LIVE TO TRAIN TRAIN TO RACE RACE TO WIN
HOW I STARTED
I got into the sport of Triathlon in 2010 when a friend entered me into a local event, I trained for 6 weeks prior to the race, I had a borrowed bike and hadn’t been on two wheels since I was a youngster, the outcome was a position of 63rd and from there a knew adrenaline fix was born.
As a youth I swim competively from the age of 8 and 14 yr, at this age I was squad swimming which involved training before and after school.
From the age of 16 to 20 yr I took up the sport of water polo at which I competed at nation standard, water polo is an extremely tough sport which involves a lot of physical and endurance strength as well as the skills to play the game, the hardest game I played in was a friendly match against Great Britain women’s team, they was more physical than the men and played dirty to their advantage.
8 YEARS OF WASTE
From the age of 20 to 28 yr I spent my life mainly playing on computer games and living the party life drinking myself to a different type of jelly legs from what I know now.
Triathlon, Triathlon and more Triathlon
So from this point my life took a massive turn for the better in my eyes, as mentioned at the start I had completed my first triathlon and then for the remainder of that year I spent doing fell races week in week out, sometimes two a week which left me unable to train just due to the muscle fatigue created by the super tough sport of fell running.
The triathlon seed really got planted at the end of 2010 when I decided to get up one day in July at the early hours of 4:30am to travel the short journey to Pennington Flash where the Ironman UK triathlon started from. The adrenaline and atmosphere at the early hours on a Sunday morning was something I had never experienced, it was just the start of a long day travelling round to different location of the event to spectate people I didn’t even know.
The Tri Bug was born
After being amazed by watching Ironman UK, I entered myself for the same event in 2011 and got started with the training, I joined a local running club called Astley & Tyldesley and at the end of the 2010 season I competed in a second triathlon race which saw a big improvement with a 2nd placed finish.
2011 was all about Ironman UK, I approached the race with a few more triathlons under my belt and with all my training consisting of endurance work, I had developed a good level of fitness.
Ironman UK 2011 was all about completing the event, I had heard that 12 hours to complete the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run, was to be a good target so that’s what I had in my head pre event.
The day went okay, I exited the water in 7th position which included the profession athletes who had an advantage of starting off first, onto the bike and my only way of pacing the 112 miles was by feel, I knew the course very well and my only issue was getting a slow puncher with 12 wiles to the finish, I was using tubular tyres and opted to keep riding rather than attempt to change the tyre which would of most likely cost me more time than riding cautiously with a slowly deflating tyre.
Off the bike and onto the run, I felt really good, I think the adrenaline of the spectators gives a massive boost and allows your body to hide what condition it is really in, I completed the run with a 3:32 marathon which consisted of the middle 10k being a real struggle of walk / run, the bit I remember about the run is approaching the final lap and seeing that if I could run strong for the remaining 10k loop then I could possibly finish under 11 hours.
Ironman UK finish time : 10:46 hr
Would I do anything different? Yes and No, at the time I didn’t have the experience and knowledge that I hold now, I could of easily have over complicated the process, the main thing I will do different when competing in Ironman UK 2017 is the nutrition element, I will be competing rather than completing and in this case needs a more refined approach, at the 2011 Ironman, I had all but a kitchen sink in my cycling top pockets, I also made a mistake of only having one bottle on the bike and this resulted in me going without vital fluid during the event due to dropping a bottle twice.
My Triathlon Progress
After the 2011 Ironman, I set a knew goal, I wanted to be competitive and get fast so I set my future goal of qualifying for the Great Britain Age Group Team. I had carried a massive level of base fitness from the previous 12 months of endurance training.
My first attempt to qualify was at a sprint race at Grendon Triathlon, I had know idea of how I would match up at this standard but had looked at previous years race results and knew I could be competitive, I came away with an age group win and second place overall which was good enough to book me on the flight to compete at the 2013 European Championships in Turkey.
2012 & 2013 was spent developing a profile in triathlon, I raced a lot of low key sprint distance events and learned how to race from the front and take plenty of wins and podium postions, I believe confidence is a massive element to have when racing to your potential and although I was getting some convincing results I was also under no illusion that there was still a lot of progress needed before I could really compete at the national standard of racing.
2013 ETU Championships, I came away with 4th position, first GB and only 7 seconds away from an international medal, at the time this was hard to take, I had family and friends make the trip to Turkey to support me, I had them dotted around the course giving me time splits and position information, it was possibly this that made my forth position harder to take, I had issues on the bike with my handlebars coming loose and I was being told I was in a podium position all the way round the run loops, I was confident I was on for a medal but to find out id just been beaten without realising due to information for spectators. There was many lessons learnt from this experience and I believe it was better to have finished in 4th than to have got a medal on this occasion, it made me appreciate how hard I needed to training and came away striving for improvements needed to be as competitive as I would need to be to achieve long term goals in the sport of triathlon.
I have achieved some great performances but don’t feel I have achieved what I know I can within the sport of swim, bike, run. It is human nature to want to better ourselves and I strive for this day in day out, I am now a member of Manchester Triathlon Club which offers a great level of coached sessions and an environment of like minded people to train with.
I have competed at 4 European Championships, 1 World Championships to date and never really raced to my potential on the day, I strive for an international medal and one day I will achieve this, there is no secret that you get out what you put in and consistency is the real key to success.
Over the last 3 seasons I have achieved consistent podium positions at National and English Championship events, the highlight being the British Standard Distance 30-34 yr age group champion in 2015.
I have also developed a love for the more challenge type of event, mainly within the Always Aim High race calendar, these races are televised and have helped with me attracting sponsorship through my current team VCUK.
Future goals and plans
My racing goals have just become broader, I still chase a European medal but I am also now more mature as an athlete and the consistent training over a few years enables me to race well over the longer distance of events and the spectrum of achievements has been widened, I strive to be the best I can and is there really a limit on such goals, it is a good thing to remind yourself when things aren’t quite going well, that the main reason for being involved in triathlon training and racing is due to the enjoyment we have, positions and speed isn’t the main goal but is the result of being able to enjoy the life of a triathlete.
Away from racing
I am a British Triathlon qualified coach, my plans are to become a full time coach and do something I enjoy in life for a living, The satisfaction to help other athletes achieve their goals is an amazing feeling and I hope to be able to help many throughout the years as a coach.