Newsletter Feb 2022

Chairman’s Update

Dear Tri2O’ers

Welcome to our first 2022 newsletter and with fingers crossed this year is setting up to be more “normal” and action packed than the last two years.

It is great to see an influx of new members joining Tri2O over the last couple of months and on behalf of the committee I welcome you all and hope to meet each of you soon at a club event.

The main committee met in January, with upbeat discussions on activities for this year. I thank everyone who is part of the Tri2O committee(s) for their time, energy and commitment. 

From my involvement and discussions at bi-monthly BTF Advisory Panel meetings I have been fortunate to gain insight into how other Triathlon Clubs are fairing and I am confident that Tri2O is definitely “on point” in terms of providing value to members through coaching, communication and activities – you are part of a really good team.

While “blowing trumpets” it was so nice to see recognition from Triathlon England for our Club Run event The Reading Triathlon winning our region’s “Small event of the Year for 2022” Testament to every member who gave their time to help – thank you.

Check out Coaches Corner below – a massive thank you to our new Head Coach Georgia who has been busy working with our wonderful coaching team. Whether training for a short or long distance multi sport event (or just for fun) there is a coaching activity to plug into which will help support you. Training on our own is good but with clubmates it is a whole lot better.

The Chairman of TVT (Thames Valley Triathletes) and myself are in communication to see if we can organise an “inter-club” event this year, we are working on a few ideas and hope to announce the first one soon.

With restrictions easing our Awards Evening on the 19th March should be a GO! Please put the date in your diary and support the recognition of members for their achievements in 2021 over a drink or two!

One final message from me is in sending the very best wishes to our Club Captain Neil Harris and our Bike Officer Clare Fox who on the 19th February are Getting Married! On behalf of everyone at Tri2O I wish you a sporty, memorable wedding day plus a very happy future together.

Enjoy your newsletter and thank you to all contributors and as always to our Editor in Chief Sunil for pulling this edition together.

Best wishes

Mike Nash

Reading Tri 2022

Save the date for Reading Triathlon 2022, 11th Sept 2022. We are so proud that our fantastic race was recently announced as the winner of ‘Small Event of the Year 2022‘ by Triathlon England – South Central. This is testament to our committee and members’ hard work throughout the year and on the day, to put on the best local triathlon that we can.

Unlike many events run by other clubs, we do not stipulate that Tri2O members are not allowed to enter our race. However, in return we ask for a commitment from those who enter the race, to contribute towards the organisation and running of it in some other ways. This may be with site preparation in the lead up, and/or help at registration, and helping to clear up the site at the end of the race. We will need lots of volunteers on the day and weeks leading towards the event, and can’t do it without everyone mucking in. There will be plenty of opportunities to do your bit! The profits from the race subsidise our club training sessions and workshops, and are put back into benefits for members, as well as raising a significant amount of money for our chosen charity, the British Triathlon Foundation Trust

Entries for Reading Triathlon are open – please spread the word on your own social media, and with friends and family. Click here for details

Membership Update

We would like to welcome the following new (and re-joining) members
  • Aaron Molloy 
  • Anne Leggett
  • Hannah Redgrave
  • Helen Gardner
  • Hella Lipper-Morse
  • Josh Wardrop
  • Keith Horan
  • Rafael Nunez
  • Sarah Molloy
  • Valerija Matukviciute
  • Vaughan Illingworth
We hope you enjoy training and being part of the team
Membership Secretary

Coaches’ Corner – an update on all things club coaching

Well, what a busy start to the year we’ve had!

Regular longstanding sessions
Last week we had 64 swimmers across our three club sessions with Coaches Justin, Jennie and myself; if you haven’t tried one yet, do come along for technique, fitness and fun. Our Virtual Run Club (VRC) run by Coach Edwina has had good numbers, doing some benchmarking and interval sessions, with weekly feedback and analysis. Unfortunately, Coach Sean is injured so Thursday Run Club is having a hiatus – hopefully many of the regulars have been able to attend VRC instead for some continued motivation. Members are also continuing to sweat themselves into oblivion at the club Zwift meet-ups led by Club Captain Neil.

Tri2O Annual planner
Many of you may wonder how we decide what delights to dish out at each swim session. The structure is carefully planned out in advance at the start of the year, to cover each of the following broad themes: open water, CSS/pacing, endurance, technique, speed, strength, testing, and coach’s choice. You’ll never get the same theme in the same week even if you attend all the club sessions, so variety and balance is built in.

The spreadsheet that we use has been really helpful, so we decided to expand it to outline ALL the club activities across the year. I present to you … Ta-daaaa … the Tri2O Annual plan. This will give you an overview of what’s happening when, and really demonstrates how active and broad the club’s activities are and what to look forward to!

Just to give you an idea, this is what it looks like:

But here’s a link to view the plan in full in Google docs:

The second sheet shows you our current weekly offerings, which you can see outlined here:

MondayS&C Beenham/Virtual
6:00 – 7:00 pm
Crossfields swim
9:00 – 10:00 pm
TuesdayCoached run (Prospect park)
7:00 – 8:00 pm
WednesdayWillink Swim
6:30 – 7:30 am
Zwift meet up
6:30 – 7:30 pm
ThursdayRun club Caversham
7:00 – 8:00 pm
Virtual Run Club
8:00 – 8:30 pm
FridayBradfield swim
5:55 – 6:55 am
SaturdayWinter Run Comp./
SundayClub Rides (coming soon)
8:30 / 9:00 am

NEW sessions
Strength, conditioning & mobility
Coach Jennie has been targeting our weaknesses with excellent strength and conditioning classes on Monday evenings; she’s strict with our technique and explains why we’re doing what we’re doing, not forgetting the all important mobility work sprinkled in. I’d thoroughly recommend them as an excellent complement to your swim/bike/run training, for helping keep you injury-free, strong and to aid performance. Feedback has been great so far, and we’re hoping to be able to continue the sessions if attendance stays enthusiastic!

Coached run at Prospect Park
Despite the cold and the darkness, an increasing number of members has joined me on Tuesday evenings for a coached run session, comprising both technique and fitness. We’ve been learning about the importance of posture and alignment in running, how we can improve that, and how to use our posture to influence speed changes. This has been followed by some short fast hill reps to build strength, speed and power (maintaining good posture of course!), beneficial for athletes training for all distances at this time of year, and progressing these each week. Everyone has worked hard and smiled a lot, so hopefully these sessions will become a regular feature on the weekly timetable.

Future coaching sessions planned
Watch this space for a short series of three linked bike skills sessions planned in March, particularly for those who might feel less confident on the bike, and then in April, we’ll run some coached transition sessions in preparation for the early season races. We’re also looking at the possibility of open water sessions at the lake – do let us know via the survey below what you’d like to see.

Last but not least, it’s really important to the committee and coaching team that we align the club’s coaching offerings with the needs of you, our members. So, we’d love you to fill in a short survey to find out your views about what we do already, what you love about it, what we could do better, what you’d like to see more of, and anything else you want to say (warts and all!) We know that we can’t improve unless we know your feedback, so tell us!

Here’s a link to the survey:

Thanks for reading. Spring is just around the corner (okay maybe a couple of corners), the days are getting that little bit longer, and we are really excited about the coming year of triathlon and multisport.

Georgia (Merlin) Jackson 
Head Coach

Gutbuster Race Review 

by Siân Vaughan

The day dawned and what a glorious day it was, cold, wet and windy. I had hoped that booking in for the 10-mile run would keep me on the straight and narrow over the Christmas break, that didn’t happen. I jumped in the van with my bag of warm clothes, my coffee and shake, and off I went.

On arrival at the park and ride I found that I had been cruelly abandoned by the friends who were meant to be travelling with me on the bus. Apparently hanging around in the cold wasn’t so appealing when a bus was there to get on. I hopped on the next bus and stared out the window at the rain and wind battering against the glass whilst hugging my warm coffee, wondering why I wasn’t one of those people who thought that a nice warm pub visit for lunch was a good way to spend my time.

On arrival at the farm, it was great to see so many of the club out for the run, everyone was in good spirits and chatting away. I picked up my number donned my race belt and MST Events buff and headed off for my warmup. This makes me sound like I’m a competent and fast runner, neither of these are true. I just knew that my wonderful coach (who will be reading this) would have shaken her head with disappointment if the warmup wasn’t showing up on training peaks as completed. I had a lovely companion for my warmup; thank you Sandie! We even tested out some hills which I was wary of as I had picked up a knee injury on a hill run earlier in the week. We managed to complete our warmup and get in line for the thankfully clean porta loos. Sadly, this meant that I missed the Tri2O group photo, it was a necessity but also pretty disappointing not to be part of the group shot.

After a swift race briefing it was time to walk to the start line. As we all trundled along to the start a furious driver came out of a lane to the left of us and decided to try to get through the 100’s of runners walking along the road to the start line. It honestly looked like he was ready to plough us down, luckily he decided better of it and turned around.

And we were off, it was a nice start with some small puddles up a gentle hill which totally lulled me into a false sense of security. It was not an indication of what was to come. After plodding through some more puddles and mud I reached the ford. Decision time, avoid or run straight through. I chose the latter and boy was it cold, I’m not sure I would have been so eager to jump straight in if the camera hadn’t been pointing at me.

The scenery was lovely and it was truly a mud fest, there were points along the way I was trying to work out if it was mud, sticks or stones stuck down the side of my shoes whether it was worth stopping to try to get whatever it was out. Half the time I seemed to be wading through sludge whilst the other half I was dragging shoes that were twice the weight they should be from the mud encasing them. I narrowly avoided falling as we rounded the roman wall but thankfully my trail shoes did their job and helped to keep my upright, although I’m sure my flailing arms and squeals gave a few people around me a good laugh. The river crossing later in the run felt like a pleasant surprise as the mud was washed off my shoes and they felt a bit more like trainers again.

The atmosphere was great, lots of people cheering each other on, laughing at the state of each other and the great swathes of swampy countryside we were running through. It was all going well, I felt on great form for pretty much most of the run and then came the last mile. I could see the finish line practically smell the mulled wine and mince pies and yet there was a field to run around, seemingly in the opposite direction to the finish and then that last ploughed nightmare of a field. It was fun and yet also gruelling run up towards the finish, I overtook a few fellow runners, cheering them on (which I’m sure went down well) and dragged myself up and across the finish line, grabbed my massive medal and the obligatory mulled wine and mince pie.

A great run, lots of fun and a lot of post-race kit washing.

Intro To Bike Officer

For those that don’t know me I’m Clare soon to be married to our club captain Neil Harris! I’ve been a member of Tri2O since 2015. I got into triathlon thanks to a bit of family competition with my mum, we won’t mention the results of the first few races!! I’ve done sprint, standard and middle distance races, I ran London Marathon last year which has confirmed to me the fact that I currently have no intention of ever doing an ironman!! In the last few years I’ve enjoyed some off road biking and doing some off road triathlon and duathlons. This year my main races are Xterra Czech Republic and Xterra Germany in August. If you’ve never heard of Xterra I recommend you go have a search on YouTube.

The bike is by far my favourite discipline in a triathlon whether its riding down a country lane in the sunshine, twisting through the woods on the mountain bike or mixing the two together on the cross bike. N+1 isn’t so much of a rule in our household as a way of life!!

As bike officer my main aim is to get club rides going again. These will be every week at the same time from the same place where at the very least we will have a social no drop ride going out. Ideally we will be able to get a number of groups out to cater to different speeds. We will of course have our big club outings for Katie’s Ride and our annual pilgrimage to the coast for the fish n chip ride. In the spring we will have a series of time trials which I would encourage everyone to have a go at. Any questions about riding with the club give me a shout and I look forward to riding with you all soon.

Clare Fox 
Bike Officer

Dates for your diary

  • 11-Mar-2022 : Q&A “Expanding your multisport horizons”
  • 19-Mar-2022 : Tri2O Annual Awards at Zero Degrees
  • 20-Mar-2022 : Katie’s Pink Ride.
  • 22-Apr-2022 : Club Trip to North Wales (Apr 22nd – 24th 2022)
  • 25-Jun-2022 : Tri2O Famous Fish n’ Chips Ride 
  • 11-Sep-2022 : Reading Triathlon 2022

Q&A – Expanding your multisport horizons

On Friday 11th March we are planning on holding a Q and A session entitled “Expanding your multisport horizons“. It will be held in Tilehurst and start at 7.30pm. You will be able to book through Team App.  The reason for this article is to let you all know about the session as well as asking for questions in advance for the panel. All members are welcome and no question is “silly”. I aim to collect questions and answers to be published in a future newsletter.

The panel consists of experienced members of the club, BTF staff and club coaches and we aim to answer questions such as:

  • How do I step up to Ironman (or half) distance?
  • Tips for Transitions
  • Swim/Run or Duathlon combinations
  • Off road events
  • Qualification for GB age group teams
  • Etc, Etc….

If anyone needs a question answered, whether you can attend the session or not, please let me know by email on  Questions will also be taken from the floor, on the day.


We would love to hear from you

The next newsletter will be in Apr 2022, please send your contribution to before 10th Apr 2022.

We would love to hear from you, particularly if you have taken on a new challenge or are new to triathlon.

Click here to download the pdf copy of the newsletter

Categories: blog, newsletter