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Ritchie Nicholls' Year So Far

This year has been a challenging one for me. I'd hoped to carry on the form of last season and build on that, but I've struggled to find any form throughout the season so far.

I went out to Agulias, Spain in January, got a good six week block of training done and I felt like I was going well. I finished my camp in Spain with a sprint distance duathlon which I won and I felt very comfortable against some pretty decent athletes.

From Agulias I went to Ferrer Hotels in Mallorca and trained there for a couple of months until the main race season started.

My first race was an ITU points race in Portugal. I struggled in the swim and felt worse on the bike. I had a decent run but still finished way back. I put this down to being a bit 'rusty' so cracked on with the training.

Unfortunately it was a similar story at my next race at Challenge Fuerteventura although I did manage to salvage a 7th place. I went straight to Challenge Rimini from Fuerteventura and really enjoyed my stay in Italy, keeping things ticking over for the few weeks in between the races. At Challenge Rimini itself I biked much better and ran pretty well until the last 5km where I blew up pretty badly to finish 3rd.

At the UK 70.3 I managed another 3rd but it felt like a struggle the whole way and comparing my performance with when I won in 2013 it showed my form was way off.

I decided at this time in the year my training wasn't working and that I needed a change. I made the decision to go back to Brett Sutton and train with his squad which worked so well for me last year. So now I am training up high in St. Moritz in Switzerland, putting my head down and getting in the hard yards to hopefully bring some success to the rest of my season.

Training up here varies day to day but generally we swim at 8am for 5km or so, then the rest of the day is hard to predict. There are lots of very hilly loops around here varying from 4-7 hours in length and there are endless trails to run on which can be a blessing given the rainy summer there has been here.

My next race is Challenge Walchsee in Austria on the 31st August, and then I am racing the week after in a hilly half-distance race in Gerardmer, France.

19 August 2014