Monday, July 19, 2010

One week to go until the ITU World Championship Series in Hyde Park

I can’t believe we are already in July and Hyde Park is just around the

I am now back at home preparing for Hyde Park. It’s nice that it’s so close, it’s very handy not having to travel so far. Hopefully the weather will be good.

I tend to take a day off every couple of weeks. On average, I’ll swim five mornings a week, ride four times a week and run five or six times a week, usually in the afternoons. I mostly train for swimming through a swimming club – I don’t do an awful lot of open water swimming. I’d usually look to cover a distance of 4,000 – 6,000. I’ll also use a gym in Cardiff a couple of times a week and see my physio once or twice a week as it’s good to get consistent checks.

In-between training, I spend a lot of time walking the dog. It’s a good way to warm up and down.

I’m still training with my Suunto Red Arrow. I’ve also got a T3c pink for more casual training. I get lots of comments on it actually as it’s so bright. For the more complex stuff, I’m still sending data to sports scientists who check my data to make sure everything is okay.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lead up to the ITU World Championship Series event in Hyde Park

Since my break after last year’s season, I put in a good winter of training – which went pretty well but my season didn’t begin as well as I’d hoped with a 15th in Sydney World Championship Series recently.

I’ve really learnt that it’s not so much about how fit I am but more about getting enough race practice in. Last year it took me until London Tri to get on the podium – it’s already happened quicker this year, in Madrid at the begining of June.

The WCS is getting more and more competitive, especially with the girls – there are so many good girls competing and we’re all very close together now.

I am currently in Portugal with the British Squad training hard and getting in lots of race practice sessions. It’s fantastic to train with the squad for a change as I usually do most my training in South Wales with Marc, but I’m always happy to get home.

I try and keep my training balanced in terms of swimming, running and biking. It’s important to have a good swim but I try and work on my running a lot. I want to feel prepared to be able to deal with every scenario that can occur in a race.

Then I’ll be at home training before Hyde Park. It’s nice it’s so close, it’s very handy not having to travel so far and get on a plane. Hopefully the weather will be good.

I will keep you posted on my progress ahead of Hyde Park ....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hit and miss at the ITU Grand Final

I’ve just got back from the beautiful Gold Coast in Australia after coming third in the ITU World Champs Grand Final. As expected, it was a tough and closely fought end to the series of eight races that took us all over the world, from Hyde Park last month to Spain, Germany, Austria, the US…

I have to say I was really pleased with my third place at the Grand Final. I felt my overall performance was pretty good although my second transition (from bike to run) was a disaster! My bike fell on me and I couldn’t get my shoes on. And I knew we were going the wrong way in the swim after the first buoy but thought it better to stick with the pack than go it alone. I didn’t feel great at the start of the run (the bike was hard!) but, as time went on, I began to feel better and better and got on a real charge to pass Sarah (Haskins) on the last lap which made it all worth it.

I have to say, Emma Moffatt is an extremely worthy winner – she was on top form, despite having been injured so recently. It was a close finish for her and Lisa. I was getting a lot of encouragement from the Brits in the crowd - shouting out that I was catching the leaders - but I couldn’t quite get up to them. And my third means that I come fifth overall which is great because I started the season a bit late after a good, long break after Beijing.

I’m having a few easy days before getting back into training ahead of the LA Tri early next month. Dallas finishes my season later next month – then a couple of weeks completely off before it’s back to work with the start of winter training, with my Suunto Red Arrow, of course. J

Thanks for following my blogs, guys. Hope you found them interesting!

Helen x

Friday, August 21, 2009

World Champs London thoughts

I’m writing this entry from the Sunshine Coast, Australia, currently recovering after the World Champs at Hyde Park last weekend and a long haul flight. It was a good race for me and I was really pleased. I didn’t get the best start in the swim and was lying eighth after the first lap but managed to find some clear water and come out of the water second. I felt pretty solid and consistent on the bike – there was quite a head wind at times and it was a bit frustrating that the groups from behind were able to ride up to us, but that's racing. Jodie [Swallow] and I really pushed on with the final lap and there was a real sense of competition amongst the lead group heading into the run. My second transition was pretty smooth which placed me in a decent position for the run – Jodie Stimpson went off really quickly but I was determined to stay with her and tucked in behind her. The final lap was between me, Nicola Spirig and Lisa Norden – it was really close and I was doing a lot of front running hoping to gain enough of a gap so that there wasn’t a sprint finish. But there was - and the girls pipped me to the post! Still, I was pleased with bronze and Nicola and Lisa have been up there all season. I’ve gone up from 10th overall to 5th overall now – and am looking forward to the Grand Final on the Gold Coast in just a few weeks. It should be a close one – there really are a lot of capable girls in the group this year…watch this space! For now, it’s on with the training.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Busy yet successful times in the Big Smoke

Just back from a busy weekend in London. It kicked-off with an interview on BBC Breakfast early Saturday morning which was a little nerve wracking but seemed to go well - and then a visit to the Expo to see the Asics and Suunto stands ahead of my race the next day. I hadn’t put too much pressure on myself for this race as I was really using it as a bit of a warm-up for the ITU World Championship Series race in Hyde Park but I was obviously extremely pleased to win!

The swim went well with four of us managing to get a gap on the rest of the field relatively early on. The bike was hard as we were all working to extend our advantage and it felt like there was a constant headwind. I ran well and kept pushing myself and I think I won by 35 seconds, so I am really pleased with how it went. It has certainly given me confidence leading into Hyde Park and the World Champs Grand Final (in September) - and it has motivated me to get back home for a hard week’s training. Marc will make sure of that!

I had to do an interview for Radio Five Live straight after the race where we discussed everything from my race win to 2012, the upcoming race in Hyde Park, the FINA World Swimming Champs along with the current issue of the controversial new swimsuits. There’s a lot going on in the sports world at present and I love the fact that triathlon is becoming more mainstream and accessible to everyone.

Will keep you posted on how my training goes ahead of August 15th…


Monday, August 3, 2009

Setting the scene...

I’ve recently got back from a solid race in beautiful Kitzbuhel, Austria, but lots of training to get done ahead of the ITU World Championship, London, in just a few weeks time now. I’m racing at the London Triathlon next weekend so this should be a good warm up ahead of the big event.

Marc, my trainer (and husband!) has set me a tough programme for this final few weeks – I’m going to be swimming five times a week, running six times a week, going on four bike rides and heading to the gym at least twice a week. So not a huge amount of down time but it’ll be worth it as it’s so important to go into this kind of race mentally and physically on top form. It’s a great feeling to be doing a season without any injury, although I mustn’t talk to soon!

It’s certainly going to be a tough race as there are a lot of girls having a great season – Brits like Hollie Avil and Jodie Stimpson as well as the Aussie girls. I think it’s going to be a close race with so much talent and determination this year. I’m beginning to feel a little bit of pressure…

So, for this next week, I just want to concentrate on eating well, trying to rest as much as possible (taking my dog Barney down to the beach is my therapy!) and ensuring I’m getting consistent results from each training session. My Suunto heart rate monitor results are being closely monitored to ensure I’m pushing my boundaries at each stage without over-exerting myself and, so far, I feel like I’m getting a good balance. But it’ll be interesting to see how I feel after the weekend!


Helen Jenkins, one of Suunto’s top ambassadors, talks about her training and thoughts in the run-up to the next ITU World Championship event in London. Over the next few weeks you can follow the current ITU World Champion and Olympic athlete in her bid to defend her title in this exclusive blog she’s agreed to write for Suunto fans.

Helen has also provided us with her top tips on how to successfully get into triathlon. You can also read an interview we did with Helen ahead of the big event. Both of them are found at