Challenge Fuerteventura


April 28th, 2016 by



I’m really happy, and relieved to be sitting here in Fuerteventura on my post race ‘Over Drive’ training camp with a close 2nd place finish in Challenge Fuerteventura under my belt and as a result confidence back where it needs to be to be successful in this game.

 

swim

It’s only 2nd place, I’ve had many of these before in 1/2 distance races and it becomes more and more apparent to me that the guy who wins these is half of the time the person who is willing to go to a different level of hurt to elk out that last 30 seconds. I don’t think that there was that much difference between myself and Andi Bocherer in the race so congrats to him for the win. This was a training race and a process goal for me heading into Ironman Brazil next month and I just didn’t quite have that smark and race fitness to jump the gap and take the win.

I arrived the week before the race, it’s such an easy place to base yourself with a short flight with easy transfers and then everything from your training to your food right there on your door step. It’s easy to be relaxed at such races especially when you arrive the week before. That feeling will be crucial when I race in Brazil but going to be harder to achieve that in a different continent.

cycle

Race day came round and I felt pretty fresh, bouncing out of bed quite well considering the time in the morning and had enough energy on my 5:30am morning jog to be happy.

The swim was pretty straight forward, I followed the train of 6 guys, and my Speedo wetsuit and goggles were perfect even though I was wearing my Pearl Izumi sleeved Tri suit under the wetsuit. That can make your arms a bit tired as it restricts movement a little bit but on the bike it’s FAST so I took the gamble and thankfully I was strong enough to get away with it.

The bike was where my main concern was, with a field of top bikers and I really wanted to prove to myself that I could ride with them as the whole last year I didn’t manage it once, so you can see why I might be nervous! I knew my bike conditioning is as good as it’s ever been right now so I tried to remember that fact whenever the going got tough!  I tried to ride at a level I knew I could hold the whole way. Fred Van Lierde was riding a bit too strong for me right off the bat so I had to let him go, I also let Henrik Hydelunde drift away but I had confidence that I could bring him back on the run (by the size of his legs!) I ended up riding the first 1/2 on my own at around 340w average before Andi Bocherer and Timo Bract caught me at which point I dropped back and followed Andi as best I could.  Timo left a bit of a gap so I jumped around him and managed to shake him off which is a bonus!  I just followed Andi the whole way in from there, Andreas Dreitz also joined us towards the end but I think by then we were all a bit too dead to smash each other.

run shot

To be honest I was already stoked after coming in on my BMC TM01 with some of the best guys in the sport with a new NP record of 330w! It showed a real nice improvement for me on the bike which is great for the season ahead! From the very start on the run I felt DEAD, DEAD, DEAD!!! I had no spark at all in my legs and no push off at all in my stride. I realised quite quickly that something had happened to Fred Van Lierde (later learnt he crashed, get well soon man!) So the leader was only 2min30 ahead. Dreitz got a little gap on me off the bike so I had him to chase and I actually pushed through my pain too hard on the first 5k to catch him.  As soon as I caught him he attacked me again and instantly dropped me and straight away I felt exhausted and started to think about damage limitation dropping momentarily back down to a more comfortable pace and getting some Etixx Gels into the body. I grovelled through the next 8k getting time put into me by Dreitz and then Bocherer tearing past me and I even started to look over my shoulder worried about the top 5 finish even! However I persevered and after a bit of cold water over the head and some coke at the aid stations I couldn’t believe it but I had risen from my grave and I was running well again! I picked off Henrik the bike leader, then Drietz also came back to me very quickly but Andi also had found some extra gas but I had then run out of real estate!

Finish shot

Last year was the hardest year of my life on and off the race course. With the burn out, fatigue and the first years with my son Freddy and everything that comes with that, I am very happy to be back racing at a high level and have the belief that I can win big races! I’m super grateful to my amazing team BMC Etixx Powered by Uplace, my support team Ben De Wold, Luc Van Lierde and Rudy Heylen, my wife Clare, family and friends. without them I’d still be stuck where I was before but we’ve come out the other side now stronger and richer for the experience. This is quite a long blog, but it was an important turnaround race for me and I’m excited to continue the progression through the year hopefully to me best season yet.

Will

 

 

South Africa


February 25th, 2016 by



team photo

Hey everyone, I hope you’re all well. At the moment I’m sitting in my apartment with my feet up in South Africa trying to ride out a bit of illness picked up somehow/somewhere. I’m not sure what it is with this place. I really love it, the weather is unbeatable, you have amazing food and wine, natural beauty, good friends. 24 Rand to the £ also helps but I do find it super hard here to put in the work. I’m off home next week back to my house in Leicestershire where I hope to get my consistency back that I had before I came out here with the Charnwood Riot.

beach SA

In general the winter has gone pretty much perfectly to plan, I’ve had a couple of great camps in Lanzarote at Sands Beach including our annual team camp. It was amazing to catch up with the gang again, and of course receive all the amazing new product from our top sponsors. Big thanks to the Wolfs for organising another great few years for the team, I’m excited to be part of it.

At the end of January I also raced my first 70.3 of the year in South Africa. After a good start to my winter in training I have to say I was expecting to deliver a much better performance then 7th but unfortunately I had nothing to give. I was rusty, under-prepared and tired from a completely mad travel schedule the days before and I didn’t set myself up well at all. Lesson learnt on that one.

Running with Sofie

My ambitions this year are to firstly Qualify for Kona and then deliver my best possible performance over there. There will be some 70.3’s along the way that I hope to perform in as preparation events but those are the two big ones. I think Ironman Brazil will be my target race to qualify but we will have to see what coach Luc Van Lierde says and when he thinks I can be ready.

Hope everyone has the season they wish for.

Will

 

 

 

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.