August update-BSS grand final

August has been the best month of this year so far. All. My niggles and injuries have finally healed so I’ve just been increasing my training steadily.

I also raced the British Super Series grand final in Sunderland. I had an awful start after getting pushed back on the start line(it was a beach start) but managed to swim well get back up into third. Transition was basically on a road but there wasn’t any carpet down so I lost 5 places in transition just from having sore feet. The particularly annoying thing was that my transition itself was really good.

Onto the bike and I was just off the front pack coming out of transition. I could have probably kicked and got up to that group but I wanted to save some energy and get up more steadily. This proved to be a bad tactical decision as I couldn’t close the gap in the end and had to wait for the second pack. I just sat in that pack until T2. Again I lost some time from running on the concrete in T2, and came out in around 12th. I knew I would never do too well running from second pack after my limited training ( only 3 run sessions this year) , but just did my best and came home in 9th (7th brit). I felt really good on the run which is a massive positive, but a stitch meant I couldn’t give it as good a shot as I would have liked. However after so long out it is a massive positive that I felt so good, I just need to work on race execution now, which should come back as I race more.

I still had a chance to redeem myself the next day in the British youth and junior relay championships. I went third and was very pleased with my leg, racing against guys up to 3 year older. In the end my team came third to massive thanks to Jess, Struan and Annabelle.

I’m writing this as I go down to UK school games. I’m racing tomorrow (1st September) in the aquathlon lon which is live streamed on the youth sport Trust YouTube channel. The heats are at 17:00 and the finals around 18:20. The relay is also livestreamed, in the Saturday at 17:15. I’ll explain how the format works in my next blog, but the individual race doesn’t only consist of the aquathlon.

July-Mallory Park BSS

My strained tendon wasn’t completely healed at the start of the month so that meant no hard running for another 2 weeks. I was on holiday for the 2 and a half weeks before Mallory which meant my preparation wasn’t great. I did however manage to do my first proper run session since December while on holiday, which I was extremely pleased about. I wasn’t running too slowly either-in fact I was very happy with how my first two sessions went. The third and last one before Mallory (which was slightly easier) wasn’t quite as good but still ok.

Mallory was a heats and finals format so I was wanting to take the heats as easily as possible and then see what I could do in the final. This was the qualifying race for Europeans which was a big target of mine at the start of the season, but obviously I had to admit that I wasn’t in a great position to deliver, but I still wanted to give it a shot.

In the heats my swim and bike went to plan, as I made the front pack and just sat on the back for the bike. On the run however, I felt awful, but still managed to get into the ‘A’ final without too much effort. During my warmup however, I had felt a niggle in my quad which meant I couldn’t do any strides.

Thankfully my quad felt slightly better during my warmup for the final but it was still a little sore. In the final I wanted to position myself out wide to avoid the ‘washing machine’ effect to give myself the best chance of getting in the front pack. I also started hard to avoid the chaos, which worked quite well but I still got a bit caught up, however that was more due to my lack of fitness that tactics. I came out of the water in around 10th, or maybe just slightly higher up. My transition was average and I came out of transition in about the same position, just 5 seconds down on the front pack that was forming. I felt strong on the bike, but I wasn’t strong enough to close down the front pack. The technical course was also hampering me as cornering is a big weakness of mine and something I am working on. I came into transition 2 in the second pack about 5 seconds down on the leader. From this point on my race went terribly. I had an awful transition and went onto the run already quite a bit down. My run was also feeling awful, and something just felt off, and I felt sore but not in a good way, not like the pain from working hard. After 500m I made the decision to ease up and just jog home as I felt like I was going to injure myself from running hard, and I really didn’t want to risk it as I was already quite far down. It turned out to be the right decision as I’ve now got a bit of a quad niggle, so running hard would have aggravated that massively.

I think now I’m just going to focus on enjoying the season, not stressing about results and trying to be fit enough to train properly. The main positive from mallory is that I’ve qualified for the school games in September so that’s another race to look forward to.

June-Lochore Aquathlon

In June I continued to build back up to full training, but it didn’t go as smoothly as planned. I was building up training until Lochore Aquathlon in mid June, but had to take a few days off after that due to sickness. Then I had to take a further week easier as a tendon attached to my hamstring was irritated, and its always better to back off early than get a serious injury (as I’ve learned through experience) so that is what I did. However I did enjoy racing at Lochore.

It was a multi-race format, with 3 races and your best 2 results counting towards the overall result. In the first race I swam worse than expected – I thought that since I had done some swim training I would have been close to the front but in reality I was still way off the pace. I came out in about 8th and also had an awful transition, however I was happy with how my run went because I hadn’t done any fast running in 6 months so had no idea how I would be. I ended up finishing in 7th.

The second race went slightly better as I was able to position myself better and come out in 6th, quite close to the leaders. My transition was better but I still have a lot of work to do, and I ran myself into 4th. In third race the swim went out very quickly, but I didn’t meaning at the first buoy I was out of the top 10. In the last straight I managed to swim myself up into sixth and from then it played out the same as the second race, and I came 4th. I was also 4th overall which I’m quite proud of considering how much training I’ve been doing but way off where I ultimately want to be.

Finally I got myself a new pair of Huckson bib shorts to try out. I love them and I’d recommend you go and get some for yourself. Sorry I don’t have many pictures from the race- I just couldn’t find any more.

May update-still building

Fore this month has just been about progressing total training load and introducing running. I’ve now started doing very short easy runs as opposed to the previous run the walk stuff.

I’ve been doing some swimming and cycling, but I’m still a good bit off my normal training as I have to be very careful to not get injured again. I’m hoping to do my first race back at lochore aquathlon however I don’t think I’ll be allowed to run hard, I’ll just have to jog it. I’m also hoping to do a few more races later in the year just so I don’t completely lose the feel for racing for next year, which I’m really focusing on now. It has however been great to get out on my bike a bit in the good weather. I’m just really enjoying the process at the moment and trying to be the best I can with the training I’m allowed to do.

I actually also managed to do my first open water swim of the year, which was great but the water is still quite cold here in Scotland. It was my first time wearing my new huub wetsuit so it was great to swim in that.

Finally, I’m excited to share that Huckson are now releasing new cycling gear, which I know lots of hard work has gone into. Go and check it out at https://huckson.co/

April Update

April has been a lot better than March for me. After my 4 weeks off the doctor said that my fracture should be healed so I’ve been getting slowly back to biking and swimming, and I’ve been doing some plyo work (mostly hopping) to prep for my return to running. I’ve only been training for a few weeks but I’ve already seen some big improvements, however I’m still a long way off being race fit, and I think it’ll be a good few months before I’m anywhere near race fitness. It’s been great getting out and about (I’ve been doing a lot of walking too) since the weather’s really picked up here in Glasgow which has made it really enjoyable to be outside.

Although my fracture has healed and my back has felt a lot better, it is still a little bit sore sometimes which is due to my posture and the way i bend my back when under pressure, so my physio thinks its more postural back pain now, which means i can slowly increase my training. I have to thank my Physio Andy as he’s been great at helping me manage my back and indetify what the problem is, and I have to thank my coach Jack who’s been planning my return to training with Andy.

I was also at The scottish national swimming championships, although I was just there to see and support my friends and teammates. This is always one of, if not the biggest competition of the year for my club, because there is a team award that we are usually in the running for. We had never won it before, but had come second many times. This year we were leading the for the whole meet and we were presented with the award on the last day. I was also there so got to celebrate with the team- we jumped in the pool as our celebration, but there was also face and body paint.

On another note My Scotland trisuit for this season has arrived so i can’t wait to put it to use. Its quite a bit tighter than the other one but still fits and thanks to yonder and Tri Scotland it also had the pedal potential logo on it too-and it looks great!

March update-not so good

March hasn’t been as good a month with my injury, but there is some positive news. so, the MRI scan picked up some heat on one of the vertebrae in my lumbar spine and I subsequently had to go for a CT scan. The CT scan was much quicker than the MRI- about a third of the time. The results from the CT came back saying that I had a stress fracture in that vertebrae. I’ve been told that it should take 3-4 weeks to heal and then I’ll be able to train normally and race again. Unfortunately I won’t be competing this weekend at Performance Assessments but I’m hoping to have a good race at Llanelli in March, my next big race. Although its not great to have a fracture I’m happy that my physio, Andy, the doctor, Jonathan and myself have finally found out what the problem was, and now know exactly what to do how long it’ll take to heal, as I was really getting frustrated with just doing some training not knowing what the problem was. I’ve just been enjoying the time off and making the most of it.

Team Huckson

On a much more positive note, I very excited to announce that I’ll be joining the Team Huckson crew. They specialise in sports clothing, with some casual things to and their products are of great quality. Check out their website https://huckson.co . I’ve also got to give a massive thanks to Sportsaid Scotland for the cheque I have received from them- it’s a great help when there’s so much kit needed for triathlon. Last but not least, thanks to Huub, British Triathlon and Triathlon Scotland for the Huub Brownlee Agilis wetsuit that I’ll be using this year. I’ve got the limited edition gold version so if you want that one you better get it quickly before stocks run out! Finally, I just wanted to let you know that I was in the 3rd episode of the latest superleague documentary series https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Rww4z65YFE (29:52, and 30:15).

February update – big announcement

Im very excited to announce that I’ll be supported by pedal potential for this season. Their support will be a great help so many thanks to them!

I’ve not had any races in February, as I’ve not been allowed due to my back injury. However I feel like it is progressing as I’m back doing almost all my usual swims and I’m back doing a few runs too now, while still doing lots of biking and strength work, which should hopefully give me a good base for the season. My biking is really improving too, as is my handling with all the wind from the storms! One big ride I did was around Tighnabruaich where I was staying with friends – the weather was horrible!

I recently had a MRI scan to make sure that there’s nothing seriously wrong so then I can get back so I can get back to normal training. I even had acupuncture-it felt very odd.

The first race of the season is British triathlon performance assessments in Nottingham in April so I’m aiming to have a few weeks of normal training before that.

January Update

Unfortunately I’ve not had a great start to the year due to my back injury persisting. I’ve been allowed to do certain strength exercises and biking this month. I can really feel my biking coming along, which is great so I can focus on swimming and running when I’m allowed to train normally again. I’ve been allowed to re-introduce a tiny bit of swimming last week to see how my back responds, and I’ve not had too much pain or discomfort which is really encouraging. It was also just really nice to catch up with my friends, everyone in my squad and my swim coach Danielle, who has been great so far at helping me do the right things to get back on track. I also have to thank the physio Andy and Jack, my coach who is overseeing all my training. Ive been doing Pro Endurance Coaching bike sessions which are really helping my biking too.

Sorry for the short update this month but I’ve really not got much to say, hopefully my back heals and I’ll have more to say next month.

December Update

Happy New Year and I hope you had a great Christmas break!

I’ve been almost completely off training for the past 2 weeks because my back injury has gotten a bit worse so I’m trying to get rid of it as soon as possible, especially since I’m off school on exam leave until the end off the month and I’m hoping to get in some good training, because lets face it- I won’t be revising for 6 hours a day.

At the start of December I was at a swim meet in Edinburgh swimming the 400m free in the morning. I got a 4 second pb coming in at 4.16, which was what I was aiming for but I do think I’ve got more to come, since I had very little taper and although I did pace it quite well, I could’ve went out a bit faster (I was right at the back of my heat at the start of the race, but ended up coming 4th). After my race I did a run session in Holyrood park, right next to Arthur’s seat- an extinct volcano. I was running really well in what was a tough, hilly solo session. Apart from that I was training as usual.

The last bit of news it that the dates for the British Super series next year have been announced, with my main target being the race at Mallory park, which is the qualfication one for the European champs. The good news is that the 2 weeks before that I’m on holiday in France so I’ll be able to do some warm weather training, with probably lots of cycling in the Pyrenees with a friend who will be racing there too.

West Districts Cross Country and West Districts swimming

I had quite a tough November in terms of training, since I had a sore back which took me out for a week. I still managed to get some decent training in, squeezing in a 100km ride in big week. Swimming is becoming more focused since there are already swim meets coming up.

First up up was West Districts swimming, which fell in my big week, which was quite unlucky. I had 4 swims over 2 sessions. I swam pretty badly in my morning swims-100free and 400im but went on my long run at lunchtime (18km) and I surprisingly swam quite well in the afternoon, pbing in both my events-400fc and 100back, for which I went 1.03. Maybe I should train right before every race!

Onto West Districts Cross Country and I was racing for my club, Giffnock North, along with about another 10 club mates. The race had the under 17 and under 20 age groups in the same race, so it was a larger race than usual. I started much too slow, potentially as I didn’t do strides as I needed the toilet right before the race-oops! It was a very hilly course of just under 6km, but thankfully started downhill. After about the first 3km I started moving up the field pretty quickly. After 3km I was in about 15th (out of u17 and u20, about 10th u 17) and then by the end I had caught up to 5th u17. I was very happy with my second lap, and I think could have come 3rd, with better pacing and if I was rested. I’ve got a swim meet then a swim camp coming up this month, and I’m planning on taking on a big challenge just after Christmas-will reveal more soon.

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