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WTS Abu Dhabi – Day by Day

March 9th, 2016

So I thought something different would be nice for my next blog. A day to day lead up into the race, starting on travel day:

Tuesday 1st March – started with meeting coach for a fun bike to run session. It had a little work in it, but mainly to go through the transitions and the steps you get rusty on over the winter. We’ve done a few sessions; swim – bike – run, or just bike – runs and transition practice, but it’s always good to have another practice close to race day, then a quick coffee and a swim off, again just going over things.

I need to concentrate on trying to swim at my best come race day, as I know I’m going to have to have an excellent swim to get out in a good position. I know this, not because I have inside knowledge on the other women in the field, but purely because of the other girls in my squad, Lisa and Mari are little fishes and are swimming well…really well.

I cannot control how fast they swim, or anyone else (as much as I’d like to) it’s just what I can do and hope it’s good enough. A nice cycle back home and pack up the Cervelo tightly into my new SCICON bag, which is super easy, and allows me to leave packing my bike until travel day which is nice. My first flight is Cape Town to Johannesburg, a few hours flight and then over to Abu Dhabi, which is around 8 ½ hours. It’s not so much the actual flying that’s tiring; I mean what do you do? Sit on your bum and watch movies, but I suppose that is the tiring thing in a way, when you’re used to training most of the day. My pet hate is after the flight, waiting in the luggage lounge, and then the dreaded transfers to and from the airports, not my ideal way to spend my day. So, when is the travel time machine coming out? I mean, come on, it is 2016!!!

Wednesday 2nd March – arrived in Abu Dhabi 6:00am. The minute I get off the plane I’m in hope of – please let my bag and bike be there and in one piece – waiting at the belt looking for my luggage to arrive…well, yes they did. And my Cervelo arrived safe and sound, tucked away in my Scicon bag…lovely! A 35 minute transfer to the hotel and I arrived just before 8.00am. At the desk I was told I had been booked into a smoking room, I didn’t know they still allowed that! Not happy, each to their own of course, but not for me! I ended up waiting a little longer to get a different room but no drama, well done Hilton. While I was waiting in the lobby I built my bike up, and I was sorted. Up in my room, I unpacked, checked my email and social media accounts – very important when you have been off the net for 10 hours – and then knock, knock, knock. I thought Mari is here early for the ride? Drug testers already? Open the door, and who would be standing there but my Mom and Dad, what a surprise! I was so pleased to see them! I haven’t seen them since the beginning of January, and didn’t expect to see them until May, and there they both were stood at my hotel door in Abu Dhabi! How lucky am I to have such great support -my family and my best friends. I gave them both a big hug and didn’t want to let them go- I was grinning from ear to ear. I’ve got to say well done to my sister for keeping this one from me. It must have been so difficult for her as I was constantly nagging her trying to organise all sorts for Mothers Day!!!! Told you guys I have the best family!!!!!!

Ok so once I let mum go, I went out for a bike with Mari and loosened off the legs whilst chatting away, went round the course a little, then had a little lunch with Mum and Dad, followed by some run drills in the evening and a chilled evening . . . yep, with Mum, Dad and Mari.

Thursday 3rd March – Slept like a log last night, and woke up to my alarm sounding at 5.30am which is nice, usually I don’t sleep to my alarm, I think I was knocked out last night by 8.15pm so thanks to the black out curtains!! Went out for a ride with Mari this morning, and then off to the swimming pool for a swim. Met the parents at their hotel for a little dinner before having a run and race briefing. I sometimes wish we could just have an online briefing, where athletes have to just check in online or something, but hey ho, it’s one of those things you have to go and get done.

The good thing about this year is that ITU are allowing us to have “LV” on our suits, and not having the Start Number 1 for the first race to show respect for the passing of Laurent Vidal. For anyone that doesn’t know, in April 2014 Laurent suffered a cardiac arrest whilst swimming in Sète, which led to him being placed in an induced coma. As a result of this, Laurent was forced to retire from competition and focus on his role coaching his partner Andrea Hewitt. On 10 November 2015, Laurent suddenly passed away, he was only 31 years old. Laurent was not only a fantastic triathlete, following his retirement from competing, he threw himself into coaching Andrea and last year’s result for her says it all! Laurent was such a funny person, he brought a smile to any occasion and was a right performer in front of a crowd. It was an absolute pleasure to know him. He was such an inspiration and great person to have around the triathlon circuit, he would always give you a cheer, congratulate you on a good race, but would be the first to say don’t stress after a bad one. A true gent and was taken from the world before his time. He will be remembered for the great things he has done, and the impressions he has left on many people, myself included!

Friday 4th March – Pre race day started with a little training with Mari in the morning and then back to the hotel for a quick bite to eat before heading off for the bike and swim course reccies. I only did the technical bit of the bike course, as I didn’t think I needed to see the straight out and back 13k loop, which was a good idea, as I think the reccie had to stop and start at every set of traffic lights. The swim reccie with Mari and Lisa; the water was a lovely temperature, but very salty!!! Then that was it, nothing else for me for the rest of the day, so I watched a movie “The Legend Of Bagger Vance”. I’d seen it before, but not in a long time, then I met Mum, Dad, and Mari for the usual pre-race seafood pizza, it’s a must before a race for me!!!! Yummy.

Saturday 5th March – RACE DAY – well it’s here, nothing I can do now. Let’s see where I am, and what I need to focus on for the next 5 weeks going into the GC race. So normal pre-race routine starts with a morning swim. You try not to read too much into how you’re feeling, but I felt terrible this morning, but what can you do about it? You just try and do the drills that make you feel better which I did, so feeling a little better by the end of the swim. Because of the late start I went out and did some run drills midday, anyone who knows me knows the later starts are NOT my favourite to say the least.

The race . . . . .

Well, me feeling bad in the swimming pool that morning was kind of a sign, I had a shocking swim! I got absolutely battered in the first loop, and was just trying to stay calm and swim throughout the whole 1500m, NOT a good start – some 30 seconds down! Don’t panic! I had a good T1, and was on the chase. Looking around I saw my team mate Lisa Norden and a few other girls that actually wanted to be in the race, and others who were happy to sit on the back of the train, so after a solid effort we caught the main pack by the end of the big lap, which left 6 smaller loops to go. The pace was very on and off to say the least. It was a big group to get organised, and with one lap to go the amazing Nicola Spirig and Ashley Gentle bridged the gap, so going into T2 there was basically the whole field.
Moving into the narrow section just before transition everyone was getting sketchy, I could feel the atmosphere change, people getting their feet out their shoes, others trying to move to the front -not only to get into transition first, but to stay out of trouble, but this made for a bad crash! I saw something twitch to my left and then heard the crash, this took out a large amount of girls, who I hope are all ok, and if not, recover quickly.

I had an appalling T2 -there were coaches leaning over the barriers shouting at their athletes for where to go which totally put me off. This is one thing I will try not to let distract me again as I ran straight past my spot which cost me 10 seconds. Carrying my bike back some 4 spaces back up the blue carpet against the grain of girls was not an easy thing to do. Shoes on, don’t panic. Out of T2 and I made my way to the front pack of girls. I ran alongside Helen, Flora, Ashley, and Emmie for the first 5km. Emmie lead the first 5k, but the whole run was quite technical, nobody wanting to really lead for long periods, which made it slow at times, but not slow enough to allow the others back into the race. Onto the final lap and it was down to Helen, Flora, Ashley and me. I felt the pace slightly increase and Flora dropped off, and then there was 3. I felt Helen pick up the pace once more and reacted, I knew I had to stay with her, and I kept on her shoulder. With about 1500m to go I made my move, this made for a long kick, which hurt with every stride. On to the blue carpet and I couldn’t stop, I had to keep pushing, and I crossed the barrier with Laurent on my mind. I turned and saw Ashley cross in 2nd and Helen in 3rd. GBR dominating the podium in Abu Dhabi-nice one!

I’m happy with the race overall of course, but this shows me what I need to try and do better in the GC -mainly my swim. I need to make that front swim pack – Darren, it’s over to you lol!!!!!

It has been amazing having Mum and Dad here and having them see me race well. They seem to be my lucky charms lately -hint hint for the Gold Coast!!!!

So, what now? A little fun this weekend at Mooloolaba WC, then it’s head down for a few weeks before the GC. I cannot thank everyone enough for their amazing support and messages! I don’t think you all realise how much it helps and brings me up. Thanks again to my fantastic sponsors, Cervelo, TYR, Asics, Oakley, PowerBar and Columbia Threadneedle, without your support I would not be able to do what I do.

I hope everyone is going well at home and abroad, and are being safe with the bad weather, it’s nearly Spring!!!

Chin Up! Train safe guys and I’ll see you on the GC where the battle will commence!!

Jodie xxx

Posted in Latest News

WOW WOW WOW, can you just slow the clock down please . . .

March 1st, 2016

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog so thought I needed to fill you in on what’s been going on my end. Usually there are 2 reasons why athletes are quiet on the blog front: 1) Because they’re injured, things aren’t going the way they would like -general bad times or 2) because they’re just head down and training and there’s only so many times you get a chance to sit down and chill. Thankfully for me it’s the latter.

How things have changed since this time last year. Last year I wasn’t really running, and when I was running, I knew I really shouldn’t be. Yes swimming and cycling were going ok, but I knew in my heart things weren’t right.

Now I have nothing to report on that front. I’ve just been training away – swimming, cycling and running, in the gym, sleeping, eating and trying to get ready and focus for the challenge ahead. I suppose there is one big thing in common with last year, I want time to freeze so I can have some more of it!

This is where I start to get nervous about racing…even though I love racing, and I am excited, questions start propping up in my head. How am I going to compare to everyone else? Am I going to race ok? Am I going to be able to perform on the WTS stage? How is everyone else training? Am I going to qualify for the Olympics? These questions/doubts come into your head, no matter what you do in life, and they do worry you, but at the end of the day I have come to realise that what will be will be. I know I’ve had a good training block this winter and it’s been great training in SA Stellenbosch. If my best is not good enough then of course I will be devastated, but I will know in my heart there is nothing more I could have done, and it will be time to re-jig and refocus on something else. Easier said than done though!

The sessions have just started to change here on camp, and things are becoming more intense, and more “top end stuff” which Coach has been holding me back on until now. Even though my first race is in 1 week in Abu Dhabi, the main race for my early season is the Gold Coast, which is what the selectors are looking at in terms of qualification for Rio. Don’t get me wrong, I want to race well in Abu Dhabi as it will be a good reflection on how my winter training has gone, and to have an Olympic distance under my belt is good, but I will need to concentrate more on the GC race in terms of qualification.

Today saw a really fun day in training for the D Squad. Our first “hurt session” was a 3k open water swim race, where myself, Mari and Lisa ended up in a 3 – way sprint, which I’ll take the win for (with about 0.00000001 seconds in it…literally!). The next “hurt session” – a 1500m open water race, and these 2 fishes gave me a good whipping, not saying anymore than that! LOL. The last “hurt session” ended on a high, we all did a 10km running race – Ginos Fun Run – which is quite well known, not only by the locals, but from athletes that have trained here in the past. I was so nervous about this bloody 10km race, so it was good to get that feeling of the nerves before a race again. I was happy coming in as 1st lady! It was super hot, even though it started at 6.30pm- which was getting close to my bed time for anyone that knows me! But it was such a fun race to be a part of, and would recommend it to anyone who’s out there.

We are continuing with the top end sessions and race practice leading into the coming races. It’s gone really quick here and can’t believe we are leaving for the WTS races soon! There have been some races starting around the world in AUS and USA, so now the race season is upon us, and everyone is getting ready to try and hit their early season goals and the D Squad group are no different. We had our annual “D Squad World Championships” here in Stellenbosch. Coach sets up his usual challenging course – which was a 2km spin away from my house, pretty perfect to start. So, 4 in a lane, swimming nice and tight, technical bike course to keep us on our toes, then a fast run loop x2, it was a nice hit out, and so much fun.

We are into our last week now here in Stellenbosch, and then off we jet for the first WTS race in Abu Dhabi. 2016, has begun. I hope everyone is having some fun in training and enjoying getting some more lactic filled sessions in the program like I am. The early challenges are starting, and I’m in a good place to do what I can and that’s all you can do. As I said before – easier said than done and it is difficult to remember that most of the time, so Darren and my family have to keep me in check, reminding me of that.

Happy training everyone and thank you for all your support.

Posted in Latest News

My Christmas Blog (Santa’s still Surfing at the Moment)

December 17th, 2015

Oh my days I should be ashamed, my last blog was . . .how long ago?? Sorry folks, I suppose I should fill you in on what I’ve been doing since being back in training…

 

Wow, things are totally different than this time last year, in more ways than one way. Starting back full training at home is always a good start, spending much needed time with my family and friends really lifted my spirit and got my mojo going. Being able to train and catch up with the parents, my sister, bro in law and of course my niece and nephew, not to mention my crazy friends and all their children in between training sessions really makes things nice and normal. However, for me, as much as I would like to be at home all the time, it’s not the best idea for my training and development, so the time came for me to pack up my suitcase(s), bag the bike up and pop over to Stellenbosch, South Africa for the first winter camp of the campaign.

 

I last visited Stellenbosch two years ago, but that was only a flying visit, whereas this time I’ll have been here for 5 weeks before returning home for Christmas. So how’s it going…?

 

It’s ace! I love training here, with the stunning views surrounded by vineyards, running on the most beautiful trails that I suppose are mainly used and known for mountain biking, the cycling has been nice and relaxing. Being able to cycle in a nice climate, getting the Cervélo going with some quality miles, hilly and flat makes a nice mixture, and I’ve been lucky enough to swim with Maties Swimming squad at Stellenbosch University, and getting my ass handed to me by some of the fast triathletes in the water, but also some extra speedy swimmers as well. It makes me realise I’ve got some work to do in the water!!! It’s a fab 50m outdoor swimming pool they have out here, so at least I’m looking good in my colourful TYR gear, but when your body is so tired 50m is a hell of a long way! Bring back the 25m!! LOL

 

All in all I’ve been putting some good training together with great people out here. We have a new member to the now smaller DSquad group; Mari Rabie. This girl is a very driven lady and has been a joy to train with. It’s great when you find someone who is as driven and has the same goal as you – you end up pushing each other in ways you don’t realise. We both haven’t yet qualified for our Olympic Teams, and that’s our goal, hardcore training until the season starts. So we are sharing this journey together, getting each other through the tired days, and enjoying the few hours rest we’re being given by Coach!

 

Also out here is our Jodie #1 – Miss Jodie Swallow! Jodie is a seasoned athlete and has loads of experience that I admire very much. She is such a positive, hard working person – I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone put themselves in the “hurt box” like she does, but she gets through it and the results speak for themselves! I really hope her 2016 season shows off all of her hard work with a BIG win – she would be nothing but deserving of it.

These 2 ladies are amazingly strong athletes and cool chicks to be around during and outside of training, and both are there when I’m feeling down, or a little homesick. And to make things even better, Lisa has just re-joined the group after having her end of season break. What an amazing bunch of women!

 

What’s next?? I have just over a week left here before I return home for Christmas where I’ll be taking things a little easier over the festive period. I mean, the foot isn’t coming off the accelerator by all means…I’m just testing the brakes a little bit! A few easier days to enjoy the hard work I’ve done will be much needed. A quick refresh and ready for the next block when I’m returning to Stellenbosch in early January. I’ll be out here until the first few races of the year, Abu Dhabi WTS, Mooloolaba WC, and most importantly Gold Coast, WTS.

 

So on the injury front, things are going well (touch wood, fingers crossed, 4 leafed clover and all that). I’m keeping things ticking over, which is always a fine line, especially as now the pressure is on to make the GBR team for August, but I couldn’t be more driven to do it! These last few years have made me believe in fate, more than ever – what will be will be at the end of the day, but I can say that I’m doing all I can.

 

Thank you so much for everyone that is on my JLS3 Team, I couldn’t have a better support network going into this years challenge. Right now it’s time for you and me to enjoy the festive season with family and friends. I’m really excited to go home and see my loved ones and enjoy the Christmas feeling. Stellenbosch is a lovely place, but it’s far from Christmas out here. You have a Christmas feel in the supermarket, but then walk outside to 35 degrees!!! What’s that all about?? It’s just not right, and it’s not Christmas without being surrounded by your loved ones!

I hope you all have an amazing Christmas period, enjoying the Christmas spirit, stuff yourselves silly with some naughty food, and have a mulled wine on me! My plan is to do just that, and hopefully have some fun with some local running races which I always love to do over Christmas and I might even be able to convince my Mum to come and join me!

 

Here’s to the challenge that lies ahead for a better 2016! Merry Christmas everyone, I hope 2016 brings you all feet like a dolphins tale, thighs like Chris Hoy, and the speed of a cheetah.

Take care, and God Bless, see you in 2016.

 

Jodie xxx

Posted in Latest News

Well that’s it for 2015…

September 24th, 2015

My last blog after my final race of 2015 calls for a very honest one after an emotional year. It has been the toughest of my career and not one I would like to repeat anytime soon! At the beginning of this year I was set on trying to qualify for Rio and have the box ticked, but this wasn’t the case due to the injury I picked up in the early part of the year. All year I have felt like I was playing catch up, but the Rio test event showed I was moving forward. So after Rio, I decided along with my coach not to race and get a solid block of training in. And so this is what I did…not missing a session, not getting sick, not getting injured and doing things well. Don’t get me wrong…we always tread the line in our sport. I was pushing my body and mind to new limits, which doesn’t just affect you, but those around you. So thank you to my coach Darren Smith who has had to deal with a stroppy Jodie when I haven’t been able to do what I love. But nonetheless he was always there trying his best for me.

Chicago…The Grand Finale…

Going into the race knowing that Non (Stanford) and Vix (Holland) had done phase one of the criteria for Rio was kind of a weird scenario. I knew I couldn’t qualify having not podiumed in Rio but these two great athletes could and I knew they were in great form. They just had to keep doing what they had all year and they would be very tough to beat. I had to really concentrate on just focusing on what I wanted to do and trying to get everything out of myself on race day to finish the season on a high. I was number 67 on the pontoon and so had all of 10 spots left to pick from and I ended up on the far left of the pontoon, not a great starting position. It was a tough start to the race trying to move through the bodies and it made for a hard 1500m swim. Not even the TYR FON wetsuit could help me get a better start but I did manage to make up some time when I could actually swim and wasn’t fighting with people. I had a bad t1 and maybe the lack of races came into play a little but I should have been better. I jumped on the bike and was about 30 plus seconds off the lead bunch. Head down, I had no choice but to go catch up, it was such a tough lap and a half but I managed to catch up. I made a move to have a clear run into transitions and came in first but then missed my slot – again not the best transition – but didn’t loose too much time and was out running. The run packs were made quickly with Non, Vix and Gwen out in front and myself, Sarah, Andrea and Rachel running together. So this is it… this is me running as hard as I could go and I just had to focus on what I needed to do. I had my coach in my head the whole time… “cadence, core, focus” and always questioning what I can do better. I knew I had to catch up sensibly with 3.5k to go but I got back and tried to settle a little. Andrea had gone by this point and was running solo and Rachel made a move on the last lap so it was me and Sarah tousling on the last lap. I could hear her breathing heavier and made a move that put me into finish 6th, which I am happy to finish the season on. A race where I was able to give it my all and have nothing left to give, which is a great feeling

Well done to Non and Vix who got the podium they needed to have met the criteria for Rio. They couldn’t have done it in more style and they are fantastic athletes and people which makes it hard not to be happy for them qualifying! I am happy I had the race I did and was able to fully push my body to the limit of what it had on the day. It wasn’t good enough for the podium but as my coach says, you can’t control what others do in the race, as long as you have ticked off your own checklist you have had a good result no matter what number you cross the line! BUT… there is only 1 spot left for Rio next year and this makes me hungry and excited for the challenge to go and get it!

I have had a hard year but I have learnt a lot and I couldn’t have had a better team behind me. Thank you so much to everyone at my management team at ARETÉ, my family of course, my coach Darren Smith and my sponsors Columbia Threadneedle, Cervelo, TYR, PowerBar, Oakley, Asics and to everyone who has stayed by me this year through the tough times. I’m looking forward to the challenge that is ahead of us to make that start line in Rio next year!

But for now time to chill with Mum and Dad in Chicago for a few days before heading home and having some time with my fantastic family and friends.

IMG_4232 IMG_4235 IMG_4236 IMG_4237-1

 

Posted in Latest News

I haven’t had the come back I had been wishing for…

August 4th, 2015

In Geneva I competed in my first Olympic race at the European Championships. It was a fantastic location for me as I had been training in the Tri 4 Alps in Morzine with DSquad.

I made the one hour drive from Morzine to Geneva on Thursday giving myself a few days to relax and prepare for the race on Saturday. The location was stunning, bright blue water to match the cloudless sky, however the temperature was in the 30s. Luckily for me I was used to this having based myself nearby in Morzine.

I want to congratulate all the GB athletes who took part. It was amazing to see you all do so well across the age groups. It was brilliant to experience some of the best support I have known at a triathlon. I felt so much love and support willing me to push on. All the cheering makes such a difference and I needed it in this race – thank you to everyone who was there.

Unfortunately I didn’t perform in the swim how I had wanted and know I can, however I reached the first buoy with Lisa N and finished alongside her. Jumping straight on the bike I was in a small group with Lisa and Nicola Spirig which I was happy about as we’re all strong riders. The race was developing nicely with Lucy and Jess just up the road and then unfortunately on lap 3 I punctured at the bottom of the hill. I couldn’t believe my luck but I knew the wheel stop was at the top of the hill. I just had to get to the top with a puncture, trying to lose as little time as possible. I reached the top and changed the wheel as quickly as I could but unfortunately I was on my own with a few girls sitting on my wheel. The gap grew to 1’45” at one point but we managed to get it back down to 1’25”. In my head I was telling myself I could still catch some of the girls ahead of me…the race wasn’t over!

I started the run feeling good while trying to conserve energy in the high temperatures. I started to cut the gap, but I was starting to feel the hard work I had already put in and then, BANG l was hit by a brick wall on lap 3. From here on in I knew I was going to have to push through the pain just to make sure I reached the finish.

I finished 9th – not the race I had hoped for but I worked hard and pushed myself to my limits which I was happy about.

The next day I took part in the relay with Lucy, Matt and Tom. I went first and with a great team effort we finished third with France first and Switzerland 2nd. I had a great day and was pleased to add another race into my practice schedule.

Back to training base for a few days and then off to Hamburg for my first WTS race back. Hamburg is known for being hard from the get go. No let up. No room for mistakes. It’s fast and furious and just what I needed after Geneva. All week I was feeling terrible after my first Olympic slog but was feeling okay going into the race. My ranking is very low from not racing all year so I went in at 38. I went to the far left of the pontoon with Katie Zaferes, who has been one of the most consistent athletes this year. My dive went well into the muddy water of Hamburg but that’s about all that went well in the swim. I found myself taking the widest possible line that ultimately just cost me too much. I made up some places on the long straight back and through the tunnel but by that time the race had left transition and so here I went on the chase AGAIN. I was going solo not only behind the lead pack but also the chase pack. I kept my head down and I could see them not too far in front. A solo rider going around a technical course is quicker than a pack – I caught them just going in to the 2nd lap but then BANG. I felt someone hit my back wheel and it sounded like my spoke had broken which actually would have been better than what I saw when I looked down. My rear derailleur was hanging from my bike. A Danish girl had gone into my back wheel and smashed it off and there was no chance of a wheel stop this time. The race was over for me and I was angry and disappointed. I asked one of the technical officials if I could get my shoes and I went for a run. I got back still feeling frustrated to see Gwen had won, Vicky 2nd and Non 3rd. It’s a weird feeling when you’re happy for your team mates but totally gutted at your own race. After congratulating them I just wanted to go back to the hotel, but my team were in the VIP area. Not just my team, but my mum, fantastic manager Simon who had made the trip over to support me, and the ever impressive Columbia Threadneedle team who had competed in the relay that morning. I am really excited to say they will be the title sponsor in Leeds so I hope as many of you as possible will be there to compete or support in the homeland of the Brownlee brothers! I’m looking forward to it already and I have no doubt it will be a fantastic event with thousands of people filling the streets, much like Hamburg was a few weeks ago.

I travelled back to Morzine after the race after a nice long run with Cam and it was great to have a good catch up and share bad memories of our races with a broken bike. My manager Simon was fantastic along with Cervelo who have already sent out the replacement parts I needed to get going again. I’m now on my way to the Olympic test event in Rio, which is the first opportunity for athletes to see the Olympic course for next year. This is the first step for GB qualification so it’s going to be all action. It’s reported the course is difficult with a choppy swim, extremely hilly and technical bike section and a flat fast run. Thanks for all your support, it’s been amazing as always and I am so grateful. I hope you enjoyed the update and I’ll be in touch soon.

Posted in Latest News

European Championship – Geneva

July 10th, 2015

This season has been far from normal and has without a doubt been the most frustrating start to the year I have ever had! With having only competed once (and I don’t know if you could class it as a race) it’s far from what I had planned. I have had to learn, plans sometimes change whether you like it or not.

Moving on to the London WTS series race… I thought it would be harder than it was not racing at one of my favorite home races. Working with the Columbia Threadneedle triathlon team really helped with this and supporting those guys on the Saturday made such a difference. It was fantastic fun to be around, seeing people who were already addicted to triathlon, being a part of a competitive relay and fighting for the win with their teammates. It was equally great to be around those people who were newbies and doing it all for the first time. They all finished and all did fantastically.

I then had an assessment to do… if I could do a tempo run with my coach on the Sunday morning, then I would be eased back into camp with the DSquad. This had to be pain free so I was extremely nervous and just wanted to get back to what I love doing, so thank god I passed :-).  I enjoyed the day with the BBC, commentating on the race even more knowing that I was going to be joining my training partners in Morzine @Tri4TheAlps to get my season going!

So how have things been since I have been here in Morzine? As normal my coach had to hold me back on the running. Only at the beginning to make sure the injury didn’t come back. The trails out here are amazing but it did take a little getting used to again. After not running for over 2 months it was amazing to get that feeling back that I had lost.

I’m happy to say I have had a uninterrupted block of training for 5-6weeks and I feel like things are coming back together well. There have been a lot of changes in training yet again; just always trying to do things better. There have also been a few heated moments with my coach and I which is to be expected. I like to think I’ve got to keep him on his toes but its been much more of Darren not letting up and always striving for more, but this is what I need and what I have come to expect.

My sponsors couldn’t have been better since I have been on camp. Talk about keeping me in the best equipment possible. I have a new baby to ride, which is a stunning Di2 R5 and TYR goodies on their way with my dad who is coming out to watch Geneva. PowerBar products are keeping me climbing over the DuPlan which is my favorite climb over here and many times up Avoriaz which is where I having been living the past few weeks. Oakley have been keeping my eyes protected from the fantastic weather we have been having and Asics which I am so happy to say keep my feet happy WHILST I HAVE BEEN RUNNING! I am so lucky to have this team behind me that have been continuously supporting me whilst I have been racing! Thank you guys it really means so much to have you on my team.

Now on to the race…! As I said, my training has been going well and its been great being back in the Dsquad camp along with the DSquad girls plus the team of boys keeping us in line; Darren, Sam and Michael who has been a great team member since I have rejoined the group. We also had a DSquad camp where a few different age group triathletes join us which kept us on our toes, but I know I’m ready to race. It’s weird to say I have first race nerves going into my first Olympic distance race this summer but I’m racing and happy to be fit and healthy on the start line in Geneva. To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I raced at a European Championship so it’s so exciting and GB I hear have a huge team so its even better. Good luck to everyone racing in Geneva over the weekend. I hope you all reach your goals you have set! Look forward to seeing you all out there!

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A mixed bag of good and bad news …

May 29th, 2015

I have been sitting on the sidelines for most of this season and it’s been extremely tough to see all the girls out there racing. It’s what I train for and what I love to do. There is nothing better than being in a race competing against the best in the world. Pushing your body and mind to its limits, fighting against the doubts in your own head. This feeling hits me most during the run, so having not been able to run due to injury has been extremely difficult.

So, what has taken so long for me to get back? Well, as my coach would say, “the squiffy feet have finally taken their toll and the injury was only a matter of time”.  This injury was not a torn muscle or a broken bone, not even a very annoyed tendon but basically weak foot biomechanics! It wasn’t going to allow me to run, so it has been a battle to program my feet to run better, straighter and stronger. This is not sorted, but is far better and I am happy to say I am now running, and looking forward to returning back to DSquad camp after the London Hyde Park race!

I hear you say; well this is all good news, what’s the bad? The bad news is I’m not going to be on the start line in one of my favorite races of the season. My home race and the one I love the most because of the fantastic support I get. This was a really hard choice for me but unfortunately I’m just not ready to race. It’s going to be a tough weekend but I’m going down to support my Columbia Threadneedle team on Saturday and then I will be commentating on the elite race on Sunday with the BBC. I’ll have got to remember to talk slightly slower than normal so everyone can understand my Black Country twang :-0

I want to thank all the support team that I’ve been working with at Loughborough University. Special mentions go to Gemma, Lucy and Kate who have had their work cut out. They even got a warning from Darren to not let themselves be persuaded by me to go faster. I have been a nightmare but they have been golden! Also, everyone on my Stimpson team including my sponsors Columbia Threadneedle, Cervelo, TYR, Asics, Oakley and PowerBar for standing by me on the sidelines, as supportive as ever. I know how lucky I am not only to have the best equipment in triathlon but also the best people behind the equipment!

Whilst I have been at Loughborough, I have been staying at Cat and Joel Jamersons house who have been fantastic to have me in their home for so long! Thank you guys not only for having me in your home but just for being you!

Finally, I know the Columbia Threadneedle team, which is full of their staff and clients, are racing the London Hyde Park in both individual and relay. I want to wish them the best of luck in the race! Some have already caught the triathlon bug and some are totally new to the sport, which is fantastic to get some more people addicted to triathlon. So to all of the team competing, go and smash it, have fun and earn yourself a well earned celebration after the race.

I was down with some of the team in Hyde Park a few weeks ago on a Wednesday evening and got to watch them jump into the Serpentine. To see so many people turn up was brill, it just shows how triathlon is growing and it is amazing to be a part of. I can’t wait to get back in the mix!

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I’m really not happy to have to say I’m unable to race one of the toughest triathlons on the circuit.

March 20th, 2015

Anyone who knows me will know I love to race! It’s what I train for! You may say, surely that’s what everyone trains for but you might be interested to here that some prefer to train than race! Racing is where you test yourself (body and mind) to the limit against the best triathletes in the world. Unfortunately I have to give in to the condition of my body on this occasion and get it right for the rest of the season.

When I joined up with Darren in San Diego I had an achilles issue which we monitored and worked hard to get to Abu Dhabi. I knew I wasn’t 100% when I got off the flight – the achilles was sore and this was a big problem. It was a horrible feeling not to be in my best possible condition for the first race. With this in mind I have chosen to get the injury sorted now rather than let it linger on through the year so I can compete at my best!

I’m working closely with Darren and Lisa Studach our team physio out here. My main goal this year is in August – the Olympic test event in Rio – and the WTS Grand Final in September. Both of these are GB selection races so I need to make sure I am ready physically and mentally. I still want to have a good series with consistent performances but Rio and Chicago will take priority.

With the great support I get from Team GB, my D-Squad & Partners I couldn’t be in better hands.

At the minute I am on the GC and training is going well and am enjoying being back here. I’m so gutted to miss Auckland especially as things went so well there last year. It’s been a difficult choice to make but one I know will benefit my season in the long run.

I hope you are all training hard and hitting some early targets you set yourselves. If you’ve hit a little bump like I have, don’t worry its only March and there’s a long way to go this season. Keep training hard!

Posted in Latest News

Top British female Triathlete Jodie Stimpson will support Threadneedle’s triathlon programme

March 16th, 2015

LONDON, 16 March 2015: Threadneedle Investments (Threadneedle), a leading international investment manager and global financial services sponsor of the ITU World Triathlon Series, today announces that female British triathlete and double gold Commonwealth medallist, Jodie Stimpson, will be supporting its triathlon programme. Jodie will be providing clients and employees with insights to her season, training tips and support for the Threadneedle Team Triathlons which take place during 2015 in London, Hamburg and Stockholm.

 Jodie Stimpson is the Commonwealth Champion in both the individual and mixed team relay, she finished 4th in the Threadneedle Rankings in the 2014 ITU World Triathlon Series, topping the podium in Cape Town and Auckland last season. 

Double Commonwealth Gold Medallist Jodie Stimpson said: “I am thrilled to be working with Threadneedle.  After a great season in 2014, 2015 will be even bigger with Olympic qualification on the line. I look forward to sharing my passion for the sport with Threadneedle clients and employees and helping to encourage new people into the sport.”

Gary Collins, Head of EMEA Sales, Wholesale for Threadneedle, commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with Jodie in 2015, she is an inspiring triathlete and fantastic role model. Triathlon is a sport rapidly growing in popularity around the world and we look forward to working with Jodie to support our clients and employees participating in the Threadneedle Team Triathlon events.”

Alison Jefferis, Head of Corporate Communications at Threadneedle said: “The ITU World Triathlon Series is the pinnacle of the sport attracting competitors, both elite and general participants, from all around the globe. Jodie is the perfect partner for us and an excellent example of the Threadneedle corporate values of excellence, respect and integrity. With the 2015 season underway we know that Jodie will help make our triathlon sponsorship even more successful.”

In 2014 Threadneedle announced its commitment to a three-year partnership with the International Triathlon Union (ITU) as the Global Financial Services partner for the ITU World Triathlon Series. Having just commenced its seventh year, the ITU World Triathlon Series this year has been extended to ten world-class events in Abu Dhabi, Auckland, Gold Coast, Cape Town, Yokohama, London, Hamburg, Stockholm, Edmonton with the Grand Final in Chicago, USA.

The London Event – the 2015 Vitality World Triathlon London – will be held on 30-31st May in Hyde Park, where over 200 Threadneedle clients and employees will compete in the Threadneedle Team Triathlon on the same course as the elite athletes.

All elite women’s and men’s races will be broadcast live to an international TV audience in more than 160 countries, as well as streamed online.

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Wow! January was a challenging month!

February 3rd, 2015

Everyone who follows and supports me will be aware of the challenges my family and I went through at Christmas. The very early arrival of my nephew Zak who is now looking like a healthy cute chubby baby (I’m so happy I can now say that) was extremely tough.

With Zak now doing well it was time for me to fly out to San Diego to join up with the D-Squad. Through the Christmas period I had been struggling with slight problems with my calves and achilles so it was good to get them looked at by specialists to get me back on track. I learnt my lesson from trying to push through the pain during December and early January finding myself extremely frustrated when I was unable to run.

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