First thing i would like to say is thanks to the people who have taken interest in following my progress throughout the 2016 season, people who know me will understand the challenges i have gone through mentally and physically which i will share within this review.
I owe a massive thanks to friends and family who have given an endless amount of support throughout the race season, without these people, competing wouldn’t be the same.
Thanks to ChampionSystem/VCUK Race Team manager Wayne Greenhalgh for the support and access to some great sponsors which have helped me be ready to race to my potential. vcuk
Thanks to Carter Rigging and Mark Lomax Chartered Accountants for their support in my journey of triathlon.
Live to Train – Train to Race – Race to Win…..
The above has always been my concept in my day to day life, i am not lucky enough to be a full time athlete but i do live for training and racing.
Due to this obsession and dedication, over the winter months i set out in building a training room onto my house, this took a lot of time and energy so my training was much lighter than in previous years, my plan was to get the room complete by the end of my Christmas break from work and get cracking at training towards my main goal for the season of getting a podium position in May at the European Championships.
2016 has been filled with upset, day after day, week after week, month after month.
March 2016, my Dad was involved in an accident whilst out run training, this had devastating effect and my Dad lost his life. My dad was a big part of my life, he was my best friend and training partner who i will forever miss.
I would like to thank everyone who has helped me and my family through these tough times.
Although i trained much less throughout the winter months, i came into the new year feeling strong and all the data suggested i was in much better shape than when i finished the 2015 season, my first race was at Lancaster Duathlon which ended in a puncher and my first ever dnf, this was not an ideal start but i showed i was in good shape and was on target to breaking my previously set course record.
Triathlon was far from the focus after the devastation in March but after a lot of time away from training i decided that i would still target my season goal of an international medal competing in Lisbon at the European Championships.
In the lead up to the Europeans i had 8 weeks of consistent training, the problem i had was the lack of training had resulted in a loss of the foundations i had built up through the early phase of training. One of my highlights of this season was going to Girona with some of the team and sponsors, this helped me mentally and also helped with my fitness which would lead me into the prep for the Euro’s, the initial plans i had set for hitting my peak had gone out of the window and i was left trying to race myself into some kind of sharpness and race fitness, within these races i managed to pick up a British Championship AG bronze medal in the standard distance and then a week later a National silver medal in the sprint distance, although these was good results, they highlighted i was lacking the fitness to hold onto threshold race pace for the standard distance event, this was a concern but i kept plugging away and claimed a race win at the Southport Triathlon the week before traveling out to Lisbon and my A race for the season.
The Europeans ended with a 5th position and my limitations going into the race being made apparent, i was proud at how i went and executed my race, i went for a result with confidence from the start by leading out of the swim, i was in a position to achieve my target of a podium until half way through the run at which my goal faded and i slipped down positions to 5th place.
The remainder of the season was spent training and racing for enjoyment that got me hooked on triathlon in 2011, although i always race with high expectations from myself and always want to be standing on the top step of the podium, i didn’t want to put myself under pressure to achieve results greater than my ability for this season could produce.
My pre-season plan was to race at the European middle distance (70.3) in Austria, the plan for this was to travel by car with my Mum and Dad which would have been the highlight of the trip going off past long distance trips, my Dad had entered the open event and me and my Mum couldn’t face this so i made a new plan and opted to target an iconic race of Helvellyn Triathlon.
Helvellyn Triathlon gave me some added focus, its know as one of the toughest races in the uk and to compete well you need to train specific for the demands the event throws at you.
I came away from Helvellyn Triathlon with 2nd place, i was beaten by the course record holder and one of the countries best age group triathletes, this was the best shape i had been in all season and was happy to finish on a high.
It is to early to have a full season race calendar planned out but i can say that it is going to be an exciting season which will hopefully bring great success.
I will be stepping up to full distance triathlon and racing at Ironman UK, i will need every bit of support for the long day of racing so please have it in your diaries and come and cheer me on.
Once my race calendar is finalized, i will post onto my website.
2017 will also be a big year in taking a step forward into multisport coaching, i will have qualifications and a new website go live before the new year, if anyone is interested then please contacted me and i will be happy to discuss the coaching packages i can offer.
For the 2016 season i was very lucky to be riding a new brand of bike frame, The Shark Composites Attack TT frame has been amazing and i look forward in riding it for my exciting 2017 season, also a new sponsor for this season was a selection of Pro-Lite wheels, i have ridden many different brands off wheels and i would fully recommend the Pro-Lite selection.
ChampionSystem custom clothing provide the team kit, to have good quality kit is an important part of training and racing, we spend many of hours dressed in lycra making it important to feel good swimming, cycling and running in all conditions.
Also thanks to Limar Helmets who provide the lightest road and a great fitting aero design in team colours.
our accessories was provided by VeloChampion along with their new model of cycling shoe and some cool looking sunglasses.
Mark Lomax Chartered Accountants
Favorite Photo’s from 2016