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Fran Bungay Wins the Sussex Middle Distance Triathlon!

Fran Bungay Wins the Sussex Middle Distance Triathlon!

This Sunday, sponsored athlete Fran Bungay competed in the Sussex Middle Distance Triathlon. She has been dogged by injury so far this season but after some targeted training and physio things are looking up for the European Ironman Championships: She won! Here's the full report from Fran herself:

After Rapperswil, I really wanted to get anther middle distance event under my belt before the European Champs in August. When a race doesn’t go to plan - for whatever reason - doubts do start to creep in and for me and those doubts are all about the running at the moment. Last week I successfully turned my ankle over again. It's now very weak so I only have to land awkwardly on a small stone and over I go. I am working on strengthening it, but that takes time and it doesn’t help if I keep turning it over!

Also, my quads and hips have been in a bad state since Rapperswil. I think racing when not well just made it worse. Until yesterday, I hadn’t been able to run over 30mins without having to stop, however, a good session with the physio last Thursday made a difference. Joe left me in a position which ”should be fine until mile 7-8, then you may start to get issues!” So the offroad run was a bit of a double edged-sword – Great for the hips and quads, as it meant constant variation of terrain but I had to be very careful with my footing!

I kept the lead-up to Sussex as a standard training week so didn’t taper too much. I felt fit and well, if not slightly nervous about the 13 mile run at the end! The weather on the day was beautiful, and it's a great race in beautiful settings at Ashburnham Place. There were sprint and standard distance events as well as the middle distance event in which I was competing. Middle distance went first with 4 laps around the lake. The super fast Zone3 wetsuit (thanks guys) meant I was out of the water in 28mins: first lady and in the top 5 overall.

Then I went to work on the bike. It was a hilly course through twisty lanes - like being at home really. I completed the bike leg in 2hr 39, 8mins faster than the 2nd girl in 2hr 47. At the point I was in about 6th position overall as well as first lady. So, then came the bit I was dreading... the run!

Mental strength had to play a part here. I had so many reasons why I couldn’t run but you can't focus on them. Fortunately, the run leg was 4 laps so I had Ade shouting at me at each lap, making sure I was eating, telling me to focus on technique, etc., which really helped, as did the terrain. I suffered a bit from the heat (I imagine everyone did though) and I didn’t drink enough, but I did take on more nutrition this time, which was one of my targets for the race.

Surprisingly enough, I felt a lot better on the run. Joe was right in his prediction: 3rd lap was when the quad and hip started to play up. But with a hilly, twisty course on different surfaces, the pain was on and off and manageable. I finished with a PB on the run and didn’t lose ground on the other girls, which is what has been happening.

I now know that I had more in the tank: I started the run cautiously, thinking I would struggle, but actually I felt really good on the last lap, so there is more there... that’s great for me to know mentally! With a few more physio sessions, strength work on the ankle and a block of run training, it could be looking a lot more positive for that bit I dread: the run off the bike! My target for the end of this season is to mentally feel I can attack that run, rather than “get through it and limit the damage!”

So, how much of that do you think is mental focus?

Well done to Fran once again! Fran's schedule isn't 100% confirmed for the next few races: either Bournemouth standard distance on the 8th of July or one of the GU Energy events the week after. The next confirmed event is the Alpe D' Huez Triathlon - short course this time as its a bit close to the highlight of the season: the European Ironman 70.3 Championships at Weisbaden! Best of luck to Fran in all her upcoming events. We'll keep you posted with all the results!

26 June 2014