Ironman Staffordshire 70.3 race report: Luke England

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2018 was not supposed to start like this. During the off-season, races were chosen and in a bid to improve my running I had decided to take on The London Marathon. The marathon was supposed to get my running legs up to scratch ready for an Ironman 70.3 later in the year. However, playing football on Christmas eve put all my best made plans to rest. I somehow managed to tear my calf which resulted in no running for 6 weeks. I was devasted and for a few weeks I lost all direction and motivation for training, the downhill spiral was well and truly in full swing.

I needed to find something to focus on and I needed to find it fast. Due to family and financial restrictions I decided Sweden, my original “A” race for 2018, was out of the question and it became more apparent that doing Staffordshire again was one of very few options left to me.

Training: Switching races meant that I only had 11 weeks of intense training before the race, and I knew I’d need to taper so that didn’t really leave much room for error.

During May, my coach and I managed to beef up the hours and we got some really good sessions in. My legs were starting to respond, and power was on the increase. I finally found some running legs and things were starting to look up.

As well as focusing on the running, we also got some 1900m TT swims in. The sessions were great for understanding the pacing of the swim. Going off too fast on the first 400m really does come back to bite hard on the last 600m. Doing this gave me a feel for a swim speed and the sessions increased my swim confidence even more.

Read more: Ironman Staffordshire 70.3 race report: Luke England

Endless Pool swim coaching in Cardiff

We've been offering Endless Pool swim coaching in the Cardiff area for a couple of months now and we're very pleased with the uptake and the feedback we've received from triathletes and swimmers who have used our facility. So much so, we now have two WhittleFit coaches, Vicky and Rhys, offering 1-2-1 swim coaching in the Endless Pool. 

Our coached swim sessions predominantly cover swim technique, but we can also include individual topics such as pace control, race tactics, breathing, swim training methodologies, open water swim technique and correct wetsuit fitment.

Each hour long swim session is £45 and 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

 So, if you're serious about improving your swim this year, this could well be the answer for you! If you have any questions about our coached 1-2-1 Endless Pool sessions please CONTACT US today! 

Cotswolds 113 race report: Trevor Batey

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The Cotswold 113 has become a calendar staple of mine and is a firm favourite on my race schedule.  Being local – only 20 mins from home – also helps reduce the logistics burden.  It is also probably the flattest Middle Distance Triathlon in existence: there’s 100m of climbing on each of the 2 bike laps and about 3m elevation gain on each of the 3 run laps – so if hills are not your strong point, then this is the race for you.

Although the forecast was for race perfect conditions, there is nothing guaranteed when it comes to the weather.  A heavy morning fog meant there was zero visibility and with no sun to burn it off, we went through a series of 30 minute rolling delays, using up 3 of the 4 delays available before finally being able to start 90 minutes late.  Although not ideal given pre-race nutrition planning, it did mean we avoided either a shortened swim or a Bike/Run, neither of which anyone wanted.

Swim: With the multiple wave starts, it meant that the numbers in each wave were relatively low at around 120, which was good as it prevented it being a fight.  Yes, there was some bumping but overall it was a gentle swim by Triathlon standards.  With my now improved swim, it meant I was comfortable sitting in the main pack, drafting where I could and got around comfortably, coming in just under my target time of 30 minutes.

Read more: Cotswolds 113 race report: Trevor Batey

Ironman Wales 16-week advanced triathlon training plan

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With 16 weeks to go until Ironman Wales we are happy to release our brand new 16-week Ironman Wales advanced triathlon training plan!

The Ironman Wales 16-week advanced triathlon training plan is aimed at triathletes who have trained for a number of seasons, have completed an Ironman 70.3 distance triathlon and are already training 10-12 hours per week. The aim is to help you to achieve your triathlon goal with a clearly structured 16-week plan which avoids over-training and injury, whilst also providing a relatively high training load within a balanced and controlled environment. 

Why choose our plan? The coaches at WhittleFit know the Ironman Wales course intimately, we’ve trained and raced on the course many times, therefore we’re very well placed to advise on the training requirements to have a great day on the Ironman Wales course.

Because this plan is aimed at intermediate to advanced athletes, it progresses quite quickly from 12 hours a week of training up to 15.5 hours of training (averaging 13 hours a week over 16 weeks), building towards several 'big training days'.

If you have any questions about the Ironman Wales advanced triathlon training plan please CONTACT US or check out the plan HERE

#51fiver race report: Trevor Batey

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The #51fiver was my third race of the season and a step up in intensity following the Inter Services Duathlon and Cotswold Sprint Tri, a week before.  My plan with coach Lawrence was to use this as another training race to get me ready for one of my main events – the Cotswold 113 Middle Distance on 10 June.

As with the Sprint Tri, the weather was once again kind with little cloud and wind, although the temperatures were cooler, which generated some windchill on the bike and so resulted in a loss of feeling in fingers and toes that played havoc in T2. 

Swim: With 13 general waves, I was not racing in an AG specific start and the waves themselves were closer to 150 in size.  Such a size made for a much more challenging start.  I went out hard and in this instance, probably too hard and close to Sprint speed, which was a mistake.  It was probably the most violent swim start I have been in and I ended up taking a foot and elbow to the face, which combined with the hard start caused my HR to spike way above what it should have so soon into the race – only 400m in.  The result was that I came very close to being overwhelmed and struggled to hold a swim stroke; I was forced to slow completely and reset.  However, such an action was right and I was able to relax, regain control and re-establish a good cruise speed.  After this I felt confident again and swam well to catch the back of the front pack coming into T1.

Read more: #51fiver race report: Trevor Batey