

I also want to thank my sponsors team Uplace BMC (going on next year as Etixx BMC). They actually are the guys who really pushed me to find answers and supported me the whole way. New sponsors Xhale and Indurance, have been awesome. I’ve picked up a handful of new athletes who are all doing great and loving the software. Indurance have been offering fantastic support from blood profiling to motivational book advice!  I promise I’m working to turn it around for the best. I’m not interested in staying at this same level, I firmly believe that if you want to be the best you can be you have the time to step back and make the necessary changes.

Anyway, I hope all your seasons are going well so far.

Will