Ironman 70.3 Marbella race report - Johnny Phillips

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Having decided to take on Ironman Wales in September I figured doing a couple of smaller (they aren’t small) 70.3 triathlons would give me an idea of what I was 

taking on. Ironman Marbella 70.3 was my first ever triathlon and I chose it because of the location, having been there several times and because timing wise it would give me a solid idea of how the training is going.

I have to say I was bricking it, I arrived Wednesday and checked out the site and maybe that’s what set the nerves off. By the time my mate arrived I was a bit of a wreck and moaning about everything. The swim was and is my biggest fear and the day before the event the winds had picked up and the swell was pretty heafty, not impressed. I did a short reccie with Gavin (see Gavin's race report HERE) but even then I felt sick and decided to just wait it out and see what happens the next day.

Read more: Ironman 70.3 Marbella race report - Johnny Phillips

Endless Pool coaching dates for June

IMG 5406After a successful 3 months of Endless Pool swim coaching in Cardiff, we can now release the dates available for June for 1-2-1 swim coaching; our June dates are:

  • Saturday 2nd June (10am - 1pm)
  • Saturday 9th June (10am - 1pm)
  • Saturday 16th June (10am - 1pm)
  • Monday 18th June (9am - 1pm)
  • Saturday 23rd June (10am - 1pm)
  • Monday 25th June (9am - 1pm)
  • Saturday 30th June (10am - 1pm)

 The Endless Pool sessions are taken by our experienced swim coach, coach Rhys, who’ll take the athlete through the 1-2-1 coached swim session. Each hour long swim session will consist of:

  • Visual analysis of swim stroke
  • Video recording of swim stroke
  • Feedback of swim stroke with athlete (via video)
  • Correction of swim stroke via drills and full stroke amendments
  • List of take home drills to do post session
  • Video of swim stroke emailed to athlete post session

 If you're a triathlete or swimmer in the Cardiff or south Wales area and want to improve your swim for the upcoming race season, drop us a message via social media (we're on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as @WhittleFit) or CONTACT US via our website. 

Ironman 70.3 Marbella race report - Gavin Burrough

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I've always wanted to do a triathlon abroad, scrolling down the list of races on the Ironman website I was like a kid in a candy store! Mountainous Marbella located on the Costa del Sol seemed to be the right destination to mix some pain with some pleasure! 

It was the very first Ironman 70.3 thats been held in Marbella and when I arrived there was a real buzz about the town! Lots of nervous anticipation! 

The sea was lovely and flat and had a nice little recce swim to check my wetsuit over as I hadn't used it since doing the double Brutal last year. That lake still haunts me to this day! Come race day though there was a bit of wind kicking up and conditions had changed dramatically! It was pretty rough, but oh well get on with it! Lining up for the swim I went into the 32:30 pen, it helps a lot with the flow instead of just a mass start less chance of people running over you and vice versa as your swimming with people of similar ability. So off I went doing my best David Hasslehoff impression! I quickly realised that all the training in the pool wasn't really going to help me much now! My stroke rhythm and rate went out the window as I just had to time getting over the waves so as not to swallow a load of sea water. Sighting the bouys was nearly impossible so I settled for just alternating my breathing and checking there were people either side of me, I figured that way I'd generally be in the middle. The swim went pretty fast, I looked at my watch, 26mins!!! I was well chuffed! I later found out they cut about 300m off the swim though because of the dangerous conditions. It gave me a boost going into the bike transition thinking I'd magically become Michael Phelps! 

Read more: Ironman 70.3 Marbella race report - Gavin Burrough

London Marathon race report - Jezzelle Lobeck

DbaWttKW0AAmlyQMy training has been focused towards getting run fit for the London Marathon but also preparing my endurance ready for a 70.3 Ironman triathlon in June. Swimming and cycling has played a significant part in getting me fit as tempo runs had previously irritated my shins and long runs effecting my foot arches mainly due to over pronation. It has been important to strike a balance with cross training and running to get me to the start line injury free and feeling like I could finish a Marathon. It happened...

Walking to the start line at 10:00 in the morning the sun already started to beat down on my head I knew from this point the conditions were going to be tough. I wasn’t wrong, it  was hot, not a cloud in the sky and officially confirmed as the hottest ever London Marathon at 24.1 degrees!

Due to this my plan was just to finish, keep an even pace throughout, enjoy it whilst raising money for charity. 

I started nice and easy building into it as I knew energy was going to be drawn out of me quickly due to the hot weather conditions. I was also having problems with my foot arches during training particularly on my last longest run, this was caused by my foot over pronation but couldn’t get to wear my new orthotics in time to run a full marathon which ultimately would have provided that much needed foot arch support. After 12 miles the inevitable happened both of my foot arches were feeling strained as well as the top of my left foot. It was at this point I had a mental wobble thinking about the pain I was in and would continue to be in for another 14 miles but I managed to get myself together, had an energy gel and carried on digging in. I took advantage of every water station and shower on route. I also wore a belt with my energy gels, taking one every 45 mins. My foot arches were causing relentless pain and my legs were tightening more into the 18 mile mark but I knew I had to get to that finish line no matter what so I kept digging in and kept things even paced. The crowds really helped, high fives and cheering everyone around the route. A lot of people were suffering around the 18 mile mark and first aiders attending to runners with heat exhaustion so I was very conscious to stay hydrated and fuelled. 

After the 18 mile mark I started to pick things up a little and then heading in to mile 20 my mind numbed out my foot pain and I tuned in to visualising crossing the finishing line. I overtook two 5 hour pacers at mile 24 but unfortunately due to the heat they were off pace, so when I overtook the 5 hour pacer I thought I was under 5 hours but finished 5:04. Although my goal was just to finish and raise money for charity I couldn’t help feeling a bit disappointed not to have done under 5 hours. However, all in all with over strained foot arches and the hot weather conditions I felt it was an extra achievement just to finish. You never know what you are going to be faced with on the day but I proved that my mental strength has significantly improved as well as my physical endurance. It was mind over matter! I hope to fix my foot arches, sign up to another marathon and beat my time soon! 

The secrets of successful endurance athletes: #3

Ruzafa Weiss Bike XTERRA Worlds

Patience, patience, patience.

Patience might sound like an odd quality to value in an athlete. But I think it's very important. As endurance athletes, we tend to place great pride in our actions, results and data. Rest days are an annoyance to be endured with good grace if possible. The action is where it's at: we're never happier than when we're sweating it out, pushing through barriers, or chasing PBs.

So where does patience come into it? After all, patience sounds very calm, serene, and....… boring.

Without patience, your best efforts aren't likely to bring results. In endurance sport, you need to be committed for the long-haul, whether that means a 12-week training plan or decades of training and racing, with all the accompanying highs and lows.

Progress, fitness and strength come slowly (sometimes frustratingly so), and we can be our own worst critics, failing to spot small successes and instead focusing on how others are doing.

A patient, calm and methodical mindset will place you amongst those who enjoy true success in endurance sport… whatever that personally means to you.

These things are what underpin my coaching advice and guidance. Without them, the fitness training, nutrition advice and race-specific coaching can only ever get someone so far.

Do you agree with our three key characteristics of successful athletes (check out number 1 and number 2)? What would you add to the list?