Training with Chrissie Wellington: lessons learnt at Bristol Harbourside Triathlon
Katy Campbell, right, and friend Nicola after completing Bristol's Olympic-distance triathlon
Training > Beginners

Training with Chrissie Wellington: lessons learnt at Bristol Harbourside Triathlon (2/3)

Competition winner Katy Campbell gets plenty of feedback from her coaches after her final warm-up race before Alpe d’Huez

Our competition winner Katy Campbell concludes her report on the Bristol Harbourside Triathlon, with feedback from her coaches Chrissie Wellington and Matt Edwards...

In my previous three triathlons, I have learnt the hard lesson that the run (for me!) is the most difficult, even as a fairly natural runner.

Actually, it was much better than previous races, largely thanks to all the bike-run sessions Matt has been insisting upon in recent weeks! I soon saw Chrissie, who gave the calm instructions to keep a steady pace and then build in the later stages.

From the coaches

The run is Katy’s strength. It’s important that Katy relaxed in the initial kilometre, found her stride and rhythm and didn’t panic about trying to gain time on her competitors. A great overall race result can be made – or lost – in the first few 100 metres of the run. 

Katy says…

The run is by far my strongest discipline, and I feel very fortunate that my abilities are this way round, as it really helps when you’re absolutely dying during the late stages! My second gel gave me a bit of a boost too – we actually only put it in the plan as a test for my stomach, but the psychological effect was palpable.

I was slightly taken aback by the presence of a water station – clearly I should have known there would be one! As my gel didn’t require water, and the water on offer was in cups and I didn’t want to stop, I didn’t take any. I regretted this slightly as the sun came out and things started to warm up!

From the coaches

We want Katy to practice her nutrition, not just tailored to this race but also for Alpe D’Huez. It’s important for her to get used to drinking regularly on the bike (and run) and to work out what is palatable for her at different stages in the race.

Lesson learned to check the course map and the location of nutrition/water stations. It was quite a warm day, and Katy should have had a drink of water at that aid station. Typically water is provided in cups, and so going forward Katy will need to practice drinking “on the run” to ensure she can hydrate properly at Alpe D’Huez.  

Katy says…

I focussed on picking off the ladies (and the occasional man) ahead of me, staying strong, keeping my form. After all the long runs I’ve been doing in training, I knew it wouldn’t feel too long, so I could dig in with confidence.

Katy Campbell on the run at Bristol Harbourside Triathlon

From the coaches

Having smaller goals, like an aid station, a tree, or people ahead of you, is great for breaking the race down into smaller, manageable segments and keep you mind in the moment. The key is to also sustain your own pace, and not over-exert yourself in catching someone else.

Developing the mental strength during training, especially longer or harder sessions, will give you peace of mind that you can endure in races. Katy’s form was good, although she does have a tendency to hunch her shoulders and clench her fists, and so will need to focus periodically on ensuring her form is as good as it can be. 

Katy says…

At the halfway point I felt great, and upped the pace for a couple of kilometres. But that was all I could manage, something switched, my legs felt wobbly, and from then on it was a case of hanging on. Big cheers at the finish and it was done. Medal awarded, chip removed, and hugs and congratulations from Chrissie! 

I quickly took on some water and a couple of bananas, followed by my usual chocolate soya milk to up the protein content. I then thoroughly enjoyed cheering my friends over the line, followed by swapping stories and  comparing medals.

We soon headed off for lunch, where I hoovered up a jacket potato with beans and cheese, followed by a celebratory piece of cake. I felt like I’d earned it!

I noticed once again that I recovered really well, and even felt ok to drive back to Devon a few hours later. I’m hoping this demonstrates how fit I am, and also the effect of much improved nutrition thanks to many discussions with Chrissie.

From the coaches

Katy made great choices for her recovery fuelling. A mix of carbs and protein, and something that also tastes good immediately after the race followed by a more substantial meal and hour or so later when her body was ready and relaxed enough to digest it.

Katy says…

I finished 11th lady out of 46, placing 19th, 19th and 7th in each discipline respectively, total time 2:45:38. While this is a great result for me overall, and four minutes faster than my other Olympic-distance race, I can’t help being a bit disappointed with the bike leg. 

It seems crazy that I placed the same in the swim and bike elements, given that I am so new to swimming, and have done so much bike training. Something to work on I suppose, but it does make me worry about my strength for Alpe d’Huez, given that the bike part is so challenging.  

I also might have expected to run slightly faster, as my time was 2secs slower than in the previous race, and over 2.5mins slower than my 10K PB. It was really tough though, I’m sure I couldn't have gone any faster, but why?

That said, it was a brilliant day.  Such a fantastic event, thanks TriBristol!

From the coaches

We are so happy with Katy’s performance at the Bristol Tri. Yes, there are lessons to learn and modifications we can make to her programme going forward but overall her effort level was good, she remained focused and managed to overcome “dips” really well.

She is beginning to take control of her preparation, and needs less hand-holding going into the race, which is always empowering for any athlete. Her recovery has been good and she has been able to get back into full training after a few easier days.

This also shows improved strength and fitness, as well as getting the smaller, but important, pieces of the puzzle in place – such as reducing energy-sapping anxiety and honing her nutritional strategy. It means her body has been adapting, is becoming efficient, and more of her body (like her core) is working for her. 

Sign for Alpe d'Huez

This race should give Katy the confidence she needs going into the final block of training, and the race practice that is essential for easing worries going into your “A” race. We can ensure that any creases are ironed out well in advance of the big day. Well done Katy, we are proud of you!

(Images: Andrew James / Marathon Photos / iStockPhoto / Jonny Gawler)

Katy will be racing the Alpe d’Huez Long Course Triathlon on 31July. We’ll be carrying her race report right here on the 220 website shortly afterwards – watch this space!


Daily deals from top retailers

We'd love you to add a comment! Please login or take half a minute to register as a free member

Back to the top