T2′s VANESSA RAW BRITISH ELITE DUATHLON CHAMPION
However, they didn’t have it all their own way as Ruth Morrey got the women’s race off to a blistering start with a 17.12 opening run split coming into T1 with a 30-second lead on her chasers.
On the bike, Vanessa and Lucy worked well together to bring Ruth back, before pushing the pace still further to establish a lead of over one minute into T2.
As they came towards the finish it was Vanessa who pulled ahead winning the British Elite Duathlon title in a time of 01:01.02, with Lucy fourteen seconds back in 01:01:16.
Vanessa commented on winning the British title: “Its good, it was tough today. I did a good job, me and Lucy worked well together on the bike and I felt much better on the bike, than I did on the run, strangely as I haven’t been riding much.”
Vanessa will next be racing the ITU Cup race in Banyoles, Spain ahead of the WTS race in Madrid
T2 LADIES DOMINATE ABU DHABI TRIATHLON
Its been a quiet few months on the race front, during this time T2 athletes have been keeping a low profile putting in the hard winter sessions in the dark and snow (the british winter has not been easy on them!). The Abu Dhabi Triathlon marks a season opener for many athletes seeking sun and heat after a long winter, T2 Coaching had Aya Stevens and Liz Pinches on the start line for the long distance race (3k/200k/20k).
After over 8hrs of racing in the oppressive heat Aya came home 12th overall and 1st amateur (8:28:55) and Liz 14th overall and 2nd amateur (8:45:11) to dominate the ladies AG race, both ladies as a result of winning their age group win a free return journey (flights and entry) to AD for the 2014 race to defend their titles.
Aya Stevens (Right) and Liz Pinches (Left) racing on the Yaz Marina race circuit
T2 Coaching Looking for Elite Age Group Female Athlete
Are you an age-group female athlete racing at the top of your age group and want to take your racing to the next level?. T2Coaching have 1 coaching space available for a elite age group female looking to make the step up to pro or dominate their age group domestically and internationally, interested candidates should email firstname.lastname@example.org
AYA STEVENS 9th WOMEN at IM WALES
T2 Athlete Aya Stevens Blogs on her recent AG win and Top 10 placing at IM Wales…
The last days preparation were going surprisingly well compared to my usual hiccups, apart from my Garmin 310xt which broke one week prior the race. The no “watch option” was quickly dismissed thanks to the offers from my dear team mates (Thank you Helen and Gill).
Standing on the front line prior to the swim start, not sure whether it is a good idea, but I remained in that spot nonetheless. Richard (my fellow Thames Turbo) was right next to me, it’s always good to see familiar face when nerves are reaching the peak something i need to work on in future races.
During the briefing they reassured us that running along the beach as witnessed last year would not be happening !, and one extra buoy to swim around plus “armed” guards made sure it was to be this way. I tried to push really hard at the beginning to get into a good pack, however I was really beaten up at the start and up to the second buoy, but later I found a good rhythm and the first lap split on my watch was 28mins which made me feel really positive and on the second lap with less company for drafting I tried to concentrate on having the most effective stroke and minimal kicking to save the legs for later.
It took me some time to warm up on the bike and i started feeling good after around 1.5 hour on the bike. My nutritional tactics were different from the last couple of IM races: listening to my coach Tom Bennet’s advice paid off. I used solids only the first 1/2 of the bike and after that I stuck to shots and Power Bar gels. This saved me from my normal GI Issues and i fuelled myself well, i could not thank my coach more. After around 120km I started to feel the signs of fatigue HR was low and I couldn’t produce as much power in my legs as i’d like coupled with some lower back pain. This was my lowest point of the bike and I felt like whole world passed me at this point, but not one girl, which made me think either they all in the front ! or they were hiding .
At this point I knew that the lack of consistent cycling in recent weeks due to my job (as a flight attendant) meant i had to ride when i could not when i liked and probably didn’t have enough time spent aero (Back Pain). The last 2 hrs on the bike it started raining, the few crashes I saw made me even more conservative on the down hills. On the last descent to Tenby I tried to start Helen’s watch and of course I messed it up as I pressed by mistake “use as indoors” and as a consequence, after a quick transition I ended up running without seeing my pace which was a little disaster for me as I am real gadget queen in this world of Garmin.:-)
Whilst my bike has been inconsistent i’ve managed to get some good running in in recent weeks so with the bike behind me i set off on the run. A hilly 4 laps out and back into the pretty town of Tenby, and the lap times were my only indicator of how I was doing time wise. I could see very few women ahead of me, all of them were Pros and one girl who had her number twisted (Tracey Cook) turned out to be the one age group girl in front. I thought, maybe I wasn’t riding all that bad in the end !. I kept reminding myself of an effective running body posture and not to forget to eat. I actually ate much more than usual, had a gel every 20 minutes, my body was just craving sugar. As long as I could digest it I would listen to my body. I have to say the crowds of supporters on the bike and run were just amazing, I heard quite a few people shouting “Go TURBO Go” which kept me really focused.
On my first run lap I saw Brian one of my friends who’s chain had snapped on the bike course with his family, That made me feel very sad for him and every time I passed by Brian, I was so grateful for his amazing support.
I felt unusually comfortable on that run, I probably wasn’t pushing enough which is exciting as there is more to come in my next race, but it is always very hard to find the right balance. On my last race (at Challenge Roth) I lost lots of liquid and pushed through periods of pain, this time I said myself, I don’t want to end up fainting at the finish line again!!.
But now, a couple of days after the race, I wish I would have pushed out of that comfort zone in Wales on the last lap. Especially when I finished just one minute after 8th girl Bethan Fowler racing as pro girl. I knew I had no pressure, I could see on the turnaround points no one was getting closer and I wish I would have had that pressure (Of being chased). Running into the finish line I hear a pleasant commentator’s voice, “Alena Stevens, who is also the winner of her age group”.
I would like to say massive thanks to my family, friends, team mates and BF Milan for their amazing support and mainly my coach Tom, for his golden patience with all my last minute work changes and training adaptations.
T2 ATHLETE 8TH IN 70.3 WCHAMPS
T2 Athlete Liz Pinches has had an outstanding season with Top 10 overall finishes at 2 70.3 races this season, she entered the 70.3 Champs on good form and hoping for a great result here is here blog post…
It was a very tough event but very honest and the best athletes definitely came out on top. The times in this race do not really give much away about what it was really like. To even finish the race is actually an achievement. The DNF rate is high, and the Did Not Start rate even higher. Having trained in the heat for the last 2 weeks I had a lot of respect for the effects it has on the run, so I had made it my strategy to hold back a bit on the bike and save some for the run.
It was probably already tipping 35 degrees at 10:20 when I started the run and reached 40 by the end. The course had no shade and was punishing, and although I remember every inch of it from last year I was determined to have a better experience but the heat still had the sapping effect on your energy and will to push yourself. I had made it my goal to run the whole 13.1 miles, no walking allowed. It was very tempting once you saw so many people walking but I kept it together, albeit at snails pace. I did not look at the Garmin, just tried to keep going, through some very rough patches and some really good patches. Finally reached the last mile and the finish line where I could lie down at last! Completely spent, I was very dehydrated all afternoon, probably suffered more than after last year’s Ironman. And its a sobering thought that my run was significantly slower than my entire marathon in the ironman.
Parys Edwards had a great day to win the Age Group but my overall race time was still a 29 minute improvement on last year, and I never would have dreamed that 8th in the world was a possibility back at the start of the year when my goal was to break the top 20.
Big thanks to coach Tom (T2Coaching) for raising my game this year after 13 years as an endurance athlete this year i’ve moved a big step forward and to Jenni Wilson for keeping my body together as well as Brendan Wylde for ensuring my mind was tougher than the rest. To all my training partners who’ve trained with me come rain or shine, I owe you. Here’s to the next goal. An ITU Worlds result in Auckland on 22nd October. Oh, and a few good nights out this week on the Strip before its back to work on Monday!
IM WALES REVIEW…
The final race of the year for the majority of the T2Coaching Long Distance athletes was IM Wales seen by many as the toughest Ironman on the circuit and an opportunity for those racing to get early 2013 Kona slots in the bag….
Here is a summary of the T2 Athlete Results
Pete Stewart (Thames Turbo Powerbar) came 30th AG 10:34:18 and settled some scores with previous rivals over this distance
Richard Newey (Thames Turbo Powerbar) 18th AG 10:40:16 with a new swim PB
Jeff Grimes 15th AG 13:23:00 one of T2′s most consistent athletes didn’t have the day he hoped for but had the strength and motivation to still deliver a great performance in his Age Group
Standout performance of the day was that of Aya Stevens who finished 9th women overall just missing out on 8th leaving her charge a little too late and won her age group by over 12 minutes (10:54:12). Aya’s performance means she has pre-qualified for the 2013 IM World Championships in Kona where she is aiming for a new Slovakian (SVK) IM course record. Aya’s performance is even more impressive when you consider that her day job is as a Air Hostess and has had to squeeze in training at various destinations around the world in her build up to this race !
Aya is also looking for sponsors to support her racing for 2013 and is interested in speaking to Brands about an ambassadorial role……
All the T2 Coaches are proud of each and every athlete that raced, Ironman is no mean feat and to tackle the hardest on the circuit takes focused and disciplined training.
Well Done to all
T2 JUNIOR MAKES ITU DEBUT…
Pavan Rooprai – ITU Junior Cup Report
Finding out that your coach is committed to fly all the way out to Slovenia to make sure you are 100% prepared to race, coupled with signing on for the biggest race of your triathlon career certainly applies a bit more pressure than one normally places on themselves. Meant this race was massively outside my comfort zone. ITU Junior Cup racing for me was about as tough as it was going to get this season, with some of the best european juniors rocking up to compete at what was a long Super Sprint. Slovenia, in particular Lake Bled was absolutely stunning (having raced in some pretty exotic locations this season with my FGP team in Southern France.
To briefly sum up my season to date, French Grand Prix racing – Aggressive swimming (with a capital A) technical biking that tested my skills to the limit, Blenheim Elite Wave – a poor swim/bike but finished with a good run and a number of C races that provided the opportunity to get some race confidence and experiment with different tactics.
ITU race day lining up in a lake with 66 other testosterone fueled juniors elbowing each other in the ribcage, even before they got in the water to get good position on the bank for the start ! was nothing new to me this season. Getting a good position is crucial therefore I was pleased to find myself 100m into the race with only one punch to face!. Exiting the water in the top 25 I was content that I would find myself in a good pack and in the mix of things.
When it comes to ITU junior racing – transitions are about as slick as it gets in the Tri world. Often making the ITU WCS series look slow and sluggish. I was happy not to lose time in which case and found myself out on one of the toughest bike courses I have ridden on. In total there was about 5mins of flat riding otherwise 9%+ climbs and rapid descents. Finding myself in a small 2nd or 3rd pack the riding was very aggressive but my instructions were to sit in to save myself for the run that has improved beyond my expectations this season and knowing i’m in sub 16min 5k shape.
The run so often my strength this year was not my greatest and i struggled to get the legs turning over at top speed on a undulating course, meant i never really ran through as i had planned/expected to do, suggesting my bike which is a lot stronger than at the start of the year needs to develop further so i can come off the bike fresher, a plan for the winter months. Overall I finished 29th out of 66 and was definitely pleased with that. within the 20’s which both coach and i thought was a solid debut at this level of racing.
I must thank a few people for the whole of this season as without them it would not have been possible for me to race at this level without their support. Firstly, Sigma Sport who have supported me this year with a bike from Trek and Sailfish for wetsuit and apparel and Powerbar for my nutrition. The Athletic Edge who are solely responsible for the 2kg of lean muscle mass i have put on this year – still a few to go !
Secondly, my coach Tom Bennett, somewhat of a cliche but I really could not have achieved what I have this season without him. Thank you for flying all the way out to Slovenia in order to prepare me to race, it must not have been easy whilst helping your other athletes racing all over the world be ready in the same weekend (all of whom did amazing, special mention to my fellow junior squad member Eliza for her Junior Super Series success (4th in final super series race, 7th overall in series) – training with her constantly and seeing how much hard work she puts in I am not surprised she has come on so much this year, no one deserves it more) but in my opinion neither Eliza or I would have dreamed we’d have come on so far in one season shows exactly just how special a coach Tom is. Lastly, my parents and friends who continue to encourage my racing and are my number 1 supporters!.
I cannot wait for the next season to begin and by then I should be writing the next blog from the University of Leeds where I shall be studying and training (and partying) next season, hoping some of the ‘Brownlee’ success rubs off on me , i will miss the camaraderie of the T2 junior squad sessions but i’m looking forward to being challenged further by the strong leeds group.
T2 ATHLETE RANKED 1 GOING INTO 70.3 WCHAMPS
After this weekends 70.3 European Championships in Wiesbaden, T2 Coaching athlete Liz Pinches currently leads the WTC Ironman age group rankings making her the best 70.3/IM athlete in Europe at the present time.
The Age Group Ranking System (AGR) recognizes the best age group competitors at Ironman, Ironman 70.3 and 5150 Triathlon Series races in Europe. The new AGR System is unique in that it scores races in the Ironman, Ironman 70.3 and 5150 Triathlon Series in one system. (Originally from: http://ironman.com/ranking/general-information#ixzz23QGSZlzZ)
Being the number 1 ranked athlete in Europe is a great confidence boost for Liz as she enters her final preparation for the 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas in September.
Liz is currently looking for sponsors to support her racing career and help her to reach her potential as one of the best age group athletes in the world.
If interested please contact email@example.com
RESULTS ROUND UP – T2 AGE GROUP ATHLETES
It’s been a busy few months at T2Coaching with races coming thick and fast…
In the peak of season its sometimes easy to forget the fantastic results achieved by T2 athletes. So this blog is our opportunity to highlight what our age-group athletes have been up to over the past few months.
Aya Stevens finished Challenge Roth (IM Distance) in 10:26:57. An amazing performance and a PB of some 23mins, given that Aya’s build up to the race was less than smooth with work related problems restricting her to limited training time. Aya’s next race is IM Wales with more time to train we are excited about what Aya can achieve with the aim of a return to KONA in 2013.
Aya Crosses the Line at Challenge Roth
Liz Pinches who recently took a sabbatical to train full time (see here) followed up her top 10 (7th Overall) at 70.3 Italy (Report Here) winning her AG and securing her place for the World Championships in Vegas. A pro debut at 5150 Zurich was a valuable learning experience lining up with the likes of Nicola Spirig and Daniella Ryf over the shorter distance was always going to be a baptism of fire and so it proved with many valuable lessons learnt and a 12th pro/elite finish. This was followed by 70.3 Antwerp a time of 4:33 and a 6 minute PB for the course for 7th place taking 6 pro scalps including former WC Sam McGlone (on her comeback trail) and GB Pro Natalie Barnard.
Richard Newey in terrible conditions posted a 10:31 at IM Switzerland, torrential rain and gusting winds favored the bigger riders on this day and i’m sure Richard will come back stronger for the experience.
Pete Stewart finished 4th at the British Middle Distance Champs. Pete has struggled with early season injury and didn’t quite have the run legs to get the job done, but with IM Wales on the horizon a good block of running will see him firing on all cylinders.
Peter Cottington had solid 3rd and 4th place finishes at Liverpool 5150 and the Bristol Harbour Tri as he builds towards the Vitruvian in september.
THE ITALIAN JOB – T2 ATHLETE OFF TO VEGAS…
T2 Athlete Liz Pinches undertook her 1st race as a full-time athlete at 70.3 Italy this weekend see how she got on below……….
My body felt great going into it, the taper worked out perfectly, and I was feeling healthy, rested and raring to go. I felt very very good on race day. I knew that the sunny and dry conditions would suit me, and I was prepared to leave it all out there on the course to get the result I needed (1st in AG) and had worked for.
The Age group ladies were put with the older men for the swim and the male machismo came to the fore as the men blocked me from getting to the front row of the swim start so I just had to run in from the beach behind them, and then overtake by dolphining in the water.
In the swim there was just myself and one other girl, we swam stroke for stroke the whole way – with all the men strung out in a long line on our feet. Swim exit she got up and walked (shallow water) which it turned out was faster than my chosen route of swimming to the exit, 2 other girls who’d gone for the walking exit route joined us!. I was very pleased wtih this swim, and felt -despite the time being 35mins (course 2.5km) that I’d used just the right amount of energy and felt pretty relaxed.
I did a no-nonsense transition despite it being about a 1km long run, and headed out before the girls I’d come in with. I then proceeded to get all the way out of Pescara on the smooth tarmac of the highway, overtaking a man about every 10m or so, and warning them to ‘Occio’ – I think it means ‘look out’ – which turned out to be the best word I’d learned all weekend.
So I arrived at the hilly section feeling pretty good, I held back so that I didn’t completely fry my legs, but all the time I’d been told there was one girl out on the course ahead of me (she swam 33 mins) so I reeled her in at last at the end of the first lap of the two lap bike. I was feeling very positive at that point, going out into to the lead for the first time, knowing I had good nutrition and was keeping my pace suitably controlled for the conditions. I won’t lie that my new Blue bike worked really well on the downhills though, making the most of her aerodynamics.
At the start of the 2nd lap 2 girls caught me I decided to let them ruin their own legs, while I concentrated on drinking and eating plenty for the hot run ahead. By the time we’d reached the fast downhill and the highway back home again i’d caught them up which made my decision the right one.
I went out at the pace I’d trained for but I knew it might be a touch fast to hold for the whole 13 miles. I guessed I was in the lead, as I knew the two girls on the bike were still in transition, and this was confirmed by the nice lady who put the band on my wrist for lap 1, and I could see no women at all on this lap. I did, however, know that there was the second female running about 1 minute behind and she was constantly there, playing on my mind the whole way. I was so determined that I wanted my Las Vegas slot, and I was leading my first ever half ironman, and didn’t want to see that lead getting eroded. Unfortunately, my mind didn’t want to stay as strong. Not sure why, but I really had some low points from about 7-12km on the run. The thing that picked me up in the end was drinking coke which I would not normally do until the very end of a race, but it semeed to give me the instant boost I needed. I crossed the line in first, although no one said anything. They didn’t seem to know, or care that I was female and had won.
The race result was that I came 1st in age, and first amateur in 5:13, which would have placed me 6th in the pros. I’m extremely proud of it, and its a good consolidation of the hard work that Tom at T2Coaching has put in with me this year, although of course he says there’s lots more to come and we are not finished yet.
With a vegas slot in the bag we can now concentrate on hitting the start line in A1 shape and seeing what we can do.
T2COACHING JUNIOR MAKES 2012 SUPER SERIES DEBUT
The T2 Development Squad continues to go from strength to strength, this weekend T2′s Eliza Cottington made here 2012 Junior debut in the British Junior and Youth Super Series . The series is designed to bring together the best young triathlon talent from across the UK to provide the best possible environment to prepare future Olympic hopefuls.
This weekend was the British Aquathlon (Swim & Run) Eliza joined the development squad having come through the junior ranks at Thames Turbo has had a good winter concentrating primarily on her swimming with Teddington Swim Squad and recently qualified for the National Swim Champs in the 100m and 200m backstroke. With swimming ambitions taking priority she has worked hard to develop her run and bike off a limited training schedule.
Despite this running progress in particular has gone really well with a 5k PB of 21:12 prior to the winter, this came down to 20:23 (3/3/2012) a improvement of 49 seconds in 3 months. In recent weeks Eliza had been running fantastically well and was a little frustrated that she couldn’t break the 20min barrier despite running well below this in training, but this was a great lesson in being consistent, trusting in your training and coach! and believing that your training will transfer to racing soon.
With this in mind Eliza entered the Super Series race hoping for a great race. The race took place in a cold early morning in Birmingham, Eliza exited the water in 10:54 (5th Place) with a quick transition she was out onto the 5k run finishing in 19:32 a 52sec PB! (and over 1min 30 seconds since the start of winter).
A 5th place finish and a 52sec run PB was a great performance and testament in believing in your training and self. The result leaves her 11th in the National Rankings with 2 races down and the sprint distance race at Blenheim Palace (9th June) next in the series.
T2 Coach Tom said ” Eliza is a great athlete to work with dedicated and really receptive to coaching, she has a quiet but steely determination which really comes across in races. I know she has been frustrated that her running hadn’t been progressing as much as she would like lately but we knew it was only a matter of time before she ran this fast. The result is a great platform to build from for the rest of the season and we (T2 Coaching) are really proud of her. I’m sure Eliza would like to thank her parents for their support, Coach Ed from the Teddington Swim Squad and here training partners”
T2 would also like to congratulate T2 Dev squad affiliate athletes Max Hazel (11th Junior) and Josh Carnell (33rd Junior) on their performances.
About the T2 Development Squad
The T2 Coaching development squad consists of junior elite and U23 development athletes with aspirations to race as professional athletes. The squad meet for regular weekly sessions in all disciplines. If you think you have what it takes to race junior elite or professional and live in SW London then feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org