Newsletter Apr 2022
Welcome to our April newsletter, Spring is definitely in the air and I am so much looking forward to the warmer weather and a season of races or events to sign up for – very exciting!
Our dedicated “Editor in Chief” Sunil Fernandes has pulled together another great newsletter. Thanks to ALL contributors for their valuable input and inspirational stories.
It was a real treat to see those of you who made it to our Awards Evening on 19th March at Zero Degrees. A very enjoyable evening applauding the success of our clubmates and recognising their achievements for 2021, Congratulations again to all. A full listing of the prize winners is below.
If you have entered a race or event for 2022 please do add your name to the members online Race Calendar so everyone can see who is racing where and when.
It has been really great to get back on the bike “Outside” as opposed to on the turbo, thanks to Clare our Bike Officer for getting our Tri2O bike rides back into the schedule.
We have weekly Sunday morning rides from The Reading Lake exploring the backroads of West Berkshire and Wednesday evening rides from Twyford. Clare has kindly organised a list of Club TT’s (Time Trials) for this season, more details below. No matter what level of cyclist you are, they are really good fun so I encourage you to get involved!
Thanks as always to our Coaches for their time and commitment, helping us all get fitter and faster. The Monday evening strength and conditioning with Jennie and Tuesday evening coached running with Georgia are proving popular with some great feedback from members attending – thanks Coaches.
I have been unable to attend many club swims of late but really enjoyed a recent Monday evening swim at Crosfields under Coach Justin’s watchful eye, thanks to Liz Ganpatsingh and Catherine Leather for letting me join their lane for the evening. It really is more fun swimming with club mates.
While drafting this update I just received an email from the Chair of TVT (Thames Valley Triathletes) the “other ” local friendly triathlon club, confirming an invitation to all Tri2O members to join the TVT Club’s Social Triathlon in late May (probably Thursday 26th May). We have been discussing some joint club activities and this will be the first – it will be based at The Reading Lake with some refuelling afterwards at The Cunning Man Pub. Do put the date in your diary. It will be a fun and sociable event, more details to follow shortly.
Right… that’s enough from me, as I have to get out on my bike and climb some hills in preparation for our Club Trip to the Welsh mountains in 2 weeks time! Captain Neil has assured me that the hills in Snowdonia will be “fine” 😮 – there may still be a place or two left if you fancy joining us.
I look forward to seeing you soon.
- Amy Godfrey
- Anne Leggett
- Ciaran Kelly
- Dan Buchanan
- Francesco Spanu
- Greg Lancaster
- Laura McDonough
- Paul Archer
- Rosie Waters
- Vaughan Illingworth
Now that Spring really feels like it’s arrived, this is the time when athletes are usually starting to gear themselves up mentally for the racing season ahead. Some of you will have races early in the season (in which case, your training will be looking more and more specific to your race), whilst others are still very much building towards a later summer or early autumn goal race. Whatever you have planned, if you’re joining club sessions then do let the coaches know and we can help make sure you get the most out of the sessions you attend.
New & upcoming sessions
We hope you’re enjoying the new Monday S&C and Tuesday run sessions; we’re building up some regular attenders which is great, and would love to see more of you there to support the sessions.
In previous years, bike skills sessions have been popular, so we planned some for March. Unfortunately we had to cancel these due to lack of interest; if members would like us to rearrange, do get in touch.
In the next couple of months, to tie in with the early season racing, we’ll also hopefully be putting on a transition skills session – again keep an eye on TeamApp and Facebook for more details and dates.
Training & coaching survey
Thank you so much to all those who responded to our survey – we had some really helpful constructive feedback, as well as plenty of reassurance that a lot of what we’re providing is just what you want! What’s clear is that so many of you love training with others in the club and really enjoy this social aspect, and find that you are able to get much more out of yourselves if you train with others – so if you haven’t already joined a club session, do consider coming along.
One of the outcomes of almost every survey ever commissioned is “you can’t please all the people all the time” (pool’s too hot, too cold, too late, too early, wrong day, right place etc etc!) … but that doesn’t mean we don’t try. Here are some of the key findings and actions; I’ve started to share these one at a time on the FB group every week or so, and will continue to do so.
YOU TALKED, WE LISTENED …
- If you loved a swim session, ask the coach and we’ll share the session with you afterwards – just drop us a message via Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You really love the variety, experience and quality of coaching at the club swim sessions – thank you for letting us know! Any feedback for the different sessions has been shared with the coaching team, and we’re all acting on it to make improvements.
- You like the mixture of Face2Face and online for S&C, so we’ll continue with this blend as the pilot 6 weeks has been popular.
- You’d love a swim session more towards the East of Reading, so our Swim Office has been in contact with the new pools being built at Rivermead and Palmer Park; the latter is opening sooner and are keen to have us as part of their timetable, so watch this space and we’ll keep you posted.
- Willink is too hot and not very clean – we’ve raised this again with the pool managers, and they are taking actions such as taking off the pool cover and trying to turn the temperature down the night before we swim. They are not in a position to replace the lane ropes as we are the only club who swims there.
- You like it best when swimmers are evenly distributed in the lanes – it’s hard to be completely equitable especially with the difference in swim paces across the pool, but we’re trying to manage this more proactively and hopefully you’ve noticed the difference already.
- You want regular rides from a consistent location; our bike officer Clare Harris has been setting up and leading club rides leaving from the H2O Swim Centre lake every Sunday since the beginning of March and these have been really well attended already. We need more leaders though or these won’t continue!
- You want slower, shorter, beginner friendly, no drop rides; we need help from more ride leaders but are adding shorter options as often as we can and to start with we added a 26km beginner friendly route for Katie’s Ride – which was awesome fun!
- Many of you lack confidence to lead club rides – we want to support you to lead rides at your choice of speed and route, without pressure. Please don’t feel you “aren’t fast enough” to lead a ride – we can guarantee there’ll be other riders in the club who will be only too pleased to attend a more leisurely speed!
- You love Thursday Run Club and might like the option of a different location e.g Reading Uni – Sean is unfortunately still out of action due to injury, but this is certainly something he’ll consider when he’s back “up and running”!
- You found the Yoga workshop awesome and some suggested Ben might put on a monthly class with a focus on individual form feedback and highlighting the benefits for triathletes – we are looking into this.
- You love your club sessions, training with others and spurring each other on – we’ll keep trying to do our best!
Thanks again for the feedback, and look forward to meeting more of you at club sessions in the coming months.
Georgia, on behalf of the coaching team
My Marathon Journey to Manchester
by Elaine Liversage
I was delighted when I got a place for the 2021 London Marathon which took place last October. However, I soon found out that marathon training is tough, especially as I was a Couch to 5 K graduate in 2018. I had to withdraw and defer my place soon after I started increasing my distance as the mileage was too much for me. I needed to reset.
Thankfully I have some great running friends including running coaches, physiotherapist and soft tissue therapist. I took their advice. In summary I had to….
- Target my strength and conditioning activities
- Improve running posture
- Learn to rest and recover
- Long runs should be fun and I should not be a slave to the pace.
One of the things I was advised to do was to start swimming. I was not a confident swimmer so I joined Tri2O back in October 2021. I shall be forever grateful to the warm welcome I received from the members and the Coaches, Sean and Justin on a Monday and then Jennie at the Wednesday session. As my swimming improved so did my running. I was no longer gasping for breath!
With renewed confidence and a smarter approach, I entered the Manchester Marathon. I had setbacks with “niggles” and contracting Covid (thankfully mild) but I was able to adapt my training with indoor cycling.
When I arrived at the start of the Manchester Marathon I was a bag of nerves. I found it hard to control my emotions, thinking about my journey just to get to the start line, thinking of all the people who believed in me, the training I’d done… I couldn’t let these beautiful people down, I wanted to make them proud of me. They believe in me. But could I do it?
As I set off on that cold April morning I had to try and control my pace, it felt so comfortable, but I knew I had to pace myself, I heard their voices in my head “Elaine – slow and controlled” ”if you go off too fast the distance will find you out”. Each mile went by, the crowds cheered, the bands played. I was running my first marathon and it felt great. I had to stay in control. I had friends in the crowd who handed me electrolytes. Seeing them gave me such a massive boost.
At mile 23 my pace was still steady, I was going to do it! I knew it and for the first time I truly had the confidence that others had in me. I had tears streaming down my face. Mile 24 came and went. I was thinking of all the support I had received. Mile 25, I’ve got this. Mile 26, I can see the finish line. I even had strength to sprint finish it!!
WOW, I’m a Marathon runner! sub 3.45 and a “Good for Age” time in the bag. I put on some warm clothes sat on a grass bank with my medal around my neck…. Exhausted, in disbelieve, in amazement, staring at this medal, I had done it.
However, we always need a new challenges! I will do my first triathlon in May and then the London Marathon which takes place in October.
Thank you everyone at Tri2O for making me feel so welcome, and the Coaches for all your patience, help and support. You have all played a major part in my marathon journey, Thank you.
Workingham Half Marathon
by Steve Roddy
Hi! I’m very new to the Tri2O club and am looking forward to meeting you all over the next few months . Thank you to everyone I have already met and who have made me feel very welcome.
On Sunday the 27th February I completed my 4th Wokingham Half Marathon, breaking my PB. On every occasion I have thought how well the race has been organised and how smoothly it ran. Every year it has been good, but this year the route had changed and instead of just going out through the countryside, albeit beautiful, we went through the town. This made it even better as there were more crowds to cheer us on. I am also a member of Shinfield Running Club. A large group of us turned up at 9.00 am for the prompt start at 10.00 am. I have to admit that its one of the best events I have run in recent times.
Demystifying Time Trials
by Clare Harris
Hopefully by now you’ve seen the time trial calendar come out with our Tri2O TT series highlighted in orange. It would be great to see as many people as possible take part across these events. If you haven’t seen it yet you will find it here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/17HXXCqMIqX5gT6mzmYa-cCg8g13Mc930Ob_ajlQO-1c/edit?usp=drivesdk
To some people time trials can be a very intimidating and scary things. Understandably so. People seeming to talk in codes, expensive kit worn for ‘marginal gains’, bikes that look wierd! I’m hoping that I can demystify time trials for you and hopefully get some of you along for some fun, even if it is type 2 fun!!
Let’s start with equipment, you DO NOT need any specialist equipment to ride a TT, as long as you have working front and rear lights, a helmet and a working bike….that’s ANY bike (my mum did one on her brompton once!) you can ride a time trial. A time trial is by definition a race of you vs the clock. No one else. Yes, it can be very intimidating to turn up to your first time trial and find people warming up on turbos/rollers on their TT bikes with enough upgrades to cover the mortgage for 6 months. Don’t let this put you off! Loads of people do TTs on road bikes, in fact you will probably get more kudos for doing it on a road bike than a TT! The majority of people you will come across at time trials are very friendly and more than happy to give you lots of advice! Over the spring and summer we will have a club series using local cycling club evening events, if you are a bit nervous of time trials come along to one of these and you should be guaranteed to see a friendly Tri2O face.
H10/1a, HCC234, non aero, 2up, 4up TTT. What on earth does all this mean?
Course codes start with a letter that indicates the region of the country that course is in. The courses around us will all start with H as this is the code for Cycling Time Trials (CTT) London West District, which we are in. The number following the letter, such as in H10/1a, tells you how long a course is, in this case 10 miles. The following number is then a reference to which 10 mile course this is. A letter following the number often indicates that there are either a number of variations in the same place or a course has changed for some reason. Courses that start with HCC are often not standardised distances and are known as sporting courses. These are likely to be more rolling courses….don’t expect to set a 10 mile PB on a sporting course! HHC courses are hill climbs, don’t be fooled by the short distances on these, they will be up and up. Brutal! A lot of cycling clubs do their hill climbs in the late summer/early autumn. If you’re not sure where a course is you can have a look on the CTT website or a quick Google will likely bring up a Strava segment.
Non aero events are where you encouraged to ride without anything that would give you any aero gains….no TT bikes/bars, no skinsuits, no pointy helmets, no fancy overshoes, just your standard road bike, ‘normal’ kit and you against the clock.
TTTs are team time trials, these are great fun. They are often either a 2up or 4up which simply means there are 2 or 4 of you in the team and you take it in turns to be in the wind at the front. Find a club mate(s) of a similar ability and you will find you can absolutely storm that PB and have some fun together at the same time.
Do I have to be held up at the start of a time trial? No absolutely not! Before Covid it was common to be held at the start of a TT. This will give you the most efficient start and a little push to get you going. During Covid you weren’t held at the start of a TT, some clubs used poles for you to hold onto so you could get both feet in the pedals, some you just started with one foot on the ground. How it will work going forward will, I’m sure, vary from club to club, but if a held start is offered and you aren’t comfortable with it just say you’d rather start with a foot down, that is absolutely fine!
Why should you do a timetrial? As a triathlete you are used to holding something back on the bike so you can run after, a TT gives you an opportunity to not have to hold back on that bike (some mean coaches will tell you that it’s great training to do a brick run off a TT). From your TT effort you can dial it back a tad and you will have a good idea of what power/heart rate/perceived exertion would be appropriate in a triathlon. A lot of cycling clubs use the same course throughout the season which gives you a great opportunity to track your progress once you’ve got a benchmark to compare against.
So I’ve convinced you to give it a go, what actually happens? Pick which TT you would like to do and get there in plenty of time. The cycling clubs that are putting on the TTs will all have different ways for you to sign up (especially following Covid). Some will ask you just to turn up and sign on and make a cash payment (normally £3-£5), some will be sign up in advance. Make sure you know the process for the TT you’re going to do!
When you turn up, get your number and find a friendly face to pin it to your back (if you get number 13 turn it upside down to reverse the bad luck!!). Do a warm up in if you can and work out where the start is. For evening TTs you are often set off at minute intervals so make sure you know when you are starting and get to the start in plenty of time. When it’s your turn you will get a count down and you’re off. I should say make sure you know the route of your TT!! When you cross the finish line shout out your number with any breath you have left, this helps the timekeepers. Make your way back to the start, or where sign on was, to hand back your number and see how everyone else got on.
Hopefully if you’ve got this far I’ve managed to convince you that time trials aren’t as scary as you might think, if not, I hope I got you intrigued enough that you might want to come along to one. If you have any other questions either ask on Facebook or drop me an email at email@example.com I would love to see you all out there.
Tri2O Awards Night
Congratulations to all our winners
- Pete Gough winner of Henderson Personality of the Year 2021, awarded in memory of Katie Henderson, a Club member who was tragically killed in a road accident on her way to a race in 2015. It is awarded to the most helpful, supportive and enthusiastic Club member who has inspired and motivated others.
- Nora Holford (F55-59) – Eton Sprint (AG winner)
- Markus Orgill (M33-34) – Wargrave Sprint (AG winner)
- Andi Goodall (V40) – Hever Castle
- Steve Ridley (MU40) – Reading Triathlon
- Middle distance (70.3)
- Leanne James (F35-39) – Ironman Bolton 70.3
- Steve Ridley (M35-39) – IM 70.3 Mallorca
- Full distance (Ironman)
- Lou Gubb (F45-49) – Outlaw Nottingham (AG winner)
- Markus Orgill (M30-34) – UK Ultimate
- Clare Harris (F30-39) – TrailX Spring off road duathlon (AG winner)
- Adam Phillips (M40-44) – F3 Marlow Classic Aquabike (AG winner)
Getting very familiar with yet another race circuit – Mallory Park Sprint Duathlon
by Sally Waterman
On the afternoon of 5 March we arrived at Mallory Park Race circuit so I could collect my race pack and ride the course for the sprint duathlon world championships qualification race the following day. It was a grey and blustery afternoon, and the Race Rapid ‘team’ (one person) who were organising the event was huddled in a small office at the side of the track. I was at the front of the queue that was beginning to form (so inside) and was able to collect my pack quickly. I returned to the car to get my bike and then headed back up the steps and over the footbridge to the transition area.
The weather forecast had indicated only light wind but the crosswind on the bottom of the track was fierce and pushed me to the inside of the track. Once around the bend I was riding on the far side of the track into a headwind. After a brief flattish section the course was up a long steep incline to a hairpin bend where the descent started. The forecast for the following day had also indicated only light winds, I was hoping it would be correct.
The sky was brighter on race day and this plus the joy of catching up with people who were racing and supporting that I had not seen for a couple of years helped relax me before my race started. I was not off until after midday which meant that there was ample opportunity to cheer others on, but it was also at the time of day I would usually be eating lunch. Fuelled by a rather scrumptious triple-decker Tribe bar I made my way to the start line.
The first run was four times around the lower part of the race track, in the opposite direction to the way we would cycle. All the women started together, and it was slightly dispiriting to see how quickly the faster, and mainly younger, women got a long way ahead. I channelled that negative feeling by congratulating them in my head for being such amazing athletes and prepared myself to be lapped at some point. I felt pretty good on the first run and managed not to let my main competitors get too far ahead whilst not fretting that they were ahead, it was always going to be the case.
I had practiced my transitions the day before and T1 went well. I was soon in my happy place on my bike trying to chase people down. Unfortunately, like the previous day, the wind was picking up. The bike course was 9.5 laps – I enjoy the repetitiveness, but I know that for some it would be too dull to contemplate. Battling the wind on every lap was tiring and on the last climb up the hill I was wondering whether I’d have any run legs when I got off the bike. I fleetingly chastised myself for not doing any brick sessions this year but quickly switched to singing Que Sera Sera in my head – anyone old enough to remember Doris Day will know this is an uplifting tune!
As I ran with my bike into transition I saw that there were still a few empty racks so knew I would not be the last competitor. I headed out on the second run past my number one supporter, Sean Stewart, who due to injury had not raced, and was pleased to feel my run legs had not deserted me. I managed to pick up the pace as I continued on the first of two laps. I ran with a couple of youngsters who were running together for a while, which felt good, but they eventually pulled ahead. On the second lap I could see a couple of people ahead of me who were on their first lap. They were about 100m apart and I deciding that I had to try and get past both of them before I turned into the finish shoot. This gave me a much-needed focus and the motivation not to ease up despite my now very tired legs. I did get past them both and was able to gasp some encouraging words as I passed each of them.
The sun was out as I crossed the finish line with relief at another race finished, one that was a lot tougher than I had thought it might be – never underestimate the amount of climbing on a race circuit course or the impact of wind! I am going up into the 65-69 age group next year (!!), so whilst I knew I was second in my age group I needed to be within 115% of the winning time of the age group above to qualify for next year’s world championships. The winner was someone I’d raced against many times before and she got the gold in the F60-64 age group in last year’s championships (where I got the bronze). Sean told me I’d done enough to be easily inside that and trusting his maths I left the course very happy. After further chatting with fellow competitors and being amongst the very small crowd for the medal ceremony, it was time to load the car and head home, via and M&S Food Hall. Within a few days the BTF confirmed I had qualified for the 2023 world championships, to be held in Ibiza!
Dates for your diary
- 22-Apr-2022 : Club Trip to North Wales (22nd to 24th Apr 2022)
- 26-May-2020 : Social Triathlon with TVT (TBC)
- 25-Jun-2022 : Tri2O Famous Fish n’ Chips Ride
- 11-Sep-2022 : Reading Triathlon 2022
We would love to hear from you
The next newsletter will be in Jun 2022, please send your contribution to firstname.lastname@example.org before 10th June 2022.
We would love to hear from you, particularly if you have taken on a new challenge or are new to triathlon.