Newsletter – Feb 2021
I cannot believe it’s February already! This year has not exactly gotten off to a flyer whilst we all “dig in” through lockdown 3, however, there does appear to be light at the end of the tunnel and the second half of 2021 could well be crammed with activities, events, races and get-togethers.
On a personal note, I have been rather distracted with a house move and after a couple of weeks without broadband I am really looking forward to getting back to Zwift and joining some of the new Club group rides which Captain Neil is coordinating.
I would like to thank our Run Officer, Edwina for re-commencing the weekly Virtual Run Club (details below) the weekly drills are definitely keeping me focused on my running (and my heart rate!). The weekly Zoom gathering is also a great opportunity to actually see some clubmates, along with the usual banter!
As for swimming….. well I took the “plunge” a few weeks ago to join in with our coach Jennie’s Dryland Swim Cord Class on a Thursday morning and it is a great workout. In true Jennie Jones style, there is nowhere to hide and my swimming muscles felt like they had done a good 3km set by the end, so hopefully I now won’t need armbands when we get back in the pool!
Whilst writing my update, Sally messaged me to say that two of our members Mike Busher and Marcus Orgill have just completed the Everest Challenge on their turbo trainers, Mike having clocked up 31 hours of cycling last week!! Well done chaps great work and please do share your climb up everest in the next newsletter.
Your main committee has held their first meeting of the year, by Zoom, and I am delighted to report that all members were not only present but bubbling with enthusiasm and ideas for Tri2O events, races and activities both virtual and real for 2021 – keep an eye on the Facebook group & your inbox for announcements.
Tri2O is your Club, the committee has the drive and commitment to organise events and activities but we do need your feedback on ideas to ensure that we are catering for as many members as possible, look out for such requests from Tash our Social Secretary, Neil our Club Captain and Simon our Bike Officer.
Thank you to Sunil for another excellent newsletter along with all contributors, there is some really great advice, insights and tips for everyone…..enjoy your read.
Reading Tri 2021
Update from Pete, Georgia & Neil
We are planning to hold this year’s Reading Triathlon on Sunday 12th September but will make a final go / no go decision in May.
The Reading Triathlon & Aquathlon was the very first triathlon event to take place in the UK and was held at the Kirtons Farm Water Sports Centre back in 1983. Tri2O Triathlon Club now brings you the Reading Triathlon, a race run by triathletes for triathletes.
The Reading Triathlon & Aquathlon has four fantastic race options for you. We have standard distance, sprint distance and sprint relay triathlons, and our sprint distance aquathlon. The race itself takes in an open water swim in the lovely waters of the Tri2O lake, followed by a stunning cycle course around the local lanes of Burghfield, Mortimer and Grazeley, before finishing off with a run around the lakeside trail.
- Outdoor sporting events will be able to go ahead during the summer.
- Events will be socially distanced, time trial style.
- We will limit numbers to 250 entrants.
- A limited number of spectators will be permitted.
Firstly – welcome to our new members
- Andi Goodall
- Bally Lotay
I hope you enjoy training with us.
I would like to thank everyone for their efforts with ClubSpark. It has not been the easiest transition to a new membership tool, but I’m happy to say that everyone is now on there! We still have some issues with the renewal reminders which we are working through, and various other issues that we are working with BTF to fix, but at least the transition part is done.
When you are due to renew you will (should!) get an email from Tri2O Triathlon Club firstname.lastname@example.org, so please look out for that. The actual renewal process is easy (I have done it myself) although if you are a BTF member you need to use the blue button that says “Sign in with your British Triathlon Account” rather than using your email and password in the ClubSpark boxes underneath.
We have also noticed two issues where fields should be mandatory but are not. It does not require you to put in emergency contact details, although we should have them for any issues that might arise during a coached session, so can you please check that you have entered these? Also if have a joint membership, it does not require the details of the additional member, but again these are very helpful if they want to be on the mailing list etc.
Thanks again for sticking with it and hopefully we get to see each other soon!
Coaching Corner – Lockdown Motivation
I’m finding it hard to remember how I felt both physically and emotionally during the first lockdown (23 March – 4 July). But I do have recollections of a warm spring and hot summer days, doing a bit of Run Art, taking part in the spelling challenges and Club Captain Neil’s running events generally kept me ticking along and I managed to bounce back as each of my target events was postponed or cancelled. There was plenty of good-natured banter on the club Facebook page and there were lots of virtual events to get involved in, which were good fun and served to keep me training on a regular basis, albeit at a lower intensity than I was used to. Yeah, all-in-all I was doing O.K.!
The start of the second lockdown (31 October – 2 December) aptly coincided with what is usually one of the most enjoyable events of the year – the Halloween 5 Nite Run down beside the River Thames, where fancy dress is de rigueur, and for most of us the ‘racing’ takes a back seat as having fun is the main aim. During lockdown 2.0 it got progressively darker and colder, the camaraderie of applauding the NHS and all the other key workers at 8pm on a Thursday evening was missing and we’d retreated inside to keep ourselves (and the wider community) safe. The fun of Run Art had ebbed, the virtual races were all a bit samey and I was definitely struggling.
On 6th December there was a brief window of respite on a gloriously sunny Sunday when My Sporting Times managed to lay on the Mapledurham 10. It was an opportunity to blow away some cobwebs, get muddy but most importantly, to see some friends. Of course there were no hugs or hi-fives, but we were able to chat, laugh and feel normal again – this one In Real Life event sustained me right the way through Christmas and into the third Lockdown which started on 4th January.
So here we all are, trying really hard to keep our lives moving forward without the normal pre-pandemic stimuli of our old and familiar routines. And it is hard! So the Tri2O coaches have pooled their collective knowledge and experience to bring you a list of motivational tips. We hope these will give you something to help keep you training so that when we are released from lockdown you will be able to get out and enjoy our wonderful sport in the company of all you friends and club mates.
With thanks to the club’s coaches:
And finally what’s my motivational tip to keep going through lockdown three and whatever the short-term future might hold for us? Well I hope this isn’t a cop-out, but I’m going to simply say “Try to be kind to yourself and those around you” and when you have a spare five minutes click here to head on over to the super blog Georgia wrote about finding out what motivates you.
Sean Stewart – Head Coach
Club Captain’s Report
Where to start, 2020 was heading in a good direction, it was lovely to see some of you for the start of the winter running competition at Mapledurham. Then we headed back into lockdown. Instead of the usual vigour and enthusiasm that a new year brings, I think we all had a dip. However, it has been great to see how we have rallied around as a club, with Virtual Run Club, and Zwift rides keeping us active. It is important and helpful to have clubmates and friends to keep us going! For those who are lacking motivation with racing seeming a long way away, now is the perfect time to try something different, how much is missing one or two structured sessions going to impact that race? Instead of a run, why not give a bit of orienteering a go – http://www.bko.org.uk/permanent-orienteering-courses , exploring new roads on your cycle, or dust off the off-road bike from the shed. Head out at a different time of day to catch the sunrise or sunset.
We have plenty of new activities in the pipeline to make 2021 the best we can for the club so keep an eye out!
Tri2O Virtual Run Club (VRC)
Now is a great time to commit to some run training to jump start your new year and get some focused run training in for your triathlon season.
Great to see so many members join the November and December 2020 VRC pilot and even more start a new term of VRC in January 2021. VRC is for all abilities. Guidance is provided depending upon your run experience, fitness and available time to help you build a good foundation with the right balance over the winter.
What is the goal for this term?
The goal is for you to will build volume through running consistently each week, improve form with some strides, sprints and hill work, and experiment with intensity over shorter and longer pace change runs. Plus have fun along the way!
Specifically, this includes.
- Six run set workouts during January and February.
- Support to structure your run training week with VRC workouts and additional key run workouts.
- Coach check with Edwina – Live Zoom call every Thursday 20:00-20:30 to review the weekly run workout, answer questions, share experiences, Strava routes and get inspiration from other Tri2O VRC Team members.
Happy running and stay safe and healthy.
Edwina – Run Officer
Here are some of the feedback from members who took part in Tri2O Virtual Run Club (VRC).
Edwina’s VRC was fantastic. Edwina is a great coach, she’s inspiring and enthusiastic, has a superb knowledge base and was always happy to spend time answering my questions outside of the weekly sessions. I really enjoyed adding structure to my run training and I’m really grateful to Edwina for sharing her recipe for success!
I feel huge gratitude to Edwina for arranging these running sets. At a time when most of us need to have an escape from our day to day activities, the VRC has given us just that. Thank you Edwina for volunteering your time and your generosity to sharing your valuable experience with us and for the love and effort that you invest in every session. Thanks for keeping us all connected and motivated together.
Ever since parkrun had been cancelled my speed training was in shutdown mode. The VRC sessions during Nov/Dec helped me re-discover my love for speed sessions again. Many thanks for Edwina to taking time to analyse everyone’s run session, and plan for the week ahead. Its also a great opportunity to catch up with other Tri2O members, share your experience and have a little banter. You don’t have to do all the sessions, just zoom in and say hello!
It was a delight to welcome a wave of variety to my autumn running from Edwina. As a runner who is rather routinised it was really refreshing to jaz it up with some speed work. I valued the insights into the range of speeds I should play with and everyweek she clearly outlined the speed work to try. It was lovely, especially in such isolating times, to get together once a week to discuss progress and look at next week’s run. Edwina has so many great ideas to vary up speed work and improve running fitness – I am so grateful for time she dedicated to these sessions.
– Sandie H
I found it really useful to get some pointers on running faster – it was easy to work into my existing training program and it was also really fantastic that we all met up online once a week – just for the sense of community. It was one of the free events that the club has organised over the last year that has really helped me improve and stay motivated which I found super important as we really got into winter. I was able to reduce my 5k 2020 PB by 2 min over the 6 weeks – I feel a bit bad that Edwina had to keep making me new pace charts as the time went on! I really enjoyed getting tips from Edwina and if I had to pick one or two things that I got from it that I haven’t got anywhere else it would be installing a sense of what a good warm up and cool down entails, working with running drills and helping me understand what an easy pace is – I found out that is a lot harder than I was originally running! I also like when Edwina refers to me as an athlete, always makes me smile. I think this was a big success and I would love to do it again in the future.
– Tom Webb
I have loved Edwina’s sessions! They have given me the motivation to get back into running, and helped me to think more about how I plan out different types of runs throughout the week. From the start of the first sessions to now my 5k TT time has improved by 3.5 minutes which I am so pleased with! I have never really thought much about interval training, hill sets etc so having the help to be able to plan these out, and the share our experiences with the rest of the group each week has been great… I could even go as far as saying I am starting to like hills a bit more now!
– Clare Hawthorn
I have really appreciated and enjoyed the sessions that Edwina has put together for the VRC. Her enthusiasm is infectious and I particularly like her inclusive approach. The sessions give me the motivation to get out and put in some effort on miserable winter lockdown mornings. I am very grateful for her time and dedication.
– Phil Davies
Heather will be opening up the hoodie order this month and the club kit order from Champion System in March.
Please look out for facebook post and emails on how to order.
Pros and Cons of having a training buddy
It can be tough to motivate yourself to exercise when there seems no particular reason to keep fit and you feel worn out by all the in-your-face meetings on Zoom, Teams etc, and it’s even harder to keep to some structured training when there are no races. Some of our Club members have found having someone to exercise with, either in person or remotely, really helps and, as you can read below, the pros of having a training buddy far outweigh the cons.
If you are feeling in need of a regular or occasional training partner, post what you are planning to do on Facebook and ask if anyone would like to join you for some real or virtual action, whichever works best to enable you to comply with the current restrictions. You may achieve more together than you could ever have done alone, and you might make a new friend for life.
Erik Andersson & Miha Razinger
Weekly rides with Miha is such a welcome mental reset, as well as a really good workout of course. In lockdown Miha is the only person I see for long enough (outside home) to have a real-life conversation with. A couple of hours on quiet roads in the Chiltern restores sanity and gives a glimpse of normality. We can be flexible and decide at short notice when and where we go. These are just some of the pros of our exercise bubble.
A big ‘con’ with the current situation is the uncertainty around the racing season ahead, and obviously how and when we can expect to return to coached Tri2O sessions. Miha and I are fellow Tri2O’ers, neighbours, work colleagues, and bikers doing pretty much the same pace, so that’s ideal! Those rides plus a structured set of Build-Up session on Zwift, and our bike fitness will be well sorted in time for the season (when it comes!).
I do love my family but a combination of the third lockdown, wintertime, and the trials of home schooling with both my wife and I working has been pretty taxing. To preserve my sanity I try to go out of the house at least once a day. Exercise is for me the only option to meet any people outside my household so I’m keen to grab any opportunity to go for a ride and a chat with a fellow club member. Luckily, Erik is a close neighbour and is happy to go out in any reasonable weather. It’s also nice to be shown around some new routes and riding with someone else gives me an extra sense of safety in case of any mishaps.
Ellie Gosling & Lou Gubb
The pros of having Ellie as a training partner
- I feel massively fortunate that an athlete of Ellie’s calibre actually likes training with me!! That in itself is enough to get me to every session. She has taught me so much – she always gives a 100% commitment – Ellie will never do anything below what is expected. There’s never anywhere to hide, we push ourselves together to get the best out of it.
- We are both hugely competitive, but it is always about having fun along the way – she’s usually (actually always!) just out of my reach on every discipline but she knows that she can’t take her foot off the gas because I’ll be on her shoulder somewhere! We have a lot of laughs and banter with this – standard phrases from Ellie are “you alright back there in the draft” “what took you so long” “if you had longer arms”!! I’ve got 10 years on her so fortunately our Age Groups will never overlap!!
- It’s probably fair to say that we’re both pretty busy people and have similar lives and so we “get” each other. We have good days, and we have crazy days, and we’re always there for each other to put the world to right and keep each other moving forward! I remember one week where I was just having one of those moments – planned a meet up on Zwift, did our session, stuck the WhatsApp Video on and just chatted about all sorts of things…. everything was back balanced again. Those are the times you want to bottle that medicine.
- Throughout the last year it’s been so good to have Ellie as a training partner/friend to keep me motivated, especially with no racing. We’ve raced together on Zwift and she’ll join me for my Test sessions which makes the whole thing more bearable – knowing your friend is in pain too!! I like to share!!
- Ellie will always check in to see how a particular training session went if she couldn’t do it and that’s so motivating – the last thing I want to tell her is that “I was shit” – can you imagine?!?
The cons (a very short list!):
- She will always beat me, but I will never be defeated!!! I will always give everything I’ve got!! The closer I can get…. that’s a Win to me! I’ve just discovered what it’s like when you lose your training partner for 6 weeks…. but luckily, I know she’s got her eye on me to make sure I’m not slacking!
The pros of training with Lou
- I have commitment to train with someone…. Lou is the MOST committed athlete I’ve ever come across, so if I commit to her to train together, I know there is NO doubt that she won’t turn up…..and that makes me turn up!! I know she’ll mention the ONE time I stood her up – but she was late, and I don’t’ do late!!!!
- We talk about all sorts of life issues/challenges when we’re out riding together – she is a cheap counsellor!!!!!!
- We encourage and motivate each other to achieve – if a training session looks tough on paper, we put our big girl pants on and say “don’t be shit!”
- I don’t have to think about the training session as Lou has it under control!!!! Lou is following a coached Ironman training programme – I pick and choose what sessions to join her for as I’m not following a training programme at the moment!! I prefer to join her for a 10 mile Zwift Time Trial rather than a 3hr Zwift ride…..!!! I choose the “best” bits!!!!
- We have fun!!! Most of our laughs are when we are swimming in the pool and Lou blames the length of her arms compared to mine for not touching the wall first!!
Sally Waterman & Sean Stewart
Pros – Someone to
- Chivvy you to get on with it when you don’t want to exercise or go outside
- Provide encouraging and motivational comments when you’re flagging
- Congratulate you if you’re meeting your goal pace/time
- Tell you the pace/distance/time when you can’t read your Garmin in the dark
- Pore over the data with you and discuss what went well and what not
Give you the pace/distance/time when you forget to turn your Garmin on!
- Takes charge of the stash of energy bars and other post exercise “recovery” treats
Cons – Can’t
- Make last minute changes to planned session – requires negotiation/compromise
- Run/ride at preferred pace/speed – can be stressful/challenging to keep up!
- Choose the route – may be too busy, hilly, or dark!
Pros – Someone who
- Understands the necessity of buying new kit/gizmo’s
- Tolerates a pile of sweaty kit for a bit longer (but only a little bit!)
- Gives you a bit of perspective when you’re being a little too intense
- Takes responsibility for dreaming up a never-ending series of original routes
Cons – Someone who
- Knows that a new carbon bike frame isn’t cheaper than a bike from Halfords
- Has goal races that may not always be the same so peaking and tapering might clash
- May decide that the duration and/or distance of the planned route may have to change part way through the ride or run
- Knows how many big sacrifices they’ll have to make if I decide that going long again would be a good idea
Tri2O Photo Albums on facebook
As part of the 10 year anniversary the club members went all out to hunt out for past memories and accumulated quite a few photos. They were all collected and put in yearly albums. If you have any old photos that could be added to the collections please free to add them to the albums. Here are list of all the albums on facebook (you need to be members of Tri2O facebook group to see them)
Dates for your diary
- 12-Sep-2021 : Reading Triathlon 2021
We would love to hear from you
The next newsletter will be in Apr 2021, please send your contribution to email@example.com before 10th April 2021.
We would love to hear from you, particularly if you have taken on a new challenge or are new to triathlon.
You can also download a pdf copy of the newsletter here.