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Something quite strange has happened. Quite suddenly, my life in triathlon has increased in momentum. Ok, so there was the whole year of Ironman training which only took over my entire life. My goal of 'not to die' in the mission to complete it was realised with relative ease (perhaps only a slight exaggeration!), and as the training progressed over the months, my goals shifted a little.

It seems that they have shifted even more, because when I tentatively approached a local bike shop for sponsorship and they said yes, I was literally gobsmacked. Really, I had very little in the way of triathlon prestige to offer them. One season of competing and not even close to a podium finish. It doesn't matter, they told me, they wanted a female amateur athlete to help promote women's cycling and I fitted the bill. Wow.

There I was with a bike and a team of people supporting me, I couldn't believe it. I have to say they are fantastic - Lovelo Cycle Works in Berkhamsted - such a friendly shop and workshop, the team are great and really keen to help me out. In turn, I obviously want to help spread the Lovelo love and make people realise what a great local bike shop has happened upon their town. I can't wait to carry on working with Lovelo as I think we make a fab team!



Then things just picked up pace. I was already working with a sports nutritionist - it is no exaggeration to say that it has changed my life. Fitnaturally offers bespoke nutrition plans - i.e, I get told what to eat, when to eat it, every single day of my life. That sounds a lot harder than it is. This is for the simple reason that the food is all natural, it's extremely tasty, and the recipes have introduced amazing new dishes to my life. I look forward to every single meal. And what's more, I get a tailored nutrition plan for races. Oh, and did I mention I have lost over half a stone of body fat in the bid to get leaner for optimum performance? This, of course, without compromising on hunger or cutting out any food groups. Like I said, life changing.

So the wonderful Sally from Fitnaturally agreed to sponsor my nutrition plans. That was certainly a credit to me, because she has worked with pro athletes and is a well-established sports nutritionist for countless age group triathletes and Ironmen. I am extremely excited to be on board in helping to promote Fitnaturally, and, of course, taking photos of my dishes and tweeting them!


 
I'm also extremely lucky to have partnered up with James Drabble from Trojan Training´╗┐, who sponsors my strength and conditioning programmes. He explained to me that at my level of training, the generic S&C my performance coach was giving me was probably not tailored enough and that I would benefit far more from a structured, bespoke S&C plan which specifically targets my weak areas. It would also compliment training blocks, so if there is an endurance phase, I will work on endurance strength, and if there is a speed phase, we will introduce power work. So far I think the work I am doing with James is absolutely fantastic and Trojan are setting high standards for personal training and bootcamps for the slightly more normal people of the world!
 
I don't mean this to be a schmoozey post to thank all my sponsors - it's more of an astonishing achievement that I have managed to get sponsors after just one year of triathlon. I am extremely proud and extremely grateful to everyone who has helped me out. I cannot wait to embark on another very exciting season next year (even though this one hasn't ended!) and see where it takes me, especially with all this help behind me now!