Coach – Dave Newport and Mark Jones
Dave @snoozeport Newport’s no nonsense approach is getting my off-season run training bang on track. To be honest I have rested on my laurels with running over the past few seasons relying on my background as a half decent runner back in the day… but losing places on the triathlon run leg (or not making up as much ground as I thought I should..) really started to nark me last season, so I decided to do something about it. Getting back into structured run training was a bit of a shock to the system, with run pacing all over the place depending on fatigue from the bike and swim and whether my running legs decided to show up that day or not. I’m not where I want to be yet…. but Dave will make sure I’m heading in the right direction.. (even though I still get lost on an out-and-back route)!
I’m also starting specific bike work with Mark Jones @therealmcjonesy this month. Mark is a drag2zero team mate and pretty rapid rider himself having ridden 18mins for 10miles. Being a very intelligent guy he takes a individualised approach to cycling, prescribing sessions that tap into your physiology. Really looking forward to getting in for physiological testing with Mark and Richard Baskerville at Oxford Uni at the end of this month – I’ll blog about it after the visit – it’s going to be pretty unique stuff and drill down into what kind of athlete I am and what type of training I’ll respond to best. Cool stuff.
Work – Performance Chef
Because there’s life outside of training and because triathlon doesn’t pay the bills (yet….) I’m doing some consultancy work for a new bespoke sports nutrition company Performance Chef. Performance Chef is the brainchild of michelin star chef (retired) Alan Murchison who also knows a bit about being pro amateur elite at duathlon too! It’s about taking your training plan and building a meal plan around it. To be honest my main role is chief recipe taster so you will be glad to know that any meal on your Performance Chef nutrition plan is vickstertri approved.
Habits – Yoga
For ages I have been told yoga is good for you but I’ve never really got it. It all seemed like a bit of a waste of time and being an unflexible runner type most of the postures out there on instagram just looked painfully unattainable. I quite liked the idea of the whole relaxation and getting tuned into your body thing so when I recently moved house I started going along to a yoga class run by former elite marathon/ultra runner Michaela McCallum. Being in a class full of mostly runners rather than scarily bendy yogis made all the difference. Suddenly I wasn’t the crap one at the back struggling with the simplest of postures while everyone else contorted themselves into pretzels or whatever the heck those postures are called, there were other people there just as useless as me… and yes I know yoga isn’t a competitive sport but it’s hard not to compare sometimes. Even though my Monday night yoga class is often the hardest session of my week, it is also the one that makes me feel the best about myself and my body. Total yoga convert – thanks Michaela.
Home – Winchester
Having made my home in Devon for the past few years, the end of 2015 saw a massive upheaval and relocation to Winchester in Hampshire. While I felt spiritually at home in Devon and will always treasure my time spent there, it was tough not to feel isolated sometimes and as an athlete it was logistically challenging. As a pro athlete needing to travel quite extensively to race it often added an extra day of travel pre and post race affecting prep and recovery. Major life changing circumstances prompted the relocation to the green hills of Winchester – the hot bed of running and triathlon talent – counting 4 huskies, Simone Dailey, India Lee and Louise Damen as fellow residents.
What stays the same?
Swim Coach – SwimForTri Dan Bullock
Really proud to continue my association with SwimForTri’s swim guru Dan Bullock. Dan really is the best in the business and though I often test his patience to the limits he continues to inspire and motivate me to keep working at my swimming. We’re hoping 2016 will finally be the year to break 60min for the ironman swim having been stuck around 61/62mins for the past few seasons. Swimming will never be my strong point but with the aim of damage limitation and enjoyment I can’t fail!
Sponsors – Drag2zero, SwimForTri and speedo, Powerbar, Brooks running, Velotech
If it aint broke don’t fix it. Loyalty is very important to me and in 2016 I will continue to build on successful relationships with people and brands who have backed me from the word “go”. I am very happy to have retained these sponsors and look forward to representing them to the best of my ability this season. Keep an eye on twitter and my blog for new product reviews over the season. Next up is a blog on how to train for a triathlon (aimed at accomplished runners and newbies alike) on the Brooks running website.
Next up is SwimForTri training camp at Club La Santa in late Jan/early Feb. This will be my 5th, 6th or 7th trip to the island – I lose count – but Lanzarote never loses it’s magic.
Heads up on upcoming races…
Powerman Mallorca, a fast half marathon attempt and an early season 70.3 feature in my plans. Full schedule TBC soon.