Gearing up for 2012!

So 12 days in Lanzarote and I feel ready for whatever 2012 may bring.

It’s amazing what a bit of sun can do for you! I had an absolutely amazing time training at Trisports Lanzarote and we were completely and utterly spoilt out there – though I think Debs still doesn’t quite believe how much food (and fruit in particular!) we got through! I can’t wait to go back there when their pool is finished. The weather was perfect and it was great to get lots of miles in on the bike without worrying about ice and numb fingers.

Eimear and I have a pretty similar philosophy to training which made for some fun, if occasionally challenging, sessions. Firstly we both absolutely love it and will always verge on the side of extending a ride or run rather than cutting it short! And secondly we’re not afraid of a bit of healthy competition; as we’re both at a pretty similar level I think we both gained by training with each other each day and pretty much every session was fun – particular some ridiculous hill reps on the bike on day 2.

Liam put up with 3 girls remarkably well and The ‘Liam Dolan’ train was a welcome break from the strong winds! Out of all of us I think he is by far the most professional about his training. And I definitely learnt loads from Tam about how proper athletes train and recover!

All in all it was a great start to 2012’s get faster campaign – I just wish it was a week longer. However Debs and Dabs have kindly invited us back whenever we want so I’ll definitely take them up on their offer in the not too distant future! Anyone who wants to come with me let me know….

Other than training hard, I’ve been lucky to secure some amazing sponsorship recently, which gives me even more motivation to train cleverly this winter. Firstly I’m really excited to have linked up with Saucony for 2012. I’ve been using their running shoes to race and train in since I bought my first pair many years ago, so was over the moon when they offered me an exceptionally generous kit sponsorship package. I just hope I can run as well this year as I did last to do their shoes justice!

Secondly I no longer have to cart my bike around the world in a broken bike box with no wheels. Scionbags have kindly given me one of their top of the range bags and I’ve quite honestly never seen a bike box like it. All I have to do to put my bike in the bag is undo the headset to twist the tri bars down and it’s ready to go. You don’t even have to take the pedals or seat post off. Packing to go away is now a whole lot easier!

I’m also very grateful to Spiuk for their light snazzy training and racing helmets which I can’t wait to test out. The only downside is that I now have no excuse to keep the mini mouse ears on my old helmet. Sad but it is probably time I grew out of them!

So what with High 5 nutrition, Compressport, Meridian foods, Bloc sunnies and 9 bar I’m pretty much ready to go. There’s just the small matter of a bike! I had serious bike envy in Lanza and though my battered loyal steed just about held itself together for the trip there is no doubt it is on its last legs! And challenge Fuerteventura isn’t too far away…..

In terms of sponsors, I’m extremely grateful to Aimee Minahan from AJ tri ( who has been working incredibly hard on my behalf to develop relationships with my favourite brands. I wouldn’t have known where to start so thank-you!

So it’s now back to reality for a while – time to get stuck into my PhD, suck up the cold and rain and train like I used to in the winter. But I’ve definitely got my race mojo back – bring on race time!

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