Respect to the Spectator – Watching an Ironman event

Dan and I are off to Austria this Wednesday to race in the beautiful city of Zell am See-Kaprun.

I race the regular 70.3 on Saturday whilst Dan competes in World Champs on Sunday.

Since Dan qualified for Ironman 70.3 World Championships we have: celebrated, he has undergone surgery for shin pain, recovered from surgery, and trained trained trained. Now, the event has finally come around and one week from today he’ll be racing it!

Here is a picture of Dan coming into the finish line last year at his qualifier race (Ironman 70.3 Muskoka).

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So for the past four years of Dan’s triathlon career – I’ve been the cheerleader, the carrier of bags, the taker of action photos and everything in between. Spectating any race that lasts greater than a 3/4 hours is a feat in it’s own!

This year I go from spectating to racing and I’m freaking out. I’m good at spectating. In fact, I would say that I’ve mastered it. Racing a 70.3 Ironman race… this is something I’ve never done before. I’m extremely excited but equally nervous.

So let me share something I know I know… Top tips for spectating an Ironman event (Dan – take notes… you’re not the only one racing this time!)

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Triathlon – Transition tips for beginners

When you’re training for triathlon it’s much easier to feel confident with swimming, biking and running as separate disciplines because that’s what you’ve been practicing. But when a race comes up, putting it all together and sorting yourself out in transition can feel a little foreign.

I have a few friends with their first triathlon coming up – this post is for you!

Here are some tips for the transition area. Transition-Triathlon

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Determination trumps motivation – But Coffee Helps

This past week of training has been really tough. My energy levels feel low and as a result I’m not feeling very motivated… It’s been quite the contrast over the past 2 weeks actually. Two weeks ago I was feeling strong, excited and I felt like my half ironman training was really coming along. This week the weather has cooled off and with it, so has my motivation.

Determination

Now this is going to sound silly… but I honestly think that getting through the past few early morning training sessions comes down to two things 1) determination and 2) Nespresso (mainly Nespresso).

My morning ritual: 5:15, the alarm goes off. 5:16, Zombie walk to the Nespresso machine. 5:17, the Nespresso machine is on. 5:18, two Lungo’s made and brought back to bed (one mine, one Dan’s). 5:19, debate going back to sleep. 5:25, we finish our drinks, we get up and go.

I recommend Nespresso for anyone who drinks coffee and has early morning commitments. It’s quick, it’s good coffee and give your sleepy eyes less than 10 minutes, you’ll be up and ready to take on the day. The worst part is getting up to grab your cup… in extreme circumstances I’ve debated putting our Nespesso machine at the bedside table even!

As you can see… I’m pretty dependent on coffee; so lets talk about the benefits coffee when training.

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Toronto Triathlon Festival

Toronto Triathlon FestivalThe Toronto Triathlon Festival is a qualifier for Age Group World Championships. To qualify you need to finish top 3 of your age group (mine being F25-29). Even though I knew I’d be punching above my weight trying to qualify, I really wanted to give it an honest effort.

I raced the Hyde Park Sprint Triathlon three weeks prior to the Toronto Triathlon to benchmark my progress, and didn’t get a huge amount of confidence… I finished the race in 1:27 – 2 minutes slower than my first triathlon at Crystal Palace, 10 minutes slower than I was hoping for and I managed to come off my bike at one point.

When I looked at last year’s Toronto Triathlon finish times… the top three times were 1:11, 1:14 and 1:17. My aim became a) finishing in sub 1:17 and b) praying that faster athletes don’t show up to the race – if that happened, I might just qualify!

Well I certainly gave the race a good honest effort. I finished in 1:16, which was my exact target but I ended up 5th in my age group… this year the top three times were 1:09, 1:10. 1:10. I had no chance! Motivation to train train train train – need to get my swim and bike times a few minutes quicker.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Wetsuit Shopping

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Now that the swim session my coach runs every Tuesday has moved to an outdoor lido, I have no other choice but to purchase a wetsuit for training and racing in. I knew I’d have to buy one eventually but I kept putting it off because it was all a bit overwhelming…

I borrowed a wetsuit in meantime and quickly came to realise that a well fit wetsuit in the swim lag of a triathlon is like the bike you need for cycling – it’s a necessity of the sport, not a ‘nice to have’.

In an effort to feel prepared for my upcoming race, I started searching online; checking out deals on Wiggle, Chain Reaction and Planet X.

I found it really difficult shopping for a wetsuit… I didn’t know how it should fit, what the difference of a £100.00 wetsuit vs a £400.00 wetsuit was, and I wasn’t familiar with all the swim jargon.

Here is what I learned about choosing a wetsuit that is right for you… from one beginner to another!

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Today I raced my first open water swim event.

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I signed up for the 1500m race, borrowed a wetsuit and made my way to Dorney Lake for the race.

I found out about the Eton Open Water Swim after speaking to a few members of Tri London at the Crystal Palace Triathlon a few weekends back. It seemed like the perfect segue from pool swimming to open water swimming – without having to worry about transitioning, cycling and running after.

I thought I had prepared myself quite well earlier this week by going for a swim in an open air Lido to test out the wetsuit and get familiar with the cold water… well it definitely didn’t hurt but I was still completely and utterly shocked 100m into the race today.

Shocked by… the cold. the compression. the commotion. and the conditions.

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