13th March, Fradley 10k. This was my first race since the start of October 2021 and I was hoping for a good result. From looking at training sessions in the lead up, it looked like 31 to 32 minutes was on the cards for Fradley.
The morning of the race, I woke up feeling a little tired and achy in my upper back. So I decided a little foam roll and deep heat should do the trick. As I started my warm up, I still didn't feel super relaxed so just hoped that it would be good once the race started. As the gun went off, I went out at 5.04 pace and felt relatively comfortable and on target pace. I then went through the second mile lapping 5.14 knowing that today wasn't going to be the day for a PB. With sights ahead of a big race the week after I decided to back off and run tempo for the rest of the race as I finished 7th in 33.41. Overall, I wanted more from the race but it was still a good day out representing Running Form in the new 2XU apparel.
20th March, British Standard distance Duathlon Championships. This was a race that I was aiming to do well at and see where my bike and run shape was against a very competitive field. I was really looking forward to racing in a multisport event again. Although this was a race I wanted to do well in, it was something I'm still very inexperienced in as I mainly focus on the triathlon discipline. From doing the championships last year I knew the course was a tough undulating route so I knew that I had to pace it correctly if I wanted to have a good race.
2 miles warm up done and the body and mind was feeling a lot better than the week before at Fradley. At the start line, the competition looked very good with many professional triathletes and duathletes starting. Slight delay for the start but once the gun went off it was a fast sprint to get into position. With a nice fast downhill start I went out comfortably in 4.58 for the first mile leading the second group. Then going through the second mile up a tough steep hill in 5.25, I knew that the pacing was the right judgment as it felt comfortable. To finish the second lap I worked hard overtaking multiple people who had gone out too fast. Finishing the first 9km run averaging 5.21 per mile showing that you can have off days as I ran faster than Fradley the week before with still having a bike and run to finish.
Quick transition getting ready to hop on the bike and take on the 9 lap 39km bike leg. Going through 5 laps I was going strong averaging just over 26mph and looking close to a top 10 finish. A small nutrition error meant I slowly faded during the last 4 laps losing just over a minute. If only I had one more gel! Overall, I averaged 25.5mph which set me in a good position for the run. As I came off the bike I was in 21st position with a 4.5km run to finish. I quickly moved into 20th with a strong 5.29 first mile thanks to the 2XU compression gear helping to prevent fatigue and muscle ache in the quads and calves. With 19th position just 10 seconds ahead I couldn't quite bridge the gap but really happy with finishing 20th overall and 3rd in my age group meaning I was a bronze medallist at the British duathlon championships. An improvement of 7 minutes from the year before which would've given me 3rd overall last year. So a huge improvement and thankful for running form sponsoring me with the 2XU compression gear to help me perform at my best.