The dark places

A phrase I heard over and over after the New Forest Middle Distance Triathlon (NFMDT) was ‘I went to some dark places on that run’. The great thing however was that everyone completed the race and evidently in fine style too. We received numerous comments about our fab looking club kit (yours is on it’s way if you have placed an order!). We were in fact the most well represented club at the race with a total of ten of us competing. While the race is very tough and was a real struggle that brought some people to tears I am convinced overcoming such challenges is good for you both physically and mentally. You learn a lot about yourself when pushing yourself to the limit. If you are thinking about competing in a middle distance race next year I can recommend the NFMDT. It’s not the easiest course but the scenery is amazing and the race very well organised and it has a nice grass roots feel about it, the way triathlon used to before it started being used as a money making machine. Controversial!

Congratulations to all those who competed. It was a great effort over a very challenging course and you can be very proud to have finished especially if you overcame cut feet, calf strains, shin splints and other issues to do so. Rob Boulding had a go at extreme bonking by completing the whole event on just two energy gels and few wine gums. Needless to say he found the darkest place on the run of anyone and crossed the line with a very ghostly white complexion and cheeks more sunken than Lance Armstrong’s at the end of the Tour. In contrast I ate and drank so much I had a pee stop in T2 so long I thought I would get a round of applause as I came out of the port-a-loo and then proceeded to throw up at mile two on the run. I felt better for both though!

It’s a big weekend for those obsessed with ‘going long’. It is the Ironman World Championships this weekend in Kona Hawaii. It is quite possible that GB could have three women on the podium. I am looking forward to seeing the battle between Chrissie Wellington, Julie Dibens and Mirinda Carfrae not to mention the battle between these three and some of the male pro’s! In the men’s race there should be some great Northern versus Southern hemisphere battles. My money is on Craig Alexander and Chrissie Wellington but I think Chrissie will be pushed harder than she ever has been by Julie Dibens in the swim and bike and Mirinda Carfrae once they hit the run.

The boys from the club are making a late season bid to compete with the girls’ success over the summer. Sam Burch, who won our own aquathlon last weekend, finished second in the Sprint Distance Cross Triathlon England Championships. So it seems our bearded bone cracker who swims like a fish and runs like a Kenyan can also throw a mountain bike around the trails pretty well too! Andrew Finn won the USN Dorney Lake Super Sprint Triathlon on September 25th. Not bad off the back of his first Ironman in Wales a few weeks before! I promised Amanda I would mention that I won my age group at the NFMDT but will have to beat some very fast younger and some very fast older triathletes to finish higher up overall next year. I blamed the extended stop in T2. The benefits of a two piece tri-suit were made plainly obvious! Not to be out done however the girls have also impressed recently. Sarah Allen was second in her age group and fifth female overall in her first middle distance triathlon at the NFMDT and of course Ellen Greaves beat her own course record to win our aquathlon on Sunday.

I love these videos from Rapha but I think this one captures the camaraderie you get when competing as a team in endurance events that really test you both physically and mentally. Take a look here. This is the kind of camaraderie I saw at the NFMDT within our club and I can’t wait to do it again!

We will be focusing much more on technique over the next few weeks in our swim sessions on Sundays. Make sure you read the following pages from Swim Smooth: breathing; exhalation and kick effectiveness. We are continuing to build towards the Jekyll and Hyde Park Duathlon so we will be hitting the high intensity intervals in the run. See you on Sunday, Tim (LFTC Coach).

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