This month has been relatively quiet, I’ve had a couple of competitions but nothing major. The month started off with a well-earned break off training, I used this time to recap on my best season yet and to start my planning for this winter’s training. Of course the rest felt great, but I did feel as though I was missing something whilst not training!
With October comes the start of cross country season! I much prefer this to track and couldn’t wait to start running hard again. I have moved up an age group, which means I am now doing further distances against people older than me. My first race was in Nonington, a course I had not done before. The course had one big drag up the hill at the back and the rest was undulating. The weather had been really good in the week leading up so I decided to wear flats rather than spikes. The race itself was very tough, it went out really quick and continued to stay like that for the whole time. I managed to get a good start and picked off a lot of people on the hill. Overall I managed to come 10th and complete the 5.2km course in 18:10, I was really pleased with my position and time, but there was still areas for improvement.
A couple of weeks later was the next race in the series in Tonbridge. It was at a course I was used to and really enjoy. It’s a hilly course ran on mainly smooth grass. Again I decided to use flats as the weather had been good the week before. I decided to use a different tac tic this time where I would go out easier and build it up over the course. This worked really well and I overtook lots of people, finishing in 7th place and a time 16:36 for the 5km course. I was much more pleased with this race and felt that I had raced it really well.
Between the two races I also did a sportive in memory of Dave Aitchinson, an upcoming who triathlete sadly passed away. The ride was very enjoyable, and I’d like to personally thank the family members of Dave for supporting me this season, allowing me to honour Dave and also to Full On Tri Club who put on a great event.
I’ve had some hard training this month and can’t wait to continue the training for next year. Thanks again to everyone for the support, especially Precision Hydration, and Pedal Potential.
This month has drawn the close to my season, which has been my best one yet, I have had some great up’s and I have also had my downs. This month I raced at the British Championships in Mallory which was the final race the Elite British Youth Super Series, I also raced at my first international representing Great Britain at the Super League Triathlon.
Going into the race I was I was feeling really strong, I had had a solid training block and was hoping to race well after the disappointment of Hetton. I was first into the deep water start and got the position I wanted, but I was soon joined by a guy had not seen before, I thought nothing of it and stayed where I was. The starter called us to take our mark, and the guy pulled me back and kicked me in the stomach. The horn went and I found myself winded and at the back… for the whole of the swim I found myself negotiating my way around swimmers and getting punched and kicked in the ‘washing machine’ at the buoys. Not how I had planned the swim to go!
Onto the bike, I quickly forgot about the awful swim, and was cycling hard to chase the lead breakaway. They proved to be too strong for me to catch, so I decided to settle into a bike group where I hoped I could rest and share the workload. I was wrong! I would have been better riding on my own. It appeared no one in the group wanted to work and was happy to let the breakaway go, I did not want this so another guy and myself ended up doing all the work and dragged the group around, as we could not get rid of them.
Going into T2 I was wary of how my legs would feel but they didn’t feel bad at all, so I was quickly in my running shoes and with 30 seconds to make up on the leaders. First of two laps done and I was really starting to feel the burn now but I pushed on knowing that I had made up huge ground on the others. Half way through the lap my legs were in agony and I had to settle for the position I was in and hope no one would catch me from behind.
I crossed the line in 6th place less than 20 seconds behind the winners, a result I was pleased with considering the circumstances of what happened in the race. The strong season I had had, meant that I had come 2nd in the Super Series, something that I was extremely pleased with, because I would never expected that at the start of the season.
The last race of my season was the Super League International Triathlon, a new event that has been made to make Triathlon more exciting. Athletes from all over Europe were selected to compete for their nations, on the exact same course that the pros, like Johnny Brownlee, Vincent Luis and Kristian Blumenfelt would be doing later that day. The course was short and technical, and we raced in the Enduro format, 2 times a short triathlon with a very small break in between. I wasn’t expecting to come high as I had been very ill after British Champs and missed a week of training, and it was my first International.
I had an awful start, I reacted late the gun and was one of the last off the pontoon, however luckily I was on the outside and it didn’t affect me too much. I had a really good first swim, avoiding all trouble and came out in 4th place. I decided to go easy on the bike, so I stayed in the pack the whole ride and didn’t do any work. I took the first half of the run relatively hard, but after realising I had done enough to come top five I eased up and crossed the line in 4thplace. This was all I needed to in this first tri, as the top 5 got a 2 second advantage starting on the pontoon over the next 5. Those five then get a 2 second advantage over the next 5 and so on…
After the short rest, less than five minutes, it was time for triathlon number 2! I had a much better start this time, and I was quickly leading the swim. However, I didn’t want this so I fell back behind someone’s feet and stayed here for the rest of the swim. I came out the water, but slipped on the exit and whacked my knee going down. The adrenaline definitely got me through the pain and I was quickly back up! I went into transition in second place, but came out in fourth, what an awful transition I had! I completely missed putting my goggles and hat in the provided box, so rather than risking a time penalty I ran round my bike and put them back in.
I had to work hard to close the gap that had been made, but I did it quite quickly, and again I sat in. My cornering was going really well, until, when going over one of the speed bumps on the course, my back wheel flew up and I was going round a bend! A very sketchy moment, but I managed to hold it and stay up right. On the second lap someone made an attack, I managed to go with them and we got a small gap heading into T2.
I had what I thought was a good transition but the guy I was with had an awesome one and made up 30m on me heading out of transition. I waited for the others to catch me, and when they did I again sat in behind them. Halfway round Daniel Dixon, a good mate of mine, made an attack, I tried to go with him but he was too strong. He went straight past the leader and left me in third with someone on my feet. When we got to the marina I put in an attack to drop the guy behind me. It worked I went clear in third, but I wanted more, I kept pushing hard and on the finish straight I went into 2ndplace and managed to hold on, only 4 seconds off first! I had given everything on that run, it was definitely my best race this season, tactically wise and performance. I was over the moon with second place at my first international, and it was made even better by sharing the Podium with two great mates making a full British Podium. Well done Jack and Dan!
I am now taking a complete break from training, and trying to catch up with all the schoolwork I’ve missed! I should start light training again, before building it up over winter and transitioning to Junior!
I’d lastly like to thank my sponsors, Pedal Potential for helping with funding, and Precision Hydration for helping me not to cramp and get my hydration right! I’d also like to thank my Parents for helping me with everything this season, and lastly all my coaches for helping me have the best season I’ve had yet!
This month has been relatively quiet with no super series races and one other race. The rest of the month I have been busy training and getting ready for the British Championships, which is in two weeks now.
At the start of the month I went up to Yorkshire for a week where I stayed with my cousin. The week was awesome, I got to train alongside the pros at the Leeds Triathlon Performance Centre. The sessions were very tough, but I learnt lots throughout the week and came home wanting more.
I had another few weeks of training and then I headed off to France for the Castle Series, Chateau De Chantilly Sprint Triathlon. This was my first time doing this tri, so I was really looking forward to it. I spent part of the week training in the warm weather and on the quiet roads, and then got ready to race. I had a really good swim and came out first with a good lead, the bike was a 23km TT around the castle grounds and into the countryside. I was going really strong and was holding 40kmh on my own for the first 10km, but then two riders from the same club came past me and they were drafting together. It turns out they had drafted the whole 10km to catch me up. They continued to draft together but were now staying at my pace. One motorbike saw them but only gave them a warning, the rest of the bike continued like this. We started the run at a very quick pace and we soon dropped the other guy. I matched the pace of Frenchman and we battled for the lead the whole run, in the last 100m the pace picked up rapidly. We had to go round a corner than up some steps, and this is where he managed to get the lead. He jumped all the stairs but I had to step up them, I tried getting back to him but it was too late and he beat by a couple of seconds. I reported the drafting to the official and it turns out they had also cut buoys on the swim course but the officials did nothing and the result stood. I was a bit annoyed but there was nothing else I could do.
I only have two races left now British Championships in two weeks and, Super League Tri in Jersey at the end of September which I am really looking forward to. Thank you to all my sponsors and everyone who has supported me, and I can’t wait to see how I do over these last few races.
Well this month certainly had its highs and its lows. It started off with the Human Race Super Tri at Eton Dorney, another British Super Series race. I’d raced the course many times before and I absolutely love it, it’s super flat which meant the whole race was just going to be about speed. I was feeling really strong and training had been going well, so was hoping for a strong result.
Because I was ranked number one in the series going into the race, I went into the water first. I chose the furthest point right at the start and got a great start. I maxed it up to the first buoy and was in the lead. I eased up stayed at the front and came out the water leading the race. Into transition we went, I aced it and got away with one other guy on the bike. We stayed away for half a lap, but was then swallowed up by the chasing group. The bike was horrid with no one wanting to sit at the front and the group swelled and soon had over half the race in. It was like this for the whole bike with attacks always being neutralised and the group getting very ‘choppy’. I lead the group again into T2, where I fumbled getting one of my shoes on. I exited in 5th position with a small gap to make up. I sprinted out of transition up to third place, where I stayed for half of the run. I sat on Joseph Martin’s shoulder all the way up to the turn point. I was feeling really strong and I could see other people were struggling in the sweltering heat, so I decided to push on. I kicked up to the leader and sat on him for a short while, and then I went again. I put in huge burst of speed and managed to get away. I kept the speed up and pushed hard to the line. I couldn’t believe it my first Super Series win, meaning I continued to lead the Series! I had a quick cool down in the river, and then rushed home to watch England win in the quarterfinals! What a day it was!
A couple of weeks later was the next race in the Series, Hetton Lyons Tri, up in Sunderland. A very long journey up North made worse by the fact I’d used all my data up! The race was a different format to what I was used to, heats in the morning and finals in the afternoon. This format really tested your recovery and race planning, as the races were also extremely short and fast. I was feeling confident ahead of the heats and I went into the water with good tac-tics. Again I maxed it up to the first bouy and then sat up and rested on some feet. I came out the water second and had another good T1, meaning I came out first. A good group formed and we rode well today getting a good lead. This meant that I could sit up on the run as I knew I had safely qualified for the final in the afternoon.
After a long wait, made worse by the race nerves that had started after the long break of doing nothing the final eventually came. I started next to some strong swimmers and pushed hard to the first buoy again. I then got onto some feet and rested up. I came out 5th or 6th and sprinted up the hill to T1, I was out quickly and mounted my bike well and was the first out. Unfortunately no one in the small group wanted to work and the pace really slowed down. More groups caught us and soon enough 29 out the 31 finalists were in the group. Looking back on the race I should have attacked earlier, as I spent way too much time on the front closing down others attacks and hoping a good break would go. On the last lap I made a strong attack where I got a slight break heading into T2 meaning I came out onto the run in first. With the group being so big, it now came down to a running race to see who would come out on top. The pace was max from the start and soon the strong runners had made their way to the front. I stayed on the back of the small group of 5 or 6 and I felt really comfortable. I stayed with them for the first lap of two, but I was now really starting to feel it. I was now clinging onto the back and my legs were really starting to burn. We hit the halfway point of the second lap and we had to go over a slight stretch of grass, here my legs just gave out, the change of surface had killed my legs and they just gave way. Luckily I didn’t fall over, but from here on I knew it was game over. I had completely bonked and I went from 5th to 20th within 200m. I managed to just make it to the finish line, but I was absolutely exhausted, I had given it everything but sadly it don’t work out. What made it worse was it meant I couldn’t qualify for European Youths or UK school games. Maybe I could have raced the final slightly differently by not riding so hard and staying at the back of the group, or pacing my self on the run. Who knows? Anyway I have learnt lots and and will come back stronger for next year. In the mean time I have a break until my next race, I will be training hard for British Champs where I hope to have strong race.
Thanks to everyone who has supported me so far this season.
Wow, what a month it’s been! Three events and lots learnt, two of them being National races and the other a good race to learn from. The first race I did was the Blenheim Palace Triathlon, this event was the Youth Olympic Games qualifier which I had been long listed for. Four athletes would be selected to race at the European Olympic qualifier in Spain, and the fastest Brit will go to Banyoles in Argentina for the main event. Unfortunately Blenheim was not my race, I had a really poor swim, getting kicked, pulled back, and ‘thrown around in the washing machine’. I was so dizzy exiting the water that I tripped up the first few steps and almost completely fell over. I lost quite a few spots running up the long hill, and by the time i was getting onto the bike I was feeling awful. I managed to make it onto the back of a group, we worked well together for the first lap, but unfortunately the group behind caught us on the second lap, we managed to close up greatly on the first group, but part of that was because there had been crash in that group. I came into T2 in about 15th place and the legs were not feeling good, I was having thought about quitting and giving up, but I was not going to be defeated that easily. I took the first couple of hundred metres on the run very gently and the legs started to ease up. I saw a few people ahead of me I started to wind my pace up, i quickly caught them and recovered on their shoulders for a bit. I quickly dropped them both and was chasing my next target. I managed to catch him and went straight past, however the group I was with on the bike were now closing in on me, I managed to hold onto my position on the long sprint to home. Overall I finished 10th, not the race I wanted but a lot was learnt and I quickly moved on and was looking forward to Leeds ITU the week after.
Leeds was my first race back from injury last year, a race where i didn’t perform anywhere near my best, however, I was keen to change this result and I was feeling in good form. I had a much improved swim from the week before and came out in 6th place, I ran really strongly up the hill and managed to come out of T2 in first place. I was quickly on the bike and three of us got away early on, but this didn’t stick and we were joined by a few more. Constant attacks and the group not working effectively meant the group behind caught us up, but I was pleased with my ride as my cornering was good and I made sure that I kept myself in the mix. I went into T2 in second but had a night mare getting my second shoe on which meant Joe Martin managed to get a small gap. I still managed to come out in second, and again I eased myself into the run. I was joined by Dom Coy and we ran together for quite a while, but he managed to get away on a long descent, showing me that I really need to work on getting down hills. After getting dropped I was joined by two others, I took to the front and quickly dropped one and was closing back the gap to Dom. But I still had another guy with me, we got down to the last 400m and I realised I was going to have to settle for 3rd or 4th as there wasn’t enough distance left to get back to Dom. I knew there was a final right hand corner, so I took the inside line and swung out wide, forcing Finian with me. There were a few elbows and barges heading my way round the corner but I stayed strong and held my line. I kicked hard out the bend and it was a long sprint home. I managed to hold on for third place, 12 seconds behind 1st and only 6 seconds behind 2nd.
My last race was Leeds Castle Tri, I did this event to gain experience for when I step up to Sprint distance next year, and incorporated it into my training. I swam strongly on the swim and came out first. I managed to increase the lead on the bike and averaged 37kmph for 30km on my own. I took the first part of the run hard then eased up on the way back and recorded a 5km time of 18 minutes, which wasn’t too bad on a very hilly cross country course. I managed to take the overall win out of over 500 people.
Once again a big thank you to all my sponsors, Pedal Potential, Maidstone Leisure Trust, and SportsAid. I have some big races coming up, Eton Dorney Super sprint where I’m hoping to defend my top spot in The British Super Series, and then I have Hetton Lyons Tri, which is the European Youth Championships qualifier. Can’t wait to give it my all and I look forward to updating you on my results.
May marked the start of my first triathlon, plus a few other minor events along the way. First up was the South East Regional Swimming Championships where I managed to PB in both my events, 100m back and 100m free. It was my first regionals and a great experience that I want to do again next year.
Next up was the first Triathlon in the British Triathlon Super Series, the Sospan Sprint Tri in Llanelli, Wales. The long journey was definitely worth it, and as always it was another great event. I had an amazing beach start and I found myself leading the swim out to the first buoy, from here on I just sat on a couple of people’s feet and exited the water in 4th place. I had a smooth transition (definitely room for improvement) and was quickly onto the bike and into a pack of eight or so, I had planned before the race to try and get away from the strong runners who would be at the top of the field quite early on. This managed to happen within the first lap when I got away with two other riders and we all worked well together. However I was feeling very strong and thought I was pulling much longer turns than both the others and that I was dragging them around with me. So around one of the dead turns I pushed on slightly and found myself on my own. I managed to get over 30 seconds within the first lap on my own, but this shortened on the last lap. I had a really good transition for once and exited still in first. But it wasn’t for long as Luke, a really strong runner, passed me quite soon after. I tried going with him but was too tired, I managed to hold on for the rest of the run and finish in second place. I was really pleased with my race and how everything went, and I am looking forward to the next race.
Next up on my calendar was a BMC (British Milers Club) athletics event at Eltham, was at the start of the season looking forward to this race and putting in a good time at the start of the season. I got a ten second PB for 1500m, in 4:12. I know I can go a lot faster with correct pacing and more work on the track.
Next month I have two big events within a week of each other, Youth Olympic qualifiers at Blenheim Triathlon, where I’ll be competing against some people who are 2 years older than me, and the week after I have the next event in the British Super Series, Leeds Triathlon. Big thanks again to everyone who has helped me so far this year, Pedal Potential, Maidstone Leisure Fund, Sports Aid and The Dave Aitchison Fund.
After coming back from some warm weather training in Majorca, I was straight into my first competition which was the British Triathlon Performance Assessments. This event is used to create a roll down list for everyone who wants to compete in the British Super Series. The event compromises of a separate swim on the Saturday and the bike and the run together on the Sunday. I was really looking forward to the swim as I knew I had improved it greatly since last year. I beat my PB from that time last year by over 20 seconds and got a time of 4:37 for 400m. I know I still have much more to improve on but this put me in a good position of 23rd with some other strong cyclists heading out onto the bike. I had a really good T1 and made myself up to the top ten and finding a group of cyclists very quickly. The group had eight or so riders in and stayed like this for 3/4km but some riders weren’t pulling their weight so I decided to try and break the group and managed to get a strong working group of three riders. We all worked really well together and closed the gap greatly on the solo man out ahead. I headed into T2 in front of the other two but came out last because I had an awful transition. I just couldn’t get my helmet off! I tried closing the gap on the run but I struggled quite a lot near the end of the run and had to settle for fifth place. I was not disappointed with this race as I still qualify for all the Super Series now and I learnt lots from the weekend.
The week after I headed out to Belgium to race in bike races. The two races I did were extremely fun and the longest bike races I had done, each being over 60km. The first race started really well and I won two Premes on the first two laps and also managed to get another third place in a preme later on in the race. I finished the race in the peloton as I wanted to save my legs for the next day. The second race was even better, a breakaway went early on in the race and the group looked like they were working really well together. I knew this was going to be the winning breakaway, so I put in a huge solo effort to bridge the 20-second gap. I managed to just make it onto the group but was extremely tired. for the next few laps, I just rested up and sat at the back of the 12 man group. After a while, I felt surprisingly good and managed to win every Preme I could have! On the last lap the team that had started the breakaway attacked and split the group up, I was unable to go with them and finished in 11th place. I was really pleased with this position as it was only my third race in Belgium and don’t just train for cycling.
The rest of this month has just consisted of a hard training block before heading into my first triathlon in Llanelli in two weeks. I’d love to thank everyone who has helped me so far including Pedal Potential and Maidstone Leisure Trust.
These last two months have been absolutely amazing and I’m finally getting back into form! The month started off with me coming 16th at the Southern schools cross country which I previously wrote about; this marked the start of me returning to form following illness in January.
Soon after I was packing my bags and heading out to Monte Gordo, Portugal for some warm weather training with the South East Academy and North West Acdemy. The week was absolutely incredible, being able to train with some of the best athletes and coaches in the UK meant I learnt loads and had a solid week of training, my first since Christmas. We did over 500km of riding in the week, with training every day. As well as hours in the pool, on the trails and in the saddle, there was also classroom sessions which were really interesting in finding out it’s not all about how hard you train, it’s also about being intelligent in training and racing.
The rest of February was about training, and trying to fit some riding in during the snow! My first race in March was the National Inter Counties Cross Country; this was a really tough race and was one of the muddiest I’ve ever done! I started off slow and picked my speed up round the back of the course up the hill. I managed to make loads of places up and finished in a strong 22nd place which I was very pleased with! Unfortunately due to a mistake via the Kent team and CAU, three of our team weren’t able to race for Kent which compromised our teams finishing position. Even if one of our team members who in the end ran as part of British Cross was able to run under Kent we would have finished second. Despite this setback our team finished in a respectable 6th place.
After a strong training block ,and what seemed like no time, the first race in the National Super Series had arrived – the British Duathlon Championships! I couldn’t believe how quick the winter had passed and that the season was now starting! Did I feel ready? Of course I did, I couldn’t wait for it! I was hoping for a strong start to the season and to get some much needed points for the series. I had planned with my coach to pace the first run by going out at my own pace and let everyone else go, but there was a very fine line that I needed to achieve. Too fast a start and I’d blow up on the bike, too slow a start and I’d be left riding in no mans land on the extremely windy bike course. I managed to execute the first run perfectly, staying at the back for the mass sprint. I tucked in at the back and sheltered myself from the strong cross winds that flowed over the Bedford Autodrome. Around the halfway mark on the run I started to wind my pace up and picked off runners one at a time and before too long I had made my way up to the front pack! There was a quick burst of pace heading into T1 which stringed out the group and I found myself entering transition in third place. I was quickly onto the bike and a front pack formed of about 8 riders. Nothing much happened on the bike as no one wanted to work because of the strong winds; I tried a couple of attacks but these turned to nothing. Heading down the back straight there was an attack and this separated the group and meant I entered T2 in second place. I was feeling really strong at this stage, but I knew I’d need a fast run to be in contention for a podium position. I had a disappointing transition and headed out behind four other athletes. I quickly caught two of those ahead of me and sat on their shoulders to recover. I put a hard effort in on the back straight and found myself with a gap in third position and closing in on second place. This effort had really hurt me and I was fading with the finish in sight; Joe Martin who was ahead of me started pulling away again and I knew I would have to settle for third position. I eased up and enjoyed the moment of getting my first National podium! The feeling was absolutely amazing despite my body being in pieces for the next few days!
At Easter I headed out Majorca for some more warm weather training and to nail my swim down at BEST’s outdoor 50m pool. I’m feeling ready and in top form heading into the National Super Series Performance Assessments, and looking forward to the first Triathlon of the Series in Llanelli (Wales).
Big thanks to Pedal Potential and The Maidstone Leisure Trust for supporting me and enabling me to get to races and continue training at some of the most amazing locations!
Winter is always a busy part of my season with lots of training, cross countries, cyclo cross events and various other things to attend.
My cyclo cross riding had been going very well, with me winning my first event of the year and getting very good results following on from that race. However right in the middle of the season, I took a big fall and got soft tissue damage in my shoulder. This did put me out of training for a while but I was quickly back into my normal regime. I haven’t done any more races since then but hope to continue them next year, when I head up into the junior ranks.
I’ve also started winter on my best form in running ever, which is great news with the National Duathlon coming up soon! I finished with podiums at all the Kent leagues I did and I got top ten finishes at the two British Crosses I did! I got two different Kent vests this season, the first being at Southern Inter-counties where I finished in a disappointing 17th place. The second vest being for Kent Schools at the South East Schools inter counties. I had my best race of the year here after my illness where I finished individually in 16th place and was bottom of the age group. I also managed to help the team get a Gold medal. Sadly, I failed to make the English Schools team after being ill for the Kent Schools. However, I have made a reserve for the English Schools after finishing as the 5th Kent at the Southern Schools. I have just two more cross country events left which are the Nationals at Parliament Hill tomorrow and, National Inter Counties in Loughborough, I’m hoping to have a great race here and hopefully get a top 20 position and get a podium with the Kent team! I’m looking forward to some hard track sessions and banging out some more 1500m PB’s, but most importantly the warmth and no mud!
Swimming wise I’ve had a great winter and cut my time down on every event by so much! My 200m free has come on so much since last year and I’m definitely going to be contending in the swim this year! I managed to get 3 County qualification times this year, all being for Backstroke. But sadly I wasn’t able to attend the championships as I was at the South East Schools for the 200m & 100m back, and I was away in Portugal with the Academy for the 50m back.
During the middle of February, I went to Monte Gordo, Portugal with the South East Academy along with the North West Academy, it was great fun and we got lots of training done! I will get into more details of this great camp in February’s update.
Looking ahead, I have the National Duathlon Champs at Bedford in a few weeks. I then have a short rest and it’s the National Performance Assessments. It’s then the first race in the Super Series, and it’s a key one! Llanelli, in Wales, I’m hoping to get a good position here and get some high points on the board early on in the season. I’m going to compete in all the Super Series events and I’m going to do a few more low key events just to stay ticking over and gain more experience.
I’m really looking forward to this season, it’s going to be a great one, and my best one yet! I just want to say a quick thank you to all my coaches, anyone who has helped me this winter and my Mum and Dad for supporting me. And a special thank you to Pedal Potential who are helping to fund my season this year!