Wargrave Sprint Triathlon

750m Swim | 20km Cycle | 5km Run

Sunday 23rd June 2019

On Sunday 23rd June, athletes and spectators alike gathered at the crack of dawn in the beautiful town of Wargrave, eagerly anticipating the race briefing. Team Meglio athletes were out in force, ready to battle it out in the male, female and relay categories.

With mixed weather leading up to race day, the river temperature would prove a shock to the system; especially in the early hours of the morning. After the athletes plunged themselves in the water, the klaxon sounded and the race had begun.

The fastest of the them all arrived out of the water in just over 11 minutes, before sprinting off to make their transition onto the bike. The chasing pack followed on just a minute after and made their ascent up the hill towards the bikes.

After making a quick transition out of the wetsuit, it was time to jump on the bike and hit the road. The course took the riders around the quaint town of Wargrave, weaving through the streets before taking on the challenging Remenham Hill.

The fastest rider on the day went to our very own Pete Harrison, who managed to clock through the gate at just over 30 minutes. Absolutely incredible effort!

The final stage of the race saw a 5K run to the line. With the temperature rising and athletes energy draining towards the end of the race, we were expecting an exciting finish.

The quickest time of the day went to Team Meglio, clocking in at 1:03:00 with the fastest individual coming home at 1:09:35. Our very own Sophie Whitworth, crossed the line as the fastest individual female, clocking an impressive 1:15:22.

Full Race Results

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Certainly one of our favourite events on the calendar, we loved every minute of the day. We’d like to say a massive congratulations to Hannah Young, the organisers and all the athletes that took part in this fantastic event.

We partner up with the Wargrave Triathlon team each year to help raise money for a local cause. All proceeds from the event would be going towards the creation of the Wargrave Lido.

As soon as you get the idea of doing a triathlon into your head you’ll be hooked! Triathlon distances range from sprint distance (400-750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) up to full iron distance (3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42km run). Katrina Matthews would recommend starting at sprint or standard (1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run) as this will nicely introduce you into the technical aspects of triathlon as well as the physical effort. To find events you can just search online, a good website is run by British Triathlon where you can filter distances and local area.

I would recommend you give yourself at least 8 weeks to train for your first triathlon, but this will vary on your previous fitness levels as you may want longer to prepare. The amount you train during the week will vary a lot depending on what other life commitments you have. A really good training goal would be 2 swims, 2 bikes and 2 runs a week. These can be short or longer, whatever you can fit in with the time you have. Special to triathlon is the run straight after the cycle. Your body is very good at bringing all of the necessary blood and nutrients into your legs for the cycle but then when you run you need the blood all over your body and your legs can feel very heavy.  To teach the body to adapt to this bike-run transition it is worth doing a few runs straight after your cycling sessions, this is called a “brick” session. You only need to be doing this every other week or so to start with but you can mix this up as you learn about what works for you.

Now you have been doing the training for a few weeks the race you’ve entered starts to become more real. As you start to think about kit it can be very daunting… and expensive. The key bits of kit you already have; a bike, shoes, helmet, swim kit and run trainers. However, for most triathlons there are some other necessary bits of kit as well as some items that just make your race a lot easier. If it is an open water swim you are likely to need a wetsuit. The rules of the event will outline the likely water temperature, the requirement for a wetsuit depends on the temperature on the morning of the race. You will want a wetsuit designed for open water swimming or triathlon (rather than a surfing style wetsuit) as it is designed to give you the movement you need around your shoulders to swim properly. For most triathlons you can opt to change clothes after the swim in T1 (Transition 1) and after the bike in T2 but most people will choose to wear a tri-suit. This is a swimming/cycling kit material which has a small light weight chamois, which therefore allows you to swim, bike and then run in the same piece of kit with no changing. In addition, you will want to have a race belt. You will be issued a paper number to wear on race day it has to be worn on your back for the bike and on your front for the run. To make this easy and so you don’t have to pin through your tri suit athletes attach the number to a race belt which can then just be manually twisted around in T2 (from your back to front). These can be bought cheaply online or home made with some elastic. Finally, you should have a hard think about how you will fuel yourself and get enough water through the event. Have a read of the race details to see where the aid/fuelling stations are and plan your race. Everyone has their own way of doing this but an easy start point is some energy gels and a couple of water bottles.

With your training well underway and you have all of your kit and equipment ready everything should be downhill to the race. However, sometimes with an increase to the amount of training that you are doing you might pick up a “niggle”; an area of discomfort during or after a training session. This is different to normal muscle soreness or DOMS this is acutely painful and is often still there the next day. This is an indication that that bit of your body has been overloaded (asked more of than which it is capable) and it is asking for a bit of a rest. It is wise at this point to listen. 2-3 days of lighter training which is not hurting that area or no training if you need to should allow this niggle to ease. Often this is all you need to do and you can return to training as you had planned. Sometimes this niggle is an indication that something else isn’t strong enough to cope with what you are asking of your body and it requires more attention that just rest. The niggle may not settle or it may come back again, at this point you want to consider going to see a Physiotherapist to identify a target area for you to improve to allow you to continue on the training plan you have and be ready for race day. To mitigate some of the risk of injury during your training I would recommend you have a professional bike fit, build your training load (hours/intensity) slowly and allow enough time to recover (easy steady sessions, a yoga session or feet up on the sofa!).

Read more about Katrina Matthews & her story here

Got an event coming up soon? Having pushed and punished yourself for months on end, the last thing you want to do now is start experimenting with new workouts or food in the days leading up to the race.

Eating the correct food and fully hydrating before race day is vital to help you perform and achieve your goals. A pre-race meal is a key aspect of any event, and our simple tips will help you stay energised throughout.

For tips and advice on how to keep fit and avoid injuries before and after the big race, take a look at YouTube channel. But back to the food…

1. Eat a light pre-race breakfast

If your race is in the morning, have a meal of around 200-300 calories 1-2 hours beforehand. The majority of calories should come from whole, unprocessed carbs. Try to keep the meal low in fibre and fat as both take a long time to digest. Aim for under 10 grams of fibre per serving and limit fat to five to 10 grams.

Experiment with a range of foods before training so you know what works (or doesn’t work) for you. Try to build up a selection of different meals – here are some examples:

-Bagel with a selection of fruit (banana, apple, raspberries, strawberries)

-Bowl of granola with yoghurt

-Bowl of porridge topped with fruit and honey

2. No need to stock up on carbs the night before

Carb-loading (increasing your intake of carbohydrate foods while cutting back on protein/fat in the days before a race) is aimed at events of 90 minutes or longer so it’s a good idea to stock up on carbohydrates a few days before the race. Try adding an extra element to your diet – for example, sweet potato, pasta, baked potato, brown rice, sandwiches, bagels with peanut butter, quinoa, whole grains, oatmeal. Your last big meal should be two nights before the race, to give your body ample time to digest everything. If you attempt to carb-load before a race, you’ll end up with lots of calories that you don’t need, and you could feel very bloated.

3. Have a light pre-race snack

If you feel hungry on the way to the race, have a small snack of 150-250 calories. This will stop the hunger without filling you up (a small banana or a yoghurt is ideal). Alternatively, have some energy sweets or an energy bar for quick fuel that’s easy to digest.

4. Don’t try anything new

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that’s worked for you during regular training – race day is certainly not the time to try anything new. You need to something that makes you feel energised but won’t leave you with an upset stomach.

5. Don’t forget the fluids

Be sure to wash down your pre-race meal with plenty of fluids. Aim to consume 500-600ml of fluids 2-3 hours before the race, and another 200-300ml about 20 minutes before the race begins. It’s okay to have coffee, tea or a sports drink if you regularly drink those before runs. It’s best to sip water throughout the days before the race, and avoid drinking large amount of fluid right before the start.


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Hello! I’m Kat Matthews, a physiotherapist by profession and after three successive Middle Distance (Ironman 70.3) outright wins (Calgary, Vitruvian and Gran Canaria) have qualified to race as an elite triathlete! My first race as a professional is this weekend (9 June 2019) in the Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire and I’ll follow this up with another Middle Distance in Finland this month and, once selection’s confirmed, race for Great Britain in the ETU European Championships, again Middle Distance.
Katrina Matthews grew up surrounded by sport and thus developed an interest in the human body and health generally. I was advised to try a work experience week with a physiotherapist working in MSK rehabilitation and genuinely just fell in love straight away. I decided that week I would be applying to university to study Physiotherapy and directly alongside that I wanted to join the British Army as a Physiotherapist as I believed this was where the fittest and most determined patients were.

My main sports during my schooldays were hockey, swimming and running. Sports like hockey appealed to my need for fun much more as a kid that the monotony of lane swimming. There was so much comradery in a hockey team and as a team member you felt part of something bigger than just that training session or that match because you were working for the team and not just yourself.After finishing university and escaping for a ski season I commissioned into the Royal Army Medical Corps as a Physiotherapist with my first job as a life time dream at the Defence Military Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court, in Surrey.  Headley Court has a world reputation for military rehabilitation excellence and helping injured soldiers get back to fighting fitness, if humanly possible. This was an excellent job, gaining experience in the full range of disciplines, working alongside some brilliant people with motivated patients. Important to this story is that there was a swimming pool onsite, a few Wattbikes in the gym and superb tracks and trails from the centre’s front gate, into the  Surrey Hills- perfect for exploring! I decided to start swimming again and at this point a big swim was 20mins in the morning before breakfast structured as a random assortment of 50-100m efforts.That first year entered a couple of local sprint triathlons and raced for the Army – all on my trusty 1994 third-hand road bike. Training was generally structured as do-what-I-feel-like on the day decisions but importantly it was enjoyable and inclusive. Turning up to local triathlons as a novice everyone was so friendly and welcoming, offering advice freely (useful or not it didn’t matter) and everyone encouraged everyone. This encouragement and support are what seems to hold the triathlon community together. When you are constantly pushing the physiological limits of your body and mind you need this encouragement.

It is not necessarily during a race when you are pushing at your hardest but often it is most needed when you are unable to train for the goals you have set yourself.

Katrina Matthews have had a few injuries over the last few years which have taken me out of training from just one training session up to 3 months with anti-inflammatory medication and complete rest. The strife of these periods is the hardest aspect of the sport, both physiologically and mentally. You may not see or believe it but your body is working at its hardest to heal and yet your mind is going crazy (if you let it).  Katrina Matthews try not to look back on missed targets as anything other than decent preparation for the next goal. The ‘lows’ in any sport are needed to ensure the ‘highs’ are high!

In 4 years in triathlon I have transitioned from competing at local AG qualifiers to the top end of Age Group European and World Champs, I’ve become Army Champion (Sprint, Standard, Middle Distance) and gained a National Middle Distance Champion title in 2018 with a IM 70.3 overall win in Calgary (while deployed for British Army training to Canada for 4 months) in the mix as well. This Easter I competed at Challenge Gran Canaria, and as well as being the fastest amateur, I beat all the pros bar one (Emma Pallant) on time.

This secured an instant Elite/Professional licence with British Triathlon (only 1.8% down on the Pro winner’s time). Having achieved my 2019 season goal of ‘turning pro’ in my first race I have spent a few weeks re-aligning my next goals. I want to wear a GB Elite Vest and gain a professional podium this year. Some might say: “a bit ambitious” for my first pro season. We’ll see. With the support of the British Army, rehab company Meglio and my brilliant family it is possible.

An underlying drive to be the best I can be as an athlete is to learn as a Physiotherapist. The experience I have gained from working with other athletes and my personal experience allows me to have an expansive breath of understanding and empathy for any athlete. I have been advised over and over again that the key to being a good Physio is to be able to relate and listen to your patient and to inspire them. In the Army we call it leading from the front.

This is my background and I was lucky enough that the Meglio CEO Barry Keane contacted me after an article I had initially written for my local paper (as a thank you to my parents for their support) was published in the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy magazine ‘Frontline’. I described my 2018 triathlon journey from early season good fitness to a multitude of overload injuries where I then worked very hard on rehabilitation both in the gym and psychologically to enable my win at an IM 70.3 and the National Champs. Meglio is a company who genuinely believes in optimising product efficacy for both fitness and Physio. I am looking forward to our partnership as we facilitate each other to inspire others to be the best they can be.