As we set our 2019 Big Hairy Audacious Goals, we caught up with Team Vitfor riders on their highlights and successes of 2018. It’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate and recognise this awesome team of competitors who are riding and training the Vitfor way, #ForTheWin
Amy started her 2018 as reigning British National XCM Champion having experienced a rapid rise to the top flight of her sport but recovering from a severe injury. Having been cycling again for only four months after breaking a leg, she represented Team GB elites in the UCI Mountain Bike Marathon European Championships
Amy was truly giddy about the company she was keeping, “I stood on the start line alongside legends such as Maja Włoszczowska, former World and European champion; Christina Kollman-Forster, former European champion and this year’s vice World Champion; and the incredible Gunn-Rita Dahle, the queen of MTB, with 19 Olympic, World and European gold medals (total legend). In never imagined that, after only competing in 10 XCM races before, I could be there!”
Amy also set about testing her strength and stamina in 2018 with a top 10 finish in the UCI Mountain Bike Ultra Marathon European Championships – a gruelling 213km and 6,200m of climbing and by taking on a challenging, and somewhat quirky, charity tandem Ride Across South America (Rasa Ride).
We’re delighted to have Amy on board with the team for 2019 when she is setting her sights on the racing the World Championships.
A Sports Massage Therapist by trade, Corinne put in an excellent year in triathlon and endurance running for Team Vitfor. Her best result was in the Wales Ironman where she won her age group and was the first non-pro female over the line, qualifying for the 2019 World Championships in the process.
Corinne loves to compete and has had success in many local triathlon and distance running events. Perhaps most impressive was her Ultra X Triathlon when she won the women’s race and came third overall.
Starting 2019 with an overall win in an Ultra off-road run in January, Corinne has set her training program to peak for this year’s Kona Ironman World Championships in October 2019 when she hopes to be on the podium and is racing the Ironman Lanzarote in preparation for the big event.
Pete’s biggest challenge in 2018 wasn’t to be found on the bike – it was in entering the world of parenthood and the lack of sleep that goes with it! We’re hoping to get baby Pete in Vitfor team kit very soon!
In the meantime though, as a Team Vitfor rider, focusing on his road racing, Pete had a solid year and achieving a sub-50 minute 25 mile TT (49:58) was his highlight. He also won his local club league with 9 out of 9 wins and two course records.
2019 will all be about setting new records when he’s hoping to go sub 19 minutes for a 10 mile TT and sub 49 minutes for the 25 mile distance.
#FTW TRAINING TIP
Vitfor Performance Director, Craig Stevenson, delves into what it takes to improve your time when you’re already a fast rider:
“Training to improve your riding time isn’t just about going out and riding your bike. When it comes to minutes and seconds, the details really start to matter.
Much more attention is required across the board as the details start to count and can be the difference between hitting a plateau or a PB. In this case, the first stage for Pete is to establish a solid benchmark. By this we don’t just mean looking at his previous PB but how that was achieved.
We’ll be looking at three different aspects to his performance: technical, physiological and execution. By understanding the factors influencing each of these areas we can then establish where improvements can be made and therefore where his valuable training time and effort should be focused.
- Technical: this is all about the equipment choices – the bike and all its components such as tires, wheels, plus choice of clothing, such as helmets, overshoes and speed suits. They all need to be optimised to squeeze out the extra seconds. But most importantly, we’ll also be taking a look at his position in the saddle as this can have a huge effect on how fast he goes for a given effort, his CdA (how easily he moves through the air), rolling resistance and efficiency of his drive chain.
- Physiological: here, we’re looking at both what power he is currently capable of and how this is created with some lab based physiological profiling. This allows us to understand areas of Pete’s physical performance that can be improved and how to optimise everything training related, from his training zones, periodisation and phasing, to what intervals actually need to be done. By covering all areas related to this we can ensure he has the legs for what is required.
- Execution: there are two key elements here. The first is Pete’s execution of the day-to-day process of training and recovery leading up to the event and the second is on event day itself. For the day-to-day element, Pete will need to work on following his physiological development plan and leaving nothing to chance in regards to diet, sleep and recovery to maximise the quality of training. For the event itself, we’ll be working on ensuring he can get everything out on the course in the most efficient way possible with optimal pacing and fuelling.
Pete had a good 2018 and with solid training focus in 2019, I fully expect him to achieve his goal.”
As well as training and injury challenges, 2018 presented our team riders with a challenging year of weather and Andy experienced quite a battle in his win at the Newby Hall Half Ironman – Falcon Tri. He also placed 13th in the 40-44 age group at the Ironman UK.
As he starts 2019, Andy recognises the need to manage his diet as part of his overall training philosophy. “As I get older, I am investigating in a wholescale change to my diet and going high fat/low carb to shift my fat metabolism for longer events. We’ll see how I then compete in May at Ironman Santa Rosa.”
Sue is a true inspiration and proves that age doesn’t need to hinder when it comes to competing in even the toughest events. Sue ended the year as the Cyclo Cross Yorkshire Champion – vet 50. With nine races overall, she won 6, placed second in another and could even afford two DNFs due to mechanical problems!
Sue, and husband Andy, are advocates of Vitfor’s approach to training and saw significant improvements in their performances when they starting using Vitfor’s FTW online training program. At 60 years old, Sue is looking forwards to another year of tough competition and retaining her Yorkshire title in 2019.
With thanks to Colin Morley Photography for his photo of Amy Souter.