Posted by: Bruce Duncan | October 9, 2011

Back into Winter, Back into Training

September has been a lot of fun for me.  I finished racing at the end of August, and I have had a big chill out, of no racing, little training, and lots of fun, out with friends, enjoying time doing things that won’t improve my racing, but its great to have a go at.

Maz enjoying the evening sunshine in Cornwall

Early morning surf in Polzeath

Up above 'Pulpit Rock' 600m vertical drop to the fjord

The weather was also pretty good, at last! Meaning that I was able to really enjoy my blowout month, from cycling around to see my girlfriend when she was working on the David Walliams Thames Swim, to learning to surf in Cornwall on a fantastic work weekend away, to having a great time in Norway visiting my brother and his family.

Now we are into October, and despite a short burst of amazing heat and sunshine, it is all normal again, damp dreich weather, drizzle outside, and cold bone chilling winds blowing in from the North, just how it should be.

I have had a fun start to the month though.  A number of months ago, a sports psychologist contacted me as he was writing a book on ‘Be World Class’. He had interviewed a number of different people, sportsmen, business people, chefs, soldiers, and other people at the top of their chosen field.

It had been very interesting when I first spoke to Simon back in May, and we had had numerous emails back and forth, and then he asked me to speak at a conference he was organising in Newcastle in October.  It sounded interesting and a bit different, so I said yes.

Travelling up with Simon from London on Wednesday we had a great chat about all sorts of things, and he told me about some of the other speakers, I was really looking forward to meeting them, a group of people that would rarely have any reason to get together.

On the list was Chris Cook, a retired GB 100m breaststroke swimmer, with plenty of medals to his name, James Hoffman, the world barista champion 2007, Kenny Atkinson, a 2 time Michelin Star winning chef, Kier Worth, head of performance at England Squash, and myself.  I was excited to hear about how the others got to where they are now, and what their job really entails.

We had a great dinner the evening before the conference, and it was great to get to know the guys, to chat about where we all come from, and to see the similarities we all shared to be as good as we possibly can be at what we do.

James was a very interesting guy, as keen as you could imagine on coffee.  I really enjoyed listening to the intricacies of coffee, something I’d thought was fairly straight forward.  He had gone to huge lengths to get that small bit better than everyone else in the world to win his title, and I am dying to try a cup of James’ coffee and see how good it really can be.

The day itself was great fun, I enjoyed being on the stage, Simon did a great job of steering us all in the right direction to get the most out of what we all had to say, ensuring the attendees got plenty from their day.  I got the usual gasps of breaths as I regaled the stats of our Epic Tri, and other huge races I have done.

This weekend I am in the Lake District for the Bob Graham dinner, which is held every 2 years at the Shap Wells Hotel.  It was a great night, to be presented with the certificate, in front of so many other people was great, and with a small impromptu speech about what we did, the applause was really good to receive. It was good to see Eddie, who had been such a great support for us on the BG, by doing all our timings, and registering our attempt.

There were many other friends there that had either completed their BG, or were there as part of a support group, so it was a brilliant social.  Many people congratulated us on what we had done, and many more asked us what was next!

That’s a big question, and at the moment, I really am not sure.  I am planning on doing some small races next year, so nothing extravagant as this year held.  But one of the conversations I had last night was talking about Alaska, so we will see…

So now it’s really time to get my head down and into training for the winter.  It’s not easy to get motivated though when the wind is howling outside, and you can hardly see the hills only a few hundred metres away.  Anyway, time to get out for a run, up and over Latrigg, even though I can’t see it.

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