It’s definitely time for an update…plus, Santa is coming!!!
Just one line to say 2016: you’re in the past…now on to future challenges to be had in 2017.
So, my 2017 training is well underway and it’s been challenging in a way I am not very fond of. Strange to admit really, as normally I’m well up for any challenge. But this is a different kettle of fish and my patience has been tested to the MAX! Swimming first off has been full of technical changes (yet again), which for me is massively challenging as my mentality is to just go hard, but now I am having to focus on and realise that technique is key. I know that this is the main area that needs to improve if I want to be swimming with the best. I know I can do it…now it’s putting in the hard work and stepping it up a gear for next year! Things are moving forward and I’m swimming better than I have done in a very long time, which is great at this time of the year – but there is still a long way to go. The consistency isn’t there yet – I need to be blasting these sessions out and nailing them near enough every time. This is of course helped by the great support I have from TYR. They are an amazing team to be a part of, and I look forward to once again representing them next year!
The key to triathlon is being able to balance the training in all three sports, so when my volume hasn’t been there for my running, it opens up the opportunity for more cycling. Cycling has opened so many new doors for me. I am now working with power and cycling in the right zones on different sessions. It may surprise a lot of people, but I have never worked with power and have always gone on feel, so this is amazing, and again something different. I love getting back from my rides and plugging in my Garmin Edge 1000 and checking out the numbers – it’s really re-energised my cycling and I can really see the difference – I’m getting stronger and stronger. It’s safe to say I am really happy with getting my cycling back to where it previously was, and I’m excited for the season on my bike!!
Running…hmm – as everyone knows this is my fave out of the three disciplines. It has given me the biggest highs and the lowest lows over the years. These past five months have been such a pain! Injury for any athlete is a nightmare – physically and mentally. It has been (and still is) slow progression, and I am not yet up to full load running. God Bless the British Physio Team who have put up with me constantly moaning about the lack of running, but I know I had to put my full trust in the experts, and we’re getting there. It’s been so good to be able to pull on a pair of Asics and even just jog! Any kind of running is nice, even if I do feel like I’m running in quick sand. I’m looking forward to getting that running form back again, and enjoy the hard sessions I miss so much, but for now I’ll enjoy the fact I’m healthy and I’m actually running.
With all the big announcements that have been coming out, I thought I may as well put mine out there too! The end of my season saw Coach Daz and I part ways, which left me with a huge decision . . . what do I do? I spoke with a few coaches, and fellow athletes, and weighed up my options, looking mainly at my “work/life balance” and I have made the decision to move to Loughborough. I am working with a great team of coaches, mainly being lead by Ben Bright and Adam Elliot – part of the British Team. I have embraced the opportunity to work with these people, and have based myself around the whipper snappers training at Loughborough University. So many people have started off, come from, and remain now at this training base, and it’s the right decision for me. The support staff I am working with here are amazing and really so passionate about making me the best I can be. A big change I have made is actually doing a proper gym programme. I’ve always done a “kind of rehab programme” which is okay for maintenance, but doesn’t last forever, derrrrr! I need proper core strength, so now I am in the gym making myself stronger so my body can handle the swim bike run training I’m putting it through. Sounds good ay!
It’s Christmas in one week, and I hope you’re all looking forward to spending time with your family, friends and loved ones. I’m in Loughborough until just before and then will be heading home for some much earned family time – it’s Christmas, and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be!
Looking forward to the year ahead and couldn’t be more grateful for my team of sponsors who have stuck by me, and will keep me fighting into 2017:
J Hayward & Sons of Walsall LTD
Merry Christmas everyone and I hope you have an amazing 2017.