Friday, 9 December 2016

It is the season for xc and cold training...

It has been a little while since I have written a blog and this is due to needing a little break from things, now this for me never ever means a complete break from training, I don't ever need a complete break, I don't think I could do it to myself. Everyone needs to do what they feel is best for them, and a break for me means turning all the gadgets off and just train for a couple of weeks without facts and figures. This might not be in all disciplines but usually does. I had a couple of weeks after storm the form to just chill, and it really helped. I went on holiday and started everything back up, came back, got a chest infection, stopped again and now we are back rolling with things.

Going away to Spain cycling during November was one of the best things I have done. To get that last bit of sun shine before the British aut/wint weather hits was wonderful. I had a great time and got some very good miles in out towards Calpe, Benidorm way. The climbing was bit and most enjoyable, the weather was magical and hot! I loved every second of it. Running with shirt off and watching the sunrise in November on a beach was out of this world!

Sun sun sun!

It is the season for xc and at this time of year all I am trying to do is make sure I don't get injured and keep on running. I have been injury free for almost 8 months now and I can really tell. The key to improving is consistency...keep pushing away and working hard. Also running with some amazing runners in Cheltenham grounds me every time, as I struggle to held onto paces during sessions. They are incredible and can run so fast. It is fantastic training and I love and hate every seconds of it.  

Croome Capability Canter xc  

Croome is a race that sells out within 2mins, it is an iconic place to race as it is a national trust site and I must say the coffee and cake after it exceptional! The race is always packed with a range of athletes but I must say you never know who will have signed up. The race day conditions were great and I went out hard and tried my best to stay away, and it worked. Below is the race report.....

A WORCESTER Athletic Club runner broke the course record as Black Pear Joggers hosted the Croome Capability Canter over 6.5 miles.

Winner Dan Geisler smashed the previous record of 39 minutes 46 seconds, held by fellow Worcester club runner Paul Scriven since 2011, by more than one minute with 38.43.

His fine performance could not be diminished by favourable weather conditions at Croome Park.
The event, led by race director Claire Shacklock, sold out all 350 places at the picturesque venue designed by renowned landscape architect Capability Brown 

Well it wouldn't be the winter without some more baking and with some new support from and amazing company called FUNKY NUY CO. There peanut butter is great and the flavours are fantastic. The range in phenomenal and delicious, which is the most important thing.

FUNKY20 gives you 20% OFF!

These homemade peanut butter cups are delicious and made with FUNKY NUT peanut butter and PULSIN choc chip drops. They became festive but are great any time of the year, they also have no refined sugar!

Pea and rice protein are a fantastic combination and add perfect amount of essential amino acids for recovery. They are perfect for vegans and veganuary which I will be taking part in. To give up meat and animal products for a whole month will be a new experience, but hopefully an insightful one!

Entering into the festive period for me actually means more time for training and recovery, which is always a balancing act with work. Training longer and recovering longer building some good strength ready for the 2017 seasons.

Saturday, 15 October 2016


Where has the season gone....I still remember thinking about doing my first ever 70.3 and now I have completed 2 and also most recently the longest race of my life. The season has zipped by and the night and mornings are dark again,  the weather is cooling off and the season of good will and celebration is in sight (oh how I do love Christmas). Autumn is a magical time of year with lots to look at and many exciting things happening! 


What a race....

Truly one of the most challenging races I have ever been involved in. Tough from start to finish, fast, tactical and very fun!!! 

The start went off as usual, and with a front pack of 5/6 runners is was always going to be hard to know just how much to put in during the first run. It was a half Mara trail run and to be honest it was enough on its own! Hahah. The pack broke into 3 and stayed that way for the whole race. Chopping and changing throughout. I was leading the first run coming back towards T1 by around 30 seconds, but with all the up down motion I needed an un planned toilet stop and then I watched 2nd and 3rd run past! Very annoying, as I know they were both stronger on the bike than me.

A quick transition brought me back some time and onto the bike leg. Starting with a climb out of Clun, it then leveled out but not for long, before a 3k long ascent up the Kerry Ridgeway.  After 55k came two of the biggest climbs I have ever encountered in a race, one after another, leg sapping to say the least. The first climb just went on and on. After 80k on the bike I started to feel broken and keep looking back expecting to be passed but every else was struggling just as much. Coming into T2 without being passed on the bike was a great feeling, it meant I could just chase the front two down. Although with legs like lead after the toughest first run and bike segments I have ever completed in a duathlon it was going to be hard. I ran at what felt like a snail’s pace to begin, and up yet another hill (felt like a mountain). I clawed back a lot of time on second place, and coming over the last hill I start to chase him down to the finish and the sprint is on, but he had a kick left and held on.


The race was epic and one for anybody who likes a challenge, it most certainly lived up to being one of the toughest, if not the toughest LD duathlon in the UK. The feeling at the finish was of pure accomplishment and achievement!

It's been two weeks and my body still isn't quite there, training however is back to normal and now onto winter challenges, xc and building for 2017! But first....some warm cycling in the mountains of Benidorm!!! 


Saturday, 1 October 2016

Vituvian age group disappointments....

To be honest with myself this is the first time I have really wanted to even think about writing about just how disappointed I was with my performance at the national 70.3's taken a lot of time to really want to reflect. 

After a great summer of training I was able to carry some great training through, ran, cycled and swam better than ever. But...I was tired and was ready for a taper. Now as a lot of athletes do, they overload, train hard and rest the week before and event. But I was in pain and deep in fatigue. Too deep! But was confident that the taper would suffice...but it didn't. I went into the race at that I thought was a fresh state, but it wasn't. I could still feel my legs are not great but I hoped that it was the weather and nerves makes me feel rubbish. 

The weather oh the rained from the 6am sign on until, well until the next day! Biblical weather, horrible rain and at times cold. Just not nice racing conditions and made worse as I felt like I was struggling! 

Swim - this actually went okay, fastest I have swam a 1900m open water before and even involved getting out the water and run across the jetty and back into the water. 

Bike - this is where it all fell apart. I literally felt like getting off! The actual pain in my legs was almost unbearable, I just new it was going to be a long day on the bike during the first 10miles. My legs were just not there, i was soaking wet and feeling very sorry for myself. My power was low and my legs were heavy, things were not good at all. I was elated to get off the bike, but just didn't know what my legs would have. 

Run - only saving grace of the day. I did the 21k in 1.19 and some change. How this happened after struggling on the bike so much I don't know. The rain continued to pour down, but I just carried on running the faster I ran the sooner it would all be over! That's all I kept thinking! 

All in all not what I wanted at all, at all, at all! And as a wise girl said, you only feel you are as good as your last performance and in my eyes at the moment I am struggling! 

Anyways, one more race left for the season 9th October, tomorrow! 

Storm the fort duathlon. 20k run-100k bike-11k run! Gonna be a mega day out 5+ hours, but as log as I race well and am happy with my performance then that is all I can ask for and I will be happy. Only time will tell.

National champs was such a shame, I am happy with my year 10m, 25m tt lbs. 10k pb and consistent performances. This was the worst perpfmance of the year, just one to love on and forget! 

Move on and stay strong....tomorrow is another day! Literally the day! 

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Summer summer summer....

The summer is drawing to a close, but hopefully not too soon. The focus of the last 2/3 months has been the vituvian triathlon 10th September and things have been building well. I would say that I am running, swimming and cycling faster than I have ever and that is a nice place to be in. 2016 has been a healthy and strong year. Building well and it's allowed me to keep focused and make improvements. 

Improving my swim has been a focus of the summer and I have been able to do this swimming with groups and other faster individuals than myself. It has been hard by seeing the seconds fall off reps if a great feeling indeed. Literally just hitting the pool and trying to hang onto people's feet in front of me has allowed me to improve and become a stronger swimmer and boy it was needed! 

My running had also made improvement and I have been able to do this by running more and more with faster people, running with a very special group in Cheltenham has been tough, very tough at times, but meant I can make improvements. Training with faster people and just pushing yourself will allow you to improve. Train hard, recover and go again. In real terms it is simple....but we all know it isn't that simple. 

Pershore plum 10k 

This was a very fun event, and a great smash fest with a great runner named Ben Jones. He is a local runner I know well and always knew that he was going to be fast. I was just surprised I was able to hold on and stay with him until the end. Ben is a great guy and I was more than happy to bow out of the last 0.5k for him to take a deserved win. After the first 2k I was about 10th, the race as they normally do always start very fast and my leg speed due to a rather lot of training recently was not quite there, but as the race progressed I was able to just find a rhythm where the others didn't and they slowly dropped off. Before I knew it there was only 3 left. 2 in front and me, I slowly closed the gap and at 6k I was actually leading the ace. I was out in front and trying to lose the other two, but this did not happen. Ben stayed with me and we ran it in for the next 4k together. 

The course was rather windy and bendy and mixture of grass and road so not a quick 10k by any means. But a great effort and was nice to just run a 10k race with a friend and finish with a worc ac 1/2! 
Something I have been using of late to optimise performance has been TRUESTART coffee. It allows you got get the right amount of caffeine without under or over using it. 3mlg of coffee it the optimum for performance and training and with there measure scoop supplied you can make sure you get this correct every time. It taste great which helps a lot aswell....although this means you want to drink it too much. It's available in Holland and Barrett's. 

Recovering from races and training has been number 1 this year and Pulsin have helped me do this supplying my every month with great protein bars.

Bredon sprint triathlon 

This race for me was just more about swimming with a group and transitions, but still and always will give it my all. The swim went really well and actually came out of the water in a half decent position for once. But bike legs were not there at all and found every second of the bike really tough! The run was similar and felt very hard. But it was a happy day due to the fact I was able to swim faster than every and gave me great confidence moving forwards towards the vituvian in September. 

The summer on a whole has been great and I feel that this year I have actually made the most of it. Baking and training has been top of the list. 

I have had the opportunity to train with some great people and really enjoy it. I have been out and about with my coach Matt Bottrill!blog/i73a1

teaching me alive he can really ride a bike. Alan Murchinson, Mr Performance chef himself,

showing me how to time trial and cooking me great dinner and also meeting Vicky Gill, who makes great Bircher for breakfast! 

I have also had lots of interaction and great support from echelon cycles

they have been great all year, always there when I need them.

Now attentions look to the last few hard sessions and then a taper for the biggest race of the year the Vituvian triathlon.

1900m swim
52mile bike
21k run

Monday, 1 August 2016

Cacao, Peanut butter and dark chocolate slab

This recipe is a slight adaptation of many that I have seen. It uses some fantastic quality ingredients that I love and some new ones that Pulsin have been able to supply me with to have an experiment and come up with a few fancy recipes. 

This involves not baking and is very simple to make, and tastes great!



100g butter
100g crunchy peanut butter (meridian)
100g Cacao buttons (Pulsin)
20g honey

300g No added sugar chocolate drops (Pulsin) 
50g coconut oil 
50g salted pistachios 


Line a tin with baking paper ready for the fridge. 
In a pan melt the butter, honey, cacao buttons and peanut butter. Then poor this into the tin and place in the fridge and leave till it goes hard (2/3 hours or overnight).

For the top, melt the coconut oil, and chocolate and poor over the top. Then sprinkle the pistachios over. Place in the fridge and leave untill it hardens. 

Literally so simple and tastes so good! 

Friday, 29 July 2016

Spain training, Droitwich triathlon win!

The months of June and July have so far been very enjoyable. Let's be honest, the weather is warmer and enjobale. Even in the uk you don't really need anything more than a jersey and bibs, and for any cyclist this is frickin ace! So much less kit and riding can be enjoyed with less layers and even less in hotter European countries.....this is where my Spanish trip comes into play. Not this time last year I was in no mans land, injuries and really not getting recovery and training loads right. I was over trained, not getting the nutrition right and adrienally fatigued. Not in a good place. Not this year I'm not making the same mistakes. 
Spain was a much welcomed break from the stresses of life and work, I can't lie, it gets to me. A lot! 

These pics do not do the place justice, the heat and hills were perfect. Climbing was amazing, coffee was great and I couldn't wish for anymore....take me back! 2 and even sometimes 3 sessions in a day, no work or anytime to worry about. Reading and sleeping when it's down time and all the time in the word to just enjoy the day! 

Droitwich tritathlon 

Now I have never ever gone under the hour in a sprint I knew I was in good form, so I thought I was capable  to do it, and I was, Jusg about! 

As you can see I had a rubbish swim, and I mean rubbish. Work needs to really be done in the pool before the 70.3 nationals in September. 

Really went at it on the bike and was happy with my time, I have improved a lot  recently and keep on improving. Need to ensure this continues! 

The run I was very happy with, but it would have been ace to run a sub 17! But own time! 

And to take the win was great! 

Well deserved coffee and cake! 

Now this is only a short blog to get me writing agian. We now build to the 70.3 nationals in stay tuned for more racing and training! 

As always I want to say a massive shout out to echelon cycle shop, my coach Matt Bottrill and Pulsin for all their fantastic support!

Next up...ride London 100m, Bredon hardwick triathlon. 

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Avenger 70.3 - first ever! 4th. Great day.

The day starts with an early wake up call, 4.15am! Not cool. I need to eat around 2.30-3 hours before the race starts, and I am due in the water for 7.30am so I have to eat around 4.30-5am, very early for most on a Sunday, but I have come to expect these things now in the world of multi-sport. Breakfast is done and time to get myself ready and load the car. Run through a quick check list; bike, helmet, wet suit, tri suit, cycle shoes, trainers, race belt, gels and drinks.

the startThe venue for the race is only a short drive away, so that is brill and allows me to arrive 90 mins before the race was due to start so I am calm and not nervous at all.

Warm up, race briefing about the course and away we go, first middle distance (70.3 or half iron, can take many a name):

  • 2,100m swim (slightly longer than the normal 1,900m)
  • 56 mile bike (90k)
  • 13.1 mile run (20k run)

The swim starts at a much steadier pace than I expected, and to be honest with what was yet to come for the day it was fine with me. I didn’t know what to expect and I was very happy with the way it went. I am not the best swimmer and didn’t really know where I can out of the swim, it was around 20-25th I think. I was able to take a few places with a quick transition onto the bike.

bikesT1 – wetsuit off fast and shoes on, off we go.

The bike starts well. Recently I have had some fuelling issues on the bike. The first 30 miles are strong, and then boom, legs went a little. It wasn’t due to fuelling with gels and electrolytes but due to lack of water, just plain water to keep the body ticking over. This was a huge lesson learnt moving forwards with racing and something I will not get wrong again. After picking up some water from the feed station I was them able to kick start myself back into the race and motor on again.

runningThe bike legs were affected a little bit with this and that was
annoying as I probably lost between 3-6 mins with the lack of power which was not cool. I passed 7-8 people on the bike leg and was only caught by one, so all in all a solid move up in the race and gained some solid positions. 56 miles done and I was looking forward to getting off the bike and get running, only a half marathon to go.

T2 – feet out, roll through, rack bike, trainers on, grab gels and off
we run.

The run started well and I settle in quickly, I grabbed two gels and planned on sipping them every so often through the run and this worked well. This was only the second half marathon I have ever ran and didn’t know how I was going to go or last.

runningThe pace was good and I was running with another dude from the race, although after 5k he burnt out and I left him. I was making ground on everyone and catching quite a lot of people. I caught three places within the first 2 or 4 laps and my pace and form felt strong, although I was fighting the onset of cramp in my left hamstring for the whole of the thankfully didn’t kick in but it really wanted to! Arrrrr so close!

runningI was running strong and actually really enjoying it, I was catching people slowly and onto my final lap where I passed another two people. At the time I didn’t know but I was actually in 4th, and with
a kilometre to go I could see someone else in my race I gave it a lot, probably not everything which I do now regret. Especially as it would have meant a podium position but I did try hard to catch him and he certainly would not have expected anyone to come from behind this late in the race. I was 5 seconds behind him as he crossed the line, I'm a little gutted about that, but still very happy with 4th in my first ever 70.3!

the finish lineIt was a great day and I learnt a lot about myself and racing longer distances. I feel it suits me much more due to the less frantic swim, and the longer legs in the two disciplines I am stronger in.

So all in all a very good day and very happy with the way it went, room for improvement. But not for a little rest as the past 8 weeks have been hard work. But great fun!

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Lots of racing....Tewksbury 5th, Worcester 6th, phenix 3rd tri reports....

Lots of racing this past few weeks, lots!  

Tewksbury sprint triathlon 

I was so happy that the weather was so much warmer than a month prior. I lost much much time due to the cold temperature and having to put a jacket on. So that was a good start to the day!

Now this race as the all racing this month is just part of a build and it's hard to compute some times that times are not going to be quite there due to tired ness from the week and the fact I have not rested for the event. But still important to give it everything on the day.

My swim was the fastest 400m I have swam in ages. 6.40. And for me that is fast hahah. But want and need faster, it isn't competative especially when the faster boys are swimming sub 6! It's hard to get that back on the bike and run in a sprint race! 

T1- went well, fast change and out! No messing. 

The bike was faster than I had previously put together 2 years ago, signs of improvement. Which was nice so see! Went hard but being tired I felt it! 

T2-struggled a little with trainers. Needs improving. 

Run was solid, but not fast. Need faster, will get faster just need to be patient and give it time! 

All part of the step- Worcester standard tri! 

Worcester standard triathlon - 

Now this was always going to be a tough race looking back, and truthfully I underestimated it for sure no taper as these races are all part of a build and this was my longest open water swim in a very long time. 

1500m - cold is the only thoughts that I instantly had, it was tough to swim and k find the cold very hard to swim in. Swim was neither here or there. Was okay, dropped a few mins on the faster swimmers but that is certainly to be expected. Came out and was happy to get myself into T1. 

T1 - not that smooth, need to work on the wetsuit change, chain comes off as I jump on, but away we go. 

Bike - 39miles 

HILLY! Underestimated this bike leg attached it like a sprint and after the 1500m, it kicked me in the ass! Didn't fuel properly and paid for it, after 20m I was literally going backwards. No real power and couldn't wait to get off the bike! Did not enjoy it nor did it go well! 


Not fast again, couldn't get trainers on, lots of room for improvement! 

Run 10k 

Went well, even after struggling on the bike. Grassy run, but felt smooth. Ran myself into a half decent place of 6th! So that was the highlight of the day!

All in all, disappointing really! 

Ragley hall - phenix tri -

Now this was an important race due to the fact it is at the same venue as my 70.3 on 5th June. So becoming familiar with the venue was key. 

Now the standard was okay, Miss Jodie Stimpson, yes the commy gold medalist was racing, and she is a lovely lady! Great to meet her and talk training, racing and life! 

This race went better.....

Swim - 750m 

Agajn the cold bit me in the ass, literally! My glutes really struggle in the cold. Came out, 30th, ran past 5+ on the way to transition.


Dam wetsuit, managed to struggle again and need to nail this. Will do. Took along time to get it off! 

Bike 20k

Managed to just about hold he tiredness together and bike reasonably well, had a decent bike split and was happy to take back quite a few places. Working my way through....


RAPID! Finally a fast change, smooths be off for the hilly, rutted and lumpy 5k! Ran past more people, really thought I was around 8th in the race and happy to keep chaseing. Turn out I was 4th after 2k and chasing 4th down. Ran past 4th with 500m to go and finalised 3rd. Behind a rapid cycling and miss Jodie Stimpson. 

Now that's better....but still improvement to be made and time to be saved for the 70.3! 

5th we come. 

Crunchy, almond crispy bars.


150g almonds
100g sun flour seeds
50g flax seeds
50g chia seeds
150g rice crispys

100g honey
50g maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract

100g dark chocolate

1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

2. Add the wet ingredients to a pan. On the hob, boil and then summer for 2 mins. 

3. Combine dry with wet and stir to coat all the ingredients. 

4. Add to a lined baking tray and spread around flat. Bake a 220 degrees dor 5 mins. 

5. Take out and leave to cool. 

6. Melt the chocolate and pour over the tray to cover forming a top layer. Then leave to cool. 

7. Cut and enjoy!