Ironman Tallinn race report: Craig Patterson

 

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I’ve now completed 5 Iron distance races and this is by far the calmest I have ever been. I slept well, I was relaxed and didn't have any of those crazy butterfly’s. It felt like Roth in 2018 though with less self-induced pressure, I knew I was ready, though the bike was always an unknown as it was a bike I'd loaned off a good frined of mine. A little trepidation about the swim just because IM Arizona was so crap.

Good, good place and I think I need to relax in training life and just roll with the punches that come, let’s be honest it didn’t come in three’s, it come it about twelve this time.

Swim: Good start and felt good throughout and fully making progress through the field. Not much feet to follow as you couldn’t see your hands due to sediment etc, but the temperature was pretty perfect for me. I missed a buoy so went about 50m off course which meant my swim wasn't under the magic 1hr but I’m told it was long by the boys with watches and officially its logged at 3.9km. Happy with the swim - Came out with James Elgar who I started close to which means I was on form as I’ve been chasing his feet all winter at NEWT club swimming.

  • Time: 1:01:24 (AG: 6th & Overall: 57th)

Bike: Out onto the Green Goblin (the loaned bike!). My Garmin shut down so I switched to my watch quickly so I was still able to ride on Power, this just made feeding difficult due to notifications not programmed in like on the bike computer, but these things happen and need to crack on and actually in the end I ended up drinking & feeding to feel which seemed to work as I nailed all my gels and food. Not so great on fluid still. 

Fast start and kept with James but decided to let him go. After a chat with one of our REME guys, Al Fortune; I decided to keep my powder dry and just drop my wattage a little especially as we knew it was going to be a windy day as it was a North Easterly which meant head or cross winds all day with only minimal tail winds.

73 m 100904191 DIGITAL HIGHRES 3070 054254 31321797The wind was getting up on the first lap though seemed to be making progress. This wasn’t going to be the 4:50 bike course the Boss & John were talking about pre-race having done it last year. Still didn’t mean it wasn’t going to be quick but it certainly put the sub 9:30 in doubt. Just keep on those pedals.

Onto the 2nd lap and oh boy that wind is now up and gusting. Time to dig in and just stay on the power without blowing matches, it was all about pushing/holding the number. This course is just relentless no easing off, no breaks as it is so flat, the little climbs were a such a relief just to get out the saddle for 20s or so. The wind is brutal and once I turned off that final out & back it’s a strong headwind pushing against you all the way back to T2. Due to my position in the race that final 10km into T2 felt like a personal closed road as there was no one around me, this was awesome!

Lynz is on the run into T2 with a few ATA supporters, gave her a High 5 & great to see her. Off the bike and the hips are working, legs tired as expected but in a good place. SUB 5hrs Baby!

  • Time: 4:56:59 (AG: 8th & Overall: 45th)

Run: The aim was 4:45/Km pace. I was feeling good, just need to keep my matches for when this run really starts to bite. Steady running, getting out onto the course but once up onto the main run path new I was speeding up when I saw an Army guy/girl or James/Rich, you just get that bust of adrenaline and it is so difficult to control. Making sure I’m getting fluid onboard at the aid stations - no coke in the first half just water and a bit on slat from my special needs bag.

Great first half marathon BUT too fast. Saw the time and shit it’s going to hurt this second half marathon.

The second half of the Marathon hurt, the cobble section at the bottle half through old town was killing my knees/IT band & ankles. Just kept moving forward. I am slowing but I’m still going and hitting the aid stations for Coke & Water. I’m hurting but doing ok. Get that last lap band over that mini cobble section at T2 and it’s so painful. Three hills to go, first one done get coke, downhill onto the second one, probably quicker tabbing but ran up then the false flat round the dead turn and downhill to the last aid station. I’m not stopping.... momentum. Through and then it’s cobbles to the end.96 m 100904191 DIGITAL HIGHRES 3070 077679 31321820

Great support in the old town and up that last cobble hill OUCH. Round the bend and bang its Home straight. Picking it up great ATA support and I see the carpet passing Lynz then enjoy the finish. Through the finish and so ecstatic!

Definitely the best Ironman run I have put together. It’s what I wanted out of the day. Not the 3:29:59 I hoped for but that was a tough run course. 

  • Time: 3:33:27 (AG: 9th & Overall: 50th)

Summary: What a great race. Can’t put into words how happy I am with this race. With everything that has gone on too come up with a performance like that is was fantastic. IM Estonia still has that small intimate feel but with the Ironman razzmatazz, the local support where great and I can’t rate the race director highly enough for getting the full swim at another location when it became apparent that the Baltic sea was going to be too cold and the swim would be cancelled.

What a weekend, great race, great people and great city!

Brecon Titan race report: Craig Burrows


4dec9241 30b9 45d5 87f3 252e549e0b87A year ago when I sat down and penned my Brecon Titan 2018 race report I remember thinking, ‘I’m never doing that again, it was bloody brutal’. Fast forward ayear and I’m sitting down, recovery tights firmly on, about to write my Brecon Titan 2019 Race report. As if getting married isn’t punishment enough for one year.

The resubmission of torture on my body by virtue of DB Max’s Titan, was very much an ‘if it aint broke’ reaction to the premature end to my 2018 season. Getting hit off my bike by a car 3 weeks before IM Wales was as much a mental blow as a physical one. I had sacrificed a great deal in the pursuit of the Tenby dream; foregoing holidays with Loz, social events, football - not to mention the 25hr weeks of training over the summer months. Not being able to compete was a tough pill to swallow.

So I thought it would be logical to try and replicate the form I had last year by doing the same races. It made sense in my head and I suppose the desperation to get my fitness back made me think that if it worked once then it can work again.

Pre-Race: 2019 had seen a bit of a turbulent start and one that I hope has now settled down into the ‘normal service has resumed’ mode. Between a new role at work, a wedding, a bike crash and no London Marathon to occupy my early months I felt that 2019 hadn’t really got going yet.

Read more: Brecon Titan race report: Craig Burrows

Coach Zoe joins WhittleFit!

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Very pleased to announce the arrival of Zoe Thomas onto the WhittleFit coaching team!

Zoe races at the elite British & European level as a professional triathlete and has several top 10 European Cup results to her name. Through her coaching, Zoe wants to help people use sport to develop into the best version of themselves that they can be.

With Zoe's background, she'll be concentrating on coaching athletes for sprint, Olympic and 70.3 distance triathlons.

Coaching Qualifications/Education:

  • Level 2 Triathlon Coach
  • Level 1 Swimming Teacher 
  • Level 1 Gymnastics Coach
  • BSc Hons Sport and Exercise Science (Cardiff Met)

Sporting achievements:

  • Reserve for Team Wales’ relay at 2018 Commonwealth Games
  • 2x U23 European relay championships silver medalist 
  • 6x top 10s at European Cups
  • BUCS sprint champion 2015

 Zoe has limited coaching slots available, if you're interested in sprint, Olympic or 70.3 triathlon coaching CONTACT US today! 

Ironman 70.3 Marbella race report: Andrew Fraser-Cole

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Here's a great race report from WhittleFit coached athlete Andrew Fraser-Cole (coached by coach Lawrence) about his recent Ironman 70.3 Marbella race, hope you enjoy it!

Of late I’ve come to start my season at a big race where hopefully the sun will shine. This approach not only throws you in at the deep end straight away but can also help banish the winter blues and give you a break to look forward to. 

Based on their underdog & alternative ethos I’d joined SWYD Tri club in January so I had further motivation as I’d be sporting club colours for the very first time. Since starting endurance sport a few years back I’ve never felt the need to join a club - almost always training alone. Having been a heavy smoker & drinker for almost 30 years and relating to how Mathew Pritchard turned his lifestyle around I felt as though SWYD Tri fitted best with my outlook on endurance sport and I really wanted to race for them. As it happens I did have the best club Tri-suit at the race and that’s a non-negotiable fact. 

Swim (1.9k): I set off in the 30min pen and hit the water with a dive, temperature was ok. 4 bouys to turn around on the L-shaped course, I decided to stay out of trouble and not risk a clout to the face so found some clear water and stroked it out. Swam until my hands touched sand & onto my toes into T1. My Garmin suggested I’d swam 200m extra, who knows? Time 32mins

Bike (90k) : fast straight road so tucked on the bars until the climb around 5k after which things got lumpy. Soon found my gearing in 36/28 so when it got steeper cadence dropped to 75rpm in order to stay within my power target. Potentially a 30 on the rear would’ve meant spinning a bit better on the climbs. Strange creaking & grinding noises coming from my bottom bracket(?) gave me cause for concern and worries that it would actually disintegrate and I’d DNF - but the noises were intermittent and I just hoped it would hold as the remaining kilometres ticked down. Fast straight descents were fine as you could see the course well ahead - tuck & pedal. As usual went over my power target for the first hour and struggled to hold it for the last. Knew I had to ship fluid before the run so dropped it on the last descent. Wee.....Sorry if you were behind me.  Time 3hrs

59407820 2253621781380561 7923093270928818176 nRun (21k): socks, shoes, cap & 4x gels onboard - time to make up for my bike shortcomings. First Km a bit too lively coming in at 3:45 I had to park my enthusiasm and aim for my target between 4:10 - 4:20. Mallorca last year taught me that the lunchtime Mediterranean sun will dictate your pace if you overcook the first 10k. Luckily the wind had picked up so running into the headwind was good (I know, doesn’t make sense does it?) made up around 36 Age Group places on the run and attempted to put the hammer down for the last 4K but the effort went up, pace stayed the same. Crossed the line with a 1:29 run, 5:09 total for the 70.3

All in all I’m happy with the performance to get off the mark early in the season. There’s no hiding place in these races - European IM 70.3 racing is the pinnacle of the sport as far as I’m concerned so it’s humbling to go from Age Group podiums in local races to 42nd in Age Group here. Don’t get me wrong, finishing in the top 20% is not a terrible outcome but these races definitely expose & magnify your weaknesses.

Factor in the break from your workplace, sunshine, perfect tarmac, mainlining espresso, meeting other like minded athletes and you may conclude that training hard & racing is enjoyable and thoroughly worth it whatever position you cross the finish line in.

Team WhittleFit racing roundup - 12th, 13th & 14th April 2019

 

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We had quite a few WhittleFit athletes racing this weekend, lets see how they got on: 

  • Dead Sea Half Marathon: Merry used the Dead Sea Half Marathon as a tough training session on Friday, coming home in 1hr31. Well done Merry, bodes well for next weekends race and your upcoming races. 
  • Ultra Tour of Arran: Myles Povey successfully completed the Ultra Tour of Arran this weekend. This event looks stunning, if you fancy doing something a little bit different, check out the Ultra Tour of Arran. 
  • Bynea 30 mile TT: Andrew Martin and Lawrence Cronk raced the Bynea 30 mile TT yesterday, congrats both, Andrew placed 3rd (2's off 2nd place) and Lawrence placed 7th. Well done guys, this bodes well for your upcoming big races! 
  • Llanelli half and full marathon: We had Finn Artenz (half) and Craig Fowler (full) racing the Great Welsh Marathon race. Despite sickness, Finn secured 3rd place in the half distance race and Craig finished bang on schedule (3hr26) for the full distance marathon, as part of his training for Ironman Wales in September.  
  • Tour de Gwent sportive: We had lots of coached athletes and friends taking part in the Tour de Gwent sportive, well done all on a very cold morning!  
  • Amman Valley Sprint Triathlon: Josh Lewis raced his 1st ever triathlon at the Amman Valley Sprint Triathlon yesterday and came a very commendable 17th place, well done Josh!