Hope you’ve all had a great September. There has been a flurry of racing activity this month as the season draws to a close. There have also been some huge single discipline challenges completed by our squad members. Huge congrats to all for conquering some monumental challenges.
The main questions I get asked at this time of year is how long my off-season break should be and when should I return to training for 2023? Each case will be highly individual but for many of you that return could be imminent, for others it could be a few weeks or months away. Most athletes generally return to training between October & November but for some this could be December or even the new year. It’s generally the athletes with young families that struggle to make that commitment earlier which is understandable on many levels.
The decision to dive back in is largely based on several factors, most importantly it comes down to being sure you have had enough time off structured training and you feel that the time is right. There is no rush, you need to make sure you are absolutely chomping at the bit to start a new plan once again. That motivation will be partly fuelled by making sure you do all the things you need to do that you can’t do during the season. This will include spending quality time with family and friends and giving back to all those that gave to you in pursuit of your athletic goals. I like to call this ‘bagging brownie points’ because you will need them once you step on that hamster’s wheel once again (ha-ha) so be sure to stock up in abundance.
The mental and physical downtime you need in between the end of the season and the beginning and the start of the new one should not be underestimated. It’s one of the most important periods of your training because it allows you to re-charge. This is so important if you want longevity in an incredibly demanding sport that will challenge your body in so many ways. It’s just way too easy to stay on the hamster’s wheel for too long because of a fear of ‘losing fitness’. Which when you think about it is quite foolish really because peak fitness simply cannot be maintained all year round. Your body will break if you do this. What goes up must come down before you can re-start that building process once again.
What you should also come back to training with is a very clear vision of what the focus is for 2023. This will include potential race choices and the all-important ‘A’ race or races. This guides everything because the end point is what we will always start with. Then it is so much clearer to build a plan to take you towards this.
So, let’s be clear, if you come back to training telling me your unfit and feeling a bit fat, you’ll have a very happy Coach welcoming you. Because after all, this only tells me you’ve have fully embraced your time out.
Then it’s game on.
- Angus Pollard
- Splits: 30:40 swim / 2:33:53 bike / 1:34:22 run
- Total Time: 4:45:37
- 25-29 category
The Outlaw X (70.3)
- Angus Pollard
- Splits: 13.44swim / 2:30:16 bike / 1:28:18 run
- Total Time: 4:18:36
- 25-29 category
I love it when a new athlete does something just a little bit special which tells me so much about his character. After feeling disappointed with his race execution (pacing!) at Weymouth 70.3, Angus was frustrated with himself. So, he asked me if he could race another 70.3 only 7 days later. He put a good case forward and chose to do it for all the right reasons. He then went out and nailed his pacing and implemented all the ideas we had been discussing before the previous race. The result is there for all to see, huge congrats Angus…this was the perfect steppingstone to what you will do in 2023.
- Joep Van Meerwijk
- Splits: 32:24 swim / 2:50:34 bike / 1:46:04 run
- Total Time: 5:17:14
- 40-44 category
A solid performance from our Flying Dutchman who had to factor in a very small bundle of joy into his training this year! When you accept that you can only do the best you can with the time you have training then training becomes so much more enjoyable and rewarding. Nice work all year with the challenges you faced Joep.
European Duathlon Champs – Bilbao, Spain (Sprint)
- Steve Phillips
- Splits: 18:59 run / 37:58 bike / 10:33 run
- Total Time: 1:11:30
- 45-49 category
European Duathlon Champs – Bilbao, Spain (Standard)
- Steve Phillips
- Splits: 39:40 run / 1:13:15 bike / 19:57 run
- Total Time: 2:17:31
- 45-49 category
- Next up: Greece 70.3
Alongside racing at the Ironman World Champs in St George and then qualifying for the 70.3 World Championship’s in Finland next year, our ‘Pocket Rocket’ Steve also managed to bag himself 2 places to race for Team GB at the duathlon World’s this month. Not one to miss out on experiences he decided to do both races sprint & standard distances one day after the other. He backed himself and came out the other side with 2 excellent race performances with very little specific prep for either.
Box End sprint triathlon
- Toby Dean
- Splits: 13:08 swim / 36:17 bike / 22:50 run
- Total Time: 1:14:18
- 50-54 category
Dorney Lake Sprint Triathlon
- Toby Dean
- Splits: 12:56 swim / 34:52 bike / 22:04 run
- Total Time: 1:12:17
- 1st in 50-54 category
Huge congrats to Toby who finished the year claiming his hat-trick of wins in the 50-54 division to round off one of his best seasons to date. With prep that was far from perfect ‘The Triathlon Postman’ always seems to deliver come race day!
Box End Sprint triathlon
- Tony Jarvis
- Splits: 13:32 swim / 36:05 bike / 23:24 run
- Total Time: 1:15:20
- 45-49 category
A tough end to a season that had some real highs and lows for TJ. The high was racing for Team GB at the World Champs in Edmonton…the low was having to manage his sciatica at most of his events. He did this brilliantly though by being sensible and listening to his body. A season to remember for sure and plenty more to come.
Ealing Half Marathon
- Arnaud Marchal
- Total Time: 1:45:03 run
- 40-49 category
A new PB for ‘The Flying Frenchman’ at his hometown half-marathon earlier this month. A terrific effort considering he completed his 1st Ironman only weeks before. Chapeau Arnaud!
Lake Windermere end-to-end swim 21km
- Nikki Murray Smith
- Splits: swim
- Total Time: 7 hours
If anyone tells you that training for a long swim like this isn’t tough, then have a quick chat with Nikki. Just finding venues to be able to swim long enough was part of the problem in London due to limited time slots for open water swimming in London. Where there is a will there is always a way though, so split swims between open water and pool were the name of the game. Nikki rose to this challenge right throughout her training and was impressively adaptable. The pinnacle of this was a 10k open water swim followed by a 5km pool swim one after the other for her longest training swim. Then disaster struck the morning of the event, they decided to cancel it due to a bad weather report…that frustratingly never came! Lady Luck was on her side though as she managed to find another one that was happening the very next day and the rest is history. Huge congrats Nikki, one to be proud of.
Lands End to John O’Groats bike ride
- Nicola Whittock
Huge congrats to Nicola who managed to complete the mammoth ride of 980miles in 9 days. This was another very special performance from one of our athletes who was doing it in memory of her late husband and former legendary Team Nagi athlete Simon Whittock who died from a brain tumour. This was such an incredible effort considering when Simon was alive Nicola wouldn’t go near a bike! Simon and I used to plot ways of getting her into cycling when I was with him poolside so to see her achieve this conquer this incredible challenge was simply amazing. He would be bursting with pride to see this.
The Dyfi 13km swim (Wales)
- Anna John, Carmen Prem, Teresa Walton-Smith, Nikki Murray-Smith, Geraint John, Christiane Kerr, Helen Kemmit, Sandy Wall, Alistair Robson, Leah Studer
Huge congrats to all our swimmers that completed the Dyfi 13km swim in Wales! Great work guys & girls, it looked absolutely spectacular. Big up to the solo ‘skins’ swimmer too!
Book of the month
“In it for the Long Run is ultra-runner Damian Hall’s story of running a first marathon aged 36, dressed as a toilet, and representing Great Britain four years later. His midlife-crisis running problem escalated to 100-mile ultramarathons and record-breaking bimbles, culminating in his 261-mile Pennine Way run in July 2020”
I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Damian Hall about his journey to becoming one of the UK’s top ultra runners. From a humble beginning came great things and the book is written with great humour and insight. For those of you want to understand why people are going longer and longer these days this book will give a fantastic insight into that world.
Instagram post of the month
Athlete feedback of the month
“So nice to be back in that beautiful Hawaiian ocean …just me and the fish. Felt good. Will send you my map and just a few photos to make you jealous!”
Team out & About
Kona spam incoming…’The Pocket Rocket’ has landed after a 3 year hiatus! Best of luck Vickster…we are ALL rooting for you!
Getting dialled in for the assault on the 2023 season!
So now we know the ‘REAL’ reason Nikki wanted to swim Windermere
Going Jedi…when you ask an athlete to tape over the power meter computer during racing and just “feel the force Luke”…progress