Team Oxygenaddict athlete: Matt Wackett

Sub-11 in his debut Ironman at IMUK this year!

Not bad to say the least, well done Matt!

Matt was kind enough to talk to us about everything involved in getting him to the start (and finish) line, and how Team Oxygenaddict has helped him along the way.

Team Oxygenaddict athlete: David Waugh

David has been with Team Oxygenaddict since the start of 2016 – the beginning of his journey to become an Ironman!

The first major challenge for him on that journey was Long Course Weekend – hear his thoughts on how  being part of Team Oxygenaddict has helped his ability and confidence on his triathlon journey so far

Team Oxygenaddict athlete: Chris Scott

Chris became a Team Oxygenaddict member in early 2016.

Previously he’d trained for and completed a 70.3 distance triathlon but was looking to make the step up to Ironman.

Listen to Chris explain how team Oxygenaddict helped him achieve his first Ironman finish, and how he’s found the journey along the way

Team Oxygenaddict athlete: Shayne Wilson

We caught up with one of our Team Oxygenaddict athletes, Shayne Wilson to have a chat about his experiences this year of being part of the team.

Have a listen to what he has to say!

**UPDATE** since recording this video Shayne has had confirmation that he’s qualified to represent the GB Age Group triathlon team at the ETU championships in Dusseldorf in 2017. Congratulations Shayne!

Team Oxygenaddict athlete: Sybille Schorm

Sybille Schorm has been a member of the Team since early 2016. We caught up with her to chat about Ironman Copenhagen, and how she’s found the transition to structured, coach-supported training in team Oxygenaddict.

 

So, Sybille –  your big race of the year was IM Copenhagen – let’s jump straight into that… How did it go?

Racing in Copenhagen was a great experience. Any triathlete will tell you the “perfect race” doesn’t really exist, but given I hoped to finish in under 12 hours and my finish time was 11:08, I think it was a pretty good day. I was also really pleased with 13th in my age group so I had plenty to celebrate!

 

You’ve worked hard on your bike and we’ve seen you progress into a really strong biker this year – did your hard work pay off on race day?

I have to admit, I’m actually very proud of my bike performance. Once I’d recovered from the very cold swim and got into a rhythm on the bike I felt strong. I went past loads of guys on their fancy tri bikes (I was on my road bike with clip-on aero bars) and really enjoyed the lovely Danish countryside.

I completed the bike in 5:36. In retrospect it might have been a little too hard as the run was tougher than expected but no regrets because I had a lot of fun!

 

When we were chatting afterwards in the team Facebook group you said the “run:walk” strategy helped get you through the marathon?

Yes, definitely – that and the great support of many of my club mates who were at the race.  An old hamstring injury flared up on the run so taking Coach Rob’s advice of walking through aid stations to get plenty of fuel and give my legs the chance of some recovery was a lifesaver!

I finished the marathon in 4:07 so all things considered I don’t think I can really complain.

 

So you joined Team Oxygenaddict in early 2016 – what was your background and experience in triathlon prior to that?

Before I came to Triathlon 3 years ago, I was into running and also rowing, on and off for about 11 years. Mostly, I enjoyed running half marathons and marathons, taking part in big city races like Berlin, Vienna, Paris etc. I Loved it, but pure running can be hard on your body, especially when you get older, so I decided to learn how to front crawl and eventually got a bike and started commuting to work.

 

It sounds like there probably wasn’t much structure to your training back then?

Exactly – it actually makes me giggle, thinking back two years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. I would just cycle to work and back. At the weekend I pedalled around the Surrey hills, without a GPS, heart rate monitor or watch. I’d often get lost and had to ask other random cyclists for the way back to London!

People always looked at me strangely but were all really helpful and friendly and I always made it back in one piece.

 

So how and when did you start to take your training a little more seriously?

Someone suggested I joined a Tri club and I finally joined my Ful-on Tri two years ago. It’s great to have the option of training in a club – there is so much knowledge that helped me actually form a vaguely structured training plan!

However, the club mainly catered for shorter races and I ended up doing some quite random sessions tailored towards club events (usually sprint / Olympic distances).

Triathletes tackling longer events usually had a coach, but I found this option very expensive. It seemed you could easily find yourself spending hundreds of pounds per month for a tri coach and I just didn’t want to spend that much money.

 

It sounds like the timing of Team Oxygenaddict was perfect for you then!

Yes – when I heard Rob was launching Team Oxygenaddict and saw the price relative to 1:1 coaching I wanted to give it a go. I’d never had structured training before and I so I was interested to see how much of a difference it would make.

 

And how have you found it being a member?

Well I have a structured training plan built around my goals and specific races and we’ve got the group aspect which I really like too. Having access to a coach (Rob) in the Facebook group for random questions, coaching tips and advice on tweaking my training plan when something unforeseen crops up is great.

But not just Rob – the ability to chat to and get motivation from other team members is brilliant. There have been a few times I’ve posted my turbo training woes, and straight away team mates jump on it and give me exactly the support and motivation I need to bounce back!

Comparing what we have in the team with friends who have private coaches, it gives me everything I need and more – it works very well for me.

 

Having not really had a structured training plan before, has the training been what you expected?

It’s so much better than I was expecting, It’s a structured training from a coach who not only gives you sessions, but also outlines the purpose and idea behind them. As I had never had a coach before it took a bit of time to put my full trust and faith in Rob and his training philosophy, but now I’m glad I did!

 

Ha ha, yes – we’ve had quite a few discussions about the 9:1 run/walk philosophy this year haven’t we!

Indeed! I never thought I’d hear myself saying “I plan to walk in the IM run”. It took me a long time to take it on board and commit to it in training, but I came to the conclusion that an IM run is something completely different to a marathon on its own.

I’m still amazed how quickly you can recover from a long run done with 9 minutes running and 1 minute steady walking. At the end you are not that much slower AND you can be ready for the next day’s sessions.

But yes, eventually you convinced me that the 9:1 approach is very helpful in IM training. I’m glad you did – otherwise my memories of IM Copenhagen could have been a very different 🙂

 

Well we love having you in the team and we’re really happy to see how you’ve progressed this year.

Thanks! Being part of the team makes a massive difference. It’s a big motivation when things get hard and it’s great to know there is a team behind you wanting you to do well. It’s nice to have gotten to know the other guys and girls in the team this year too, it actually feels like a community now.

 

And finally what’s in store for next season?

I have to say, I’m enjoying my off season, but I feel I’ve learnt so much about how to train and what I’m capable of, that I’d like to race another IM next year. There are just too many nice races to choose from though! That said, I’ve learnt that my strengths are better suited to hilly races so that’s what I’ll probably be on the lookout for.

Athlete Stories – James England

I have been part of the team since launch date and have loved every aspect. I’ve really enjoyed watching it all evolve and am excited for what the future holds.

 

20160620_114347My Background:

Before joining the team I had completed 3 ironman triathlons with a PB of 12hr20. My journey started as a overweight 98kg couch potato. Triathlon has completely changed my life and I love it.

The Training:

Having my training all set out on TP for me makes everything so much easier. I just simply complete the sessions and trust Rob and the team. No more worrying if I’m doing enough/to much, if I’m pushing to hard or taking it to easy. All the info is there. I just follow the sessions. No stress or hassle and feel great from it.

It’s all too easy to skip a session if it’s just something you planned to do… when it’s prescribed it seems a lot harder to skip!

Results:

My big goal for the 2016 season was The Outlaw, and If I had the perfect day then going sub-11 hours there. In the end I missed the 11 hours mark by 6 minutes due to windier than expected conditions. But taking 75 minutes off by iron-distance PB in a year – it’s an understatement to say I’m pretty pleased!

Throughout the season I’ve seen a 20% increase in my bike FTP – century rides no longer having guaranteed ‘dark spots’ and my bike fitness is noticeably better.

Running – I have always been very mid pack but shocked myself by finishing top 5 at a 10k recently with a massive 6 min PB of 36:45. Which given there’s been no run training directly aimed at 10km or shorter distances – I’m very happy with!

I genuinely believe Team Oxygenaddict will considerably benefit anyone who joins, what ever level you are at. I can’t see how anyone in the team could not agree. It’s a great environment to be part of. Everyone helps each other where we can and Rob is always available when any questions pop up.

I can’t recommend highly enough.

Athlete Stories – Roger Knight

Roger is one of the founding Team Oxygenaddict members. He’s seen phenomenal improvements in all 3 disciplines over the course of 2016, culminating in what he described as “the perfect race” at his first iron-distance event – The Outlaw, crossing the line in 11:47. There aren’t many people that can say that about their first iron-distance event!

Over to Roger…

rog-outlawHaving decided to try a triathlon I managed to get into the first Brownlee Brothers event. I didn’t have a wet suit so I hired one for the day. I didn’t have bike shoes so I wore my running shoes (which meant a very quick transition!). However I jarred my knee getting off the bike as I was going quite quickly and didn’t realise the etiquette of getting off before the dismount line!

That knee injury put me out of running for over 12 months.

I eventually got back to running and cycling and booked myself into the 2015 Slateman tri. However getting nervous before the event and having not done enough training I switched to the sprint event which I duly did and enjoyed, followed by Chatsworth Tri and The Conway Sea Tri (all sprint distance).

I then got out of bed early on the morning of Ironman UK 2015 and went to watch the swim start. It was 6:00, it was raining very hard, but none of it seemed to matter to anyone. Later I bumped into Coach Rob where we had a brief chat about iron-distance events, and he mentioned that by planning far enough in advance anything is possible.

I went home and thought about it and promptly did nothing for 3 months! During that time a couple of running friends starting posting on Facebook that they had been for another run. And then another one, and then another one. Both ordinary people with jobs and children.

It dawned on me that I needed to find the time to do something and that I was wasting a lot of time doing nothing. So in October I booked Outlaw (iron-distance) 2016.

I had so many books on training and plans etc. I got confused as to where to start, but I followed one for a few months, and all was going OK. Then Outlaw offered a training peaks plan for ½ price so I thought this would cut through the crap and give me a focused plan for my event so I took it knowing it wouldn’t start until March or later on in 2016.

Bring on Team Oxygenaddict!

Only a couple of weeks after the Outlaw offer, Coach Rob persuaded me with “we are nicer” and so I joined.

What does OA bring that all my other attempts to train didn’t?

 

  • Community. I’ve been so impressed with the feedback from fellow team mates as well as Coach Rob – it’s made me want to do  well.
  • Easy to follow training plan. And if there was anything I didn’t fully understand (like some of the swimming terminology), the Oxygenaddict team helped me through – there were even free offers of swim help from some people!
  • Everyone in Team Oxygenaddict is on this journey together! I’ve had some dark times out for long hours on my own on the bike, but when I got back I logged onto our Facebook community to see what everyone else had been up to – which made me feel better!
  • Countless inspiring stories from team mates in our private Facebook group!
  • Great webinars for us team members – really effective and easy to understand.
  • Good feedback to questions raised in the group by other team members that help everyone
  • Plans built around my events – and all the help and support I needed to alter my plan where necessary, tapering etc.
  • Great results! This year I have got PB’s in Marathon, 5K and done my first 70.3 in the heat at Bala.

So I would recommend Team Oxygenaddict to anyone – especially if you’re worried about the loneliness of iron-distance training. I was warned but not fully prepared. Team Oxygenaddict gave me structure and support to get me to the start line of my first iron-distance race in the best shape possible.

The original training peaks plan had no life to it. It just turns up in my inbox and means nothing! Whilst I am sure it has a place, 140.6 needs a support mechanism in my opinion and being part of the team has done given me that…