Long Course Weekend Mallorca 2019 race report: coach Mark

Screen Shot 2019 11 03 at 13.27.41

A group of of us decided that we’d enter Long Course Weekend in Mallorca as an end of season race, which would be a nice bookend to the season and also give us an opportunity for a brief holiday as the race was in the UK half term holidays.

Since I raced in the Arctic my body hasn’t allowed me to train as I would have liked, everything has been very slow and most training session have felt really difficult. I’ve done a couple of small races, but mainly for motivation to train and they’ve all been to race with mates, which has been a blast!

The beauty of the Long Course Weekend races is that you can mix and match different distances of the swim, bike and run, so I decided I’d do the Half distances (1.9km swim, 90km bike and half marathon run) as this would provide the perfect motivation to get the body moving and get in a half-decent training block. In fact, I managed to get in a solid 9 weeks of training, which had me arriving on the island knowing that I was in OK shape to get round the half distances and in good enough shape to actually enjoy the event.

Swim: The swim was on Saturday morning and the weather, and sea conditions, were amazing; it was picture perfect. We got down to the beach in plenty of time, so there was no last-minute rushing around. Craig, Charlie and I managed to get in a little practice swim and the water was just how it looked from the beach; crystal clear and warm.

We moved over towards the swim start and positioned ourselves accordingly. I’m not the fastest swimmer out there, but I’m more than happy to have a bit of biff at the start of the swim, so I put myself on the 2nd row with the idea of getting out quick (it was a beach start) and then hoping I’d be able to jump on some feet to get round the 1.9km swim in a reasonable time.

Read more: Long Course Weekend Mallorca 2019 race report: coach Mark

Ironman Wales 2019 race report: Craig Burrows

WhatsApp Image 2019 09 16 at 08.35.14

I sat down with coach, Mark (Whittle), back in September 2018 to discuss goals and I asked him if he thought I could ‘compete’ for a Kona slot at Ironman Wales in 2019? Both an ambitious and ambiguous goal I agree. I mean, define compete. We knew there would be 4 slots and the likelihood of all slots being taken by thetop 4 would be unlucky. 5th should do it, 6th would have a strong chance, 7th onward would be slim. It was going to be a big year of work.

Coming off the back of an unexpected 6th place at Long Course Weekend Wales, I began the summer training block on a bit of a high. Despite the marathon and bike split doing a good job of masking the swim time, I was hopeful that the 12-month investment into a Masters Swim squad would translate to a good Ironman Wales swim come September 15th. Fingers crossed.

Swim: 1:10:08

I told Loz on numerous occasions in the weeks leading into the race that if I swim 65min then I think I will qualify for Kona but if I swim 70min then it would be game over. This self-inflicted pressure was probably why my anxiety increased exponentially on the morning of the race. I was very close to missing transition cut off, I almost had a wetsuit malfunction and I very nearly forgot to put my pink bag on the hook. A shambles of a human, I needed an Ironman miracle…...or a Valium.

Read more: Ironman Wales 2019 race report: Craig Burrows

Ironman Wales race report: Jamie Radmore

 

31 m 100914470 DIGITAL HIGHRES 2988 014837 32950548

Race week build up: Normally on race week I don't get any nerves or think about the race too much but for some reason felt like the longest week of my lifewaiting for Sunday to come around!! Registered on Friday afternoon before the briefing so I could chill out before racking on Saturday. As soon as I walked my bike into transition and dropped off my bike/ run bags all the nerves seem to disappear and I felt super chilled and ready to race the next day.

Race day morning: Slept really well on the Saturday night and woke up to my alarm at 4am feeling refreshed and ready to go. Had a quick shower before getting my tri-suit and wetsuit on halfway ready to go. Sat outside and had my porridge and toast for breakfast and one final chill before the chaos began.

Swim: Struggled to get up to the right swim time as the pens were rammed with people and couldn’t get up to 1hr 10 that I wanted to. Ended up just back from the 1hr 20 sign and decided to wait it out as it might stop me from going out too hard.

The first lap felt pretty good and relaxed which is what I was hoping for. The second lap I decided to take it easy and keep it the same pace to save myself for the rest of the day because a couple of minutes on the swim wouldn't make much difference to my overall timings. Coming back past the second buoy by the lifeboat hut there seemed to be a strong current which made it difficult to get around but once there flew I into the beach and up to the zig zags.

T1: The run up to T1 seemed to go pretty smoothly because I found my pink bag really quickly and headed up to T1 feeling fresh and ready to get onto my bike.In T1, I decided to only wear my jersey on the bike rather than the gilet and arm warmers that I’d planned. Managed to eat a small Wispa bar and energy bar before heading out to collect my bike.

Read more: Ironman Wales race report: Jamie Radmore

Ironman Tallinn race report: Craig Patterson

 

28 m 100904191 DIGITAL HIGHRES 3070 020481 31321752

I’ve now completed 5 Iron distance races and this is by far the calmest I have ever been. I slept well, I was relaxed and didn't have any of those crazy butterfly’s. It felt like Roth in 2018 though with less self-induced pressure, I knew I was ready, though the bike was always an unknown as it was a bike I'd loaned off a good frined of mine. A little trepidation about the swim just because IM Arizona was so crap.

Good, good place and I think I need to relax in training life and just roll with the punches that come, let’s be honest it didn’t come in three’s, it come it about twelve this time.

Swim: Good start and felt good throughout and fully making progress through the field. Not much feet to follow as you couldn’t see your hands due to sediment etc, but the temperature was pretty perfect for me. I missed a buoy so went about 50m off course which meant my swim wasn't under the magic 1hr but I’m told it was long by the boys with watches and officially its logged at 3.9km. Happy with the swim - Came out with James Elgar who I started close to which means I was on form as I’ve been chasing his feet all winter at NEWT club swimming.

  • Time: 1:01:24 (AG: 6th & Overall: 57th)

Bike: Out onto the Green Goblin (the loaned bike!). My Garmin shut down so I switched to my watch quickly so I was still able to ride on Power, this just made feeding difficult due to notifications not programmed in like on the bike computer, but these things happen and need to crack on and actually in the end I ended up drinking & feeding to feel which seemed to work as I nailed all my gels and food. Not so great on fluid still. 

Fast start and kept with James but decided to let him go. After a chat with one of our REME guys, Al Fortune; I decided to keep my powder dry and just drop my wattage a little especially as we knew it was going to be a windy day as it was a North Easterly which meant head or cross winds all day with only minimal tail winds.

73 m 100904191 DIGITAL HIGHRES 3070 054254 31321797The wind was getting up on the first lap though seemed to be making progress. This wasn’t going to be the 4:50 bike course the Boss & John were talking about pre-race having done it last year. Still didn’t mean it wasn’t going to be quick but it certainly put the sub 9:30 in doubt. Just keep on those pedals.

Onto the 2nd lap and oh boy that wind is now up and gusting. Time to dig in and just stay on the power without blowing matches, it was all about pushing/holding the number. This course is just relentless no easing off, no breaks as it is so flat, the little climbs were a such a relief just to get out the saddle for 20s or so. The wind is brutal and once I turned off that final out & back it’s a strong headwind pushing against you all the way back to T2. Due to my position in the race that final 10km into T2 felt like a personal closed road as there was no one around me, this was awesome!

Lynz is on the run into T2 with a few ATA supporters, gave her a High 5 & great to see her. Off the bike and the hips are working, legs tired as expected but in a good place. SUB 5hrs Baby!

  • Time: 4:56:59 (AG: 8th & Overall: 45th)

Run: The aim was 4:45/Km pace. I was feeling good, just need to keep my matches for when this run really starts to bite. Steady running, getting out onto the course but once up onto the main run path new I was speeding up when I saw an Army guy/girl or James/Rich, you just get that bust of adrenaline and it is so difficult to control. Making sure I’m getting fluid onboard at the aid stations - no coke in the first half just water and a bit on slat from my special needs bag.

Great first half marathon BUT too fast. Saw the time and shit it’s going to hurt this second half marathon.

The second half of the Marathon hurt, the cobble section at the bottle half through old town was killing my knees/IT band & ankles. Just kept moving forward. I am slowing but I’m still going and hitting the aid stations for Coke & Water. I’m hurting but doing ok. Get that last lap band over that mini cobble section at T2 and it’s so painful. Three hills to go, first one done get coke, downhill onto the second one, probably quicker tabbing but ran up then the false flat round the dead turn and downhill to the last aid station. I’m not stopping.... momentum. Through and then it’s cobbles to the end.96 m 100904191 DIGITAL HIGHRES 3070 077679 31321820

Great support in the old town and up that last cobble hill OUCH. Round the bend and bang its Home straight. Picking it up great ATA support and I see the carpet passing Lynz then enjoy the finish. Through the finish and so ecstatic!

Definitely the best Ironman run I have put together. It’s what I wanted out of the day. Not the 3:29:59 I hoped for but that was a tough run course. 

  • Time: 3:33:27 (AG: 9th & Overall: 50th)

Summary: What a great race. Can’t put into words how happy I am with this race. With everything that has gone on too come up with a performance like that is was fantastic. IM Estonia still has that small intimate feel but with the Ironman razzmatazz, the local support where great and I can’t rate the race director highly enough for getting the full swim at another location when it became apparent that the Baltic sea was going to be too cold and the swim would be cancelled.

What a weekend, great race, great people and great city!

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