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Written by stephen

Silver steel English Cycles speed machine and I heading to Weymouth.

Tri Activ Kids with Bella

Tri Activ Kids with Bella

Charlie is back to school today so I have some time to sit and do a blog:)

We all had a lovely summer break from school, with a UK trip then Switzerland and now back to Sands Beach in Lanzarote. We are gearing up for the new season with the Tri Activ kids, sessions start next week:)

I have been getting fitter since Long Course Weekend Tenby, which was I think 8 weeks ago now. This weekend is Challenge Weymouth it will be my first proper race since having pneumonia in March, so while I am feeling fit and ready and am for sure apprehensive about my form. I will just do my best and be glad to be healthy and able to push my self to my limits on Sunday.

I am really looking forward to the race, it is a great venue and course and this year has the added attraction of being the European Long Distance Championships, I have 3 bronze medals from this in the past years so would love to add another medal to that collection.

I would like to add a thanks to lots of people, sponsors, friends and family who have been very supportive throught this year which has obviously not included much racing so far!

I am sure I ill forget some, but thank you, Sands Beach and all staff, tri sutto, Bella x, Wings Transport, Swim Cycle Run, On running, English Cycles, all the athletes and friends I have bumped into here in the UK, Sands Beach Lanzarote and in Switzerland. And mum and dad x.

Update on my progress and my disappointment at the state of drug testing in sport

Swim NutrCross

Hi reader:)

I am currently sitting here at my computer with a throat infection and taking antibiotics to get healthy again. After being out of action for the whole of March with pneumonia and having an enormous amount of antibiotics to get me healthy again.  I am not exactly happy to be taking more antibiotics!!

I was starting to get a little bit fit, I was swimming well and starting to bike ok, and was starting to do a few decent runs.

I will be back training properly soon, but I really need everyday at the moment if I want to be in anyway competitive at IMUK in about 1months time!

As a professional triathlete I want to be competing to win, and the only way this is possible for me is to be training extremely hard for many many weeks. So it is a little frustrating to keep getting knocked down, but I will be getting back up:) And I will be back to my best at some point this year.

What is also frustrating me at the moment is the rumour apon rumour of drug cheats in sport in general. After the panorama program recently showed, it is far too easy to get away with doping!! It is so sad that in sport now, can you believe in the amazing results that athletes are doing?

As entertainment, I don’t know if it really matters. So do the governing bodies really care?

But for all the clean athletes out there trying to earn a living or just achieve their personal goals, they are being completely and utterly cheated by these athletes, but also by the sports governing bodies. It really seems like they are not interested in catching the drug takers! The testing is just a joke, when it is so easy to get away with it. And the punishment is so small if they do get caught, when they come back, they seem to get sponsors no problem. Justin Gatlin for instance is probably on the best contract of his life with Nike!! Same in triathlon with Lisa Huthaller, she seems to have plenty of sponsors willing to give her money and stick their name on her kit, unbelievable to me!

Ironman could be doing something and making a real stand, say if you are a convicted drug cheat, you can’t race in an Ironman event, why would they welcome these athletes to their races? Say go somewhere else, in Ironman we are making a stand and we are going to introduce the most strict and radical testing of any sport. Along the lines of www.cleanprotocol.org .

Why would they not do this?

Make our sport an example to all other sports out there, that Ironman is about health and well being and fair sport?

Do you think this will happen?

 

On a lighter note:)

I am looking forward to going to the www.Longcourseweekend.com the first weekend of July in Pembrokeshire.  Looks like a fantastic event, come and say hi if I see you there:)  It will be some much needed training for me:)

The beginning of 2015

Lanzarote International Duathlon.  Thanks James Mitchell for the photo.

Lanzarote International Duathlon. Thanks James Mitchell for the photo.

Since my last blog, I have been training hard at Sands Beach Resort in Lanzarote, as normal.  Charlie is getting bigger and enjoying playing with friends and generally having fun.  Bella is vey busy coaching all her athletes.  The Tri Activ kids are doing great and improving all the time.  With some brilliant performances from them at the first triathlon and aquathons of the year.  Although some are winning these races, what I really enjoying seeing is the ones that aren’t winning but are just doing thier best each session and race and are improving dramatically each time.  Well done all of Tri Activ for the great start to 2015.

I have been doing well, I was very happy with start of 2015 with some encouraging performances in the Lanzarote International duathlon 3rd, then 2nd at the Nutri Cross off road triathlon and 2nd at the Timanfaya sprint triathlon, in strong fields and I felt my fitness was better than last year and that I was improving each month.

Nutri Cross triathlon 2015.  Thanks James Mitchell for the photo.

Nutri Cross triathlon 2015. Thanks James Mitchell for the photo.

Unfortunately the last few weeks I have taken a bit of a knock,  infact, knocked right out.  I managed to get pneumonia!!  Don’t know how or why I caught this,  I have been pushing hard in training, but just like normal,  maybe my immune system was weak, who knows, but the outcome was, 12days in hospital, actually unable to get out of bed, and now 2 more weeks rest at home with antibiotics, maybe then I can start to do some very easy training.

So the outcome for me, is a change of immediate race plans, I will have to focus on some races in the summer rather than my original plan of racing some bigger races very soon.  So a little frustrating, but really not the end of the world and just a slight change of race plans.

I am trying to enjoy a break, but it is hard, when I want to be training hard to try to achieve my goals for 2015.

My very small setback really does get put into perspective when , while in hospital, I read about poor Edith and Linda  Who got hit by a bus in South Africa, and then the awful news that Linda past away.  Our thoughts are with Edith and all Linda’s family and friends.  Also Amy Marsh who is fighting Cancer at the moment and we are sending her all our best thoughts too.  I know both have a way of donating to help with there medical costs, if you can, please contribute.

Edith :

http://www.retedeldono.it/iniziative/a.s.d.-triathlon-pavese/marco.novelli/aiutiamo-edith-e-linda

Amy:

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/amy-marsh-s-cancer-care-fund/287588?utm_source=widget

Since Ironman Switzerland

A short while after Ironman Switzerland, Bella, Charlie and I traveled back to Sands Beach Resort in Lanzarote.  Charlie is now doing the morning at school, Bella is coaching all the Tri Activ Lanzarote kids and adults, plus all her online athletes.  I am training well.  I had a small set back pre Challenge Weymouth with a strained tendon in my knee.  But it managed to sort itself out for race day and I was happy enough to come away with 3rd place behind a very strong Joe Skipper and Joel Jameson in 2nd.  After ansummer with illness then my knee, I was happy to come away with some decent prize money.

Photo curtesy of Francisco Cáceres Ferrer

Photo curtesy of Francisco Cáceres Ferrer

 

 

My next race will be Ocean Lava here in Lanzarote, this year it will be 3km, 120km, 30km.  And looks to be a great course as always on Lanzarote.  After that I have a big goal of a great race at Ironman Cozumel.

Last weekend I did a small Aquathon here in Lanzarote, the Aquahonda,  I managed to win, with Brad Ibrahim in 2nd and Bella’s other young athlete Georgia who at 14 won the womens event.

Credit:  James Mitchell

Credit: James Mitchell

This weekend is the 2.6km swim race from Lanzarote to La Graciosa, I just watched last year and am really looking forward to this great event tomorrow:)

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The start of Last years La Graciosa swim.

Training in Leysin

I have just raced Ironman Switzerland.  It didn’t quite go to plan.  I knew going into the race that I wasn’t 100%  but I felt fine on the morning of the race and I had a good swim, coming out in the lead and a good bike ride, coming off in 3rd place and just 8mins down on the leader, which I would consider a perfect position to try to win the race.  However I just couldn’t seem to run.  Wether it was from not being quite right health wise or just getting things wrong, I am not completely sure.

 

The outcome however is I will now not try to accumulate more points towards qualifying for Hawaii, and will focus on earning some prize money at some other races.

 

I will see how training goes the next couple of weeks and then decided what races will be next.

 

photo-69

Doing some training with Brad Ibrahim the last 4weeks has been great.  He had a really good first international race at the sprint event at Ironman Zurich coming 4th on his trusty 120euro trek, some of the other Juniors had bikes that looked like they cost at least 10x that!!  It’s the engine that matters!

Brad running fast at 5150 sprint in Zurich.

Brad running fast at 5150 sprint in Zurich.

Running in the sunshine in Leysin.  We have however had alot of rain, we are all looking forward to less rain and more sunshine when we get back to Sands Beach in Lanzarote.

Running in the sunshine in Leysin. We have however had alot of rain, we are all looking forward to less rain and more sunshine when we get back to Sands Beach in Lanzarote.

Doing some good swim training with Brad in the Leysin pool.

Doing some good swim training with Brad in the Leysin pool.

Brad pre race looking serious.

Brad pre race looking serious.

Volcano triathlon 2014

Credit:  James Mitchell

Credit: James Mitchell

On Sunday I raced in the Volcano triathlon, I have done this race many times before.  It is an Olympic distance non drafting race. It is a perfect warm up for IM Lanzarote,  many of the competitors will do both these races.

This time I am actually preparing for IM Texas which is on the same day as IM Lanzarote.  But it is also great to get this race in my legs in preparation for that race too.

As always it was a very well organised event.  I had a good swim and came onto the bike with Rasmus Patreaus.  But onto the bike I was not going as I would like, and got passed by Romain Guillame and Bert Jammer, who both put time into me.  Then onto the run in 3rd, I felt worse than I did on the bike!  I got passed by another athlete and finished in 4th.

But that it is how it goes sometimes,  we don’t always feel great, but it was still great training to push on the best I could.  I wore my Tri Cozumel kit with pride and did the best I could in the race.

I am leaving soon, for Cozumel for the Taste of Cozumel event, which is going to be great, I am really looking forward to the whole weekend.  It is the first of the new DOVE races and it will be great to see lots of friends and support this excellent project that is really going from strength to strength over in Cozumel.

Thank you to Sands Beach resort for there support and also many of the Tri Activ team out supporting or racing, it was great to see lots of them.

Tri Activ Kids with Bella

Tri Activ Kids with Bella

In the afternoon after the race, we had the Tri Activ kids session, and it is so great to see how they are all improving and enjoying doing swim, bike and run.  Well done kids, I love seeing you all doing your best in every session.  Keep up the good work!

 

Ironman Los Cabos

Thank you Marianne Espinoza for the photo.

Thank you Marianne Espinoza for the photo.

Yesterday I raced Ironman Los Cabos. My first Iron distance race of 2014, It has been a long time, for me, since my last Iron distance race which was Challenge Henley in September. After that race I had a long break and started training properly again just before Christmas.

I felt some pressure coming into this race. In this sport of professional Long distance triathlon. Ironman is the main brand. But the prize money on offer at this race payed to 8th. And I want to make a living at this sport so I have to finish high, to earn some decent money. It is also a long way to come to not perform well.

I am aiming at being better than I have been before with my performance this year, I am not sure I am there yet. But yesterday was a good start.

I am trying to collect points for Hawaii, but practically I need to get the prize money more than points.

The race went fairly smoothly, I managed to get a gap in the swim and had a 2min gap to the next out of the water. I decided not to push hard on the bike and the front group caught me after a while and I stayed with this group for the rest of the ride, Jan Van Berkel managed to get away and had 3mins at the end of the bike.

Onto the run and I felt ok, but struggled to keep the pace of Fontana. But I also managed to keep the gap to a reasonable amount, then at half way I started being sick, which wasn’t a big problem, but I then lost energy and needed to regroup and get more calories in, so the gap opened and I lost 2nd place too. But at the start of the last lap I started to get some energy back and re took 2nd place but unless Fontana started to walk I wasn’t going to catch him.

All in all it was a good start to my Ironman campaign for 2014.

I am really looking forward to getting back to Bella and Charlie now.

I want to thank Tri Cozumel for giving me the opportunity to race for the team, there support and belief in me is very important, thank you!

Also I want to thank Sands Beach Resort for there support the last 2 years. Without there support it would also be very difficult to be racing as a professional triathlete.

Thank you ON running, for the best shoes out there.

Bike and nutrition sponsor and others still needed:)

The beginning of this year has been really fun and demanding in equal measure

Tri activ swim trainingBella, Charlie and I arrived back to Sands Beach on New years eve, after a great Christmas in Scotland and then London seeing family. I have been pushing myself hard with some good solid training and am feeling happy with how I am progressing.

Bella is busy with coaching, among others she is coaching Dani and Michi Herlbauer, an Austria couple who are very nice and have the potential to be very good. They have been here for a while and the last weeks here at Sands Beach we have also had a 4 strong group of Austrian Junior athletes; Hannah, Laura, Stefan and Sebastian . They are coached By Dani. Dani let Bella take over for a couple of weeks. We have done some great training together and it has been great seeing their determination and their joy of training for triathlon. I can see that all 4 of them have the potential to be very good athletes if they want to be.Austrian kids

Dani and Michi are here more long term and are really dedicated and lovely people, it is a pleasure to have them around and to help them achieve there triathlon goals.

One of my favourite things of each week is helping Bella, if I can, with the Tri Active kids sessions on a Saturday and a Monday, the kids are all great and are really trying hard and getting better and better all the time with Bella’s guidance. Just last week they all competed in their first triathlon, it was in Playa Blanca, it was great to watch them all, everyone of them did so well, it was fantastic just watching them all do their very best on what was a tough day with a bit of cold, wet and windy weather.

Stephen la GraciosaThis last weekend I raced in the Desafio on La Graciosa. I came 3rd in the tri cross on Saturday and 3rd in the trail run on Sunday. It was a really great way to see such a beautiful island and also a great way to get some good training in.

I am looking forward to having the 2 Johns from Ireland here next week and helping them with some good training for a week here at Sands Beach.

Then soon after I will be heading off to Mexico for 70.3Monterrey and then 2 weeks later Ironman Los Cabos, in between the 2 races I will be staying in Cozumel with the rest of the Tri Cozumel team. I am planning to arrive in great shape and do the best job I can in the both races.

So lots going on here at Sands Beach, loads of athletes coming and enjoying the great facilities and great location here in Costa Tequise. I can certainly say I have everything I need to be the best I can be.

– See more at: http://www.activelanzarote.com/beginning-year-really-fun-demanding-equal-measure/#sthash.DclDXa7l.dpuf

2014 news, partners, race plans and DOVE. Blog by Stephen.

dove8865851751_8520f7c601_bHappy new year for 2014.

Since the announcement that Brett was leaving Team TBB and so Bella and I also deciding to leave. I have been working on getting together some good strong partnerships for 2014. I have some great Companies with great products sponsoring me for this year, but I am still looking for some more partners, specifically a bike sponsor. So please get in touch if you are interested in working with Bella and I.

In terms of races for 2014, I will be racing for Tri Cozumel, but will still be based at the fantastic Sands Beach Resort in Lanzarote, they are such an important supporter to Bella and I and I am very happy to be helping with the new www.triactivlanzarote.com team that Bella is the coach of and is based here at Sands Beach Resort www.activelanzarote.com.

In terms of races; I will be starting the year with 70.3 Monterrey and 2 weeks later IM Los Cabos on 30th March. I will then see where I stand re Hawaii points and see what races I might need to do then.

But I will say that I have a renewed strength and motivation after my long break at the end of 2013, and I believe I will be in very good shape for a great race in Hawaii in 2014. I also am very fortunate to have people that believe in me and this goal; my family, Brett and my growing sponsorship partners.

If you want to join me on this journey then please get in touch.

The sport of triathlon is not an easy one to be a professional athlete in, Bella and I have made it work over the years and have enjoyed our time doing what we love, but for the future of triathlon, to try to make it a proper professional sport so it can really be an option for a career for people and also to make it more of an athlete based sport for all and not just a profit making exercise, please take a look here the DOVE project :http://theironcouple.com/dove/ project. Read more also on www.trisutto.com.

If you are interested in supporting me or just the DOVE project but aren’t a big company(or if you are) then consider joining the DOVE movement and help triathlon as a whole.

All the best to you for a successful and happy 2014
Stephen

220 Triathlon Magazine

220 Triathlon Magazine Interview

220 magazine have always been great supporters of both Bella and Stephen throughout their careers.

At the end of 2012 they did a really nice interview with both of them for the magazine. Bella and Stephen both feel it tells a good overview of their careers and a little of their lives in the world of triathlon and the demands of training and looking after their son Charlie

220 Triathlon Magazine Interview