Monday, 13 July 2015

Moved onto

I have transferred this blog over to a the brand new, sparkly, snazzy BigSuz website! A pub idea that has become a reality in a handful of weeks thanks to CoeMedia. Yet more evidence that the best things always begin at the pub.

A new website, Is the start of…. well, who knows what will evolve! Have a look around, my favourite section is the ‘Give and Share’ page where I will post anything I think is interesting, creative, funny, inspiring and general makes me go “Wow this is cool, everyone should read/see/watch/hear this”. If you find anything you think i should include in this section, just hollar.

From now on, all new blog post will go on 

Hope you enjoy the new website

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Ousting the Outlaw Half Triathlon

Statistics. Maximum Heart Rate, Average Cadence, Elapsed time, Power as a % of FTP, Average speed, Watts per Kilogram, VO2 max
and the list goes on and on.... the sports world loves statistics!

However the Garmin memory bank doesn't hold all the stats.

There were 13 days between Slateman Triathlon and The Outlaw Half Triathlon
In these 13 days:
4 showers were taken in a single day (the cleanest day on record, or just a ridiculous amount of exercise!)
6 (probably more) occasions we talked about cutting the hedge (well done Adam for cutting it, I did clear the trimmings. Joint effort, makes sense for the person with the longest arms to do the cutting!)
1 lawn mower cable, mowed through and cut (& patched back together)
13 broad bean plants moved from pots indoors to the vegetable patch
4 loads of washing done in a single day (that's a lot of lycra)
50% more porkpies were eaten than normal
4:1 was the ratio of abusive texts vs congratulation text from my 'mates' in response to them seeing Slateman on the TV.
75% of beetroot seeds survived to seedlings and then planted in vegetable patch
 As the above shows, there have been some serious personal bests in recent weeks.
"Sharing Pork Pie" If you are a mouse! Grow, grow, grow little vegetables and on the box as part of the Slateman Triathlon coverage.

The biggest personal best was achieved cycling home from the pool; most groceries fitted and carried in the backpack. 11 bananas and 2 pints of milk. Hurrah for the granny gear, especially up hills!

I had ticked off the first triathlon race of the season, Slateman Triathlon and it was onto Outlaw Half Triathlon, my first foray into Middle distance racing, otherwise known as 70.3 (no idea why it is called this,anyone know?please enlighten me). There is a first for everything and for the first time ever, I had been labelled one of the favourites with writing this Pre race preview and then publishing this interview I had done, several weeks before and had completely forgotten about. Nothing like going into a race, under the radar.

My first 70.3 race. I figured if ever there was a time for preparation, this was it. As they say preparation, is key.
Customising the water bottle at 10.30pm several days before, the art of using a power drill while wearing Pijamas (all this effort and then it pops straights out on kilometer 89.8 of 90 on the speed bumps).

Nutrition. Race weekend is a good excuse to visit friends and family near the race location (ok i mean, coach surfing between friends and family for a free nights accommodation). Thursday night was spent on a huge cooking spree...snacks, meals, race food. Can't turn up at your hosts without a cake! 
My new cook book bible "Feed Zone portables" more about this in due course.

Getting acclimatised. Saturday morning, the day before the race, I had a quick splash in Otley Sailing club lake, at the Leeds Bradford Triathlon Club open water swim session, a bit of running and then it was time to chuck the gear in the car and head to Nottingham to register and hear the race briefing. 3.30pm was the last briefing, I had plenty of time.... isn't it amazing how quickly time flies!Especially when you are trying to pack wetsuit, bike and remember work clothes for the following weeks meeting in London. But no need to panic, remember if you register last thing, and you don't have to queue for your number.
Pre race day splash

I have written a more detailed race report on The Raceskin Website here therefore I will concentrate on a more visual summary, because I love a picture and a caption.

Saturday, this was the picture posted by Outlaw Triathlon on their facebook page. Weather forecast said wind and rain, this could be interesting!
The forecast proved correct. At least swimming in the rain is fine, you are already wet. Bit choppy with the wind, but all ok, came out in the front group, 28.58 for 1.9km, happy with that.

The 90km bike was wet and windy
Did I say, wet and windy. I meant torrential rain, like heavy, no chance of being able to read the Garmin, sort of rain. My bike split can been seen on strava here. 2.41 for 90km. Good job I am use to riding in all weathers. I was glad I put on arm warmers and a gilet after the swim. What's two more pieces of clothes to put in the washing machine? 
Post bike, taking off the gilet and arm warmers to begin the run. Wishing I had dry socks to put on.

Having never done a longer distance race, I have never carried gels on the run. One minor detail had slipped my mind, where to put the gels. When setting up my trainers in transition, at 5.30am, it was chucking it down with rain. I thought it would be clever to put the gels in my shoes to help keep my shoes dry. Obviously, the flaw came when I came to put my shoes on after the bike! Down the triathlon suit seemed logical at the time once I had removed the gels from my trainers and pondered my options. Good job my cleavage doesn't fill my sports bra, space for energy gels, ideal. I have explained in more detail in this blog on the OTE website my nutrition plan for the whole race and why I decided on 221grams of carbs and how I split this between rice cakes, cup cakes, energy gels and drink. 

The longest stretch of headwind in the world. The run was 2 laps, around Holme Pier Point Lake and out and back along the canal tow path. The tow path was quite reminiscent of cross country, with the path becoming nice and muddy with all the rain, the lake path, a tad windy! My run split is on Strava here.

What do you do when they throw confetti down the finish shoot? 
Looking like I have run a cross country race!

Breaking the tape as 1st female, always a sweet feeling.

The atmosphere at Outlaw Half was fantastic. Despite the weather, so many people came out to support, so thank you. I was especially amazed at the number of "Go girl" "Great running" from fellow competitors during the run section, especially the Leeds Bradford Tri contingent. Races are all about the atmosphere and it was great sharing the experience with University buddy  Tanner, who had a great race (she is doing IM Bolton and you can sponsor her here) and Esther who drove across to cheer us on. Big thanks to Adam, Julian, Chris and Jane for the shouts of encouragement.Chris made an awesome highlights video which you can view here.

A hug from, Simon Ward, who was on the commentary mic. This man spends most Wednesday mornings telling me off for arriving on pool side at 7.02am! 

My first Half Ironman Distance race done and dusted.
Well done Karl for winning the Men's race and everyone else who made the podium and who raced.

Thank you for all the messages of support and congratulations, they mean a lot. I felt well and truely loved! Here is the race report on

Two races down. The season is in full swing, but there is no time to rest on ones laurels. The lawn has to be cut, the vegetables to be watered, kit washed again, and again, work done (glass trophies unfortunately don't pay the bills!) and training continues...

Have fun with your own hard graft, I am sure you will be well rewarded.

NB: Talking of hard graft, I have just discovered this website check it out, Kajsa also raced the Outlaw Half Triathlon and has set her sights on attempting a world record in 2016! This is one incredible lady.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Slaying the Slateman

"Why choose to compete at Slateman over the many other races on offer?"
Stephen from Dream TV asked me, during the pre race interview on Saturday afternoon.

Good question, why did I choose to come and race in Snowdonia? To swim in a Llyn Pardan, the 11degree mountain lake, cycle 51 hilly kilometres and tackle an 11km mountainous trail run?
Having given Stephens question some more thought.  Here is my answer. In a more concise, coherent format to the one I gave in the interview (pre warning you, before you watch the race/interview on TV)
1) I have fantastic memories of my 1st Slateman experience last year, I wanted to relive that magic.
2) Racing the whole series (Slateman, Sandman, Snowman) last year meant I got to know North Wales, some of the athletes, supporters& members of the Always Aim High team. I was keen to return to this stunning part of the UK and to catch up with many of these people.
3) As defending champion I felt an obligation to return to defend my title. I am a huge sports fan, one characteristic that I greatly admire in athletes, regardless of sport is consistency. Winning the same race, back to back several years on the trot is a huge ambition for me. Mastery of a course and its unique challenged holds great appeal.
Mountains, fresh lakes, steep winding trails. Slateman is epic with a capital E in terms of scenery. This is why I was back.

 In March, 220 Triathlon magazine asked me to write five top tips for slaying the Slateman Triathlon.
So did I take my own advice?
1) Try and do a Course Recce
Last year, I arrived on Saturday night, just with enough day light left to put the tent up and quickly drive the bike route. This year I was staying with Stel and her family, in their house perched on the mountain side above the lake we would be swimming in, Llyn Pardan. On Saturday, Stel and myself checked out the lake temperature by having a quick dip and I discovered the run route would be slightly different to last year, with a nice steep jaunt up a flight of steps to a castle to start with. It was a shame the swim was shortened to 500m, but rules meant 1km in 11degrees wasn't allowed. Yes, you heard right, I said "It was a shame". I never thought I would want a longer swim, but having overdosed on chlorine this winter I was keen to put the hours of swimming into action and compare myself to last year.
2) Pack warm. Mountain weather is unpredictable.
I had 3 swim caps with me, all of which I wore. I had arm warmers and socks but decided on the minimalist approach, which my feet didn't appreciate, cold feet trying to get into my trainers is one tricky manoeuver I discovered. (Yes Ele, I know what I said to you when you offered me over shoes "I'm not that soft, I don't need those!" I eat my words!)
Cold feet, made getting the trainers on harder than getting up in the mornings!
3) Attack the bike
My top tips included going for it up the Llanberis pass, the first climb and then enjoying the following descent. I decided to use my Garmin on the bike, this was the first race I have ever done this, usually preferring to just "get on and race it". Having been training with my Garmin and specifically a power meter this winter I decided to change tact. I wasn't focussing on Watts but my goal was to keep a high cadence on both the hills and the downs and use heart rate to prevent too hard a start. With adrenaline I easily failed at the latter point! I managed 207watts for 50km completing the bike 3minutes quicker than last year in 1.31.
4) The run- "save some energy for the run beyond the zigzags" was my advice.
I looked over my shoulder at the start of the zig zags and saw 2nd place female Natalie Seymour, not far behind me, probably only 15seconds adrift. Well, all thoughts of conserving any energy went out the window. "Go Go Go" was all I thought, I ran up and down that mountain like a lunatic, managing to completely fall flat on my face on the descent as I attempted to jump between rocks (2 week later the knees are still bruised). I managed a sufficiently non sensible, all out run, to finish 45 seconds up on Natalie and retain my title, and the Quarryman challenge (fastest female up the zigzags in 10minutes 52seconds, 30seconds quicker than last year) every bit sweeter because it took every ounce of energy to manage it.
Little side note:
Slateman 2015 marks the 4th time I have had the pleasure of racing Natalie Seymour, our head to head encounters stands at 2 a piece:
September 2013 World Triathlon Championships London 25-29age group Natalie 9th, Suzie 15th
May 214 Slateman Triathlon Suzie 1st, Natalie 2nd
June 2014 Blenheim Sprint Triathlon (British elite Super series) Natalie 11th, Suzie 15th
May 2015 Slateman Triathlon Suzie 1st, Natalie 2nd
Natalie is a great competitor, unfortunately last year after Blenheim she had a bike crash that ruled her out for the rest of the season, so it was good to see her back in action and she absolutely pushed me all the way to the line, at Slateman this year. An athlete who represented Team GB at London 2012 in the Hockey squad, she is one quality athlete and I look forward to doing battle again!
Well done Natalie Seymour 2nd and Ruth Purbrook 3rd. Top racing.
The smile says it all. So much love and support out on the course THANK YOU
5) Make a weekend of it
Llanberis and the surrounding area, really is a beautiful area. I took my own advice and made a weekend of it. Staying with Stel, Mabon and Merin over the weekend. Saturday night was a 10 person feast with my Mum, Mike, Rohan, Madi, Jess and Robin celebrating  Madi's birthday and enjoying a pre dinner walk around the Slatemines. This area is quickly becoming one of my favourite spots in the UK and Stel and her family are fantastic hosts.
Slateman Triathlon will be shown on Channel 4 on June 6th. Here is a sneak peek.

 Writing this, a year on from winning my first Slateman in 2014 and having managed to retain my title in 2015, I started thinking about what I have done differently in the year between the two. Sure, the basic are still the same, I still swim, bike and run, a fair amount each week, week in week out. 
 There are two main areas I have given a bit more thought too in the recent year.
Movement and mobility
We call it crazy voodoo magic, but it's basically me and Ele having a laugh!

In summary, I buggered my Achilles last season, I have been working with Sarah Pitts along with a few other professionals in Leeds to sort this out. One key area of weakness I found was my mobility and range of movement  so I have been working with Sarah at The Movement Therapy Centre to increase my range of motion. Alongside the Leeds Bradford Tri Club weekly Yoga practice with Kirsten Steffensen and building in better daily movement habits. The power of habits, why we do what we do and how to change by Charles Duhigg is a fantastic book that I fell in love with in my old job and is well worth a read. Read this book and you will discover why my most disliked word is "talent"... if I can increase my range of motion through practice then surely the same is true for all skills?
 Nutrition. A hot topic and something I have been experimenting with recently. I have written a piece on the OTE website explaining how I fuelled my Slateman adventure.
Banana and chocolate chip cakes and Tapioca Pudding essential goodies for the hosts (and for me!)
Finally, a shout out to The Yorkshire Young Achievers Foundation, Two years ago, out of the 100s of emails I sent they were the only people who replied with a 'Yes' to my request for financial help. They gave me a cheque for £500, which helped me to buy a TT bike.
Helping the Yorkshire Young Achievers Foundation. You can read about the launch here and see the piece on ITV here
This week I have been helping them with their yearly launch. To raise awareness of 1) The grants they give out to support young people with ambitions and 2) The awards. You can find out more on both of these here.
Good Luck with all your own racing. Go have fun!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

On your marks, get set, go. Go miniature pony go!

Seasons are changing. Homemade soups are being replaced with homemade salads.

The cherry blossom is out, the trails are drying up.

And strength training now involves keeping the veg patch well fertilised.

As we shift from soups to salads I have found myself shifting from training to racing. The 2015 race season has begun in earnest and just like our soups and salads, it's all about having a colourful mix of ingredients.

Racing, getting from A to B the fastest? An exhibition of physical skills and prowess? Maybe but not always. I enjoy the challenge of racing but there is more to it than meets the eye. I will take you through four different races I have done recently and explain the different purposes of each of them and what I have learnt along the way.

The event: Northern Road Relays, Liverpool, Saturday 28h March
The purpose: Having spent more time aqua jogging (jogging in water, travelling at the pace of a snail) this winter than running on land. I wanted to stretch my legs and see where I was in terms of running fitness. Also I have a soft spot for road relays, having grown up on a diet of road relays for Bristol AC as a junior. I enjoy the team element and having missed the XC season with a grumbling achilles, I was itching to get out and join Leeds City for a team day out.
How did the miniature pony fair? The road relays comprises of 6 runners in each team, 4 runners run a 'short stage' one lap of Sefton Park, 3.7km. The other two runners run the 'long stage'  2 laps 7.4km. I was the first runner for the b team and ran a 'long stage'. I finished 8th out of 61 on leg one, 28.39 placed me 15th on the day out of all 120 runners who ran the long stage. A decent run, and more importantly an achilles that was in one piece.
The main take away: Aqua Jogging at times has felt like pricking my eyes with pins. But it works when you are coming back from injury. I managed a decent run and it was a great day for Leeds city with the ladies A team winning the whole race, the B team came 12th overall and 1st b team and the men took the win as well.
Running with Hudak, always good catching up with old Loughborough buddies

The event: V214 10mile Cycle Time Trial, 17th April, a dual carriage way in North Yorkshire
The purpose: I like routine, but I also like variety. So I replaced the weekly TT effort I often do on Mondays on my normal Monday road loop with an official TT on Saturday afternoon. Putting a number on the jersey, setting off at 1 minute intervals gets the adrenaline going and helps explode the lungs and legs just that little bit more than normal.
How did the miniature pony fair? 4th female out of 12 with a 24.54 clocking for 16.2km. 39.5km/h not too bad for a miniature pony, with little legs on a windy dual carriageway.
The main take away: It is still possible to go wrong on an out and back 10mile race, along a  dual carriageway. Good job that if, potentially you do come off one junction too early, you can always go round the roundabout, back up the slip road and re join the route, pretend nothing has happened. Minor detours, just taking in the local scenery. Got to get the money worth, make that 10mile TT as long as possible. For any one who wants to put their legs and lungs in the hurt box, then time trialling is for you!

The event: Stockton Duathlon, Sunday 26th April (10km run, 40km bike, 5km run)
The purpose: Time to combine the running with the cycling and to commence battle with club mate Ele Haresign. 
How did the miniature pony fair? I have written a more
comprehensive race report on the Race Skin Website here. In summary; the same 3 ended up on the podium as last year, but with Ele getting her revenge, smashing me on the 2nd run and scooping the win. I was 2nd and Emma Holt again picked up 3rd. Top racing ladies.

The main take away: Stockton Duathlon is hands down the best Duathlon in the UK that I have experienced. Great value for money, closed roads, top prizes, high class competition, a fantastic course and atmosphere. I would highly recommend it to anyone. I have written more on why I love the Stockton Duathlon in my race report here.

The event: Women's Tour De Yorkshire, cycling road race, 80km. Saturday 2nd May.
The purpose: Hell, why not! Getting to compete on closed roads with some of the country's best cyclists, finishing just before Wiggins et al cross the same finish line in York isn't an everyday opportunity. Atmosphere and crowds is what this race promised (See the BBC preview here) And it didn't disappoint.
How did the miniature pony fair? 58th out of 102 starters. 2 hours 11minutes of racing around a 20km road loop in York. 36.5kmp for 80km. What a buzz. I managed to hang onto the main group for 2 laps, getting dropped early on lap 3, I worked hard to catch a few riders in front who had suffered the same fate. We got organised, eventually. OK so I can get a bit loud and shout at others during races, hey it's best for everyone! We chain ganged it round, picking up a few who had been chewed up and spat off the main group and we lost a few from our small group off the back. The pace slowed in the final kilometre's as it got a bit cat and mouse like with people saving themselves for a sprint. As true out and out slow twitch lass I was sat on the front of the group, grafting hard. I have no sprint to save myself for! Alba club mate Seonaid, led a chase group behind us and sniffed us out with 200m to go, a few sprinted past, I was happy enough to dig in, see them fly by and finish. I survived the broom wagon, many didn't, getting pulled off the course if you fall too far behind the leaders is standard practice. The crowd was incredible, my ears were ringing from the cheers, drums, whistles and Alba Corner; a sea of pink and black club mates from the cycle club dominating one of the corners on the course was overwhelming support. 

David vs Goliath.Dame Sarah Storey's Pearl Izumi team vs happy go lucky local AlbaGirls
The main take away: What's the worst that can happen when you line up against 100 cyclists including Olympic Champions Dame Sarah Storey, Joanna Roswell and GB rider Katie Archibald et al? You fail. Who cares. You can also exceed your own expectations and the feeling when you do that is worth the challenge.
With Alba Team mate Seonaid at the finish, we didn't quite manage to finish in the position of our start numbers!

Unfortunately the women's race wasn't televised, but you can watch a great little video summarising the race with Dame Sarah Story providing a good race preview here.
So that's it, a running race, a cycle time trial a Duathlon and the Women's Tour de Yorkshire to kick start the 2015 race season. I look forward to the upcoming races with excitement. Especially after the delivery of nutrition from OTE and run trainers and gear from Always Aim High. Goes well with my 2015 Race Skin Triathlon Suit.

 It was with a sad heart I read of the tragic earthquake disaster in Nepal. A country close to my heart, having spent a few months there in 2005. I recently read a nice quote "I divide my money into thirds. I save, I spend and I give" I really liked this quote so I have decided this is how I will divide any prize money I win. Therefore I will give a third of my prize money from Stockton Duathlon to the Teach for Nepal organisation in an effort to help the remote communities they work with, who have been affected by the earthquake. Information on this and how to donate can be found here.

Stay safe, have fun and good luck with your own racing

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

From Snowmen to Daffodils, a winter summary and a spanish start to spring

The daffodils are out, spring is here. Hurrah, WELL DONE everyone, winter miles have been ticked off. Lets hope Sunday rides are less about surviving hours of head winds, freezing temperatures, chewing salt and grit and more about sunglasses, shorts, T-shirts and ice cream stops.

So a little winter summary. Winter, a time to get in the training for the summer triathlon races. It appears everyone has an opinion on what training is best, what you should do, when and how much of it. What is the correct answer? Is there a correct answer? I doubt it. That is the great thing about sport; you can have several athletes, preparing for the same event, going about their preparation in different ways, to suit their needs, because as we know everyone is different. I have just finished reading "The Perfect Distance:Ovett and Coe:The Record Breaking Rivalry" and this exemplified the stark differences between the two in their approaches to their quest for the same goal.It's well worth a read.
During the winter, I have been asked, “So what training are you doing? What’s the secret?” I thought I would share my winter training with you using a little analogy.
Lets compare training with fancy dress making. I do love a bit of fancy dress. Recently I attended a friends 30th Birthday party, the fancy dress theme “London Tube stops” I decided on High Barnet.

Step 1: Careful consideration and research
The London tube has 270 stops, plenty of choice. Just like planning your race calendar. Do you go for something like Marylebone, not so straight forward, needs some thought, is it possible to combine Bob Marley and a bone? In a way, a bit like a challenging race like Slateman Triathlon in North Wales with the notorious run up the Slateman quarry tracks, or do you go for something more straight forward? Like Wimbledon, tennis whites or Baker Street, apron and rolling pin. A bit like your local pool based sprint triathlon.

Step 2: Sourcing the materials/ Skill acquisition
Having decided on the tube stop, High Barnet. The next step is sourcing the materials, I was thinking a Beehive wig, did Leeds market have one? No. So improvisation was key, some fabric and wire purchased from the market and I decided to make my own using existing household objects. Similar to skills acquisition in triathlon training. What skills do you need for your chosen race? What have you already got in your armory? What are your strengths and what are the weaknesses? What skills need sourcing? For me, I come from a running background, having been cross-country running since I was 13 years old; I have a fair few miles in my legs. Swimming is the skill I am attempting to acquire, as it’s the discipline I only started in 2012. I visited Coach Lou in Birmingham where we filmed and analysed my swim technique and have been using specific drills to improve throughout the winter.

Step 3: Laying the foundations.
Old bike helmet, layered up with plastic kitchen bowls and Tupperware were the foundations for my High Barnet fancy dress.  I needed it to be sturdy, so it would cope with the dance floor. Just like requiring a sturdy body to cope with the rigors of Triathlon. Injuries, something that can happen but we all try and avoid. Gym work, strength and conditioning, mobility work has played a big part of my winter program in laying the foundations. This winter I have started Yoga and working with Sarah at The Movement Therapy Centre in Leeds to increase my mobility and range of motion. This has been crucial in building a body that can not only withstand the rigors of hours and hours of training, but to carry out the training effectively.

 Step 4: Building the blocks a bit higher
I had the basics of the High Barnet established, it was sturdy and I had the initial layers, it was time to add some height, it’s not Low Barnet but High Barnet after all! How high should it be? It is a balancing act, just like training, attempting to get the desired result, with out causing too much chaos. Training is all about balance, and as everyone says, consistency.  Day after day, week after week, month after month, putting the work in, no heroics but following the plan, progressing step by step, making tweaks where necessary and focusing on making the end destination, that goal race in peak form.

Step 5: Getting more specific
With the High Barnet, as high as dance floor appropriate, I added the fabric. I am not sure how to compare this to one section in triathlon so I will share some of my Bike training with you. Coach Louise Barron is the brain behind my training. She thinks it up, explains it and I do it. This year my training started in October, following an end of season breather with a few weeks of mountain biking and casual riding. We started on the rollers, for pedal technique alongside big gear long hill reps out on the road, we then progress to shorter sharper hill efforts. Its tough getting warmed up in winter weather with traffic lights to contend with so I often warm up on the turbo, getting my heart rate in the right place, then pull leggings and winter jersey on, jump on the road bike and hit the hills reps outside. Now we are onto 2 turbo workouts a week, one consisting of short reps, one longer sweet spot efforts.  That’s where we are now, last year; the more specific stage went onto doing TT work on a local 12mile road loop and weekly chain gang with the local Leeds cyclists/triathletes. So training follows a progressive pattern in blocks, getting more race specific as the season progresses. Refueling on OTE protein, post turbo workout, is just the ticket, especially when you have a train to catch shortly after the session that requires energy to dash across the train station.

Step 6: Trimming the edges
The fabric was on, now I just needed to trim the fabric so i could actually see! Hey presto the High Barnet was complete. In Triathlon, this is the final stage, race prep, or “the taper” as some call it. I personal prefer “race prep” as when I look at the training Coach Lou gives me, the diary is still pretty full. Less volume but still getting out in open water to do a few pre race day efforts, a few short sharp running efforts to keep the legs bouncy. Race prep is a very individual. For me it has been trial and error. I experimented with getting a quick swim or run in on race morning, as I find I need a fair bit of warming up to feel race ready. I personally prefer resting at the start of the week and then building into a race. It’s a very individual trimming process.

Some of the girls in their fancy dress outfits. Top efforts by everyone, achieved in very individual ways, just like training and race preparation.

That's it, winter is done, a lot of training is ticked off, a lot more to do but spring is here, and that meant last week was spent cycling with Alba Rosa cycle club, in Spain. A week with 24 guys who have smoother legs than me! I wrote an article titled "Fueling a days training in Spain" for OTE, which can be found on their website here. It gives an insight into the fun I had sea swimming, cycling in the mountains and finishing the day with a run and how I fuel all this fun!

Which leads to me introduce you to the BigSuz Team. Over the winter i have been working hard in creating a team to help me accomplish my triathlon goals. 
OTE: Are a nutrition company, based in Leeds and are providing me with race and training nutrition. I was introduced as an OTE fueled athlete on their website a few weeks ago, you can read it here.
Race Skin: Provide costum triathlon and cycle kit to clubs and individuals. Based in Yorkshire Raceskin are my Kit sponsors.Thanks Colin for getting me some new kit in time for the many miles we cycled in Spain.
The Movement Therapy: Set up by Sarah Pitts. The movement therapy centre is helping me with weekly mobility sessions run by Sarah, who has magic hands and is fast becoming known as the movement guru!
Always Aim High Events: Are supporting me with shoes and specific pieces of gear.

Team BigSuz is growing and it's great to have you all on board. I will be writing articles for OTE and Raceskin so keep an eye on their websites. If you want to join the team, get in touch as I am still looking for people to help fund the triathlon dreams.