It's been a wild rollercoaster of a journey since I took my first strokes as a new and shockingly bad triathlete. From struggling to complete an overwhelming, at the time, 50 meters to conquering 4km swims in Sealanes pool, my progress has been both unfathomable and inspiring to me. Below is a quick write-up for me to share the latest updates, highlighting the tough bits, wins, and unwavering support that's propelled me forward.
My path hasn't been without its (massive) share of challenges. Alongside the thrill of progress, there have been moments of pretty intense knee pain that have slowed my biking and running training to an almost halt. But, despite setbacks, I recently celebrated a personal best at a park run, slashing seconds off my previous record after not running for 3 weeks. It was a small reminder that sometimes you just have to listen to your body and wait it out, for the best.
From Trepidation to Triumph in the Water:
Looking back on my quite frankly hilarious beginnings as a swimmer (there are videos to prove this sadly), I can hardly believe the leaps I've taken. The sea that once seemed daunting has become a giant playground. With each stroke, I've pushed myself further, from gasping after 50 meters to enjoyably gliding through 2000m warm-ups and 4km sessions in the pool. The confidence has truly come from the support of the community as well as the fantastic products of ZONE3; knowing that I can get in the sea with my Aspire Wetsuit on and be toasty warm, as well as buoyant if I get tired, is a huge mental boost to each swim - allowing me to really progress with minimal days off due to lack of motivation or setback.
Something that I have really enjoyed finding out is that Triathlon isn't just a solitary pursuit – it's a vibrant community that's as welcoming as it is inspiring. Whether it's the camaraderie of other triathletes in the pool or local club or the shared wisdom of experienced athletes on socials, I've found a sense of belonging that has nurtured my growth beyond what I thought myself capable of. It's definitely been an eye-opener, and I would highly recommend that if you are getting stuck into your first triathlon, truly immerse yourself in the scene, no matter how daunting it is - as I promise you won't find a nicer bunch of people within each discipline.
Beyond the Laps: Learning and Growing:
I admit that I spend a lot of time on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram Reels each day. Originally I would be looking at utter rubbish in the news, funny videos, or sharing inappropriate memes - However, there is a whole world of incredible info out there to help with your swimming, running and cycling if you really tap into it and nurture your feed to become not a distraction but a proactive and somewhat communal coaching platform. It has made a huge difference to my time spent resting, where I can be thinking and digesting new info, new techniques, or comparing my stroke/catch/kick etc. to someone who has been doing it for years. Every video, tip, and technique I've absorbed has contributed to my journey's evolution.
Equipped for Success: My ZONE3 Aspire Wetsuit:
While the journey is personal, having the right gear has played a truly pivotal role. I literally couldn't have done this without my ZONE3 Aspire Wetsuit, it has been a game-changer. It's kept me warm, motivated, and comfortable, even on the chilliest days in the Brighton Sea. The right equipment isn't just a tool; it's a source of confidence - and on the days I wouldn't have gone in wearing Jammers, trunks, or a lesser quality wetsuit, I found myself braving the elements with complete confidence - allowing me to get the sessions done that others may not have!
Countdown to Tri: The Event Beckons:
As I write this, there are 9 days until the event - that’s 216 hours until I am done, and only 13,000 seconds until it all comes down to be tested. Although it has snuck up on me, I have every confidence that the event will be amazing - I will simply be racing myself (and Noosh’s splits, but she doesn't know this yet) in an effort to compare what I was capable of at the beginning of this journey, until now, and maybe even beyond! Any advice on what a 70.3 is like? Asking for a friend…
Gratitude in Every Stroke:
Acknowledging the journey wouldn't be complete without recognizing the pillars of support. Noosh, my girlfriend and my best friend has been my constant cheerleader, offering unwavering support and encouragement through every ebb and flow. Her belief in me has been an anchor, and the patience she’s shown when helping me fight the water in my first swim, to now pacing me in the pool for efforts, is something I will always be so grateful to her for. A huge shoutout goes to the guys at ZONE3 too, who have been on hand to help with products, support, technique comments and even homemade tutorial VIDEOS - a brand that is really in another class compared to anyone else!
Closing the Chapter, Continuing the Journey:
To round off this update as I come into the final few days of prep for the event, it’s nice to look back on a journey of pure growth, happiness, good memories, and self-discovery as I’ve gone from 1000m per week in a pool to a staggering 12km per week alongside riding and running. I would 100% advise anyone who is even contemplating taking on the challenge to do it - whether it’s a sprint, ironman, or just a personal goal to swim, bike and run. You genuinely won't regret it.