Events

Multi-sport

BallBuster duathlon – 2 November 2019 – https://humanrace.co.uk/event/ballbuster/

Route: 8 mile run, 24 mile cycle, 8 mile run 

Review/tips and tricks?

1) Practice hill drills and running on/off the bike. There are lots of training plans available out there. I worked towards being able to run a half marathon distance and brick sessions of 5 miles, then a cycle, then run… so about 70% of race day effort.

2) Take spare kit/additional layers! This year’s race forecast was rain and the last thing you want is to be shivering on your bike. I packed arm warmers and a Castelli Gabba and boy was I glad of it after the first wet run!

London duathlon – 8 September 2019 – https://londonduathon.com/              

Half-duathlon – 5km run, 22km cycle, 5km run

Review/tips and tricks?

For anyone wanting to give multisport a crack, the London Half-duathlon is a great entry-level distance. It’s a step up from running a 5-10km and the cycle is just a couple of laps of Richmond Park. Top tip? Get there early to bag a good bike rack space. It will be easier to find your bike at transition and you won’t have to navigate through all.thenother competitors if you place your bike at the end…

Cycling 

Prudential Ride London 16 August 2020

Étape du Tour 2020 – 5 July 2020

Birmingham and West Midlands Velo – 21 June 2020

Tour of Cambridge – 7 June 2020

Étape Morocco – 20 October 2019 https://www.letapemorocco.com/tdf?/?lang=en

Route: 150km, D+2020m

Review/tips and tricks?

1) Choose the long course – it isn’t much further (if you can cycle 120km, you can cycle 150!) and it takes you on an extra out and back descent and climb back to Asni. The descent is amazing! I was one of two women who did the long race.

2) The King of Atlas has a couple of juicy kickers hitting 18% at its steepest. Overall though it settles at around 7% average. The Wattbike is your best friend to train for climbs like these; out of the saddle!

3) Take what you need. Whilst there are mechanics at the Étape, there are no bike shops in Marrakech…

4) Take cash. Morocco has its own currency, which you can purchase at the airport.

Granfondo Campagnolo Roma 13 October 2019 – https://www.granfondoroma.com/

Route: 75 miles, 6560 ft elevation

Review/tips and tricks?

1) The race was halved in distance at the last minute this year, but despite this, the race was very well organised. My favourite part of the long route was the climb to Castel Gandolfo; this climb was actually cancelled on race day this year, but (after a polite word with the police!), my friends and I climbed it anyway. The views of the lake and down to Rome are simply bellissima.

2) Take robust tyres and lots of spare inner tubes! The Roman roads are mostly either cobbles in the city or old tarmac with lots of potholes! After a year of no punctures, I had to replace both tyres and inner tubes…

L’Étape du Tour, 2019

Route: 135km, 4563m

Review/tips and tricks?

1) Get there early – at least a couple of days before the race. You’ll have time to register calmly, get your bearings, check your bike over (there are on site mechanics if needs be!) and spin the legs.

2) It could be hot! This year it was 18 degrees at the start and 32 degrees on the last climb, with very little shade. Cream up, wear layers and make sure you hydrate with enough sugar and salt. I used Saltstick caps and my legs were fine.

L’Étape UK, 2019https://letapeuk.co.uk/

Route: 162km (100 miles), 1773m

Review/tips and tricks?

1) Avoid driving if possible – there is one road into the start venue and I felt very glad I didn’t drive as I sailed past a huge queue of cars on my bike!

2) The hills aren’t long, but there are a few challenging climbs, some of them with steep sections (>15%) – make sure you call out clearly if overtaking and stay on the left to let others overtake safely. It sounds obvious, but when people are tired it will help others around you…

3) The festival is great – there are lots of stalls, eateries and fun things to do, not least including watching the Tour. Don’t miss out!

Ride London, Prudential 100

Route: 100 miles, Stratford (east London) to the Surrey Hills and back to The Mall…

Review/tips and tricks?

1) The first 50 miles are pretty flat and will fly by. Unless you’re aiming for a fast time, don’t use up all your energy before Leith Hill!

2) If you want to finish fast, you need an early start wave – it makes a huge difference. I didn’t ride with a group and still only took 5 hours. If you ride fast, get in a peloton, you might be back before the pubs open!

3) Travel light and use your kit bag – the lorries are right by the end of the race and you might want layers, a bite to eat or whatever. It’s the quickest way to sort yourself out and head off as London will be busy!

Man of Sperrin, 2019  – http://manofsperrin.com/

Route: 72.8 miles, 6461 ft elevation over 5 peaks

Review/tips and tricks?

1) Ride a big cog! A couple of these climbs hit over 20% and it will make your life so much easier. My climbing wheels have a 32 cassette at the mo…

2) Gravel! Watch out for and call out gravel on the descents. The descents are steep and long, but technical to ride as there are lumps, bumps, twists and gravel.

3) Train to climb. Whilst the total elevation on this ride is less than 2000m, the climbs are many and steep. Interval training, increasing your effort every few minutes will help a lot.

Velo Birmingham & Midlands, 2019https://www.velobirmingham.com/

Route: 100 miles, 1500m through Birmingham, Coventry and through the Midlands countryside…

Review/tips and tricks?

1) Purchasing a fast track place is worth it to start early if you are after a good time or want to finish early. The earlier wave riders are generally quicker, often riding in bunches, which makes it possible to share the load and be sociable!

2) The end of the route is hilly. Save some energy, as just when you think you’re done another one appears, then another one… but it’s a beautiful route. Mainly countryside roads, amazing descents and some nice rolling hills. A fab morning out!

Running

Vitality Half Marathon – 1 March 2020

London Winter Run, 2018 and 2019 – 10km

Route: a flat 10km run, from Trafalgar Square to the City and back.

Review/tips and tricks?

1) Just do it! I’d never even run a 5km when I signed up to this. It’s a great route and really fun. There are always crowds and great music; and penguins, huskies and polar bears line the route, cheering everyone on! Good fun and for a great cause.