A big year ahead
2015 represents my 3rd year in the world of Triathlon, which I hope will by my most successful yet. The 1st year was about learning the ropes, starting small and gaining the skills I would need to go longer and harder. Last year, under sponsorship from Raleigh, I was able to enter double the events and travel further in order to hone abilities and experience different scenarios and courses. This encompassed events not only in the UK, but Spain and Taiwan. This year, my goals are twofold: to improve my swim time through technique and to improve my overall core fitness. These two combined should result in the overall goal of simply going quicker!
Training in Taiwan
The off-season could not have been more perfect for me. I head up our office in Taiwan, where the winter temperature has barely dipped under 15 degrees. The mountains (a short 5km ride from the office) offer superb climbs and challenging segments alongside high humidity. The cycling community in Taichung is also blossoming, with ex pro riders and current semi pro’s all joining my regular group, passing on tips and encouragement. With rides leaving the city every day, I am easily clocking up in excess of 250km per week with 2km of climbing throw in for good measure.
The same goes for the running conditions, although city running can be frustrating with so many traffic lights and lack of large open spaces. In the late season I was able to travel to Taitung on the east coast of Taiwan for the annual IM70.3, my first! The race was something I would encourage any who can make the journey to enter. 2km in an outdoor, purpose built pool (1km long!) and then 90km along the coast, the geography reminiscent of Hawaii. It finished with a half marathon up a small mountain just as the sun began to break. I finished in a rather respectable 7th in my age group (top 4 were professionals) and 61st overall.
Time to gear up for the new year
So, 2015 is here and my calendar is starting to fill. But firstly, the exciting bit, kit!
My training will continue on my excellent Ridley Fenix C10. Classed as an ‘endurance’ bike by the guys at the Belgium brand, it has been flawless and a pleasure to ride! The geometry allows for a more comfortable position, while the stiffness of the frame keeps it racy and nimble on the descents. A couple upgrades in the form of a Ritchey SuperLogic C260 stem, Syncros Carbon seatpost, Selle Italia Flight Carbon Saddle and some bulletproof Mavic Open Rims with Dura Ace hub wheels, have helped reduce the weight and increase the stiffness. It’s the all rounder that has bounced through endless pot holes, swerved wildlife and been hit by way would cyclists, all without issue.
Race bike for 2015: Felt B12
As for the race bike this season, I’m extremely excited to be back riding on a Felt, in the form of the 2015 B12. Having only raced aboard road bikes the past 2 seasons, this represents a step up for me and one that I am relishing.
Packed with fantastic features
- UHC Performance carbon fibre frame construction
- UHC Advanced carbon fiber bladed fork with alloy steerer
- Shimano Dura Ace 11 speed drivetrain
- Felt TTR3 wheelset
- Felt/Prologo finishing kit
Add to this a few choice changes in the wheel & saddle department, I’m hoping that I can shave off a few precious minutes on the bike legs this year.
2015 race calendar
The added bonus of working and living in Taiwan is not only the conditions, but the plethora of events once the season starts. The Challenge events, Ironman and Independent races offer a range of distances, conditions and locations which I hope to make the most of. Added to this,I hope to make the most of trips back to the UK to race some key events.
- Challenge 70.3 Taitung
- Sun Moon Lake Olympic Triathlon
- Sun Moon Lake Triathlon Series
- London Triathlon
- Hever Castle Olympic Triathlon
- Wiggle Portsmouth Triathlon
- Petersfield Sprint Triathlon
- Burnham on Sea Sprint Triathlon
- Waterlooville Triathlon
- Goodwood Duathlon
Words by Marty McKinlay – Triathlete/IM 70.3