Name: Kate Laurence (Kiwi Kate)
Occupation: Marketing manager
Sporting Background: Keen runner, a few sprint triathlons completed
Goal: To master the swim and bike over longer distances
Get involved on Kate's forum thread.
The race was brilliant - I loved it. It was terrifying to start with, but I'd already done some races and that gave me confidence. I am pleased with my time. My goal was three hours.
I spent Saturday before the race chilling out and I ate really well. I didn't sleep well on Friday or Saturday but I never felt stressed. I went to my local bike shop for a gear and brake check and I also went through my race pack so nothing would come as a surprise.
Kate Kendall came and found me in the swim assembly and we jumped into the dock together. I made sure I was at the back of the pack, so I wasn't hit or knocked around and could enjoy the race. I thought I would do a faster time, but I was delighted that I didn't panic during the swim.
I really enjoyed the bike. It was a bit weird going around so many roundabouts, but it was really cool going out to Westminster. I'd done quite a few brick sessions because I love running so much. Every time I went for a ride I tried to do a quick run afterwards, so I knew what I was in for. I don't know if it was the adrenaline, but my legs didn't really feel like jelly. I was surprised.
I had quite a few friends in the crowd and I was focused on them, the run and everything else that was going on. On the last lap I realised I only had 2.5K to go and I nearly welled up with tears because I thought, 'Oh my God, I'm nearly there'. It was like finishing my A-levels; the sense of achievement is massive.
Nutritionally, I knew what I could have and what to avoid. I just tried to stay hydrated on the bike because it was hot. Oddly, I drank a lot more on the run - usually I don't drink and can get through two hours, but this time I was grabbing drinks about once a lap.
The satisfaction of having done it is amazing. And I'm already itching to do more. I'm even thinking about a swim race, which I wouldn't usually try.
Things have definitely been easier this month now that I'm more settled in my new job. I'm finding the time to train and it's certainly been my priority. I'm feeling better, too; I'm about 95 per cent recovered from being sick. My heart rate has been a little higher than normal but it's nothing too bad.
I managed to get to the open-water session, too, and it was fantastic. I felt fine in the wetsuit, was reasonably comfortable in the water and I really enjoyed the training. I wasn't covering huge distances on my first go - we just went over the basics. I'm going to do another session soon, where we'll be doing longer distances. My confidence has improved and when
I actually do those longer distances my mind will be more at ease.
I've been doing as much work in the pool as I can. I want to get to a point where I can finish the swim and feel comfortable.
I'm really enjoying the 10-week programme. I like that there are mandatory and optional training sessions. It means that if unexpected things do crop up, the programme is built to tackle them. I have quite an active social life so it's quite challenging fitting my training around that.
There are certain things I can already do: I have no problem running 10Ks and I can comfortably swim 1500m in the pool, so
the programme allows me to work on my speed. I'm still a bit anxious about the cycling because there's so much kit to get used to, such as clipped-in shoes. I went to Richmond recently and hired a bike. I went for a two-hour cycle, which was lovely. The bike did have a basket on the front, though.
I've been doing tempo runs and I have my heart-rate monitor, so I've got target zones to help me work on my speed. I'm doing about five training sessions a week.The goal for the next few weeks is to follow the training programme as closely as possible. There's a pool in Tooting, London, that's 90m long and you can wear a wetsuit so I want to try that. I've also booked myself in for a race, a 10K run in Battersea Park, to work on my speed, so that should be a nice one to do."
I had a good start to my training. I was fitting in my swimming and running. I don't have a bike yet so I've been using the bike at the gym: I know it's not the same as going out on the road. But I started a new job as a Senior Marketing Manager and took a holiday. Aside from hiking up hills in Italian villages I didn't do any training.
When I got back I had to get straight into my new job and I caught a cold. I didn't make the open-water swimming session because I was sick in bed. There is another session soon so I'll definitely go to that. I'm on the mend but I am a little concerned about training. I was on my feet a lot walking through Venice but it's not your traditional triathlon training, that's for sure.
I was fairly relaxed about what I ate on holiday: good cheese and bread. I eat relatively healthily, anyway, and try to have a high veggie intake. But I have a sweet tooth so I'll have to start snacking on nuts when I'm training."
It's been lovely to do the pool swimming. It's quite difficult because you have to find a pool, which is not as easy as heading out for a run. I've also enjoyed heading out with an informal running group at work. I've been running with the boys. They've made me go faster and push myself beyond my comfort zone. It's been really satisfying because they've pushed me to work on my speed.
I did get out on the bike once and I was surprised when I realised how long the cycle will take me: I'm looking at about an hour and a half. I'm still a little nervous about the swimming. I have quite bad circulation and I'm worried about swimming in a cold lake and how long it will take to get the feeling back in my fingers and toes. It will be all good experience.
It was really difficult to run over the winter so having the sun up when I go out in the morning is just fantastic. It's easier to wake up and I feel more inspired to go out and do any form of exercise. I'm really looking forward to training in the beautiful parks around London. The running club at work takes us through Hyde Park and past Buckingham Palace: running past the palace every morning is pretty special.
I'm already starting to think about what I'm going to do after the event. I've always wanted to do a marathon so I'm thinking about using the fitness I gain from this as a base to build upon so I can do my first marathon. I've given myself a break but now I'm concentrating on getting better and getting stuck into the training."
"I used to do a lot of sport at school and as I got older I started doing more running events, half-marathons
and the like. But I have to admit I'm not very good at keeping up my fitness unless I've got something to
train for. I did the Watford Half-Marathon in February but before that I hadn't done an event for a while. My half-marathon personal best is 1:51 so there is room for improvement.
I've done three triathlons but they were small events. Triathlon gets you out of your comfort zone because you're doing three disciplines rather than one. It's more of a challenge and it's a great way to get you out of bed in the morning.
My target is to finish the race. I will eventually have a time in mind but until I learn more about myself, such as how fast I can swim 1500m, it's too soon to say what that time might be.
Running is something I don't have a problem with. Running after swimming and then cycling will be a little different. I'm quite grateful that I love running more than the other disciplines because it's the last bit, the one that takes you over the finish line. So I get the worst bits out of the way first.
The biggest challenge will be the swim. The triathlons I've done were in New Zealand, so you just swam
along the beach. Anyone who panicked or swallowed a mouthful of water just stood up and caught their breath. In this context 1500m is a long way for me - I don't have a long-swim background and being in the Docklands is not like the beach. You're in deep water - literally.
I love exercising in the morning. I'd normally start work at 7.30am in New Zealand, so to start work here
at 9.30am is a novelty. Even though I've been here for a year I haven't really adjusted, so getting up at 5.30am for a run never fazes me.
I had knee reconstruction following a sport injury so I'll be monitoring that. I snapped a ligament and I can sometimes feel it when it's cold but, other than that, I should be OK.
I haven't splashed out on any equipment yet. When I'm doing daily training or working for a particular goal
I'll make sure I have the right gear. I didn't bring any triathlon-specific clothing with me - it's back home in New Zealand - so I'll need to purchase that. I'll make better plans when I've got all my stuff.
I imagine that I'm going to haul quite a few people into training with me and have them there when I do the race. Some of them think I'm mad because they know I'm not a very good swimmer.
I try to stick to a schedule when I'm training for a particular time or race. My schedule will be followed almost to the letter, especially if there's speed work, endurance or intervals involved, to make sure the balance is right between swimming, cycling and running.
I haven't thought about nutrition yet but if I'm training to this level I will need to increase my carbohydrates and protein. I've never had too much trouble getting my five a day but I'm also partial to sweets and biscuits, so I think I'll have to curb that tendency and instead eat more bananas and tuna.
Just the challenge of doing the race - the high that you get when you cross the finish line - is very enticing. The thrill of finishing something like that will be amazing, especially because I know the distances will be a big hurdle for me. Gaining the confidence to cycle in London is going to be a big benefit.
It's going to be a lot of fun. The training is going to be great. I'm looking forward to getting out and seeing more of London's sights. The biggest goal for me is to have fun and try something new. And it might be nice to decrease my waistline, too."