• Nikki Bartlett

Scottish Duathlon Champs

The race: This race for me was always going to be a 'training race', obviously defined, each individual interprets a training race differently, for me, this meant, a slightly easier day Friday and Saturday, well if you can call 2 small sessions and 12hours work on the Friday as 'easier'.

With the clocks going back, and not sleeping much either that night, I didn't feel great come the morning of the race, tired legs and mind, with cold weather conditions certainly didn't make a good combination. There was a good field of athletes, with a challenging course, meant this was going to be a solid training race, and that it certainly was. The 10k run was 4xloops with lots of corners and one steep shortish hill in, meant that there was a fair bit of changing direction and flow of running involved. However with that said, it was great for spectators and the support there was fantastic (I shall come back to this). When the gun went my body didn't really respond from the outset and I knew it was going to be a tough morning of battling through. I felt like I was 'sprinting' only to see that I was actually going slower than my half marathon splits two weeks ago. I pushed as hard as my body allowed and felt solid, but my endurance nature didn't want to stop at 10k, I felt like I had only just got into a rhythm! I came into T1 2nd female..Alice Hector had a great run and in my heart & physical-on-the-day capability, I knew getting onto the bike, that I was racing for 2nd place.. Out onto the 40k bike, and my god it was cold, I had to stop to put my gloves on but even that didn't really help out. I loved the bike and the marshalling was great, not only to guide you in the right direction and for safety, but for their great support on the course too. There was a brutal cold head wind too, so although I love the bike, I was looking forward to getting off to get warm! 40k again seemed way too short, one comical part of the course, was having to stop at a zebra crossing ;-)! Onto the 5k run, I knew I was never going to catch Alice so I just took it in my stride, I pushed, but not too much in that I could hold off 3rd place; Alison Rowatt, but not come out of the run too exhausted to need more recovery time this week. Again the course was 2xloops on the same 10k route, so great again for spectators. I kept 2nd place and was privileged to share the podium with two great athletes. All in all I got everything I wanted to get out of the race, a hard day out and sharing it with family support too. Thanks to: The support from my parents absolutely means the world to me, travelling up for 6hours after work on Saturday, to going back early Monday morning to watch is amazing. To be honest I was feeling so awful and sleep deprived the morning of the race, I actually considered a DNS, but knowing that they were here to support gave me the extra push and motivation. So I couldn't be more thankful. The marshalling, and organisation of the event was top class. Stirling tri club certainly know how to put on a quality event, catering for all with different distances and for the kids too. It was certainly inspiring watching the kids all race their hearts out with no fear, in shorts and tshirt, even though its freezing, no watches, just pure love and passion! Thanks to Shutt Velo Rapid for their new seriously comfy kit, I love all of their cycling apparel but the tri suit is just great, no chaffing issues at all and easy to run in with the little padding, but enough to keep you comfy on the bike! I also tried out some new nutrition from A1 multisport; Carbgel, I tried the cola flavour and wow the taste was incredible and so easy on the stomach. If your one for a sensitive stomach, do go to A1 multisport and check out the carbgels on offer. I have recently just done a new article with Lucy Bee coconut oil if you fancy another read: http://www.lucybee.co/blog/fitness-and-performance/athletes-train-eat-nikki-bartlett-triathlete/

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