Highs and lows – all part of the process

After gallivanting about in the southern hemisphere throughout the European winter it was time to head back to Cardiff Wales, to the squad, but most importantly uni! With end of year exams fast approaching, training and school work were my main priorities. The focus for the season being to gain European cup starts/race at the sharp end of my A races and lastly qualify for SuperLeague.

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The season set off to a rocky start with a 14th place in Llanelli. Result was not what I was looking for but I executed the perfect race on the day so I couldn’t ask for much more. I then headed into some BUCS racing (British Uni Championships). We kicked off with the BUCS Olympic distance. With no taper leading in, I wasn’t expecting anything special. I managed to snag 8th overall and the quickest 10k I’d ever ran off the bike. A true testament to the work I’ve been putting in with coach Andy Lane and the NTPCW. We then headed over to BUCS Sprint distance where the field was slightly more stacked. Again with no taper I had little to no expectations but once again surprised myself with a solid 7th place.

After this mini race block was complete it was back to the drawing board and into another big 3 week training block. Joined by good friends and training partners within the NTPCW training group meant training became that little bit easier. My aim was to get the body prepped for the next race block. This would include British sprint championships, Poznan Super League qualifiers and 2019 Gibraltar Island Games. With 2/3 of the these races complete so far we have had some high highs and some very low lows.

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British champs went down very well. I managed to execute yet again another perfect race getting the most out of myself on the day. With a small group of 9 ahead I was joined by some of Britain’s best, where we extended our lead heading onto the final leg of the run. I had my best run off the bike to date. Posting one of my quickest 5k’s off the bike. This put me in high confidence leading into Poznan Super League the following weekend.

Poznan would be my 2nd of 3 races back to back over 3 weeks of racing. With Poland breaking records for its highest temperature ever recorded with a whopping 37 degrees I knew we were in for a hot, gruelling weekend of racing. The triple mix format being my favourite of the wide range of format’s SL has to offer. I was confident in my ability and believed if I could string it all together on the day I would stand a chance of gaining a golden ticket. This was not to be. The body had nothing to give and I felt completely flat throughout the entire race. It’s a tough pill to swallow and I was left with a lot of unanswered questions as to what went wrong. At the end of the day I’m only human and no matter who you are everyone has off days. I live and I learn. On the plus side I was over the moon for NTPCW training partners Jamie Price (BHR) and Zoe Thomas (GBR) who both smashed their races so a massive congrats to them, in addition a massive well done to top brits Chris Perham and Liv Mathias who managed to grab themselves a Golden ticket into the series.

Focus now switches to the slightly longer distance with the 2019 Island Games Gibraltar commencing this coming weekend. Its back to Cardiff today to refresh the mind and body in the lead up to the games. Can’t wait to catch up with Team Jersey but more importantly my parents and grandparents who are making the trip across to Gibraltar to cheer me on.

See you all soon and if you’ve made it this far… thanks for reading!

Ollie x

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