Our last story was informing you that Suzie had qualified for the Traithle championships in June 2019…Well now she is back from England as the new British Senior Traithle Champion and has qualified for the World Championships in Florida this October! wow!
Suzie has answered a few questions to give us all an insight into background of her training and the competition.
- When did the qualifier happen?
16 June 2019 – National Championships and World Q.
- Where did it take place?
Both in Leweston Academy in Dorset
- How long did you train for it? Did you change your training for the new format?
I have been training all winter for all 5 of my disciples: swim, fence, show jump , combined shoot and run (also known as laser run). In modern pentathlon these are done separately over the course of one day where you move from one venue to the next. Whereas triathle is continuous- a bit like triathlon. You start with a shoot – once you hit your 5 targets you set off to the transition area to remove trainers – and straight into pool (will be ocean in Madeira) and swim 50m. Then out of pool to transition area and put your trainers on and off on the 800m run course which is usually on grass – you run with your cap and goggles on your head. You do this 4 times nonstop and its first over the finish line of the final 800m who wins. So I had to specialise my training a bit for this from the start of this year adding in extra sessions to practice transitions and run – swim continuous. Not many pols would allow you to swim, jump out and stop running. So I had the use of my coach’s swim tank and running round his carpark in a wet suit with hat and goggles– which did raise a few eyebrows!
- What are your memories of the day? Did anything surprise you about your first triathle?
I was very nervous going into it not having competed in triathle before and not knowing what to expect. I was mostly worried about falling over when trying to put my trainers on- which isn’t easy when you’re wet, heart rate high and breathing heavy. I watched races before me to see what other people were doing- how they transitioned and entered and exited the pool. Most made it look very easy- not one fell over. What surprised me the most on both days- was the fact that I was not going with any expectations, just to get experience and see if it is something I want to pursue – so to win both qualifiers and come away as Senior British Champion was a huge surprise. Also the fact my times were 2 mins under the european and world qualifying times was a huge shock.
- What encouraged you to try the new format?
Doing modern pentathlon I knew my strengths are run and shoot and short distance swimming- all of which makes up Triathle. Many of the triathletes are runners and swimmers and struggle with the shoot element. So my coach and GB coaches suggested I give it a go this year. My shoot was what won the event. I was neck and neck with the previous British champion most of the way round (she has been unbeaten for a few years now)– she would gain on me during the swim and transitions- I would pull away from her in the shoot and run and luckily managed to keep ahead of her on the last run which involved an incline to the finish- by my 4th time up it this incline felt like Everest – but my training around Stormont Estate had me well conditioned for that.
- What is your training schedule in preparation for the Europeans?
So my schedule requires me to train near enough every day. To fit in the training I have to train before work, over lunch and after – which explains why people probably see me running about the building either wet from swimming or sweaty just coming from running. Most days I train twice a day– but sometimes 3 times. But my coach has it organised that I’m not over doing things and doing them in an order that doesn’t jeopardise one session from the next. Each week he adjusts my schedule according to what I need that week or how I am feeling. We work in cycles so as not to over train –so 3 or 4 weeks hard training followed by 1 week easy. My next few weeks I will be adding in open water swimming in preparation for Madiera. This will be totally new to me and requires a slightly different technique to pool swimming. Not sure I’m really looking forward to my first go in the dark freezing cold waters of NI
- Have you any other events coming up in the Summer?
My focus now is Traithle Europeans in June in Madeira, then Worlds in Florida in October. In August I will hopefully have both the laser run Europeans (run 800m and shoot (x4)) in Germany and masters modern pentathlon European championships in Hungary.