June has been another race less month for everyone and with no races for me forecast for the foreseeable future, staying motivated to train is the goal for most triathletes at the moment.
I have recently been informed that the European Triathlon Championships will be going ahead in Tartu, Estonia at the end of August. This was where I raced my first Junior European Championships in 2018. Unfortunately for the British Junior athletes this year, there won’t be a Junior team from Great Britain attending as there isn’t enough time for a qualifying race. This was disappointing news to hear as I won both the European and World Junior Championship Qualifying race’s last year and I believed that I had a strong chance of qualifying again this year. This time last year I would have recently come back from the 2019 European Junior Championships in Weert, Holland. This wasn’t a great experience for me as I sprained my ankle the day before the race on a training run. Despite having a sprained ankle, I still attempted to race but I had to stop 1 kilometre into the run. I am still hopeful that there may be some opportunities to race later on this year.
Strength and Conditioning
Since I haven’t got any races to talk about, I am going to talk about my usual Strength and Conditioning (S&C) programme down at Loughborough. S&C is often an understated part of many athletes programmes but it is a very important part of an athletes development. The aims of our strength and conditioning sessions aren’t necessarily just to get stronger, a lot of the exercises we do are aimed at improving form and technique and also preventing injury. My S&C schedule is 3 x 1 hour sessions per week. Before each session we have lower leg, stability and strengthening exercises to warm up for the session and also to prevent injury when running. One session is a circuit where all the athletes in the squad do the same five or six exercises (typically core or bodyweight). We will do three to four sets of these exercises. Personally, I find this the hardest gym session of the week. The other two sessions consist of weights and resistance work. Everyone on the performance squad has an individually tailored programme specific to their needs based on the results of the screening and testing done at the start of the year. Before I had moved to Loughborough, I had never followed a structured approach to S&C, I just did it as and when it was able to fit in to my training programme and life at the time. I am sure that the new S&C programme has helped to improve my overall performance as a triathlete.
I haven’t been cycling much at the moment as my road bike is off the road and requires some work on it. Because of this I have been using the turbo trainer a lot more than I usually would have. I have had lots of trouble getting the bike repaired due to lockdown but today I have finally managed to get it in for repair so, I should be back riding outside again soon. I am really looking forward to getting out on the open roads as I have recently got some power pedals for my birthday which I haven't had a chance to use. The power pedals will allow me to get additional data (power output) for when I’m not cycling on my indoor trainer. These will help to manage my effort levels when I’m racing to ensure that I’m not overworking myself, this will allow me to perform better on the run leg in a race.
Looking forward to July
I am hoping things are now starting to get back to normal with restrictions being lifted and people returning back to work. I hope I am in a position to be writing in my next blog about heading back to Loughborough to re commence my training but time will tell, fingers crossed we get some positive news in the next few weeks. Until then thanks for reading and stay safe.