A little update in the Nikki world...
So it’s been a while since my last post (IM Wales), and since that race, life went a little something like this:
-Post race week – I feel fine (clearly still buzzing)
-2 weeks after the race, oh my days I’m moosed. This lasted another week
-2 weeks totally off. 2 weeks simples easy non-structured chill mode (month chilling in total, much needed)
-7 week very slow build; focusing on swim and gym
-December 6th – Proper training began. Big block of 3 weeks training, recovery week, and just repeated that. Bringing us to now.
I’m now well into a year of full-time athlete life and I can seriously see the changes in both recovery and performance. I’m confident to say I’m fitter and stronger than peak fitness last year across all disciplines, which is ace to see the mentality of taking a leap of faith, going full-time and backing myself is paying off. It's important to keep focusing on the process and improvement and try and ignore the 'data' I see elsewhere on social etc. It's also pointless seeing one singular session from someone, and totally unaware of the training load pre and post.
It's a bloody long road, and consistent training and small improvements are important to focus on. It's very easy to talk yourself down / compare to others, but those thoughts have to bugger off outside the window, and into my own little training bubble.
I’m now going into some big training, and unlike last year where we purely focused on 70.3 training, I’m doing some IM specific sessions, which 9/10 leaves me thinking ‘oh my god, what is this’. When A. Looking at the session, B. In the session, but once complete it’s ridiculously satisfying and rewarding.
I still feel very lucky and grateful to be training FT, and having a fab support team (more on this in a second). I won’t lie to you, it’s bloody tough, dealing with training fatigue, UK winter making it that little bit harder to get out of bed, plugging in consistent training (no glory days). But I bloody love it. Most weeks I can safely say I test my limits, think 'wtf is that day / session!!!' and push the boundaries, seeing the very small changes in training performances, having sh** sessions one day but mentally staying tough, then a day or two later the times are back to normal. It’s lushness.
So onto my race season:
IM SA is my first hit out on the 2nd April. I’m excited to finally be leaving the Scottish winter this week and heading to Aguilas for 2-weeks with Triathlon Scotland, then heading to SA for a month. I'm so very excited to see the sun. And sunshine when it's not -4.
After this we’re looking along the lines of;
-IM Pays d’Aix 70.3
-IM Staffs 70.3
-IM Edinburgh 70.3
This time last year I can remember looking onto 2016 with our ambitious goals. I actually remember laughing at some. Safe to say, I more than exceeded what we were looking to achieve. So sitting here writing that we’re aiming to Q for Kona scares but more than excites me. I won’t lie, I still think IM is redic and seriously everyone who competes is a hero. But IM Wales was one of the best days of my life. Until you experience it, it’s hard to put into words. A special day shared with special people. We shall see where this year heads, but I’m buzzing to get going and put my fitness on the racing scene.
So, with that, I’m super super excited to announce this fab team onboard with me for 2017….
Rob Cheetham is beyond the best coach out there for me. I hope to do him proud this season, and give back what he’s put into me.
My better half – Bex. After living in Scotland (Stirling) now for 3.5 years, it’s exciting to say we’ve (finally) bought a little place in Stirling, and our housemates are up for putting up with our early starts, turbo sweat rates and anything else that goes with living with an athlete and coach.
Family and friends. Moments in sessions and races are made to be shared, it wouldn’t be the same, so thank you for continued support.
The Financial Fitness Group – who have supported me from the very beginning, I’m excited to share another fab year with you. Check out their fab insurance and accountancy policies.
Skechers Performance – some seriously durable, fast shoes. I train with GoRun 4s and GoRun Ride 5 for my longer (plus an hour) sessions. These shoes have let me put in some good mileage, speed and threshold sessions over the last 9 weeks, and my running has come on heaps. Looking forward to racing with you guys in 2017
Tri4Life – Guerciotti - My new fab bike sponsors. Tom has launched Guerciotti in the UK, through the Tri4Life brand. I’m around 20 watts more on an FTP test right now than last year, lighter and looking forward to racing with the Eclipse TT bike, and training with the Eureka SX50 road bike
Rolf Prima Wheels – their attention to detail is incredible. Light, fast and good looking wheels. Very lucky to be racing on the Ares and Disc wheels
Saddleback / Rotor - I’m an athlete who 70% of the time trains to feel, takes a cheap decathlon watch out on rides and runs. But since using power, my key sessions wouldn’t be done without a power meter anymore. This has definitely changed my performances in training and racing since I first kicked out in the fast Pro world in 2015.
Fusion Clothing – it’s always fab to race / train with a product then move into partnership together. I raced in their Speedsuit last season and loved it. If you’re looking for a comfy, fast and durable suit, definitely get in touch. They can organize you’re printing too
I intended to keep this short and sweet but like always I’ve managed to talk for England. See you laters!