Brecon Titan race report: Craig Burrows


4dec9241 30b9 45d5 87f3 252e549e0b87A year ago when I sat down and penned my Brecon Titan 2018 race report I remember thinking, ‘I’m never doing that again, it was bloody brutal’. Fast forward ayear and I’m sitting down, recovery tights firmly on, about to write my Brecon Titan 2019 Race report. As if getting married isn’t punishment enough for one year.

The resubmission of torture on my body by virtue of DB Max’s Titan, was very much an ‘if it aint broke’ reaction to the premature end to my 2018 season. Getting hit off my bike by a car 3 weeks before IM Wales was as much a mental blow as a physical one. I had sacrificed a great deal in the pursuit of the Tenby dream; foregoing holidays with Loz, social events, football - not to mention the 25hr weeks of training over the summer months. Not being able to compete was a tough pill to swallow.

So I thought it would be logical to try and replicate the form I had last year by doing the same races. It made sense in my head and I suppose the desperation to get my fitness back made me think that if it worked once then it can work again.

Pre-Race: 2019 had seen a bit of a turbulent start and one that I hope has now settled down into the ‘normal service has resumed’ mode. Between a new role at work, a wedding, a bike crash and no London Marathon to occupy my early months I felt that 2019 hadn’t really got going yet.

Read more: Brecon Titan race report: Craig Burrows

Coach Zoe joins WhittleFit!

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Very pleased to announce the arrival of Zoe Thomas onto the WhittleFit coaching team!

Zoe races at the elite British & European level as a professional triathlete and has several top 10 European Cup results to her name. Through her coaching, Zoe wants to help people use sport to develop into the best version of themselves that they can be.

With Zoe's background, she'll be concentrating on coaching athletes for sprint, Olympic and 70.3 distance triathlons.

Coaching Qualifications/Education:

  • Level 2 Triathlon Coach
  • Level 1 Swimming Teacher 
  • Level 1 Gymnastics Coach
  • BSc Hons Sport and Exercise Science (Cardiff Met)

Sporting achievements:

  • Reserve for Team Wales’ relay at 2018 Commonwealth Games
  • 2x U23 European relay championships silver medalist 
  • 6x top 10s at European Cups
  • BUCS sprint champion 2015

 Zoe has limited coaching slots available, if you're interested in sprint, Olympic or 70.3 triathlon coaching CONTACT US today! 

Ironman 70.3 Marbella race report: Andrew Fraser-Cole

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Here's a great race report from WhittleFit coached athlete Andrew Fraser-Cole (coached by coach Lawrence) about his recent Ironman 70.3 Marbella race, hope you enjoy it!

Of late I’ve come to start my season at a big race where hopefully the sun will shine. This approach not only throws you in at the deep end straight away but can also help banish the winter blues and give you a break to look forward to. 

Based on their underdog & alternative ethos I’d joined SWYD Tri club in January so I had further motivation as I’d be sporting club colours for the very first time. Since starting endurance sport a few years back I’ve never felt the need to join a club - almost always training alone. Having been a heavy smoker & drinker for almost 30 years and relating to how Mathew Pritchard turned his lifestyle around I felt as though SWYD Tri fitted best with my outlook on endurance sport and I really wanted to race for them. As it happens I did have the best club Tri-suit at the race and that’s a non-negotiable fact. 

Swim (1.9k): I set off in the 30min pen and hit the water with a dive, temperature was ok. 4 bouys to turn around on the L-shaped course, I decided to stay out of trouble and not risk a clout to the face so found some clear water and stroked it out. Swam until my hands touched sand & onto my toes into T1. My Garmin suggested I’d swam 200m extra, who knows? Time 32mins

Bike (90k) : fast straight road so tucked on the bars until the climb around 5k after which things got lumpy. Soon found my gearing in 36/28 so when it got steeper cadence dropped to 75rpm in order to stay within my power target. Potentially a 30 on the rear would’ve meant spinning a bit better on the climbs. Strange creaking & grinding noises coming from my bottom bracket(?) gave me cause for concern and worries that it would actually disintegrate and I’d DNF - but the noises were intermittent and I just hoped it would hold as the remaining kilometres ticked down. Fast straight descents were fine as you could see the course well ahead - tuck & pedal. As usual went over my power target for the first hour and struggled to hold it for the last. Knew I had to ship fluid before the run so dropped it on the last descent. Wee.....Sorry if you were behind me.  Time 3hrs

59407820 2253621781380561 7923093270928818176 nRun (21k): socks, shoes, cap & 4x gels onboard - time to make up for my bike shortcomings. First Km a bit too lively coming in at 3:45 I had to park my enthusiasm and aim for my target between 4:10 - 4:20. Mallorca last year taught me that the lunchtime Mediterranean sun will dictate your pace if you overcook the first 10k. Luckily the wind had picked up so running into the headwind was good (I know, doesn’t make sense does it?) made up around 36 Age Group places on the run and attempted to put the hammer down for the last 4K but the effort went up, pace stayed the same. Crossed the line with a 1:29 run, 5:09 total for the 70.3

All in all I’m happy with the performance to get off the mark early in the season. There’s no hiding place in these races - European IM 70.3 racing is the pinnacle of the sport as far as I’m concerned so it’s humbling to go from Age Group podiums in local races to 42nd in Age Group here. Don’t get me wrong, finishing in the top 20% is not a terrible outcome but these races definitely expose & magnify your weaknesses.

Factor in the break from your workplace, sunshine, perfect tarmac, mainlining espresso, meeting other like minded athletes and you may conclude that training hard & racing is enjoyable and thoroughly worth it whatever position you cross the finish line in.

Team WhittleFit racing roundup - 12th, 13th & 14th April 2019

 

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We had quite a few WhittleFit athletes racing this weekend, lets see how they got on: 

  • Dead Sea Half Marathon: Merry used the Dead Sea Half Marathon as a tough training session on Friday, coming home in 1hr31. Well done Merry, bodes well for next weekends race and your upcoming races. 
  • Ultra Tour of Arran: Myles Povey successfully completed the Ultra Tour of Arran this weekend. This event looks stunning, if you fancy doing something a little bit different, check out the Ultra Tour of Arran. 
  • Bynea 30 mile TT: Andrew Martin and Lawrence Cronk raced the Bynea 30 mile TT yesterday, congrats both, Andrew placed 3rd (2's off 2nd place) and Lawrence placed 7th. Well done guys, this bodes well for your upcoming big races! 
  • Llanelli half and full marathon: We had Finn Artenz (half) and Craig Fowler (full) racing the Great Welsh Marathon race. Despite sickness, Finn secured 3rd place in the half distance race and Craig finished bang on schedule (3hr26) for the full distance marathon, as part of his training for Ironman Wales in September.  
  • Tour de Gwent sportive: We had lots of coached athletes and friends taking part in the Tour de Gwent sportive, well done all on a very cold morning!  
  • Amman Valley Sprint Triathlon: Josh Lewis raced his 1st ever triathlon at the Amman Valley Sprint Triathlon yesterday and came a very commendable 17th place, well done Josh! 

Team WhittleFit racing roundup - 6th & 7th April 2019

 

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We had quite a few athletes and lots of friends of WhittleFit racing this weekend, lets see how they got on:

  • Vienna Half Marathon: Lyndsay and Craig Patterson raced in Vienna this weekend at the Vienna Half Marathon race. Having not really trained many long miles Lyndsay still came away with a time only a few minutes off her PB and Craig was solid, running under coach Chris's orders to run at marathon pace (to help protect an ongoing injury). Well done guys! 
  • Machynlleth Sprint Triathlon: Steve Rowlands raced the Machynlleth Sprint Triathlon on Sunday, and sneeked a win, by 4 seconds! Great work Steve!
  • Reverse 10: coach Henry raced the Reverse 10 mile race on the weekend, coming in the top 10 and 1st vet, nice work coach!
  • Challenge Salou: James Peters raced the middle distance triathlon in Salou this weekend and came away with a sub-5 hour time and a PB, nice work James!
  • Penarth Duathlon: we had lots of friends racing the Penarth Duathlon (a great turn out!) and coached athlete Luke Pryce came away with an excellent 3rd place for his first ever podium! Great work Luke.
  • British Elite Duathlon Championships: Tom Foster raced in the Elite field at Bedford this weekend at the British Duathlon Champs. This was a stacked field and Tom did himself proud, mixing it with the elite and full-time professional athletes finishing a very respectable 25th position.
  • RWC Vale Ultra Half Marathon: Cath Colleypriest, Emma Edworthy and Ben Tipping raced the Vale Ultra on Saturday (Ben did the 18 miler (edit: Ben finished 9th) and Cath & Emma did the 32 mile race). Very impressive displays all round, well done all, the WhittleFit coaches are extremely pleased!