Pork Pies and Duathlon Training


You may have seen that this week is British Pie Week. We’ve spent the week enjoying our Yorkshire pork pies and celebrating World Book Day too! Also, we’ve been catching up with brand ambassador, Chris. Taking part in duathlons and powermans, we caught up with Chris to see what he’s up to…


Since our last blog, you’ve done a duathlon – tell us how it went!

So, within the last blog I discussed what duathlon was and that I was more of a long distance duathlete. Now 2019 has kicked off I have done my first Powerman race in Mallorca plus a little sprint duathlon at Castle Combe Race track.

The sprint duathlon was done primarily to ease the anxieties in my own mind as I had not done a duathlon since the end of 2016. I knew I could run and ride but transition is always the worry. The sprint duathlon (2 miles / 10 miles / 2 miles) is short, fast and painful, but at least the pain is done with quickly. The race went well, I ran hard and came into T1 in joint first, I did not ride as hard as I should have and looking back I was to tentative. I was caught on the bike with approximately 2 miles to go by a very strong cyclist and he came flying past me. As I came into T2 I was second, and I saw the leader leaving T2, I knew I had work to do to chase him over the last 2 mile run. I ran hard and eventually lost to him by a mere 17 seconds.

The weekend after I flew off to Mallorca with some team mates and the coach to tackle my first Powerman. This was to be a 10k / 60k / 10k race against a strong field of athletes. I had been given a race plan and the aim was to stick to that. After the first run I found myself in 7th place and then onto the bike. This is definitely my weakest element at the moment as I have not been on my bike properly since 2016. I came into T2 with 3 other athletes and ran hard for the last 10k finishing as 8th Elite. A very pleasing result after only 2-3 months of proper training back.


How did you train for the duathlon?

I cannot specifically tell you how I train, but it consists of a number of hours a week, a number of track sessions with my running team and a number of session in my shed on the turbo trainer. Many of the days (when I am not on shift) consist of double sessions of run/bike or bike/run. The best and the most valuable are the brick sessions when you really get to work hard on both aspects of the sport.


Any training tips for others wanting to compete in a duathlon?

I think my biggest tip for anyone else wanting to compete in duathlon is start small, get a feel for the sport. When training for a duathlon I have found that many people love the bike. The bike is easy to train for and sometimes the running is neglected. I have been guilty of this but now I have a good balance. The running is a big part of the sport and if you can join a running club, enter running races, train with other runners you will find this aspect more enjoyable and you will become strong and fast which will naturally cross over to the bike.


How are you best enjoying your pork pies this British pie week?

I love pie week! To be honest, I love pies! I still feel the best way to enjoy a Vale of Mowbray porkpie is keeping it simple. Pie, chutney, bit of cheese, and some salad. Nothing extravagant, why ruin a great pie with complicating things!


It’s British Pie week – what do you like best about a pork pie and why do you like them for training?

The pork pie is underestimated! It contains everything you need for fuel. It’s hard to stop eating them I know but it is all about a balance. Two small pork pies is fantastic rocket fuel for someone of my size and I love the taste. Eating normal food post race is a great relief following stuffing sweet, sticky gels in for over 2 hours.  


What’s next? Any more upcoming events you’re training for?

Next for me is continuing to get faster and stronger and the next upcoming race is Powerman Viborg which is also the European Powerman Championships.


Do you eat your pies differently depending on season? We’re looking forward to Spring flavours…

I do find I enjoy warm food over the winter like a lot of people. Warming the pies through slowly is definitely how I prefer them in the colder months and over the warmer periods a nice cold pie goes down well. Like you, I am looking forward to the Spring flavours!


Which is your favourite event within the Duathlon? Are any easier than others for you?

I enjoy all of it if I am honest. I used to focus on my cycling a lot but over the 2 years of not biking much I have found a love for running and now I love going to the track on a Tuesday and smashing out session with my team mates at Cheltenham Harriers. Easy? I can’t say that any is easy! If you want to better yourself in anything you have to push your limits which can always take you to a painful place! It’s how you come out the other side that makes you!


Between training, work and being a family man – how do you fit it all in – what’s your best tips for getting everything done!

The main thing that helps me get it all done is having an understanding family especially wife. I could not do everything without the support of my wife and family. My boy is at an age now where he understands more and realises what I am doing and is interested in my training and watches me race. Fitting it all in involves discussions with my coach and wife and a lot of my life sadly revolves around my shifts. I know what my shifts are so I can write them all on the calendar and also on my Training calendar so my coach is aware what I am up to. So my best tip is definitely working on time management! If you are organised and can structure you time then you can get a lot done. This doesn’t mean that it is easy or less tiring; it just means you can get more done. Alongside this I would say making the most out of your sessions. Don’t try and do hard sessions when you know your body is tired, always make sure there is recovery in your week. It may not seem like there is much recovery on mine but trust me, I know how to relax and even say NO to people!


We hope you’ve all had a great British Pie Week – we’re exhausted just reading about Chris’ training!

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