For the first time in almost 2 years Shane found himself on the start line of a triathlon. Despite a hectic weekend, a night’s sleep in the van at the race venue and some last-minute jitters, Shane managed to win his age group at the Cotswold Triathlon. We caught up with Shane to see how it went...

Preparation is key

“Proper preparation prevents poor performance”, or so they say. I didn’t have the best preparation really! I had been in North Wales at several speaking engagements that didn’t finish until late. I had to travel nearly 3 hours to the Cotswolds and slept in the back of my van after arriving at about 2am! My alarm went at 6am, to my surprise I slept like a baby and felt quite fresh in the morning!! I’m following the keto diet and with little time in the morning I had a Keto Pro Non Carb Shake.

What was it like being on the start line after so long?

I always get nervous at the start of the swim as this is my weakest discipline. Having not competed for nearly 2 years made it even more nerve wracking. As soon as I got into my stroke, I was fine. Swimming is an area I really need to work on to give myself a fighting chance and this event was no different as I was a bit disappointed with my time.

The Black Panther

After the swim it was time to hit the bike. Transition went smoothly and I was out onto the flat and fast bike course. I’ve raced Ironman Wales multiple times and train in the South Wales valleys, so a flat and fast course was something new to me! There was a slight head wind but as the route was only 12 miles long I was able to go flat out the whole way around. Despite needing to stop at the occasional traffic light I managed to keep an average speed of nearly 24mph which is good for me! It was my first time racing a triathlon on the black panther, keep an eye out for it at races in the near future!  

After the bike it was time to find my running legs - they were last seen on the tough Mumbles Centurion route!

The run course was a flat and fast loop around the lake. I only had two competitors pass me which I was happy with as I’m used to seeing a long line of runners pass me on running events!! I had a nice little battle on the last lap with a few good runners but managed to reserve a little for a sprint finish!!

After the race it was back to the van. I had to drive back to South Wales to pick my brother up who had taken part in the Velindre Cancer Charity Cycle for Matthew J Watkins who unfortunately passed away with cancer.

Looking ahead

This year I have Carten coming up which is a ride I have never done before. I also have London Marathon in my sights for October. In 2022 I have several charity rides with Velindre in Majorca and Grand Canyon, USA. I’m looking forward to doing some local sprint and Olympic triathlons but the big race for me is Ironman Wales. This is my favourite event of the year and something I aim all my training towards.

“Tri” a Triathlon? 

Triathlon is sport for everyone. My advice if you’re thinking of giving one a go is to start small and slow. Super sprint and sprint triathlons are great distances to start. You don’t have to be a pro, in fact you only have to be able to swim, ride a bike and put one foot in front of the other to finish an event. It gives you such feeling of accomplishment to cross the finish line and makes you feel like you can do anything! Most importantly, make sure you smile the whole way around too.

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