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Countdown to my first World Champs Triathlon qualifier

Written by Fiona May 29 2013

Every time I think about the Nottingham Sprint Triathlon this Saturday (June 1) my stomach turns over. I have been training towards this date for more than six months but nerves always get the better of my mind and stomach.

The Pink Panther

The Pink Panther

I have trained as hard and specifically as I could given my limited available time (around work and motherhood) and I have trusted in a programme set by my coach, the Mighty Vickster.

There have been days when I have loved the training and days when I’ve loathed it. I have fought hard to complete some sessions, and at other times I have found the going a little easier.

Training for a sprint distance triathlon is intense, and because it is across three disciplines it has been tiring. I have tried to eat better and sleep better and focus on quality training.

I have also invested time and money in making sure I have the right kit for the day.

My list of triathlon kit

This is not a cheap hobby! While I have been happy on a Canyon Roadlite aluminium road bike all winter I felt I needed something with more oomph for the race proper. Having sold my Giant Carbon bike (too long for me) I searched around for just the bike to replace it. Nothing leapt out so I have bought a second-hand Planet X frame, tried-and-tested by former pro Kerry Lang. If she rates it, it must be good! I have had it built with carbon this and that and sensible other this and that.

So I now have a bright pink racing bike called the Pink Panther. To that I have added aero bars. I had never bothered with aero bars before but now I am an aero bars convert.

I also have triathlon bike shoes so I can do the full transition thingie. I have an envelope full of the right elastic bands for the transition thingie, courtesy of Ma Kinsella. The elastic bands need to be small and snappable.

I have a tried-and-tested Glasgow Triathlon Club tri suit.

I have bought a second hand wetsuit from Kerry Lang, who is no longer racing professional and has lots of suits to sell.

I have racing shoes from Mizuno. I have raced in these and the feel fantastic over sort distances.

I also have a helmet, prescription sunglasses, prescription goggles, energy gels, water bottle, train tickets to-and-from Doncaster, my own domestique for the day, Skinny H, who lives in Doncaster and will drive me and my kit to Nottingham and generally look after me for the event.

I have also borrowed “race wheels” for go-faster potential on the bike.

I have had a gentle leg massage from the G-Force (who is most helpfully doing a massage diploma this year!).

I have listened and learned and taken advice from all kinds of people. I have even listened to my teenage daughter. Yesterday, when relaying my worries and fears about the race she simply said: “Mum, you’ll be fine. You always are. Just go and enjoy yourself.” I will try to follow her advice, except I am very worried about how cold the lake will be.

Saturday, 4.30pm, I will start the World Champs Triathlon qualifier in a wetsuit in a potentially very chilly lake in Nottingham. I hope to cycle and run the rest of the event in good time and be finished in less than 1hr 20 mins. There are an amazing 50 other “fit old birds” in my 45 to 49 age category. Wish me luck!

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