After my last event winning in Abersoch sprint triathlon a few weeks back training has been going great and my run fitness has come back much quicker than I was expecting. After 3 months of no running the first 2weeks felt tough and it felt I had a mountain to climb but with consistent steady miles things started to come back together again and was finally back running again with Wilmslow running club.
The week after Abersoch I ended up racing the Ellesmere port 10km on the Sunday as its part of the Cheshire county league. I was pretty nervous before this race as it was the first time ide be running hard again, and concerned in case my hip flared up but I needed the confidence everything was sorted so was perfect timing.
During run only events I have a tendency to go out too hard and pay for it later so this time I started pretty steady and built into it. The last 5k was a bit of a struggle and shock to the system especially as the winds were pretty strong.
My time was nothing special but it gave me the confidence to up the run training and start to knuckle down for outlaw at the end of July, which is main focus for the first half of the season.
always Great to finish with an Erdinger
The following week I raced Chatsworth tri, this is a really spectacular venue tucked away in the peak district whicn is part of the xtra mile events series which i provide coaching support.
The swim was a river swim but was cut short due to a fallen tree in the water so was reduced to just over 900m.
The gun went and I managed to break away pretty quickly and set a high tempo down the river, I was pretty surprised when I reached the turn buoy as it felt like ide only done about 200m and felt great- I completed the return leg and exited the water with a pretty healthy lead by over a minute to second- and set about growing that on the bike.
The bike was a real treat, set in the peaks there was going to be very little flat, consisting of 2 long category climbs and some really rapid descents, this was made even more fun as the rain made the roads wet and slippy.
The first couple of km was through the Chatsworth estate on a small back road- which was full of sheep who were pretty reluctant to move off the road which was fun. Once out on the road I worked hard up the first long climb and settled in to my race.
It was a perfect chance to test out my wheel sponsor TU wheels and see what they were made of, especially on the descents as they were pretty fast at times so confidence in the braking especially in the wet was essential.
I’ve had the benefit of racing a good selection of carbon race wheels over the years and have had the unfortunate experience on more than a couple of times with previous wheels when the carbon wheels have failed me - it’s pretty scary, so to be able to drill the descents at daft speeds and have confidence that the wheels won’t let you down is paramount.
i have been very impressed with the TU wheels and they performed superb, especially being in wet and windy conditions, I felt in complete control at all times- and even managed to steal a few strava KOM’s on the descents which was good.
if anyone is looking for some quality race wheels then i would strongly recommend you check them out at www.tuwheels .co.uk
for an extra incentive type in PH10 for an extra 10% off the carbon wheel range.
On entering the chatsworth estate towards the end of the bike i got to test the brakes again when a herd of cows decided to play chicken across the road which was quite amusing but managed to squeeze through unscathed.
I completed the bike having built an even bigger buffer off a lead, although I dismounted the bike and flew into t2, however I almost tore down the whole row a racking as I slipped on the wet grass and came crashing down into the racking like a right muppet.
The run was just as spectacular as the bike- it almost all off-road with a pretty brutal first 3km straight up to the hunting tower which had some really steep sections- with the added incentive for athletes as there was a “king of the hill” segment with a the quickest timed effort from t2 up to the hunting tower.
I always love a challenge so set off at a good tempo of to the tower, i love a tough run and this certainly wasnt easy but felt pretty solid all the way up and eventually back down to the finish.
I took the win by over 6 min and even managed the king of the hill fastest time which was a great bonus, and was pretty happy with my performance and how it felt.
The xtramile team and volunteers put on a truly great event and it has to be one the best races I’ve done with stunning location and faultless organisation.
perks of finishing first - first at the bar
I raced this race last year and there and really enjoyed it, but instead of resting on their laurels they have improved the event massively by improving the bike and run course further- I can’t wait to return next year to defend my title again.
so another solid performance and another step forward closer to where i want to be.
each week my form is improving again and the run legs get better daily which is great.
It’s the first time in a couple of years that I’ve felt like I’m racing like I used to and able to push myself physically and more importanly mentally again and I really can’t wait to test myself fully at outlaw in just under a months time.
Also a big congratulations to dave Higgins who ive been coaching over the last year. When we first started he struggled to complete a length in the pool. Yesterday he competed at the castle series triathlon in Cholmondeley castle- smashing his age group and placing 5th overall- awesome result mate.