Search results for

Time laps

Training

RedBull TimeLaps 2018!

October 30, 2018

Red Bull Timelaps challenges cyclists to compete in the world’s longest one-day road cycling event. As summer fades to winter, teams of four will race through the night on the weekend the clocks go back in the UK, making it a gruelling 25-hour race against time. In a twist, at 0200 a ‘Power Hour’ is activated; and riders shift to a shorter course where laps count double

When Hannah and Emily (you will probably know them as Twice The Health) messaged me to tell me I was on their team for Red Bull laps, I probably should have had a look at what exactly it was. I was in full Ironman training mode at the time, and just assumed it was probably a bit of fun and nothing too tough. LOL.

About the week before the event I had a look at what it actually was and got in touch with a friend who had previously done the event, for any tips he may have. Chris (said friend) immediately asked if he could give me a call – turns out my reputation for being a tad un-organised and not very well prepared for things, slightly concerned him in regard to this event (and rightly so!). I soon learnt that the bike I planned to ride wasn’t allowed… and basically I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. Obviously, I took none of his advice and still turned up VERY under-prepared.

I travelled to TTH HQ Friday evening ready for an early start to Windsor park on Saturday am. Thankfully, Emily and Hannah organised a camper van (named Flash), which was the BEST THING EVER – I genuinely think I may have had to quit if we only had a tent! We (Me, Chloe, Emily & Hannah) arrived to Windsor and it started to concern me that I was freezing in joggers and a huge puffy jacket.

We may have been feeling pretty smug about Flash, but that soon disappeared once we realised we were pretty much the only team in transition without a gazebo for our bikes and ourselves when waiting to take over for our laps – big error.

I was up third for my stint and it soon became apparent after 1 lap that I was definitely not Ironman recovered, and that this was going to be difficult. I had nothing in my legs or my engine… I felt shocking. As soon as I finished my first hour stint, I shovelled in ALL THE FOOD in an attempt to recover and make it through the long day/night ahead.

By the time I was up again, the darkness had arrived! I turned up without lights and had to do some borrowing from the team (and still managed to pick up the wrong ones!), which meant the ride was VERY scary! It was a small lane, it was hard to see the edge, and huge pelotons of extremely speedy cyclists came flying by on the right. Also… I don’t know quite how to say this without sounding like a complete IDIOT (Which, I guess I am), but I was wearing sunglasses. Yes, I was wearing sunglasses in the pitch black. No, I could not see a thing.

The next few stints where marginally less scary once I lost my sunglasses. LOL.

After each stint, you had roughly 3 hours before your next one. This may seem like a long time, but by the time you had switched over, taken off your shoes/helmet and swapped some of your wet clothes for some warmer layers, had some food and calmed down… it was basically time to go get ready again. Basically what I’m trying to say is I didn’t sleep AT ALL.

I couldn’t actually decide which part was more painful.. riding or waiting to ride. It was so cold, and we we’re all so tired. The clock seemed to stand still from 7pm-7am.

Despite the pain and suffering… the atmosphere, support and solidarity in suffering was amazing. The people that kind of event attracts are the best kind of people – I can say now that we had such a great time, though at the time I would have said something more like; “why are we doing this”, “I would never do this again”, “this is ridiculous and awful”. It was ridiculously tough and a whole new kind of challenge, but I feel super lucky that I got the chance to do it with the most awesome team!

Em x

Training

Preparing for Red Bull Neptune Steps with Ross Edgley

February 27, 2019

If you’ve been following my triathlon journey for a while, you probably know that I’m not the best swimmer, it’s definitely not my strongest discipline out of the three. Yet somehow, I have found myself doing an open water swim event which involves hoisting your body weight over canal gates with ropes and ladders, ducking from waterfalls, in icy conditions.

If you haven’t heard of Neptune Steps… take a look here.

It’s a Red Bull event… obviously. Does anyone else do unique events quite like Red Bull? I’m still recovering from Time Laps in October!

The event is next month, yes, that’s March… in the UK! So in an attempt to prepare us for this, RB brought in the only person who could possible stand a chance at preparing anyone for a crazy event, or at least convince you it’s a great idea! Who else but Ross Edgley!?

Me and my wetsuit made our way to London and then to Parliament Hill Lido – an un-heated 60m pool, where we found the Red Bull team and Ross, lots of caffeine and buckets of ice (not for the drinks). The training consisted of us swimming laps of the pool (which was 6 degrees!!), then doing tricep dips on the edge of the pool as someone threw buckets of icy water at our faces…. It was as mental as it sounds.

 

It wasn’t over… we then went into the gym with Ross…

We did what felt like 10 hours of press ups! Followed by duck walks! It was as painful as it sounds.

This was all followed by plenty more caffeine (needed), and a seriously delicious lunch with some words of wisdom from Ross on how to prepare myself for this event.

Main tips:

  • Start doing some cold-water training.
  • Start doing things to fatigue your arms.
  • Use the 2 minutes in the water pre-race to really acclimatise – get your face in, fill your wetsuit with icy goodness.
  • Don’t wear a sleeveless suit (I’m not sure anyone but Ross would have done this!)
  • Gloves could be a good idea to prevent grip-loss when your hands are so cold!
  • Enjoy it.

Am I nervous? HEEEELLLLL YESS, am I excited? YES!

Would you do it? Red Bull has just launched a new women’s wave to increase female participation at the event with 75 places available… come join me? https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/events/red-bull-neptune-steps-uk

 

Em x

Training

IRONMAN BOLTON 2017

July 20, 2017

Moments after finishing Ironman Vichy 2016 I think I decided I was going to be doing Ironman Bolton. I didn’t even think about it, of course I was doing it. I had just finished 3rd in my age group after a 4 month back injury with no run training, and Bolton had just had one person in my age group – and she didn’t finish.

In my mind, this was an easy ticket to the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, Kona. Apparently every 18-24 year old female triathlete was also thinking the same thing!

This year I got a coach… it was time to step it up a little and take some help (Dad’s generally know best but sometimes you need a professional)! At this point I didn’t know how many had entered Bolton and still had high hopes that this would be a good shot at Kona.

I worked really hard this year… really, really hard. I (the girl who trains long and slow and didn’t even know what tempo meant) put in track sessions, tempo sessions, swim sessions that made my lats seize up, swim sessions with drills I had never even heard of, multiple lonely 112 mile rides (plus a run).

I found the last few months leading up to my race really hard – physically I was coping but mentally I was struggling. There was a few tears before heading out for 7 hours lonely on the bike, I felt tired of being tired!

So despite feeling like I had been Ironman Training non-stop for as long as I could remember (I’m so dramatic), Bolton quickly crept up on me as I found myself lining up in my wetsuit this Sunday, about to start my 140.6 mile race.

The swim

Naturally it was raining – of course it was raining, this is England! I braced myself to drop into some painfully cold water (you know you’re a fair weather swimmer when water temperature is even a concern on an Ironman). The water was actually warm! It was a two-loop course, and the first lap went great… I barely got kicked/punched by anyone and felt like I had lots of room to move, sighting was difficult in the murky water but it was all fine, the only issue being how long the first lap felt! I never push myself too much on the swim; I focus more on trying to get through it. Swimming is definitely not my strongest so I always hope to make up any lost time on the bike/run. The second lap wasn’t quite as smooth, it was much more congested and I got a nice big kick in the chin just to remind me that the day wasn’t going to be a pleasant one!

T1 didn’t go to plan… I could have had a nap in the time I spent there (over 7 mins!), I couldn’t attach my Garmin to my bike, I couldn’t fit my gels and gas canister in my tri top, I was flustered.

The bike…

The most nerving part of the day – it makes the most difference, and so many things can go wrong… falls, punctures, mechanicals, weather, nutrition…

It was still raining and the wind felt strong (you lied Mr weather man), so it was tough from the moment I sat myself on the saddle! Sheephouse Lane (the famously tough, long, tough, tough, tough, long climb that you do twice on the Bolton Ironman bike course) appeared before I even knew it! The crowds here were absolutely ridiculous – so much energy, appreciation and support. There was even a party at the top – I’m talking lights, speakers and music, half naked men with masks on shouting at me to keep going! Massive thanks to everyone there for that – you were amazing!

The rest of the course is also hilly with some narrow, pot-holey roads, making for some tough riding, especially in the wind and the rain!

19_m-100771403-digital_highres-1778_026361-9206329

At about mile 20 felt all of my gels fall out of my tri top pocket – not ideal, swiftly followed by my gas canisters and bike pump (bye, bye £60). I had 2 gels and some energy bars in the front of my bike so I wasn’t too worried…. Until I felt my leg doing an unfamiliar spasmming sensation, followed by what felt like the start of cramp! In sheer desperation I started to lick my own arm for salt…. I lost all dignity at this point!

I was in all kinds of panic at this point, I even lost hope of completing the run – the only bit I always feel confident that I will definitely complete (even if I have to crawl it)! Once I got to the next feed station I downed a bottle of the electrolyte mix that they hand out – it seemed to work!

Looking at my Garmin and seeing I had gone past 6:02 hours (the time it took me to complete my last Ironman bike) was pretty demoralising, I still had a loooong way to go! I tried to remind myself this course had over 6,000ft of climbing, so it was inevitable, but it was still tough to digest! (I eventually got off the bike in 6:50)

2_m-100771403-digital_highres-1778_002173-9206312 3_m-100771403-digital_highres-1778_002174-9206313 17_m-100771403-digital_highres-1778_023211-9206327

The run…

I don’t know this is a good thing or not, but I hadn’t even looked/asked anyone what the run course was like. I had no idea what to expect… I wasn’t too worried about the run – I should have been!

Meters from leaving T2 I was met with a huge hill! Admittedly the first 10k went by relatively fast/easy (around 50 minutes), so far so good.

Around 6-8 miles in we got to Bolton centre where it’s 4 loops of a course, including more hills!! The pain quickly started after the first 10k – not my legs, but my feet! Without being dramatic, it genuinely felt like someone was lighting the balls of my feet on fire, so much so that EVERY feed station had me pouring water on them in an attempt to relieve it. Of course doing that only gave me seconds without the pain, and then I was just left with soaking wet feet and the rest of a marathon ahead!

My mum, dad and Sam were dotted around different points ready to cheer me on, and in dad’s case, let me know my position! The hills were so hard – I have never seen so many people walk during an Ironman as I did when people approached the hills (if I had walked I think I would have stopped!)

27_m-100771403-digital_highres-1778_056334-9206337bolton-run bolto-run-2

With three laps in the course you got a different colour band with each one you did – it’s super demoralising running past people with more bands then you! I managed to spot my friend Eddy (Chemo 2 Cardio – please go check him out and donate, he’s and incredible person with an amazing story!) that really gave me a boost, followed by my friend Chloe (Chloe in motion is her Instagram handle – another amazing person I am now happy to call my friend).

Finally the end was approaching, and even with just a mile to go I still had to take the time to relieve my feet (well, attempt to) by pouring water over them.

Running over the finish line was a complete blur… I didn’t even see my support team, but I was once again named an Ironman as I crossed the red carpet and threw my hands up in relief! 12:35 hours of suffering, 2nd place age grouper, and I’m now proud to call myself a x2 Ironman finisher with more to come!

Em

33_m-100771403-digital_highres-1778_061221-920634346_m-100771403-digital_highres-1778_093475-920635644_m-100771403-digital_highres-1778_088280-9206354trophy podiumsun-burn finish-line

** Special thanks to Liv Cycling – I am so proud to be an ambassador!

HUGE thanks to my coach Steve – he not only helped me get fit for this race but he also helped me stay sane!

My boyfriend Sam for only ever supporting me despite the fact that my whole weekends involve being on a bike and not seeing him! For being a better athlete then me and therefore pushing and inspiring me, and for spending 12:35 hours cheering me on!

Mum and Dad for being unofficial sponsors, putting up with a tired and hungry daughter, cheering me on all day and being my biggest fan’s (sorry if you follow them on Instagram), and Dad for training with me and inspiring me to become an Ironman in the first place!

Everyone reading this blog and those that follow my training, thank YOU!

Training, Travel

IRONMAN VICHY

September 1, 2016

After watching my dad compete at Ironman UK three years ago, I decided I was also going to become an Ironman. Ironman is one of those things that unless you are involved in the triathlon world, it probably means nothing to you. It meant a lot to me! After three years of building up my endurance training, I finally signed up last June for Ironman Austria. Obviously, that didn’t go to plan! – two months out from race day I got a stress fracture in my back which literally meant race over, which is how my journey to Ironman Vichy in France came about, just two months later.

Thanks to the last minute decision, every single hotel and air b and b in the area was full, which meant a hotel an hour away from the race and a very last minute flight that had us sprinting with only ten minutes to spare before the closing of the expo to register.

IMG_9033

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evidently this meant no race briefing and a lot of last minute putting bikes together (a very stressful way to spend the day before the race), and little idea of what was going on at all! – I wish I could say this wasn’t normal for the Young’s but that would definitely be lying!

IMG_9032IMG_9065

Race day

I didn’t get woken up by a horrible alarm at 3:30am, my boyfriend (the best support crew a girl could ask for) stopped my alarm before it went off and gently woke me up, passing me my breakfast at the same time. Race day isn’t glamorous – I ate warm overnight oats from a Tupperware box in bed that had been in a hot room all night with no aircon, and washed it down with an a electrolyte drink, I didn’t even get a coffee!

IMG_9231

I ate and began with my race day hair braids, put on my race tattoos and tri kit before making the hour long journey to the Vichy start to fill my bike food bag with Cliff bars, set my garmin and pump up my tyres (I had my dad who was racing to do this bit).

IMG_9237

I haven’t mentioned this bit yet but…. It was none-wetsuit. Major panic! Everyone I had managed to ask who did the half distance the previous day had said it added about 15 minutes on to their normal swim time, which meant around 30 for me! This didn’t fill me with confidence as we began to shuffle through the ‘pens’ towards to start, which was literally just a rolling-jump-of-the-edge-and-go start! It had also been over 30 degrees in the previous days so I was very worried about how hot the run was going to be, and how much it might slow me down.

The swim

The water really was too hot for a wetsuit, I was slightly thrown off by the jumping in start and the lack of wet-suit but I soon found my breath and began a relaxed bilateral stroke amongst the huge washing machine of people thrashing around.

People had warned of a current on the way out but I didn’t notice anything, the water isn’t exactly smooth in any triathlon with the amount of people around you.

The swim was all going fine until the second loop, I had to actually come out of the water and jump back in at another point, I didn’t know the course and ended up going in the complete wrong direction to find myself surrounded by kayaks with a lot of whistles being blown at me in order to get my attention, and get me in the right direction! I was VERY frustrated by this point at wasting so much time, but I got on with it and tried to relax!

Before I knew it I was running out of the water and through the first transition, I looked down at my Garmin to what I thought was nearly 2 hours! – I could have cried, my normal time is 1:20, and I hadn’t felt like I was significantly slower! I ran past my boyfriend who was spectating and shouted my time at him in frustration, he responded by saying he had tracked me in the one twenty’s, I shouted back “I hope you’re right!” in disbelief and made my way into T1.

The bike

Again, I had no idea what the bike course was like, I had spoken to a few people but like I always find with these things, everyone has a different memory of what it was like! It was a two-lap course, which I was very happy about; it is definitely easier to break down in your head! – you literally are on your own for 112 miles, hours and hours and hours, it is a mental game more than anything!

The bike is my weakest of the run, bike and swim and so I was always going to be nervous about it, and VERY nervous that I would get a mechanical, not because it would slow me down but because I am not actually totally confident I could fix it, (I’m even talking changing a puncture!)

I was sensible with my nutrition and made sure to take a bite of my foods or half a banana every 30 minutes or so, I grabbed the high 5 energy drinks and the water and found the course to be a nice one – it was flat with a slight incline, and a few hills towards the back of the laps, we got a bit of head wind and some rain but otherwise it was a good course! I didn’t have my mileage displayed on my Garmin, just my current speed so I could be aware of my pace and if I thought I could push on.

I literally couldn’t believe it when I turned around the last corner and into transition and saw I had done the bike in around 6 hours! – that is 35 minutes faster then what I did Austria in which was also very fast for me.

IMG_9193

The run

I can’t tell you how happy I felt to be on my feet – I knew at this point whatever happened I would finish, even if I had to walk it or crawl it, I was going to be an Ironman.

I was obviously very wary of what was going to be in store for me on the run, I had only 5 weeks run training under my belt after a four month injury, would my legs give up on me? Would my back?

I started running at what I felt was a steady pace and began over taking a fair few people, despite the first 6 miles feeling like the hardest 10k I had ever run! I didn’t keep much notice of my garmin, though I did make sure to see that I had done the first 10k in under an hour, which is around where I wanted to be, at least to start with.

It was a pretty flat course, but by this time the sun had really come out and it wasn’t a shaded course! It included some very long flats that I found mentally challenging, but a 4 loop course which was great to break down in my head and keep me going. The second loop was much easier than the first, and I was very sensible in getting a drink at every aid station and having the support hose me down with cold water to keep me cool, whether this added a few minutes on or not.

IMG_9190

By mile 12 the trouble started, its not nice and its not pretty but that dreaded tummy that a lot of people talk about was happening to me, my main priority wasn’t getting through the next bit of the race, it was getting to the next toilet! – Unfortunately despite practicing my nutrition this still affected me, and definitely added around 10-15 minutes on to my run by the time I had made four stops!

Despite this, by the time I made the last 6 mile loop I was absolutely ecstatic (and exhausted), I knew I was going to make it and after 12 months of hard work I only had about a hour of suffering to go before I hit the red carpet!

I can’t even begin to explain how amazing It felt the minute I got on to that carpet and saw the finishing arch, I spotted (and heard) my mum, brother and boyfriend shouting and smiling at me, cameras at the ready. I didn’t even hear the presenter say my name over the microphone, and I didn’t look up at my finishing time, I just couldn’t believe it was done…. I am an IRONMAN.

IMG_9198IMG_9222IMG_9321

 

Training

Getting some hills in London

March 31, 2016

If you have followed me for a while you will know I have recently moved back up North after spending a year down south in London. London was really difficult for me in terms of training, because I have been sooo spoilt with hills and trails right on my doorstep for so long! When I was in London I had the London Marathon to train for (which wasn’t easy with an intense job that often involved very long hours), trail running had worked for my previous marathon, so i didn’t dare experiment with anything else if i could help it! If you are in London and want the benefit of some trail running for your training, here is where I can recommend….

For a short hill session before work…

P R I M R O S E H I L L

I was lucky that this hill was only 1.5 mile run from my house, so i would spend 3 miles commuting and 3 miles of hill reps for a quick hour before work. It isn’t a long hill which makes it perfect if you are just doing reps. It isn’t the most interesting but needs must when London is so flat!

For a half marathon distance hilly trail run..

H A M P S T E A D H E A T H

Probably my favourite place to run in London, you don’t even realise you are in a big city! It is full of beautiful trails and some pretty decent hills. The loops aren’t too big and I found it gets a tad tedious if you try stretch it longer then 12 miles, though of course you could commute by run and make up some more miles!

For a long weekend run..

R I C H M O N D P A R K

I tend to take my mileage up to 19 miles when training for a marathon (no further), Richmond was a bit of an effort for me to get to, but I would run 2 laps of the park (often joining the Serpentines run club for one lap), which would bring me to 19 miles including the run to and from the train station to the park. Richmond Park has one or two decent hills, and it is a trail right the way around. If you trust your sense of direction its lovely to run through the park too.

For times i couldn’t make it to the hills.. The Serpentines hold a 3 parks run (you can choose how many parks you run) but it is a good way to get a 3-7 mile run in through the week with a good group of people with mixed abilities. The same running club also host a track night at Paddington (I can’t say I am a fan of speed training but this was good for me when I had to fit whatever I could in). Good luck to anyone training in London, I hope this helps!

Em x

Sign up to Emily's Weekly Journal
For weekly updates, recipes and workouts - Subscribe Below
We respect your privacy.