Training with a Baby + Injury

Training with a baby + Injury

Hey guys and thank you for taking the time to read this blog! If you have had experience in this area I would love to hear how you delt with things and obstacles you overcame

Right now our baby George is 14 weeks old and we are absolutely over the moon with him! He’s so funny and smiley and we couldn’t of wished for anything more.

He’s getting bigger by the day and making us laugh all the time!

We are both having to make changes to our training routine that once was when we didn’t really have any commitments. Although I didn’t think having a baby would make a huge difference it really does, but in a good way! In a way it will most probably force us maximise the time we do have and use that time wisely and effectively. 

We have been tagging in and tagging out and working together so we can still get our exercise fix for the day! Sometimes this means spending a few hours at David Lloyd so we can both have a swim and feed before heading home! For some people this simply would not be possible so we are lucky that my work allows us to do that! I take my hat off to couples that both have full time jobs and are trying to raise a child and also keep to some sort of training routine!

What I would say to other parents that are struggling is to understand that every day is different and to take the opportunity to train when you can. Try not to force things and be grateful for any time to exercise 🙂 You will need to give up some things and its important to prioritise what is more important to you! Setting your alarm at 5am and doing your training before the family wake up or after they go to bed may be a option and if you want it bad enough you will do it!

As for injuries… Ever since the row I have not felt right! Whether that be back pain, lower abdominal pain, adductor pain, calf and Achilles etc. Ive had injuries in all those area since the row!

Spending 36 days sitting down really effected my posture and as a result has given me really tight hip flexors and psoas muscles. Pulling my pelvis into a anterior ( Forward) pelvic tilt. Since then ive had a MRI scan and its been confirmed I have the start of arthritis in my hips and sciolosis in my spine. Mentally this has really effected me and the injuries haven’t really stopped since January 2020! It would be nice to wake up and not feel any pain again but I guess thats the consequence of doing extreme endurance events and training hard for 10 years!

Even with the injuries I managed to string together a decent block of training or 2 this year and get some semi decent results. I know I can do better but my body won’t allow me to go where I know my mindset and drive can take me! I still feel like ive got more to give and better results to achieve but I’m not sure whether to let that dream go now and deal with what ive got!

I still get a huge sense of satisfaction watching my clients achieve what they’ve set out to and hit new PB’s and will continue to take pride in the services I provide. 2023 will be a busy year and I’m hoping to bring some new services into play in 2023!

Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Coach Sam 

 

Train2Achieve

 

The Key to progression throughout the winter

Most of us will admit we want to get better at cycling, running, triathlon or something endurance based if you are reading this! It’s easy to find yourself in a rut or hit a plateau in your training (where you don’t seem be be getting any better and hit a invisible wall)
I’m going to share with you some of my top 5 tips to overcome that plateau and help you to continue developing all throughout your year!
1-Consistency
Consistency in what you do is EVERYTHING!
If you want to see progress across any areas of your life or training then this is one of the most important things to focus on!
Training well for 2 weeks and then not training for 2 weeks will leave you struggling to make progress. However stringing together a successful week on top of another successful week is the key to long term progression!
Over time that repetition and continuity will develop your body and mind!
2-Periodisation
This is all to do with separating your year out into blocks of time where you are going to focus on different aspects/ energy systems/ drills and techniques.
For example- Linear/ traditional periodisation is a gradual progression/ building volume or intensity slowly over time or over a year. This is a great way to overload your body if your training for 1 specific event.
Reverse periodisation is another style where your training is typically lower in volume and more intense to begin with and then becomes a higher volume and less intensity but more race specific as you get closer to your goal races! This model does suit training in the uk over the winter and racing in the summer!
In summery, if you do the same training week in week out you should expect your progress to come to a hault. It’s crucial you are building millage or intensity and focusing on different aspects of your sport over the course of the macrocycles to continue progression.
3-Nutrition/ hydration
This is a key element to fuel training and recovery. Without it, your not going to perform
And recover at your best. A healthy/ well balanced diet with adequate carbs, proteins and fats in relation to your requirements is paramount!
Ensuring you are well fuelled and hydrated for all of your sessions and remember it’s not just about drinking more water when you are sweating. Replacing salts and electrolytes is super important for keeping dehydration and cramps at bay.
4-Keep it fun!
Try not to take anything too seriously! We do it because we love it so it’s so important to keep that fun element in there 🙌🏻
5-Strength and conditioning
In order to get faster and hold a strong running form we must be able to produce more power and be stronger throughout our entire body to handle higher loads of training whilst keeping injuries at bay!
S&C will also help to iron out imbalances between legs/arms if unilateral exercises are performed meaning less chances of overuse injuries and healthier/happier running 👌🏻
6- Getting fit is not a race! You’ve got to play the long game and take your time with building the intensity / volume! Changes don’t happen over night so enjoy it!
Coach Sam

New Triathlon Club

We started a New Triathlon Club!!

I have always wanted to run my own Triathlon Club ever since I started triathlons in 2015 and nows the time I have finally done it.

The reason I wanted to start the local triathlon club was to help get more people into the sport, educate other athletes on how to train efficiently, safely and progressively, bring local athletes together to train/ socialise and race with one another, join with other local clubs to create a fun and inspiring environment and build a strong try race team to take on local races from sprint to full distance triathlons

Currently we run various sessions ( Subject to the Season)

-Monday night City loops ( Interval session)  joining with local run club MARAFUN

-Saturday morning Brick sessions which involves a hour lead bike, quick transition then into the local park run

-Coached swim session at Swim house ( A brand new facility in Lichfield) Get in touch if you are looking to join for a coached swim session 🙂

During the winter months the training will switch to more indoor Zwift meet ups, Cannock chase mountain bike sessions, coached swim sessions and Long off road group runs.

We have some great companies onboard providing discounts to their services/ products including

Alpha sports running shop

Hydraform Compression wear

Kom Fuel

Amp Human

EAD Massage

These discounts can be accessed through the club WhatsApp group 🙂

We are currently building a race calendar for the remainder of the 2022 season and into 2023 where we will go as a team and represent the club. Encouraging other team members and building new friendships

In the coming months we hope to branch off and start coaching juniors and the aspiring athletes of the future

Lots happening and some exciting ideas in the pipeline!

If you would like to get involved within the club from a athlete side to volunteer side please email- Lichfield_triclub@outlook.com

Happy training

 

Off Season

Off Season

 

Some triathletes will not take a ‘OFF SEASON’ because they are either not being coached, don’t know what one is, or are afraid to lose fitness in order to gain fitness consequently ending up becoming Injured from over training.

 

So, what is a off season, why should we be taking one and what do we do during a off season? Good questions 

 

A off season is taken after your last race of the season ( For most of us in the UK being around September/ maybe into October)

Depending on your season length/ current training volume its typical to take up to 4 weeks of unstructured or very very light training during this period.

 

Why should you do this?  Did you know that champions are made in the off season??

Your body needs time to rest, relax and heal. Your tendons, ligaments, muscles and mind need a rest after being stretched to their limits for 8- 14 weeks!

This period of time allows your immune system to recover to a normal level before you go again.

We are all human after all and it’s a breath of fresh air to do normal human things instead of focusing on triathlon for 365 days of the year. Not only will this help with your mindset and motivation going into the next year it allows you to do more of the sports you wouldn’t usually do like Golf, squash, tennis or whatever it is you usually don’t have time for.

 

As mentioned above a typical off season would be about 4 weeks. If you are recovering from a injury and are building back into training there may not be a need for a off season however if you have been racing for 4 months with no real break a 4 week off season will be really beneficial for you

 

Losing fitness is a normal and perfectly fine thing to happen during this period. You simply cannot continue to get fitter and fitter all year round, year on year. You need to peak, rest, then go again into the next training block like stepping stones. In order to take 3 steps forward you must take 2 back. This is a vital bit of information to take on board. Relax…. You will be fine!

 

What happens after off season?

 

Base Phase

If you imagine your training and performance like a building. If the building has weak foundations and poor structure it will inevitably topple over or crumble when put under stress. This is very much like our bodies. Hence why the base period of training to follow after the off season should include 2-3 strength sessions focusing on sport specific movements increasing the strength of primary and secondary muscles as well as improving mobility/ range of motion to help prevent injury

 

 

This time phase of training is typically 8-15 weeks and will include lots of aerobic and technique work throughout the 3 disciplines and is where the engine is build!

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog

 

Cheers

Sam

Keeping the focus when races are so un predictable

Keeping the focus when races are so un predictable

 

At the moment we are all thinking the same thing… Will races happen this year? We’ve had the news from BORIS and all our fingers and toes are crossed! The days are getting longer, were all building the fitness, getting out for long rides and starting to feel the benefits of the winter training that we put in! We are itching to race, get a number pinned on our back and test ourselves against others! However races have already started to be postponed and pushed back to later in the year very similarly to 2020!

How does this effect you mentally? Well.. It’s going to effect everybody differently because we all do it for different reasons. Some athletes only started triathlon training to prepare for a specific event or to ‘ Finish’ and get the T-shirt! They may of found they enjoy the lifestyle and are now hooked on the sport and the enjoyment they get out of training has suprised them, which is brilliant.

However, on the opposite end of the spectrum pros need the races to go ahead so they can make a living with potentially only one source of income.

What I would recommend and advise people to do if you are stressing about training and whether races are going ahead is to take a little step back from the intense sessions and use the separate disciplines as a form of stress relief or real enjoyment. Take the focus away from the numbers and data and focus on enjoying being outside, finding new routes/ trails and keeping healthy!

Its very difficult to stay 100% mentally in the game all year round especially without a definitive date or end point!

Another way to keep the focus is to give yourself regular challenges so you can feel a sense of achievement when you have accomplished them. This can be a great way of keeping motivated and keep the enjoyment at a high level!

Joining a club who are running virtual races can not only help to keep your fitness sharp but its a great way to make new friends and connections within the sport that you will eventually be able to train with in the ‘ Real world’!! 

Its always easier to do things as a team with a group of like minded people who are all on similar missions.

Last year when my A race was cancelled I  decided to do own Full Ironman because I could control things! It was a great success and I needed to do it to prove to myself where my fitness was at and figure out where any weaknesses were. To me, crossing that finish line was a huge success and I felt great. There was no medal or massive crowd but I just loved it!

Fall in love with the training! Back off the intensity and enjoy the process. Find new trails, routes and push yourself in different ways. Then when we can definitely race, 4 weeks of intense specific sessions will get you race ready!!

Keep the faith and keep working

Thanks for reading,

Sam Coxon

Rock solid MINDSET- With Sam Coxon

Rock solid mindset with Sam Coxon

 

I have written this blog from the personal experiences I’ve had in my life and sporting journey so far which I feel will benefit my readers to help understand their thoughts, control their actions and be better in their given sport

 

The topic of today is MINDSET. If you ask or get to know any top athletes within different sports, not only are they very talented at what they do, they also have a unbreakable mindset and the ability to control their brain to get their body to do things the way they want them to be done.

 

Generally in endurance sports its peoples minds that are the first to go. The thought in your head that tells you something is too difficult or you’re not good enough. The body can withstand a lot more than people first think. That being said I am going to go over some of the tips I use to keep my mindset at its best and performing optimally.

 

Goals:

Everybody needs goals or something they are working towards. No matter if their goals are huge or very small. Without a goal your like a boat with no compass. You are never going to get anywhere and you wont have any direction or urgency with what you are doing. When it comes to triathlon some of my goals in the past have been to go sub 4:30 in a 70.3 so breaking down those goals into smaller chunks to make them more achieveable. When you set yourself a target or a goal you can focus all of your energy on it to make it happen which will build a stronger mindset in the process. Once you set a goal, achieve it, you can do it again and again. That confidence you build up is huge and will benefit you in your next challenge

 

Get used to being uncomfortable :

Nothing good is ever achieved in your comfort zone so doing things that take you outside of where you feel is comfortable is really important. Whether that be taking cold showers every morning, running in the pouring rain, doing that extra rep in your bike session which you don’t think you can do. All of these things are building up your armour that you live In. If you always cower away from these situations and never confront your fears you will not move forwards. Being uncomfortable should begin to feel natural.

I know that when a session gets uncomfortable, I am progressing and I can use that feeling or reassurance that I can handle it and come out the other side when that feeling comes round again. I am used to the pain already so my tolerance is building up. This also crosses over with everyday life scenarios too. Little situations that arise or issues don’t tend to worry you anymore once you know what you can handle. You feel as though you can deal with any situation

 

Wake up early:

I don’t know about you but I always get up early. I never used to but I always feel my most productive first thing in the morning. Writing down ideas, planning your day, setting goals and early morning training sessions can all be achieved before 7 am!

You are already one step ahead of people that snoozed the alarm

Again, having that different mentality will stand you above your past self and your competition. The feeling that you get after finishing something or achieveing something you set out to do gives you a great sense of pride.

Set the tone for the day and get up first time!!

 

Staying focused

Staying focused all year round is difficult so it’s important to take a few weeks or a month out every year. Time to relax, recouperate and fill your time doing other things. That way your brain and body is getting some recovery and down time.

All of your actions need to be directed towards your goals. Don’t do things that will send you down a different path. Whats right for one person may not be right for you so concerntrate on your goals not other peoples. I like write my goals out so they are always on my mind. That way, subconsciously I am always thinking about them and my actions will mirror my goals.

Try not to allow distractions to put you off. Unfortunately you can’t eliminate these things completley but you can schedule in your diary what’s most important to you to ensure it gets done.

 

Failing:

Failing is one way in which we learn because we know what not to do next time. If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough or setting big enough goals.

If you worry about not succeeding and let it stop you from trying things then you need to snap out of it. Failing is actually a good thing because you are learning!

At the end of the day, you can always give it another go.

As long as you don’t make the same mistakes again, then you are not learning

 

Controlling your thoughts:

What you think controls your mind.

Our brains are very clever tools. They can work with you and they can work against you. Learning to control your thoughts is really important when it comes to MINDSET

You will have times during challenges or training sessions when your mind says no, enough is enough but in order to know what you are really made of you have to push on through and go beyond those mental boundaries. If it’s a mental barrier you can generally push through it whereas if it’s a physical barrier that may be a different story.

During our 3000 mile row we did 2 hours on, 2 hours off, non stop, 24/7 for 35 days. Getting up at 8pm,12pm,4am into soggy kit, in the dark with waves crashing over the boat was not very pleasant. You could this from 2 different viewpoints. A- Id rather go back to bed or go home ( Which wasn’t really a option) or B- How many people get a opportunity like this… To be in the middle of the Atlantic ocean with nothing but sea for 1000 miles in every direction!

That one thought can change the next 2 hours, 2 days or 2 months!

So try to push aside negative thoughts because they will not serve you very well.

 

Keep your eyes open for future blog posts!

I hope you enjoyed this one and you took some value from it

 

Sam

The 3000 mile Atlantic Row- The Ocean5

It started with a call from one of my good friends will who I had previously worked on a super yacht with! Will is known for his entrepreneurial skills and great ideas so I thought I’d hear him out on this one!

At the time of the call July 2017 I was walking up a mountain with my mum in Switzerland 2 days after just competing in my first ever Ironman event! My body was aching but I was already searching for that next challenge!
Will told me he had recently listened to Kevin Gaskell present a inspired leadership talk in Monaco. After being asked ‘what would you like to do next’ Kev had mentioned he’d love to row across the Atlantic Ocean but hadn’t found anybody else mad enough to do it with … ‘YET’
After putting the idea to my mum who said no pretty much instantly I decided it sounded like an amazing adventure that I just couldn’t turn down! The ball was rolling!
We got together as a team and discussed the idea, way it would work and set out our GOALS and OBJECTIVES! It was clear we wanted to be competitive as a team of 5, we wanted to set the world record for the fastest 5 man row, we wanted to raise £250,000 for the Plastic Soup Foundation and we wanted to remain friends throughout the journey! Now we had the goals set, the 1000 day plan and the team we were ready to start putting things together like sponsorship pack, team kit, banners, business cards, fundraising campaigns, booking onto mandatory courses, building social media platforms, buying our boat etc
We were fully aware there was a mountain of things to do and 2 years would fly by if we didn’t get started straight away.
1 year down the line things are going well, we’d received some large sponsors, training was going well and courses were being ticked off.
We launched our boat on a cold January morning in Cirencester and… it floated but was very tippy as it was just a bare shell! There was a lot to learn and still lots of kit to buy and fit into the boat to ensure we were ready for our 3000 mile row from La Gomera to Antigua in less than 1 years time!
Skipping out a big part of the journey we arrived at the start line fresh, charged up and ready to rock! Everything was ‘DONE’ no stone was yet to be unturned during the training and prep phase! Our minds were fully focused to take on the might of the Atlantic Ocean!
The build up to the race was amazing out in La Gomera! Atlantic campaigns were very thorough from a organisation perspective. The crews boats had to be fully scrutinised and checked over before they could be launched a few days before the race start to ensure all the safety equipment was there and working! We were told our crew and boat was the best prepared in the fleet as we stood around polishing our hull for the 5th time! We were fortunate in the fact we had our boat for the previous 12 months and had the time to prep whereas other crews were spread all over the world and were slightly less prepared!
BANG… the guns goes off! We’re off! Myself, Kev and Will at the oars, Hodgy the skipper helming and Matt in the cabin with nothing between us and Antigua other than 3000 miles of ocean!
Things got off to a great start and we were making some great progress within the fleet increasing our position to 2nd over night! Then the weather turned for the worse! Once we got out of the lee of the islands the strong south easterly wind and waves hit us throwing us all over the place like a bottle in a washing machine! We were aiming to go south of a waypoint off the coast of El Hierro (the most westerly of the Canary Islands) but the wind and waves didn’t want us to go that way! Subsequent to the violent conditions we snapped 2 of our carbon fibre oars as the boat lurched to starboard! We were shocked, it was 4am, it was cold and we were shitting it!
After 5 seconds or so we regained our nerves, got the boat back on track and replaced our written off oars with our only 2 spares. We now knew what we’d let our selfs in for!
The wind stayed with us for 12 hours or so before easing off in the morning to make more pleasant rowing conditions. This is where we could assess the damage and make contact with shore based parties to inform them of the damage. We also heard that other crews had had a hard time that night with sea sickness, broken oars and even going on the wrong direction! Atlantic campaigns were brilliant at getting us all back on track via satellite phone. We were not allowed any outside assistance during the row otherwise it would count as a assisted crossing!
Great start!!
We took a more northerly route in comparison to the other boats as we were informed by our weather router there was wind filling in from the north which would benefit us as we could bear down with the wind and carry more speed!
Living onboard was tough! 5 big blokes, a 28 foot boat and only a bucket to use as a toilet!
We opted for a 2 hour on, 2 hour off shift pattern with a team of 2 and a team of 3 rowing. Kevin and Chris were sharing the aft cabin and myself Matt and will shared the bow cabin which meant that 50% of mine and mats 2 hours off was shared! That made sleeping and space very limited as you can imagine fitting 2 x 6ft 3 + blokes in a cabin the same size as a medium hatch back car boot!
Coming off the oars we would eat, clean our bits with wet wipes and try to dry off as much as possible before settling down for 60-80 minutes! When the hatch opened i would often get a light spray of salt water over my forehead which brought me back down to earth as to the challenge i was undertaking whilst dreaming about being in bed at home!
The team worked extremely well together and not a cross word was said throughout the trip although we were mentally and physically exhausted 100% of the time. Everybody knew their role and just cracked on! The only time we stopped rowing was briefly on change overs, New Year’s Eve for 20 minutes to open letters from family members/ eat Terry’s chocolate orange and 3 times to wash the bottom of the boat! Bearing our goals in mind we wanted to cross that ocean in the quickest time possible!
The sunrises and sunsets were simply amazing, the wildlife, the flying fish, the banter, the stars and the moonlit skies were something I’ll remember for the rest of my life! Only in the middle of the ocean 1500 miles from any land will you find your true self and what you really stand for! It was here I knew this is what I was meant to do! I’d found my assignment and I was in my element!!
We had good days where we covered 90-100 miles + with a strong tail wind and we had bad days where we covered less than 40 miles! Rowing as hard as we could and only covering 2 miles in a hour was soul destroying but the tunes stayed on, the spirits stayed high and we knew that every mile closer to Antigua meant that we were closer to getting off the boat, seeing our families and having a Pina colada!
We managed to find our groove and with the help of family at home keeping a very close eye on the yellow brick tracker we were able to have feedback on position in the fleet, distance to next boat and other interesting points! This kept us very motivated knowing we were in 4th position overall and doing a great job!
The days ticked by, the squalls came through as did some big waves (one of which knocked us down onto our side) subsequently loosing some seats pads, water bladder, bottles etc! We rowed through Christmas, new year and into 2020 overcame pain, fear, and everything else and were edging closer to our destination!
Our family were in close contact with Atlantic campaigns who were organising our families flights out to Antigua! Our boat speed during the last 2 weeks was crazy! We were flying!! Which meant that the family’s flights were moved from the 20th of January to the 16th of January to ensure they didn’t miss us! By this point we were loving it, surfing down waves, tunes blaring, loving life and within a week of the finish! Everybody was hurting but we were all doing our bit to get to that finish line!
LIGHTS OF ANTIGUA!
The island was in sight! We haven’t seen land for 35 days!!! So this was unreal! I couldn’t even sleep on my last 2 hours off because I was so excited so I just got on the oars and gave a little extra push! We’d cleaned the boat down, got our nice clean T-shirt’s on which we then decided to take off for the finishing photo and came round the corner of the headland where the safety boat met us with all of the film crew on and instructed us to put our oars down and told us we had just crossed the line!
I don’t think any of could quite believe we’d broke the record by 23 hours! We gathered our flares together and set them off for our classic Atlantic row finish photo 🙂
We had beaten the previous world record by 23 hours and finished 4th overall in the 2019-2020 race! We were over the moon! The Ocean5 had done it!
The dock where we met our families, press, Atlantic campaigns and our first cooked meal was 1/2 a mile away into the bay so we slowly rowed our way in to the dock where we were greeted by a huge group of people
With banners, signs, drums, flares, you name it. It was such an amazing experience as we pulled along side and held up our flags itching to get off the boat to give our loved ones a hug!
I had prepared to propose to my girlfriend Tash when we arrived on land which was one of the things that kept me going for the duration of the trip! Everything went smoothly with my mum passing the box into my hand as I hugged her wobbling around all over the place! I dropped down to one knee and… SHE SAID YES! There couldn’t of been a better way to finish an amazing adventure!
I would like to say a massive thank you to all of our sponsors, donations and to all of those that helped us along our journey! It couldn’t of been completed without you and we are truly grateful!
We raised over £150,000 for charity and remained friends to this day!
The next 2 weeks was spent sunning it up and driving round in a 4×4 jeep exploring the island 🙂 what a way to finish!
Thank you for taking the time to read it and I hope you enjoyed my Atlantic Row Blog 🙂

Cannock Chase 10 Mile off-road race

I originally saw the race advertised on Facebook whilst I was scrolling through as you do and thought that looks like a good little tester. I hadn’t really done any hard run sessions since the row as I have been building back the foundations and endurance first. I got the heads up from my coach as we shifted my bike interval session to Saturday to free up Sunday to do the race. WERE IN!

Sunday moning… Race start- 10am

Alarm for 7 am and porridge for 7:30am with plenty of time to digest and get out the system. Nice drive over to cannock chase for a 8:40 arrival on a lovely sunny winters day. There was a strong breeze about but nothing as crazy as we had experienced over the past few weeks!

The distance from the parking to the race HQ was 0.6 miles so I used this as a opportunity to easy jog over going through my warm up routine. I checked in and gathered by race number (476) and pinned it to my chest. Walk/ ran back to the car where I stripped my warm clothes off into my shorts and race kit. I sipped my Fission Nutrition XCEL drink throughout the morning to keep my glucose levels up before the race and also had 2x cliff gel blocks within this time.

SO… Off to the race start we went again all ready to rock and roll. The course looked hilly, muddy and windy with a strong 500 entrants. All different abilities were welcome for the 5 and 10 mile race.

With a thorough course brief and a countdown WE WERE OFF!

The group quickly spread out after the first few minutes as we set off to a fast pace on the open cannock chase fire roads into the strong wind. The first 2 miles was a gradual downhill so naturally the pace was fast. The lead group were holding a strong 5:30/ mile pace( mostly doing the 5 mile race) and I knew that was too fast for me at this period in my training so I held a solid 5:50 pace knowing what my limits were. I found myself in no mans land running through puddles and jumping over logs. It was VERY muddy but I was having a great time!

We seemed to go steep down then even steeper straight back up again but before I knew it we had done 3 miles and nearly back to the start again before we headed round for a second lap. The support from the marshals was great with plenty of support and encouragement! Its really nice and helps spur you on to keep pushing when things get tough out there.

I went from being slightly cautions with the mud and puddles to thinking ‘ill just go straight through that’ I could see a chap just up the trail who I was gradually catching so I made him my goal. I noticed he was being slightly cautious on the decent and slightly slower on the climbs so I thought I could take him! I took him on the climb back up to the finish on the first lap and gave him a ‘well done mate’ and thumbs up as I went past.

Into the second lap we went with screaming quads from the pounding of the decents. I just thought embrace the pain, stay just below the ‘red zone’ and you can hold 8th position off and finish in a respectable time and 7th. I had averaged 6:35/ mile pace by this point and I wanted to keep under 7 mins/ mile knowing it was a tough course. Digging deep into the wind and what felt like nearly crawling up one hill in particular I just thought keep the cadence high and focus on form and the miles will slowly tick by.

The last mile was practically all up hill but I knew the finish line was at the top so that was a good incentive to keep pushing all the way to the finish!

7th position in the bag and a great intro back into racing and pushing the body after the row. Thanks to all the supporters and Marshalls out on the course. I would definitely recommend the NICE WORK events!