2015 - the year so far...

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I recently launched my new website at the end of January and I am really happy with positive feedback I’ve been given so thanks. The objective in creating the website was to combine both up to date information and reports for my pro athlete season whilst being able to profile my coaching skills into one package, and I’m really happy with it.

The colour scheme I decided on is a personal choice and as you will see I decided to use the Royal Marines corps colours whom I spent 5 years with and represented in both triathlon and swim which I think look fantastic. I have to say a huge thank you for all of the hard work that went into it the site from Nicola and Ryan Lindsay from Bridge Advertising, they have worked hard and spent many hours with me helping with my own marketing and promotion whilst building my own confidence and developing the “Paul Hawkins” brand so thank you.

If anyone is looking for any help or support with marketing and promotions you can get in touch with them via nichola@bridgeadvertising or on twitter @bridgeadv

The last few months have been working hard to build the website and also finalising a few new sponsors to work with for the new season.

I am very proud to announce that I will be working as an ambassador for the Xtra Mile Events a company that provide some outstanding events in the North West and North Wales area, events to suite both first timers and well-seasoned athletes.

My role as Ambassador for Xtra Mile Events includes racing many of their events. I will also be providing a training day for their flagship event the Eirias triathlon, Colwyn Bay including: Swim, bike, run course walk and talk through. Bike the course Transition training Race Day Planning Training and nutritional advice More details on the training days will be available in the near future on both paulhawkins.org to http://www.xtramileevents.com if I in the meantime you need any assistance with your training or would just like some advice please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the website.

I will be competing in a large number of the events in 2015, many local events for me and I’ll be using them to get myself prepared for my first A race of the season Outlaw on the 26th July. My main priority for the season is to build momentum towards 2015 where I hope to qualify for the world championships in Kona Hawaii. To qualify as a professional you need to accumulate enough points throughout the season. With the points for 2015 beginning in September my aim is to be at my peak fitness in September to October and really target podium finish in Ironman Barcelona, October.

I have great memories of winning the very first Outlaw and this year I’m returning to hopefully win both the full and half distance event in May. This will be my main focus for the first half of the season and I’m really looking forward to it. 2015 Race schedule: 15th march: Oulton Park Spring Duathlon (Xtra Mile Events) 19th April: chirk sprint 17th may: Wilmslow Triathlon (Xtra Mile Events) 31st may: Outlaw half 7th June: Bala middle 28th June: Peak District Triathlon, at Chatsworth (Xtra Mile Events) 5th July: Ffit Conwy Llandudno Sea triathlon (Xtra Mile Events) 26th July: Outlaw full 26th September: Eirias Triathlon, Colwyn Bay (Xtra Mile Events) 4th October: Ironman Barcelona I am also pleased to announce have a new kit sponsor in Raceskin. I first discovered the Raceskin quality when I won outlaw half last year. Raceskin provided the winners with a fantastic winner’s cycle jersey which I was very impressed with. https://www.raceskin.co.uk I received a selection of winter training gear from Raceskin 2 weeks ago and I’ve never felt so comfortable on the bike, I had a big bike mileage that week with temperatures outside hovering around zero all week. The gear kept me warm and dry and very comfortable I just can’t wait to see what they come up with for my race suit. I will be writing a detailed review of the winter training gear over the next few weeks.

Training: Training wise I have probably had the most consistent winters training ever an I’m feeling in great shape with still a few gears to go yet so I’m really excited about this season, after the last 2 years of frustrations and injury setbacks I now feel I’m coming into the best shape I’ve been in years if not the best shape ever. My big focus since November has been working on developing my running, and it’s paying off already. The last two years I have been unable to much speed work due to injury and now I can I see improvements week on week and really enjoy running more than ever. My main key session is Tuesday nights with Wilmslow running club which is a great quality speed session, mixing up trail – off-road and road sessions and a quality group of guys to train with so most reps are as hard as racing which is great fun. My other sessions include a second interval session on Thursdays with a couple of the Wilmslow guys often heading up to the peak district for some hill work. To monitor my improvements I’ve started racing against out and out runners over the last few months including the Manchester cross country league which gets a really talented field. Back in 2012 I achieved one top 30 result and was really chuffed with that. This season the standard has got even tougher as now includes a lot of Merseyside teams I’ve achieved a top 25 result twice and on the last race last weekend I finally got my top 20 which was my goal so I can’t grumble about and finished 11th overall for the series. My swim and bike have also been developing week by week. Swim wise I’ve had to hold back a bit in the pool after having my plate removed from my collar bone back in November I’ve had to be patient and build the strength and mileage up a lot more gradual and spending a fair bit of time in the gym instead to strengthen and stabilise the joint. Saying that despite this I’m still cruising in the pool hitting some pleasing times. On the bike this winter I’ve reduced the actual mileage on the road and now really focussing more on quality sessions now my body can handle it again. Also when out on the road I’m riding my single speed bike more than anything and can feel the strength and power developing. When I first built an old TT bike up in December every hill was a real struggle and avoided any form of hill as my cadence would drop to around 20rpm! Now most hills are much easier and managed a quality TT interval session last week including a 10min long hill climb on it so the strength is well on its way.

Riding in the winter months can become more challenging especially with the weather we’ve been getting recently. This year I have opted to train solely in the UK and not go on any warm weather training camps. I have a few good reasons for staying in the UK for the winter. 1: you can’t beat the mental toughness that a British winter develops. It’s so much easier to ride when the sun is shining on perfect roads but it doesn’t develop the character or true grit that you get from a good winter in the UK. 2: I’ve got into a great routine this winter and have some great training partner’s week in week out and I’m seeing improvements week on week. 3: I’ve just got a new kit sponsor Raceskin.co.uk and their gear is quality, keeping me warm through them cold winter rides.

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