Archive for NEWS

Race Letter – #51fiver Cotswold Standard Triathlon, 15th May 2022.

It’s fantastic to be back at Lake 32 in the Cotswold Water Park for the awesome #51fiver Cotswold Standard Triathlon on 15th May.

Please take the time to read your race letter in full HERE.

Your race video briefing will be sent to you next week and is compulsory to to watch. Please ensure you watch it before race day.

You can view your race number and details on the result page HERE (type your name in the search box at the top). Please check your details very carefully and email your Race Timer, only if there are any errors. Please note, this is very important as if you race with incorrect details (gender, category, club), you may be disqualified.

Please note there are no refunds, deferrals or transfers available now as the deadline has passed. Please do not email with requests on this as emails on this subject will not be responded to.

Start times have now been allocated to participants and cannot be changed.

Important race day information:

  • Please note we are using a different parking location this year. Please follow the DB Max Car Park Signs with the pink/orange arrows.
  • Please ensure you have cash for the car park. It is £5.
  • To get to transition please follow the signs. Please take care when walking to and from the car park and walk in single file as you will be walking along the road outside the venue itself.
  • Please ensure you have put your race numbers on your bike and helmet before arriving at transition.
  • Please also note that we will be offering two types of start in each wave. Firstly, there’ll be the traditional, in-water, mass start. Secondly, for those not comfortable with a mass start, we will offer individual starts, with competitors entering the water every few seconds. You do not need to decide which option until race day.
  • There is a new run course for 2022, please ensure you check out the route HERE.
  • Spectators are permitted. Please note this this does not give access to the Country Park and Beach end of the lake. If you wish to go in to this area you will need to pay the entry fee
  • Remember it is up to a 12 minute walk from the car park to transition.
  • Check the time transition opens for your wave and the time you need to be at the start.

That’s all for now. Good luck with your final race preparations and we look forward to seeing you at Lake 32 on Sunday 15th May for the #51fiver Cotswold Standard Triathlon.

 

Race Letter – Westonbirt House Easter Half and 10k

It’s time for the  Westonbirt House Easter 10k and Half Marathon! Good Friday, 15th April 2022 sees the us back at Westonbirt House for this awesome event.

Please click and read the race letter HERE. The race line-up and live result pages will be available HERE from Friday 8th April.

Please check your details very carefully and email your Race Timer here, if there are any errors. Please note, this is very important as if you race with incorrect details (gender, category, club), you may be disqualified.

Things to remember for race day:

  • Please enter car parks as directed from the road and do no try to enter through Westonbirt Village.
  • Park as directed by the parking attendants.

That’s all for now. Good luck with your final race preparations and we look forward to seeing you on Good Friday.

 

 

Maranoia – how to keep calm before your event

‘Maranoia’ is a term used to describe the often irrational fear of not being ready for before a marathon. But it doesn’t need to be a marathon to drive anxiety. Maybe you’re tackling your first 5 or 10km and the worries begin:

  • I haven’t trained enough
  • I’m not ready
  • I can’t do this

It’s totally normal to feel this way ahead of the unknown, so it’s worth recognising that there’s nothing wrong with you by feeling this way. But you want to do your best to not allow doubt and self-sabotage creep into your final few days and weeks or preparation.

There’s a handful of ways you can manage maranoia, both physical and mental.

Physical

  1. Taper correctly. Ease off the training in the lead into your race. You want to shed that feeling of tiredness and fatigue. Freshen up and enjoy some time off exercise!
  2. Rest. Take it easy. You’ve done the hard work and, while sitting around twiddling your thumbs can leave more time for worry, try to enjoy it. Put things in your diary you’ve neglected while you’ve given more time to training. Catch up with mates, go for a coffee, spend more time with the kids.
  3. Sleep. Sleep is a huge factor in recovering from your training load, so don’t stay up late just because you’re not as physically tired (due to less training). You can’t get too much sleep, so bank it!

Mental

  1. Visualisation. As we talk through in this article, visualisation is important to keep maranoia in check. Visualising how you want a race to pan out and rehearsing every detail can really comfort the mind and increase confidence in your ability.
  2. See how far you’ve come. Honestly, take a good look at how far you’ve come. I’ll bet you’ve come a hell of a lot further than you initially think. Remember all those training sessions you didn’t want to do but got out there anyway and take confidence in the fact you’ve put the hard yards in. Now it’s all about enjoying the event.
  3. Ignore social media. There’s many benefits of social media, but it can also feed maranoia. It can be a place full of willy-waving “experts” who can leave you feeling deflated, insignificant and like you’re doomed to fail. Ignore it – you’ve got this!

Now you know how to deal with pre-race nerves, take a look at our family-friendly events and enter one today!

Race Letter – Chippenham Spring 10 Mile.

It’s time for the Chippenham Spring 10 Mile. Sunday 13th March 2022 sees the us back in Chippenham for this awesome new event.

Please click and read your the race information HERE. The race line-up and live result pages will be available HERE by Wednesday 2nd March.

Please check your details very carefully and email your Race Timer here, if there are any errors. Please note, this is very important as if you race with incorrect details (gender, category, club), you may be disqualified.

Things to remember for race day:

  • Please park in one of the car parks detailed in the race information.
  • Dress appropriately for the conditions on the day.

That’s all for now. Good luck with your final race preparations and we look forward to seeing you on Sunday 13th March.

 

Black Friday Offers from DB Max

We have some great offers for you this Black Friday DB Maxers..!

First up, you can enter the Hair of the Dog Trail Run on 3rd January 2022 for just £20. This price won’t be around for long, and nor will the spaces as we are limiting entries to just 180 this year, so to secure your place click HERE. This offer runs to Midnight on Friday 26th November.

Next up is Escape Lockdown on Sunday 20th March 2022. An epic 7 mile run on some of the muddiest and hilliest terrain around. Grab an entry for just £20 by clicking HERE. This offer runs to Midnight on Friday 26th November.

We also have on offer available on the February edition of the Castle Combe ‘Chilly’ 10k and ‘Chilly’ Sprint Duathlon. The 10k will be registered with Run Britain for the first time in 2022 meaning that you will be able too submit the results to the Power of 10. The duathlon promises to be a little different in February with a proper sprint distance event taking place. The event will start with a 5k run, followed by a 7 lap, 20k bike and then a final 3k run. All the events at Castle Combe are traffic-free and super-speedy. So if you are looking for that new PB, Castle Combe is the place to be.

The ‘Chilly’ 10k is discounted to just £20 from 8am on Friday 26th November to Midnight on Monday 29th November, entries are available HERE and the ‘Chilly’ Sprint Duathlon is available for only £35 within the same time frame, entries are available HERE.

Our last offer is a cracker. The Battle of Lansdown OCR (Obstacle Course Race) is a firm favourite on the mud run calendar and we are excited to announce that the 2022 event will be taking place on Sunday 16th October. And, we have gone crazy with the price, from 8am on Friday 26th November to Midnight on Monday 29th November entries are available for just £34… That is over £30 less than past years price!!! So don’t miss out, get your friends and family together and come join the muddy fun. Enter HERE.

5 sessions to boost time trial fitness

We’re SO happy to be organising Time Trials up at the cracking Castle Combe Race Circuit again. It must be one of the best venues for TT racing in the country. A relatively short circuit – about 2-miles – with smooth tarmac, traffic-free and mostly flat. Whether you’re a first-timer or seasoned pro, you’re very welcome to join us this summer and put that training into practice!

To help you on your journey, here’s 5 sessions to boost your time trial fitness:

  1. Aero drills: You don’t have to use a time trial bike for this session (or indeed for our TTs at Castle Combe) but this session is all about practicing your most aerodynamic position on the bike. After a 20-minutes warm up, spend 60 seconds in the most aero position you can hold – think crunched shoulders, low head, strong core etc – before taking 60 seconds to relax in a more comfortable cycling position. Do this 10 times before 10-minutes recovery before another 10 reps of these drills.
  2. Sweetspot power: You don’t need a power meter for this session, but the term Sweetspot (SS) derives from training with power. SS i approximately 90% of your threshold effort – the power / speed / heart rate which you could hold for an hours max effort – so it’s that ‘comfortably uncomfortable’ zone. It’s a great zone in which to develop TT fitness, however, so intervals where you spend an increasing duration in this zone is handy. After a solid warm up with some strides, start with just 5-minutes in SS with 5-minutes off, gradually extending the interval and reducing the rest until you reach 3 x 20-minutes SS on 5-minutes rest. That’ll pinch!
  3. Cadence work: Being able to generate power and speed at a range of cadences is important because you’ll changes in gradient will require you do this anyway. Head downhill and cadence increases. Up and it decreases. Being able to churn out a relatively even effort throughout will take you from A-B in the shortest time. So, for this session, complete a solid warm up and then – in your best TT position – spend 60 seconds at high cadence (90rpm+) before 60 seconds at low cadence (65rpm max). Repeat this 5 times before 10-minutes easy spinnning. Then repeat the set two or three more times.
  4. Strength set: To develop the power and strength of your legs (but also your core) and improve cycling efficiency, time spent cycling at low cadence can work wonders. This session is simple – simple spend an easy ride in as hard a gear as possible. The trick here is not to grunt through the pedals – after all, the effort should remain relatively easy – but focus on a smooth pedal stroke, applying pressure to as much of the circle as possible.
  5. HIIT intervals: While a well-paced time trial shouldn’t involve sprints, this type of training is still useful to boost your threshold power at which races are often completed. This short, intense session requires a good warm up with some leg-openers to get the blood flowing. When you’re ready, start the main set: 10 x 30-seconds sprint, 90-seconds rest. 10 minutes easy and then repeat the set again. Aim for the highest sustainable power for all reps!

So, once you’ve nailed the training, come and put your progress to the test with one of our friendly, professionally organised time trials at Castle Combe Race Circuit. We look forward to seeing you up there!

How to train in the heat

The UK has been blessed with some pretty incredible weather of late (having said  that, typically as I write this it’s chucking it down!) but regardless of this interlude, the weather’s been great. With that, more of us are getting outside to exercise, particularly with the ease in lockdown restrictions. So we thought it a prudent moment to share tips and coping mechanisms for training in the heat.

Choose your timing
If you are able to select the time at which you train, either go for early in the morning or late in the evening.  Training in the mid-day heat can be really hard and will impact your ability to perform and get the best from that session (plus, it’s likely to leave you like a zombie for the rest of the day).

Dress appropriately
It’s a given that when you  exercise you will sweat, especially if temperatures outside are high. Sweating is our bodies cooling mechanism so training in the correct clothing will allow the process to be a lot more efficient. Avoid clothing made from cotton as this will trap the sweat and heat against the body. Instead, opt for synthetics such as nylon – they are breathable, light-weight and sweat-wicking.

Hydration
For the body to function properly hydration is a very important. If you are exercising for a long period of time you should aim to consume around 500ml of fluids every hour (depending on your size, sweat rate and temperature). It’s important to be hydrated prior to the day of training too. So, if you know you have a big training day coming up, start hydrating 24-36 hours prior. Trying to hydrate on the day isn’t enough if you’re waking up in an already slightly dehydrated state. Post-session, make sure you consume to help replace not just energy and water but also electrolytes lost through sweating.

Listen to your body
Typically the fitter you are, the better your body can tolerate the heat (especially if you often train in higher temperatures or live outside the UK ;). However, if you are new to training and perhaps haven’t experienced training in the heat before, this can have a real affect on your performance and ability.

You may find that your training is well below your ‘normal’ levels completed in cooler climes. Don’t worry, this is totally normal and it’s just a case of building slowly and listening to your body. With your first few sessions in the heat, start off slowly and see how you feel and build with each session. It’s said to take around 10-14 days to acclimatise to heat. The human body adapts with each time you will train in it so it’s important to go on feel and monitor as you go.

Top tips to improving your 5k & 10k times when races resume

As we start to see a slight shift in the easing of lockdown and a potential light at the end of the tunnel, we can’t help but get a little excited about what races might be able to take place towards the end of the year. Regardless of the outcome, we want to share some of our top tips to running a faster 5 / 10k race so that when we are given the green light to race again, we can all start to work towards smashing those PB’s.

  1. Keep the easy days easy. This is really important. It’s all too easy to push the pace and try to hit every session as hard as possible thinking it will help you improve faster. It’s also hard to rein it in when you feel good whilst on a supposed ‘easy’ run. However, we must ensure easy days remain easy in order for our bodies to recover. Pushing too hard on these days can have a real impact when it comes to the days where you want or should be training hard because you haven’t given the your body the rest it needs to perform on that day. You’ll thus never reach those peak paces and sessions. Don’t be scared to take the easy days easy, they will pay off massively and allow you to push hard when you really need to.
  2. Include strength and explosive power. Although 5 and 10k are deemed as endurance events, they also requires a lot of top end speed. From the off the pace is fast – especially in a 5k – and its unusual to build up pace in such a short distance, so strength training and elements of power need to be included in your training programmes. This isn’t to say the weights you lift have to be heavy – it’s more about the movement patterns and controls around them such as a single-leg deadlift. Squat jumps are another great exercise to build this. Explosive training helps activate the fast-twitch muscles but also reduce the chances of injuries and niggles occurring too.
  3. Track/ interval sessions. When it comes to building speed over shorter distances, track or interval sessions should be included each week. The aim of these sessions is to reduce the overall run volume but the intensity on each interval. You’ll need to give yourself longer recoveries between the reps to ensure the quality is there and ensure that you warm up and cool down properly before these type of sessions.
  4. Hill sprints. Hill sprints are fundamental and should be included weekly throughout training for a race such as 5/10k. They are a fantastic way to develop overall strength whilst doing real-time running. Sprinting uphill forces you to activate your glutes, which I’m sure any runners who have vistited a physio would have been told they aren’t activating properly! Hill sprints open up the hips and force you to push down on the ground more effectively and bring in the upper body too for stabilisation and force generation. Adding them into your training will improve your running form on the flats greatly.

Competitor Stories: Mark Robson

Mark Robson is an endurance enthusiast, to put it lightly. He’s taken part in a huge number of events but has really cranked things up a notch during lockdown. He’s gone one step further and is currently smashing it out the park, from the comfort of his own home! Here’s Mark:

I have completed 69 Marathons, 87 Halves, Ironman UK back in 2006 and 3 Ironman 70.3 at Wimbleball Lake.

This is my 50th year and the goal this year was to get to 100 Halves and complete the London Duathlon. When the lockdown hit I started running Half Marathons and then saw the DB Max Duathlon and 10K series. Since then I have completed 13 of the Duathlons, 25 of the 10K events and 3 of the 5K.

In total since start of lockdown I have now completed 22 Halves, 52 10K, 14 Duathlons and a monthly cycling 300K Challenge (400K this month). I started doing these events to take my mind off the crazy virus and have become addicted to Virtual Events.

My inspiration is my 6 year old daughter. I want her to be inspired and proud of her old Dad. One of my new dreams is to run the real Chilly/ Longest Day 10K one day“.

What. A. Man.

If one thing’s clear: be more like Mark!

Now is not the time to peak your training

If everything was “normal” right now, a lot of us would be well into our 2020 race season and coming into top form before tapering for our A races.

The hard work and prep for this season would have already started way back in the winter months of 2019, big training blocks would have been banked way before the dreaded COVID-19 reared its ugly face, and all race plans would have been put into place and tapering segments laid out all ready to crush this season.

Sadly, this wasn’t to be and it’s affected us all in different ways. A lot have taken their foot off the pedal and accepted that their time will come one day, but right now the training can be eased and the focus can be shifted elsewhere. Others have gone the opposite way and continued to ramp up the training and race “virtually” and use the extra time they now have to smash out hard training blocks where perhaps they may not of had time to of done so if “normal” was still happening.

Now, neither of these are right nor wrong, everyone has to find their own coping mechanisms. However, we’d advise those that have continued to train hard and “race” hard to remember that this isn’t the finish outcome. Who knows, there’s still a chance some races could still go ahead towards the end of the season so we suggest playing on the side of caution and being sensible with the training. We don’t really want to be breaking PB’s and crushing hard blocks back to back in training. After all, if we were in normal situations right now, we wouldn’t go straight into a hard block after just finishing another one would we? We would always take time to recover after a big race – the same should apply now.

The last thing you want to do now is burnout or risk injury.

Be smart, keep the consistency and training in place each week for sure, but strip it back a little. Save some of that hard work you put in over those winter months, play around with the training and mix it up a little to keep the fire alight. Ultimately, do it because you want to. Don’t feel like you have to push yourself every day because others are. If you don’t feel up for training one day and would rather sit in the sun with a good book, go for it! Right now is not the time to be “winning” at training.