Sunday, 6 September 2015

My Weekend Training with GB Olympic Triathlete Helen Jenkins

Another 5 days later post Bewl and I'm driving to Wales with a bike, wetsuit and training gear squashed into the back of my small Peugeot 107. Ready to embark on a training weekend with Helen Jenkins and her coach and husband; Marc. This was run by Science in Sport, the competition was from Triathlon 220 and I was one of 5 lucky winners.

The weekend was fantastic, Friday night was a Meet and Greet with the other lucky winners, SIS  representative  Emma, Helen and her husband/coach an also IC triathlete Mark. Helen brought Welsh cakes which were very tasty and we were all supplied with a SIS endurance pack to help us over the weekend.  

We discussed the weekend. I was a bit worried we wouldnt be doing much training but I quickly released I was wrong. The schedule went as followed;

8am- Park Run
11am - Bike Ride
3pm - Core exercises and stretching,
5pm - Sea Swim

6am - Sea Swim
9am - Bike Ride
10:30am - Brick Run
12pm - Q and As

Saturday morning was the Porthcawl 5k, we had a warm up with Helen then headed to the start line. It was busy around 200 competitors but a beautiful course along the sea front. Helen was off and I had no chance of catching, she got a course record of 16:40!! Unbelievable, I was happy with a sub 20 of 19:50.

The happy finishers...


A quick jog back and breakfast altogether (a full welsh breakfast).  We were off on a 3 hour bike. 47 miles with a lovely challenging Welsh Bryn,this was a good long climb and part of the route was from the famous Dragon Ride. Helens friend Darren Pedal Cover Insurance owner and road champion also joined us. Plus we had our own escort, Mark in the van incase we had any mechanicals or needed some assistance! Riding with Helen was great and I picked up lots of tips, I was admiring her Liv bike! She made all the hills look so easy.

Upon returning, we relaxed in the sun, learnt some stretching and important core exercises from Helen to prevent injury.

We then headed out for a sea swim. Mark and his friend were with us on surf boards. Having never open water swum in the sea, I found it pretty tricky. The sea tastes horrible and the waves are off putting. Mark was very helpful helping me sort out my breathing and giving me tips, while the speedier swimmers stuck with Helen. I made the swim to the other beach but was lucky to head back on the back of Marc's surf board, great fun! The sea was a warming 18  degrees. This was followed by dinner with the Jenkins, where we were chatting about the day.


Gotta eat like a champion to be a champion!

Sunday morning 6 am and I'm peeling on a wet wetsuit. This isn't pleasant. We headed down to the beach for a pre breaky swim, meeting Helen, Mark and his very helpful friend at the beach. Some buoys had been set up for a circuit.

 I have to enter the water?


Mark coached me for the first half and I was surprised how much better I was. We finished with a race running in and out the water, this was tough on the legs! Must be good strengthening for the quads. After this session we were all starving and headed back to the hotel all together for breakfast.


Can we have breakfast now?

We then headed off for an hour's bike, a more relaxed affair and a brick run after. The brick was along the sea front and we kept going as long as we wanted. At an easy pace, I chatted with Helen for a beautiful 10k along the coast. Feeling incredibly lucky to be running alongside a such an inspiring athlete. So as we discussed life and training I was picking up as many tips as I could!


All showered and packed we finished the weekend with a chat, questions and answers in the sun. The sun had been shining all weekend in Wales which is a variety! I didnt want to leave as we said our goodbyes, having met such lovely people over the weekend and enjoying the taste of an Athletes life! Train, eat, train eat, rest..



Helen and Mark were two genuine people, kind, helpful and good fun! Emma from SIS was fantastic too. An inspirational lady with a few ironmans under her belt and no pushing of the brand just helpful nutritional tips throughout the weekend.  Thank you all for such a great weekend! I hope they have another weekend next year I can join!


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