Cyclocross Season Report - Tom Foster

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Autumn can be a bit of a dark time for cyclists and triathelets. Your last race is done and dusted in September or sometimes October and then all you can see isthe dark, wet, cold winter laid out ahead of you until April or May when you can conceivably consider riding outside in shorts again.

Many pro cyclists will take a whole month off – not touch a bike for all of November and into December. In fairness, this is justified given the amount they ride and level they compete at. From a psychological point of view as well as a physiological one it makes sense. That said most age group athletes do not train to that level, so physiologically there is less need for this training hiatus – not so say this is the case in all people, and there are definite positives to a bit of time off e.g. after Ironman. But 2 or 3 weeks is probably enough for most people before getting back to some sort of structured training. Psychologically however it is different. So how do you balance the feeling of dread when someone says ‘Sunday ride? 3-4 hours?’ and its below 5 Celsius and raining vs having enough time to mentally get over something like Ironman or a full season of competitive triathlon.

As a triathlete and having done long distance last season there were a couple of weaknesses that I was looking to address.

  1. Bike handling, I have never been a strong bike handler
  2. ‘Short Power’ – Punchy hard efforts are not my strong point

 Last season I made a foray into the crazy world of cyclocross. I found my handling improved and the stochastic nature of cyclocross should fit well with improving short power. If you think trying to explain triathlon is difficult to your colleagues then trying to explain ‘cross is nigh on impossible:

‘So you ride around a field/park in the mud, and have to get over hurdles and up steps with your bike’

‘Oh so it’s like ‘Tough-Mudder’ but with a bike’

Queue frustration in trying to explain that it is one of the oldest disciplines in cycling, steeped in history and tradition etc.etc. 

Cyclocross is extremely popular in Holland and Belgium, where there is a world cup series that is fiercely competed for. Some of the skills exhibited here will blow your mind. Just Youtube Matthew Van Der Pol or Wout Van Aert.

Read more: Cyclocross Season Report - Tom Foster

The best WhittleFit blog posts of 2017

2017 best ofSo, it's the start of a brand new year, 2017 has simply flown by! WhittleFit had a big year in 2017, our athletes all had an amazing year and we've grown as a company with some amazing new coaches. To highlight a great year I decided to trawl through last years blog posts and see which ones really resonated with me. Theses are my favourites, I hope you like them too! 

  1. Fuel to perform and the rest will take care of itself!
  2. Ironman Wales - Tri Bike or Road Bike?
  3. Team WhittleFit racing roundup - 6th August 2017
  4. Coach Vicky joins WhittleFit!
  5. Mumbles middle distance triathlon race report - Craig Burrows
  6. Coach Rhys joins WhittleFit
  7. Ironman Wales race report - Tom Foster

You may notice some of my favourites from 2017 are race reports, that's mainly because I love reading an athletes feedback from race day - sometimes you never know what's going on in someones head until they have time to reflect and put pen to paper! Many thanks for supporting WhittleFit in 2017 and here's to an even more amazing 2018!  

Coach Vicky joins WhittleFit!

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Very pleased and excited to announce the arrival of Vicky Johnston onto the WhittleFit coaching staff!

Vicky has raced at the elite British level and is a former European age group champion. Her coaching credentials are without question, she was the head coach of the Loughborough student triathlon squad and is currently a Cardiff Met triathlon academy coach.

Vicky will be concentrating on coaching athletes for sprint, Olympic and 70.3 distance triathlons.

Coaching Qualifications/Education:

  • Level 2 British Triathlon coach.
  • Currently training as a level 3 coach on the British Triathlon High Performing Coach Programme
  • BSc Hons Sport and Exercise Science (Loughborough University)
  • Cardiff Met Triathlon Academy Coach
  • British Triathlon Strength and Conditioning workshop
  • Former Head Coach for Loughborough Students Triathlon

Sporting achievements:

  • 6x British Universities medalist (sprint, Olympic and duathlon)
  • Podiums in British Junior Super Series races
  • 4th Junior Elite European Cup
  • 3rd British Middle Distance Champs (25-29 AG)
  • European age group Champion (2010)

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

Team WhittleFit racing roundup - 25th & 26th November 2017

On a very cold weekend we had a couple of hardened WhittleFit athletes racing, lets see how they got on: DPly7uoXcAEhxQl

  • Bushey Park 10K: Tom Foster raced the Bushey Park 10K yesterday and led from start to finish in a new PB time! Great racing Tom, especially as this 10K was the day after a PB on your CP20 bike test (message us if you'd like to kow what a CP20 test is)!  
  • Pembrey cyclocross: Tom Nesham raced cyclocross at Pembrey Country Park yesterday and had a great race. A poor start (dropped chain and bent hangar arm) was quickly put behind him (with the addition of a quick bike change) and Tom moved through the field to finish very strong. This race will stand Tom in good stead for the Welsh cyclocross champs in a couple of week’s time. 

Team WhittleFit racing roundup - 18th & 19th November 2017

 Some mixed results this weekend for our WhittleFit athletes, lets see how they got on: IMG 7853

  • Chilly Duathlon: Stuart made a late decision to race the DB Max Chilly Duathlon at the flat & fast Castle Combe racing circuit and finished in a creditable 24th position, well done Stuart!
  • Brecon Beacons Ultra: Coach Henry completed the 46 mile ultra marathon on Saturday, running with friends Henry managed to finish in the top 100 on a very tough course. Well done Henry, that was one tough day in the office!
  • Parc Bryn Bach cyclocross: Tom Nesham raced the Parc Bryn Bach yesterday and unfortunately finished with a DNF. Tom was in the top 5 but two punctures and running a lap with the bike on his shoulder meant that Tom was unable to finish. Unlucky racing for Tom, but these things happy in cyclocross racing.
  • Droxford cyclocross: Tom Foster raced the Droxford cyclocross yesterday, and similar to Tom’s race, Tom suffered some mechanical issues. Tom managed to finish, not quite the result he wanted, but bodes well for next weeks Surrey cyclocross race.