My first Ironman 70.3, by Alfonso

Sunday 3rd SeptemberCascais Portugal

This was my first IronMan 70.3 and I was very excited. In the early morning, after having a huge breakfast including juice, coffee, toasts and pasta, I arrived in the transition area to leave my bike and put on my wetsuit, making sure everything was in the right bag in the right position.

Transition

Thirty minutes before the Pros started the race, I went into the sea to warm up and check the water temperature. It was colder than expected, so I decided to star with the bad swimmers as I knew the swim is my worst section and I could overtake more triathletes in the bike and the run.

When the Pros started their race, I was waiting at the box for slow swimmers and my heart rate started going up very quickly.

I started the swim section from the beach of Cascais and everything started to go fine for the single lap of the sea swim, despite I was being hit by other triathletes. When I finished, I looked at my watch and I could see an amazing 35m, so I went very quickly to grab my bag and take all my stuff for the cycling.

At the beginning I felt very strong, I believe because of the excitement, so I overtook a lot of triathletes positioned on my tri bars during the first 50 flat kilometres. I was very surprised at the number of triathletes I overtook, even with my bike, which I think it was in the top 100 of the worst bikes in the competition, so I continued pushing because I felt very motivated. Then the circuit started to go uphill, but I still had some extra strength in my legs. I enjoyed a lot when I went through the Estoril circuit, it was a very good feeling. The last part of the cycling was downhill, so I could recover a little bit from the uphill effort I had done. I finished the cycling in 2h40m, again much much better than expected.

I started to run the 21K very fast. I was very excited because there were a lot of spectators cheering. Finally, I slowed down my pace for the last 6K of the run because of the hilly circuit and because I was out of stamina, but I finished the run in 1h40m with no walking, making a big effort.

When I crossed the finish line I could not believe what I had done and how it worth all the sessions with Premiertri.

After the race

I recommend this experience to everyone and now I’m already thinking which one will be the next one

After the race

Libs, her journey to the world champs

Libs Matthews

An ex national hockey player, Libs picked up Triathlon halfway through the 2016 season and very quickly got hooked! She set her sights at the beginning of 2017 on qualifying for the Age Group World Champs in Rotterdam. Rather ambitious having been in the sport for all of 1 year. Training with Premier Tri she improved upon a fairly solid run base and got to work tackling the swim and bike disciplines. She qualified for the World Champs by winning her age group at Deva Triathlon and went on to race her first elite race at London Tri, prepping her nicely for the World Champs. In Rotterdam she smashed all her PB’s to bring home 8th in her age group and 2nd fastest Brit in her age group. A very good 2nd season racing.

Challenge Roth Race Report

Thanks again to Lauren Morris for the below race report of her epic race at Challenge Roth  in July 2014.

 

RACE REPORT: DATEV CHALLENGE ROTH 20th July 2014

Long distance triathlon is, as the name suggests, a long process. It begins many months before you toe the start line and mine started sometime way back in the summer of 2013 when an innocent Facebook chat became the catalyst that started me on the road to my first full distance triathlon, DATEV Challenge Roth. The friend I was chatting to informed me that a group of her and her clubmates were going to enter, would I like to do it too? My tentative ‘Err maybe’, became a much more confident ‘hell yes’ as the glass of red wine I was sipping mid chat dwindled away and her persuasion took effect. The next week, when registration opened there I was, fingertips poised and ready at the keyboard to register for a race which, famous for the great Chrissie Wellington’s long distance world record, notoriously sells out fast. Three minutes later, I had one of the coveted spots and the race was sold out! Full of excitement I emailed my partner in crime with the news, only to discover that I was the only one successful in securing a place. Curveball! After some serious consideration I decided that the reason to do an Ironman, if you’re going to do it, is not because your friends are doing it, but because you truly want to do it for yourself. And I did. I really really did. And even more so I wanted to do it at the 30th anniversary of ‘The Best Old Race’ Challenge Roth, legendary for its smooth tarmac and massive crowds. With that in mind training started in earnest.

Fast-forward a year and I’ve spent a winter getting stronger in the gym, logged some serious bike miles, run a practice marathon and spent a whole lot of time in various lakes. I’ve bought A LOT of absolutely necessary bike accessories. I’ve practiced my nutrition plan over and over and I’m as ready as I’m going to be. I step off the plane at Munich airport and curveball number 2 hits me. Its hot. Oh wow is it hot?! Anyone who knows me, knows how northern I am when it comes to racing in the heat. This is not good news. I’m here for 3 days before the race to make the most of the experience and the forecast every day, including race day is 35 degrees and sunny. “Don’t panic. Try and acclimatise. You have 3 days” the internal monologue began. Final workouts were done at dawn and other than registration and course recce’s the only thing to do was make like a local and relax at the open air pool.

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Nuremberg’s answer to the Serpentine Lido.

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The Heroes of Hever

Thanks to Lauren for her excellent race report below regarding the Premier Tri season finale at Hever Castle Triathlon on the weekend of the 27th and 28th September 2014.

A gloriously sunny September 28th saw the end of the triathlon season for many, and Premier Tri was no exception. We had a fantastic turn out of four individual racers and four relay teams tackling the Olympic distance, taking on the challenging course of a 1500m lake and river swim, a hilly 40km cycle and a tough cross country 10km run.

The four relay teams consisted of (and I’m not responsible for this)
Barry’s Buttocks: which after a great deal of uncomfortable shifting finally settled on Phil (The Swimmer Ringer), Dave and Sarah M.
Team Bristol: Sophie (aka Nemo), Amir and Sarah G.
Premiere Try: Alicia, Kenny & Neil P.
And last but not least, Top of the Chops: Vicky, Lauren and Laura.

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Premier Results all round!

With the nights getting longer and the days getting colder its time to sit back and reflect on our seasons efforts and some great efforts there has been. As club captain I’m always humbled, touched and proud of each and every one of our club members who put themselves out there to train and race hard. As a small club we are proud that we provide a tight knit training group which I feel has really flourished this year.

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As always we loose one or two to to other countries, other counties and family life but there still very much remains a hard working group of individuals who I’m proud to train and race with. So without further ado… here’s my yearly round up….apologies in advance if I’ve forgotten anyone….there are just two many great efforts to mention them all!

 Iron people:

It’s a special respect and admiration that I have for anyone racing at this distance. I know how hard I train for the shorter distances so I can only imagine the time and effort it takes to go long. Firstly, well done to Philip Lester for completing his 3rd UK ironman in a very speedy time as always. I know he wants more (who doesn’t) but we’re always proud of your iron efforts Phil. Shout outs also go to Neil price for his first UK iron experience and our little Vix who valiantly proved that she has as much heart racing as she does in real life. Its no easy feat to complete an ironman , especially when its not going to plan. Something we can all learn a lesson from…dig deep and NEVER give up.

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Continued respect for the nutter Lauren Morris for her Ironman Roth efforts…she completed in a very speedy sub 12hrs, proving that she is capable of executing a fantastic race and further proof that consistent training does pay off! Next Dave Rees, Ellie Dorman and Schalk Blom for there Alpe D’huez endeavours. Although this race is technically not a full Iron distance, it is argued to be one of the hardest long course races on the calendar, which I’m sure they’ll agree! Well done boys and girls. Finally Eugene Leonard for his Ironamn Weymouth result. He’s the dark horse of the pack for sure…keeps his head down, trains hard and pulls a beauty of the bag (I’m not talking about andrea!!).

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Onto the equally impressive half distance iron people. To mention a few… Freddie beard for his storming time at Cotswold 113. Vicky Frosdick and Lauren Morris for making the Middle Distance GBR age group team. Alex Heurto for a stormer at Mallorca and his VERY impressive marathon time of 3.08…sub 3 here he comes! J Helen Oxley for her gritty determination despite various injuries, always being late and general scattiness! Andrea Havill for posting a superb time in Weymouth alongside her fella . Khaled Dawas for braving the middle Eastern heat and last but not least…Andy Hatzis who completed Wimbelball 70.3 on sub optimal training loads…think its fair to say that the boy is capable of a lot more if he actually did some more training!

 

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GBR age group racing:

To most who do triathlon will know, its no walk in the park to qualify for the age group teams. The national races always attract a strong field so anyone who earns their GBR tri suit deserves a little mention. Well done to Harry Boyle and Graeme Achison for being our first GBR boys! Both raced against fierce competition at Nottingham to secure their places. Gramene unfortunately then suffered a nasty shoulder injury so had to pull out but Harry went on to represent at World champs in Edmonton and certainly did himself proud. Lauren Morris for her Europeans champ efforts… I can confirm that it was one of the hardest races I’ve ever done and as always she produced a very competitive time despite a little detour on the run course! DOH!

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The new and improved!

A little mention to all the guys who have raced regularly and consistently throughout the season. We’ve seen some great improvements from Zoe Maddison, Paul King, Amir Safavi and Sarah Martin. To all the fabulous beginners out there who raced their first triathlons: speedy swimmers Sophie Robinson and Alicia Mason. Donata for her perseverance despite being terrified on a bike. And finally to all those newer, older or injured who have not yet shown us what they’re capable of. We look forward to following your successes next year.

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Safe to say its been a truly epic season. Too many funny stories, giggles and long miles to talk about. Thanks always to our amazing coaches and cycle leaders who give up their time and energyt and of course… thanks to all you Premier people….heres to a fast, fun, and cake fuelled 2015!!

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Getting back into things…

It’s that time of year again when we’ve all had some time off, probably eaten or drank a little more than usual and generally let ourselves have a little head space and given our bodies time to recoup. This year more than any other year I have appreciated the value of not putting pressure on myself early on in my training cycles. Winter training should still be challenging but it should be fun! If it feels like a chore at this stage it will only get harder from here on in. If you’re stressed about your season now, you’ll be pulling your hair out come spring (this was the pattern of my 2013 season) and trust me it’s likely to end in some form of burn out or you simply not achieving your potential.

In order to train well and perform your mind and body need to be happy. If you place too much mental pressure on yourself it will eventually amount to stress, which will affect your performance. Likewise, hitting things too hard, too early can also amount to physical stress and overload on your body which will result in fatigue. Now obviously I’m not saying we shouldn’t be doing hard sessions but we just shouldn’t be doing hard sessions ALL the time- our bodies and minds simply can’t keep up with this process of physical and mental stress. So what should we be doing this time of year?

1. Getting in the miles: I’ve written about this before- this time of year is ALL about the miles. Tim Don once said “Winter miles = Summer smiles” and I like that notion. It’s a proven fact that a decent base fitness provides the foundation for the hard season ahead. Neglect it at your peril! It can be tough though….this winter has certainly provided some rather wet scenarios and a fair amount of detours due to flooding. It’s important to not become disheartened by this.. I’m a firm believer that we should just be getting out in it, a little bit of rain never killed anyone. And I always find a bigger sense of satisfaction when I’m out in the elements and everyone else it at home. I think it builds mental toughness and prepares you for the English weather because let’s face it…how often do we race in perfect conditions? Make these miles fun..ride with different people, enjoy a cafe stop and relax. It shouldn’t be about power averages or speed, it should be about controlled efforts and a steady heart rate.  And always remember to build up slowly!

2. Embrace the turbo: I’m definitely not one for sitting on a turbo for 3-4 hrs (I would personally rather kill myself) but I do appreciate the value of the turbo in terms of safety and specificity of training. Although I believe that getting out there is the only way to prepare you for riding properly, when its icy and dangerous I do feel that turbo has its place. Again I could not envisage riding longer than 1.5 hrs on the turbo but we’re all different and I know people who sit there for up to 5-6 hrs at a time. Fair play to them is all I can say. I have no doubt that that they are getting benefits from these sessions and if you don’t fancy the weather then it’s better than nothing.

3. Don’t make up for lost time: Sessions will be missed and may need to be adapted. Work, injury, illness, weather, whatever it may be that stops you doing a session it’s frustrating but it’s happened.  Get over it, be flexible and try not to stress about what you haven’t done, look at the sessions you have achieved and try to maintain some consistency. I know we’ve all done it but going out and training when you feel under the weather or are a carrying an injury only results in more stress being placed on the body which will eventually take its toll. Be sensible, rest up and live to fight another day.

5. XC run it! Mud, sweat, few tears! What more can you want?! Ok I’m still not sure I LOVED it but a sick part of me definitely wants more! I would normally partake in some road racing over the winter months but I honestly couldn’t face another race where I knew my times wouldn’t be what I wanted so instead of torturing myself I decided to challenge myself and so something new. It meant that I couldn’t compare and couldn’t stress about my times or the result. I was there because I wanted some good old fashioned pain! XC running is a great strength session and I know it will have given my legs a good honest boost for the season ahead.

4.Finally…. Love it! Love what you are doing, challenge your mind, challenge your body and let yourself be inspired by those around you. Training is hard, its takes desire, strength, motivation and determination. All of which will falter at times. Again don’t be hard on yourself. Talk to someone who’s understands what you’re doing.  We can all learn from others around us. For me my coach is both a friend and inspiration. He keeps me grounded, kicks me up the arse when I need it and encourages me to believe that I’m good enough to achieve what I want and more.  Finding a coach that understands you as an athlete and a person is key. I appreciate not everyone can afford or have access to a coach so find a club. I’m continuously humbled and inspired by various members of my team. From beginners to Ironman hero’s. Each and every person out there training has something to teach you. Enjoy training with them, whether you’re being dragged or doing the dragging…it’s more fun as a team.

Off season- Love it or hate it??!

At the end of a hard season we’re repeatedly told the importance of taking some time out. The pro’s do it so it must be right hey??!! I’ve always been forced (literally) to take at least 2 weeks away from training at the end of the season and I’m usually a pain in the backside! I spend the whole time feeling guilty that I’m not training, feeling lethargic and fat and basically end up annoying the hell out of my coaches and friends…all in all not always an enjoyable couple of weeks for anyone involved! So following my somewhat frustrating season of racing, initially when told that I would have to take 3 WHOLE weeks away from training I could already feel my blood pressure starting to rise…I mean, what on earth am I going to do to fill all this extra time and, actually, thanks to shingles, haven’t I had enough time off already this season?

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Do Winter Weights = Spring Time Savings

It is that time of year when a lot of triathletes are forced indoors by the ‘challenging’ British weather and many of us will start to invest a bit more time in good ol’ winter weights. But what should we be doing? Will it help us come the spring time? Do you really need it? Well unless you’re routinely doing squats on a physioball the answer is probably yes!

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New Conditioning & Core Sessions

We at Premier Tri are very proud to announce our new conditioning/core sessions. Led by experienced triathlon Coach Emerick these sessions will start at 7.30pm outside the Millenium Arena, Battersea Park. The one hour sessions will run around the park and come at no extra cost to our pay monthly members.

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The sessions are aimed at improving running efficiency, functional strength and running times, with specific drills that will assist in developing your core and technique. The run sessions will be distance or timed runs varying in length from 1-8km combined with additional core/ functional strength work. The sessions are aimed to compliment the speed work of the track sessions and supplement your own long runs whilst enabling you to identify your most efficient speed to run in your races.
Sessions start Wednesday 23rd October.