Posts Tagged ‘triathlon’

Evolve Trio

Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 | Sport

Evolve Trio is a new event for 2021 run by the Blue Lagooners team. It is designed to be an accessible form of triathlon with the swim, cycle and run split over the bank holiday weekend with one on each day. Additionally, the course is split into four laps and athletes can choose how many laps they do, making the distance standard to full.

The swim

22 of us were on the start line on Saturday for 1-4 laps of the one-kilometre swim course. The swim is not my strong point: I did a four-kilometre swim in the pool before Yorkshireman, as well as a 3.5-kilometre open water swim in which I got cramp, then I did the Yorkshireman itself, which I also cramped and found pretty traumatic.

After that, I decided I would get in the pool and swim four kilometres every week. Then COVID happened and no lake or pool opened for more than an hour. So, my preparation was not where I wanted it to be. However, since the pools opened last month, I have managed to fit in 23 swims including a 10.5-kilometre week as part of the 7in7 challenge.

As a result, I was sure how it was going to go. But it went well! I got around in 1:35:58. That was good enough to pick up the lanterne rouge by 15 seconds. Potentially, I could go faster at Outlaw given the course is 200 metres shorter and there may be less stopping for snacking (may!). 12 of us completed the maximum four laps.

The bike

Sunday brought the bike course. It should have been 1-4 laps of a 45-kilometre loop. However, roadworks added an extra 47.2 kilometres, making it 178.8 kilometres in total. Officially it was sportive rules so it wasn’t cheating when a bunch of us were drafting a tractor. But tractors also go slower than we can cycle. There were other riders for the first hour but after that it was lonely. Thankfully, there were race vehicles on the course and the marshals cheering us on.

Womersley is flat so I was able to get plenty of speed. I went through the first 30 kilometres in under an hour and averaged 29 kph. Part of it was also increased power: at Yorkshireman, I output 153 Watts and averaged 25.3 kph and 156 Watts with an average of 24.4 kph at Woolenman. This time I output 188 Watts so I like to think that had something to do with going an hour faster and finishing in 6:37:46. Seven us of completed the maximum four laps.

The last lap was hard. Despite constant eating, I was still hungry and probably quite dehydrated by then. Or maybe the sunburn was kicking in on the few areas of skin that I missed, despite sun creaming three times. The final time I did while cycling: new skill!

The run

Finally, the run. Getting up at 6am was not my ideal bank holiday but it comes with the territory. The other days started at noon and 11am which gave my stomach time to settle. The early start was harder, though, and my stomach felt uneasy the whole way around. I still managed to eat enough, though and kept a good pace the whole way around.

Because of my sunburn, I decided to run in my Under Armour HeatGear base layers. Luckily, it wasn’t too warm and went between sun and shade most of the morning. I started feeling good in the final two kilometres when my mind settled down and focused on how close the finish was.

I finished the run in 3:38:30, more than an hour ahead of my Yorkshireman time and even further ahead of my Woolenman time. Six of us completed the maximum four laps.

The result

My total time was:


Officially, it was a personal challenge and there were no prizes. But unofficially, that was good enough for third place out of the six of us that completed all four laps of all four disciplines. Which meets my fifth place at Hubble Bubble.

Although it puts me over two-and-a-half hours ahead of previous full distance triathlons they do not directly compare as I was able to rest between each discipline. Also, the swim course was 200 metres longer, the bike course was nine kilometres longer but had much less climbing, and the run course was shorter. Still, it has been a big confidence boost for Outlaw.

I got a different medal for each event and they fit together like a jigsaw.

A big thank you to Bev, Morg and the whole team down at Blue Lagoon for keeping us safe and looking after us for the entire weekend.

Tadcaster triathlon 2021

Thursday, May 27th, 2021 | Sport

Triathlon is back! Tadcaster was the first race of the season for many of us coming just after things started to open up. It was so good to get back to triathlon racing as it feels like 2021 is going to be a full season, albeit with plenty of COVID adjustments in place.

Eight of us from Hyde Park Harriers were racing: Naomi, Graeme, Leigh, JP, Paul, Aron, Carlos and myself. It is a pool-based sprint race with some odd distances: 400-metre swim, 14 km bike and then usually a 7 km trail run. However, due to flooding, it was changed to a road-based run of 5.5 km.

I was very pleased with my performance at every point. I have included my 2019 results but they do not directly compare: transition has moved to further away and te run route was totally different.

Stage 2021 2019
Swim+ 12:30 12:21
T1 01:10 02:36
Bike 25:59 28:41
T2 01:49 01:31
Run 22:54 32:32
Total 1:04:20 1:17:38

The “swim+” time includes the swim plus running to transition. My swim was faster than previous years, and I think under 9 minutes, which is probably a PB. The bike splits can be compared and I was faster there. While the run splits cannot be compared I was dumbstruck to find I had the fastest run split of the eight of us. I think everyone else was having a bad day!

Still, if I can continue to reduce my swim times I could be right in the mix as only Naomi and Carlos set faster bike splits. Now I know people were having bad days there as JP’s FTP is literally nearly 100 Watts higher than mine. In any case, it was just awesome to see everyone and race with them again.

7in7 documentary

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021 | Sport, Video

The 7in7 challenge may be over, but you can relive the adventure vis the video below.

7in7 Challenge: Day 7

Sunday, May 2nd, 2021 | Sport

When I started this challenge, nobody told me I would have to get up at 6:30 am on a Sunday to go swimming. Is there any higher form of suffering? My arms were heavy and I think this affected my swim stroke was I started to feel pain in my right shoulder towards the end. Luckily, it was the final swim.

Bogdan joined me for the bike course and we headed up into the hills of Wharfedale to take in Harewood, Almscliffe Crag, Stainburn and Leatherley before a cafe stop in Otley to miss some of the rain. The climb back to Leeds was still wet but the sun came back out as we descended back into the city centre.

Finally, Danni joined me for a tour of Meanwood Valley and Headingley to finish the challenge!

Thank you to everyone who has supported the challenge through donating and running and cycling with me. We have now raised over £700 to help Unseen combat modern slavery via the JustGiving page.


Total time: 23 hours 24 minutes
Distance: 10,650 metres swam, 302 km cycled, 70 kilometres run
Average calories consumed per day: 4,687 kcals

7in7 Challenge: Day 6

Saturday, May 1st, 2021 | Sport

Back in the lake this morning. The temperature had dropped another one and a half degrees and was now down to 11.8. My socks and gloves helped but this time I couldn’t even keep my core body warm. I made it through the first five of six laps but then started to struggle and the water safety team politely but firmly hinted it might be time to get out. I was shivering a lot when I came out and had to stuff my towel in my mouth to stop biting myself.

Under BTF rules, when the water temperature is 11 degrees the maximum swim length is 500 metres. But this is a challenge, not a race, so I decided to use the backup pool swim I had booked for the evening to do another 250 metres, topping the 1,350 metres from the lake up to more than the 1,500-metre target. Tomorrow I am planning to swim in the pool but I have the lake as a backup and if I do end up in the lake, I will be sticking to 500 metres!

The bike was uneventful; an out-and-back to Castleford with a stop for shortbread and brownies on the way. As if that route wasn’t lovely enough already, the little cafe van seems to be there every day.

The run took in several laps of Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve. I ran a strong first three kilometres before running out of energy and dropping down to a walk. This happens a lot when I am fatigued and was a regular feature of GVRAT. Eventually, the blood gets flowing and I can pick the pace up again: I finished with a strong final few kilometres including a 4:18 km at the end.

Swim: Blue Lagoon, 44:57 (plus The Edge, 7:09)
Bike: Castleford out-and-back, 1:30:00
Run: Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve, 53:42

7in7 Challenge: Day 5

Friday, April 30th, 2021 | Sport

Day 5 of the 7in7 challenge starts to push the game a little further. The first four days added up to 13 hours of training, which is a lot, but not unheard of on an Ironman triathlete training schedule. But from here on out things get tougher as I crossed the 16-hour mark. Some aches and pains, soreness and chafing but so far it is pretty manageable.

Today’s plan was swim, run, bike. My swim felt good but there was some messing about dodging other swimmers so ended up slower than yesterday. Despite feeling sluggish at the start of the run, I got stronger throughout and felt amazing for the final few kilometres, possibly because I Was coming back down hill. Finally, the bike course took in the Beach Island Loop of Watopia. Thank you to Graeme, Naomi and Leigh for keeping me company.

Swim: The Edge, 38:23
Run: Woodhouse Moor loop, 51:23
Bike: Watopia, 1:19:36

7in7 Challenge: Day 4

Thursday, April 29th, 2021 | Sport

Today I passed through the halfway point in the 7in7 challenge. And we passed the £600 mark in fundraising for Unseen!

The cold water in the lake seems to have dried my hands out and I’ve been madly moisturising all day. And I forgot to foam roll last night so I felt pretty stiff this morning. Luckily, after an uneventful swim, Laura Henson was able to fit me in for a sports massage. I broke out the overshoes for the bike ride today but the rain mostly stayed away. Finished up with a trail run around Meanwood Valley with Sarah. It’s all downhill from here!

Swim: The Edge, 37:03
Bike: Otley loop, 1:42:18
Run: Meanwood Valley, 1:01:28

7in7 Challenge: Day 3

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021 | Sport

Day three was a reverse day: run, bike, swim. Morning run with my dad through the bluebells in Temple Newsam before heading down to Wakefield to cycle with Bogdan. Lovely to have some company for both parts! In the evening, I headed down to the Blue Lagoon for my first lake swim of the year. The water temperature had fallen to 13.1 degrees and it felt freezing! My core was okay but my poor hands and feet.

More importantly, we passed the £500 mark raised for Unseen today. Thank you for all of your generous donations!

Run: Temple Newsam, 56:56
Bike: Wakefield, 1:39:52
Swim: Blue Lagoon, 49:39

7in7 Challenge: Day 2

Tuesday, April 27th, 2021 | Sport

Day two complete. My swim stroke is feeling much stronger today. I swam an extra 50 minutes as by the time I checked my watch to see how many lengths remained, I was already past my target. The 1,500 itself was 3 minutes faster than yesterday. The bike was slower due to the route being hillier, and my cleat came loose. Heavy rain and stomach cramps on the run, but it was lovely to be running with the club. Thank you Clare for leading.

Swim: The Edge, 38:17
Bike: Chevin Eccup loop, 1:40:55
Run: Kirkstall, 1:02:59

7in7 Challenge: Day 1

Monday, April 26th, 2021 | Sport

Day one in the bank. The pool was busy this morning and it felt like hard work, possibly because I was thinking there was still all of it to do! Luckily, the sun was shining for the rest of the day and I got my summer jersey out for the first time, albeit with a base layer underneath. The run was shorts and t-shirt weather, too. A little soreness in my left glute but no concerns at the moment (of course, it is only day one!).

Swim: The Edge, 40:01
Bike: Castleford out-and-back, 1:35:23
Run: Aire & Calder Navigation, 53:23