Triathlete's World Fab Four: MintyFresh

Follow the progress of Kate (MintyFresh) as she trains for the London Triathlon

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13/05/2011 at 12:02

Introducing the first member of our Triathlete's World Fab Four… Kate K (aka MintyFresh)

Former county level swimmer Kate is keen to rediscover her love of competition - and the challenge of an Olympic distance triathlon debut at London is the perfect opportunity.

Kate will be using our brand new Olympic distance triathlon training schedule as a basis for her training (starting May 23).

She’ll be posting her training progress on a regular basis, and feedback the training and nutrition advice given to her by the team at Triathlete's World so make sure you check back regularly to find out how she gets on.

You can read more about Kate’s triathlon background and goals here.

Good luck Kate!


13/05/2011 at 15:52


As the newest of the fab 4 to triathlon, I am excited by the challenges ahead and let’s face it-there will be many along the way!

Our open water swim session last weekend gave me a real insight into just how tough the next 10 weeks are going to be but what doesn’t kill you make you stronger, right?!

I do hope I can pick your brains for additional training advice and race day tips to help me prepare as much as possible.

Minty x

seren nos    pirate
13/05/2011 at 19:19

Hi MF............where did you do the OW swim session..........are they going to organise many more for you.

 I love OW swimming but unfortunately nowhere near me to train

Mr Zuvai    pirate
13/05/2011 at 21:22

goodluck  MF - you'll be grand

 OW swimming is easy onceyou're comfortable in the wetsuit!

14/05/2011 at 08:23

Hi Seren Nos,

We did the session at Ham Lake in Richmond with RG Active. Bit of a trek for me as I'd come all the way from Buckinghamshire but glad to say it was worth it.
As beginners we were all taken through the process of easing ourselves into the water, stroke technique, sighting, drafting as well as the dreaded mass start! I was absolutely exhausted by the end and shocked as to how different it is to pool swimming but glad I realised this now than two weeks before the race.

I found I was finding it difficult to get into a breathing rhythm and was very one sided- any tips on this as I'm sure it would make a huge difference in my next session?

MF x

14/05/2011 at 08:34

Thanks for the support Mr Zuvai, quickly starting to realise that preparation is key! First time in the wetsuit was definitely an experience, thought i was going to tear it i was stretching it so much! Lucky for us Zoot supplied the suits and they made sure everyone's sizes were correct!

Swim is on the agenda today,but think i might team it with a bike session too

MF x 

meface    pirate
14/05/2011 at 11:21


OW swimming is easy. The water is no different to the pool except without the neat lines painted on the bottom. Maybe a temperature difference as well but depends on which pool and which lake!

The only advice I can give is relax. When you get in get your face/head under the water. If possible do this two/three times and then you should be good to go. Relax into the training swims, start slow and build to steady. This should help with the breath control.

My 2XU is very good at helping me relax into my swim stroke and my Speedo trunks cut a fine figure. My Zoggs goggles on the other hand are just goggles.

Seriously relax and enjoy the OW swimming and you will soon hate the pool.


M...eldy    pirate
14/05/2011 at 13:21
Minty .. whereabouts in Bucks are you?

There is a lake in Marlow that is open 2 (Ithink) evenings a week
14/05/2011 at 13:32

Thanks for the tips Meface, maybe it was just the early start and the unknown that played on my mind- definitley looking forward to my next session and see how i progress.

Pacing is probably my problem, i always preferred sprinting in both my swimming and running so whilst the training focused on staying consistant over a certain timeframe, come race day i was always pushing for a fast time.

Hoping i dont end up hating the pool-that place is my salvation most days.

Todays session was good, managed a 23k bike in just under 45 minutes and went straight into a swim session using paddles and pull bouy to work on my technique.

10k run tomorrow stay away from the drinks tonight!

enjoy your saturday

MF x

14/05/2011 at 17:28

Minty, don't worry about which side you breath on and how often.  We get told to breath bilaterally in the pool but that is less important in open water.

Sometimes it is beneficial to breathe on one side only.  If the waves are coming from one direction then it is easier to breath facing them than with the back of your head to them.  That way you can see whether there is water there before you open your mouth and won't be caught out with a wave breaking over your head.

Also if you are following a shore line then breathing to one side can help you to keep a straight line  relative to the shore.

In a race, sometimes you might find someone swimming very close to you on one side, so it can be easier to breathe the oposite way, or you might prefer to breathe towards them so that you don't allow them to get too close.

I think the important thing is to be able to breath to both sides.  Whether you swim bilateral all the time, or to one side only, swapping as the circumstances change is all down to personal preference.

I also find that I need to breathe more often in open water.  I think the cold makes it harder to get air in and you tend to use air up quicker as you are working harder (body trying to use energy to keep warm as well as for the swimming).

seren nos    pirate
15/05/2011 at 07:34

I can only breathe on one side.........doesn't cause me a problem in OW.............until in the sea when if I'm in the wrong direction I get a mouthful of water each time.............

great news with thewetsuits and the lessons.........good fitting wetsuit make a difference

18/05/2011 at 11:01

Hey guys,

Sorry for the late responses, laptop got a virus and all was very messy!

M...eldy- i live just outside Stoke Mandeville so Marlow would definitely be an option- I am planning on visiting Richmond again in a few weeks and also the lake at Cotswold Water Park.

Supercaz- thanks for the advice, i was hoping someone would say it didn't matter! I am use to breathing bilaterally in the pool so guess if i practise breathing to just one side from now on, come race day i'll be prepared for what the water has in store for me!! I did find myself needing to breathe more in the OW session which then made me feel like i was struggling and the panic set in a little.

I am learning so much about triathlon training which i never considered before signing up to the race- it is becoming strangely addictive though!

I fell a little short of my 10k distance on Sunday so am focusing the training this week on pushing to the full distance- Runner's World are hosting a 10k race on Sunday which i'll use as a base for my run time.

What races are you both currently training for?

 MF x 

18/05/2011 at 11:58
mf - biking 23k in under 45minutes is pretty good pace and coming from a swimming background should make you quite competitive in the female rankings...
18/05/2011 at 14:55

Hi Steve Ho,

My competitive streak is definitley resurfacing! At the moment it is just in regards to the swim discipline but as the training progresses and I get closer to race day, i have a sneaky suspicion that it will strectch over to the race overall.

I was unsure how my bike time/distance faired so good to know that it is a good pace- question is whether i can keep it up for the remaining 17k!

 MF x

18/05/2011 at 15:31
do plenty of 40-50 mile and hill session will definately help you build lots of endurance and strength on the bike.
19/05/2011 at 10:10

Steve Ho-

Wow... the last time i did 50 miles was the London to Brighton a few years ago and that took me 8hrs- i was riding with 4 others who insisted on stopping at every pub on the way though so hopefully it isnt a sign of any timings for race day!

Last night's training ended up being a mixuture of pacing and fartleks over a 5 mile route- not sure if that was what my training plan had in store for me but my body was telling me it wanted to regress back to being a 5 year old and running as fast as i could- so i went with it and felt pretty good afterwards.

Pool session tonight- Thursday evenings tend to be a little quieter so gives me the chance to spend a decent time working on my technique and distance. 

MF x 

19/05/2011 at 17:58
MintyFresh wrote (see)

I am planning on visiting ........the lake at Cotswold Water Park.

MF - Let me know when you're thinking of as that is local to me and we can meet up

20/05/2011 at 09:47

Schmunkee- that sounds great. It will be in a few weeks time when i am visiting my parents. Do you know how the timings and costs work out?

 MF x

Gyraffe    pirate
20/05/2011 at 11:47

Hi Minty and Schmunks - I'm going to Lake 12 at CWP first thing tomorrow morning. Assuming it's the same as last year the session is 8.15 - 9.30 every Saturday morning. You pay £5 to the lifeguard and they will look after your car keys while you swim. There is an excellent changing room and shower block and free parking. Everyone gets there about 8.00 to get into wetsuits - then the lifeguard goes out in a little boat and ferries bouys around to get the course set up then off you go. You get into the water from a sort of pathway along the side of the lake - just like getting into a pool and about the depth of the shallow end of a normal pool. The loop is about 400m clearly marked with bouys - the lifeguard is in the boat in the middle. It's usually frigid cold - wearing two swim caps helps a bit. Visibility is excellent - you can sight off the trees and some handy racks of brightly coloured canoes.

 That's all I can think of - no doubt more will occur to me tomorrow when I get there!

Edited: 20/05/2011 at 11:48
20/05/2011 at 12:29
Waff - I am a member of Lake 32 so that I can swim weekday mornings and Tues evenings, but happy to nip to Lake 12 if you're going again sometime sson.  Can't do tomorrow as I already have something planned
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