The Start

May 2019 was the beginning of my journey to become an accomplished triathlete. 

I’ve always been inspired by the professional triathletes that I keep up with on social media. I would look at them competing in their iconic blue GBR kit with their names printed on it, and think that maybe that would be me one day, if I trained hard enough. I’ve always been an ambitious athlete, constantly thinking what I can do to improve and what I race I can do next. 

I decided to have a look on the internet at the British Age Group Triathlon page to see at what level I would have to be to qualify to represent my age group. I learnt that in order to qualify, I would have to achieve a good result in a ‘qualifier race’ which would enable me to represent GBR Age Group the following year. I didn’t think I had much of a chance, being honest. There’s only three qualifier events per year, and one had already been and gone. I also learnt that to qualify, I would have to be in 120% of the winner’s time in my age group, and come in the top five of my age group. This sounded like an impossible task, but I decided to take a quick look at the most recent results to see how much I needed to improve to stand a chance, setting my sights to possibly race next year.

On looking up the results for the 20-24 age group, I found out the winner’s time was 2 hours 15 minutes. I was currently able to do 2 hours 17 minutes. It was in that moment I realized that I had a good chance of qualifying this year for the 2020 ETU Standard Distance Triathlon European Championships that was due to be based in Estonia. I was very excited, but I knew that this was a big decision, so I decided to take some time to talk to my family about it. I was currently training for IronMan Wales in September 2019 and so this would have to take a step back whilst I was training for the standard distance, as the style is very different. The qualifying race was only six weeks away, so I did not have long to make the decision. 

A few days (and many chats) later I decided that I was going to go for it. I was going to massively up my training and try my absolute hardest to qualify. I was driven and wanted to succeed. I paid my £10 registration fee and my entry to the qualifying race was confirmed; the Woodhorn Museum Standard Distance Triathlon. 

I had my first big training weekend already planned for 3 weeks before the race; the Immortals Wimbleball Triple Crown Weekend. This would entail a 10k run on the Saturday morning followed by a standard triathlon in the evening, then a Middle Distance Triathlon (70.3) on the Sunday morning. This would be challenging, but good preparation for the qualifier. I planned out my training for the next six weeks and got to work. I knew that it wouldn’t be easy, but I was prepared to give it my all. 

Please don’t hesitate to email me any questions or advice that you have for me, and follow me on Instagram (see link at the bottom of my page) so we can go through our triathlon journeys together. 

https://www.instagram.com/ryancoombstriathlon/

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