Rich and Sophie spent January, February and most of March living down in Cornwall with Sophie’s parents. Lockdown has been a time to keep building the Tri2 coaching business, work with new athletes and continue with our training.
Sophie’s exciting news
Some exciting news – Sophie was chosen to be an ambassador for Neuff Red. It is the UK’s No 1 online store for triathlon equipment and endurance products but it is so much more than that. Neuff has links to all sorts of amazing people within the sporting world and they also seek to give advice and guidance in the crazy world of triathlon and endurance that we all love. They have lots of amazing connections with pro triathletes and paratriathletes, physios, sports scientist, coaches, nutritionists and now a whole range of ambassador triathletes. Sophie is really excited to meet lots of like-minded people, continue to learn and for everything else the future holds at Neuff Red. Click the logo below to check out their website.
Biking and the Discovery of Zwift Racing
We have continued to use lockdown as a chance to really build our bike strength and have been spending a lot of time on the turbo. We are both getting stronger and starting to reap the rewards of hours of training. Both our FTPs have continued to increase and, more recently, we have begun dabbling in the world of Zwift racing.Sophie attempted her first Zwift time trial, Team Time Trial and crit race and has managed to work her way up to A category status. She is feeling really strong and is excited to see how far her cycling can go. Rich has also been going all out in races and pushing out great power, even reaching the podium against strong competition. We have both been using the virtual world as a replacement for the anticipation and excitement of racing. It has scratched an itch for both of us but we also just can’t wait to get out in the real world racing against human being competitors rather than their avatars.
Getting Outdoors More
As glimmers of spring have started to emerge, we have both been excited to get outside and battle the elements. The turbo is an incredible tool for bike fitness but there is a danger of getting used to the safety of a stable bike in the comfort of the living room. Getting outdoors more on our bikes has reminded us why we love cycling. There is no better feeling than zooming along with the wind in your hair. The weather has been incredibly windy though, so we have had to remember all our bike handling skills to stay upright (especially when Sophie has opted to ride on her road bike with race wheels). Not to mention pot holes, steep ascents and descents, sun glare and crazy drivers to contend with. We both had bike fits with Kernow Physio to make sure, with our high mileage, we are in the most aero but comfortable position possible.It was fun to try out some tempo efforts in TT position outdoors and something we will continue to do so that we will be ready whenever race day comes. (It’s hard now to remember a world when you booked a race and the likelihood was very high that it would go ahead as planned.)
Swimming with elastic cords….is starting to get very boring
Swimming has been a frustration. We have continued to commit 30 minutes a day to our swim cords but we are both starting to lose our minds a little bit. It is monotonous and we are just so desperate to get back in the water. By water, I mean swimming pools. The water temps are enough to chill you to the bone even in a wetsuit. I know that there are some crazy brave souls that have been open water swimming all winter but it is just not for us. The swimming pool is where we belong (from April 12th and no a day later) although the day will come when we brave our first proper open water swim of 2021.
We have our first race of 2021 booked at Southport triathlon. (This could well be our first open water swim of 2021). Sophie and Rich are very much looking forward to racing and showing what they can do on the bike. After hearing about the conditions of the marine lake, and the distinct lack of practise, we are both a bit apprehensive about the swim. Most triathletes are in the same boat however (speaking of boats could we just cut out the swim and row boats instead). None of us have been able to swim as much as would like so we can all only do our best with what we have got. Southport is an Olympic distance race – so not the 70.3 distance we train for, but we wanted a chance in May just to toe a start line. It is a GB qualifying event so there will be the temptation to go hard and aim to qualify. However, we are both coming back from running injuries and our 70.3 A races that take priority are later in the year.
Rich and I were excited when we heard about Supersapiens – an energy management system that tracks glucose levels using an easy-to-apply biosensor. Supersapiens are now partnering with Ironman in 2021 as the official Real-Time Energy Management System Sponsor in Europe so we were excited to give it a try. As ambassadors, we were gifted with a month’s trial pack. Checkout the blog next week to hear our thoughts and review.
Running injuries have been a pain in our lives but we are both over the worst and starting to reflect on the last few months. There are always going to be controllables and you can train smart to avoid injuries, but sometimes injuries just happen are an inevitable part of the sport/growing older/the intricate nature of the human body. We have both definitely learnt our lessons and will be treading more carefully in future. It has been a great learning curve and given us a both a real appreciation of running now that we are able to again. Running is always going to be an injury prone sport and must be handled carefully. It is really important to have a mobility and strength and conditioning program specifically for our bodies addressing our individual weaknesses and imbalances. This year has allowed us to get to know our bodies, the way we respond to training, and adapt our training programme as we go.