Brad began his journey to slay to Welsh Dragon back in January.
Brad came from a weightlifting/gym based exercise background with sprinting and football as his only cardio from a younger age, to then deciding he was doing an Ironman. He had to change his whole approach to how he trained, but like most people starting out had no idea what to do.
Fortunately and with good sense, he asked us for help. As Animis coach Hallam University Triathlon Club, it made sense, as he would see us weekly and made him much more accountable.
With weekly check-ins/updates to the training programme and having Animis only a text away it put Brad at ease straight away.
Brad had never really had a coach or a programme to follow before but any worries were quickly put to rest and we began a 9 month process of teaching him to swim properly, ride a bike efficiently and run further than 400 metres.
Fast forward 9 months of structured training and the weekend was here, the plan was set in place, rack the bike and relax getting an early night for the early start on race morning.
The morning of the race Brad felt great despite obvious nerves and felt like the taper (of less than a week) down was perfect.
Walking to the swim start he kept calm and going through the days approach in my head, cruise the swim, a nice run into town, jump on the bike, keep a steady cadence on the flats and a lower cadence on the climbs trying to keep the heart rate/breathing under control.
The gun went off and Brad cruised around the swim keeping out of the pack so he could focus on his own swimming in around an hour, arm dominant, place press push making his swimming go whoosh.
A steady run up to transition through town and onto the bike felt good! Brad was surprised how well he felt during the bike leg, and the 180km seemed to fly by. Brad now 100% understood how/why the sessions were planned as they were with Wales being alot small burst efforts with some longer stuff thrown in occasionally. Brad knew his legs had got stronger but i didnt realise just how much!
Coming off the bike Brad felt great, the legs were there, felt good, and began the hilly run. Brad has always struggled to run on the flats, nevermind hills so we had a 8 minute run 1 minute walk plan, the plan was going great until Brad’s feet decided now was a good time to get blisters on both arches making running painful.
But knowing he was close he didnt give up! We messaged Brad’s friend Joe who travelled with him and every lap relayed messages to him so he could adapt and do what he needed to do. Support during races is as important as support during training. Brad’s feet got the better of him but he touched it out, finishing in a time of 15:29.
Brad says “I honestly couldnt of done it without the help and guidance from Ollie, right through from January to the evening of the race he was keeping an eye on me making sure everything was going to plan and now i feel the fittest ive ever been.”
Well done Brad. You have done us proud.