Name: Kate Kendall (MintyFresh)
Occupation: Senior sales executive
Sporting Background: Former county-level swimmer
Goal: Rediscovering my love of competition
Get involved on Kate's forum thread.
The race went really well and was a great experience for me. Doing the Mencap swim was a nice way to begin my tapering period. It gave me a really good indication of how things would work on the day. I was ready to do it. I don't think my body could have taken another couple of weeks of intensive training.
I decided not to go to the front of the swim; I was a little worried I'd burn out because I didn't have my pacing quite right. I had a problem in transition: I lost my bike. In spite of all the tips I'd been given about how to find my spot, I spent about 45 seconds trying to locate my bike.
We started about 40 minutes before the sub-2.30 athletes, so after a while there were lots of people going faster on the bike than I was. I had to keep reminding myself that it was my own race and that I wasn't trying to keep up with others.
I tried to keep my competitive streak in check, but there were still certain points when it reared its head. If I saw someone flagging, I thought it might be a nice confidence boost if I went past them.
I think I was a bit cautious because I didn't want to go too hard. Now that I know my body can take three hours of continuous pushing, next time I'll push myself harder.
The crowd support really did help. I'm truly grateful that my friends and family were there at certain points of the race. It helped lift my spirits and pushed me on. When I reached the bike turnaround at Westminster, I heard people calling my name. It wasn't until I finished the race that I realised it was my family, who had just by chance come out of the tube and stopped there. That was a highlight of the day.
I was also running alongside Sky Draper [British Triathlon's Female Junior Triathlete of the Year in 2010] at one point. That was quite weird.
I think I got my nutrition spot on. I definitely took people's advice when they said train with your nutrition as long as possible and get used to it. Come race day I didn't feel that I was lacking energy.
I remember doing a little bit of a sprint finish. I was relieved and a little shocked that I'd made it to the end, but I also had a great sense of achievement.
At first I thought, 'I'm never doing that again,' but two days later I've already turned around to five people and told them I'm going to be doing more. I would encourage everyone to do a triathlon at least once.
The time was OK. I would have liked to have gone under three hours, but taking 13 minutes off three hours is something I can train for next time. It gives me something to work towards. It was such a positive experience.
Things are going really well and the time is flying by. I struggled a little bit to begin with this month. I pushed myself into training long before the 10-week programme began, so I lost my enthusiasm for it a little. I had to push myself to go training and I found that I wasn't really enjoying it.
I took a couple of days off and I do feel a bit more optimistic about it all. I went to a hen party in Liverpool recently and thought about training while I was there. When I saw the location, at the docks, I thought, 'I should have brought my trainers with me.'
I also did the Runner's World Trailblazer 10K at the Forest of Dean, which was really good. My sister came along and ran with me, which was nice. It was a hilly course and quite different from running on the road. The Trailblazer also gave me a really good idea of the kind of struggles that I'm going to face and how I'm going to feel at the end of the triathlon because it's a much harder run.
I've begun to feel some ankle strain, so I am looking at strength training. I've learned that I do need to vary my
training a little bit and add in things like spinning classes, body pump and yoga. There are a lot of things you can
do to help strengthen and train your body. I knew that it wasn't the best idea to keep running with the ankle
strain so I decided to concentrate more on swimming.
I've had the chance to use paddles and do some upper body work. I'm still feeling on track and had a really good swimming session recently - I felt really energetic.
The training guide is very good because I can see what I need to do and how long I need to do it for: it's very well structured. I'm pushing myself towards five sessions a week. I think you get out what you put in so, hopefully, all the dedication will mean I'm really happy with my time and performance on the day.
I have to watch carefully that I pace myself. In training it's fine but I do find that when I have a race, all that tends to go out the window and I set off too hard. Thankfully, I still have time to address that issue.
I'm taking a week off at the beginning of next month and heading to the Cotswolds to do some intensive training, and I'll go to the water park to swim. A girl on the Triathlete's World forum said she'd come down and swim with me. It really shows the camaraderie of triathlon and it's great to have that support.
This month will be about staying consistent with the programme, which will take me through to the race. It is dawning on me now - race day does seem to be coming around awfully quick. It's a little scary but it's good because it's keeping me disciplined and I want to see improvements now; as I do it keeps pushing me along."
I was very optimistic to start with and now I can see what the positives and negatives are as I go through the training. With my swimming I'm tending to work on the technique and speed. I want to make sure it's the quickest of my disciplines. It was interesting for me to see the differences between open-water and pool swimming.
I couldn't believe how different the technique was: I now have to think about the last 16-17 years of swimming technique I've done and do something different. It's quite good that I know now what I need to do in my training and I'll definitely attend more open-water sessions.
I think the bike is becoming my demon: it's more difficult than I thought. As the weather improves I think I'll need to get out and about and maybe concentrate on my bike training.
I thought I'd have to do the most work on my run but that has not been the case; it's nice to think it's actually going to be a lot easier than I imagined. I've covered the distance now so it's all about getting my time down and doing the brick sessions so my legs become used to that heavy feeling from running straight off the bike.
I'm being quite disciplined in my training. I'm trying to cut down on the social side of things. I try to fit training around what I do at the weekends. My parents live in the Cotswolds so I'll probably take advantage of that for cycling and running.
We had a couple of leaving events at work, which gave me the opportunity to have a bit of a blowout and relax a little. Now I'm right back on track.
I'm probably eating a lot more than I normally do but it's working because I've got the energy to do a session after a day's work. I've discovered that as long as I'm enjoying it, I'm happy to give that extra time to training.
We're holding a number of 10K trail events at work so I've put myself down for the last one. It will be a nice way to be a little bit more sociable as well as do some extra training. I've got another 10K one month later and then a mini-triathlon, which will give me a little more insight into how things will work on the day.
People keep saying I'm amazing for doing this but it's nice to have the dedication to apply yourself. I've already put in an application for the London Marathon next year. When you want to challenge yourself, I think triathlon is the perfect choice. Watch out Ironman."
"I used to swim for my county so I'm hoping that will give me a good foundation. Most triathletes come from a running background so, with any luck, the fact that swimming is first will help me in training and on race day.
I haven't done any recent races so I'm coming into this unprepared. I'm quite excited to see how my training develops. I think if I commit to my training plan and give it my best, then I might be quite surprised by what I can do.
I know I can do the swim and the bike should be fine: I did the London-to-Brighton bike event, which was 50 miles. But I just don't know what I'm going to do on the run. I'm a little worried about how my legs will feel.
Finding time to train is difficult because I have a two-hour commute to work. At the weekends I'll be able to do long training sessions. I have access to a gym at work so I'll try to get in a session a couple of times a week.
I'm really lucky that I live in the country; there are plenty of routes I can use - it's just about getting out and exploring. If the weather stays sunny it will be perfect.
I was quite lucky that I swam when I was younger - it helped in terms of muscle development and I'm not carrying any injuries. However, I am addicted to wearing heels so I'm expecting a few niggles on that side of things. But I am sure there are ways to combat it.
As most of my training will be in the evenings I will need to stay focused. When I get home at 8pm, I know
I can still get out and do an hour's training. I am quite an early bird so at the weekend I will get out early.
I'm not going to put the pressure of a target on myself and so at this stage I haven't thought about times. But I definitely do have a competitive streak.
Apart from a big bag of jelly babies, the key to finishing will be knowing that I can do the race in a decent time. I want to train for distances longer than those in the race so I know I can do each one comfortably rather than struggling on the run.
My friends and family have been supportive and say I'll definitely be able to do it. I'm not sure they have thought about what exactly I'm doing and how physically demanding it is. But they are 100 per cent behind me. The weeks to come will probably show how supportive they really are, especially when I'm tired.
I think this will be a good stepping stone to further events. I have a general interest in fitness so pushing myself to the extreme is something I'm relishing."