Looking to build on her successful 2019 campaign (National under 17 and under 20 Aquathlon Champion, European Championship silver medallist and World Championships fifth place), 2020 started well for Ellie. She qualified for and ran in the National Cross Country Championships and ran for Hertfordshire in the National Inter Counties Cross Country Championships. Swimming training was going similarly well, including a block of long course training at the Olympic Poll in Stratford and the last weekend of competition before lockdown saw Ellie swim in a Level 1 national qualifier meet.
Ellie had already been selected to represent Team GB at the European and World Aquathlon Championships in 2020 in Austria and the Netherlands respectively, so was looking forward to the challenge of aiming to match or improve on last year’s results. She also planned to spend more time on the bike, with the aim of competing in more triathlons this year.
However, all running, swimming and triathlon competitions ceased with the advent of lockdown in March. The European and World Aquathlon Championships have been postponed until 2021. Training was also severely affected, with all swimming pools closed and outdoors exercise allowed only once per day.
Undaunted, Ellie resolved to use the situation as an opportunity to train harder and smarter and to be ready to return to ‘normal’ training better and stronger than before, ready to compete whenever the opportunity comes Improvising and adapting at home, a typical weeks’ varied training over the past nearly 4 months in lockdown might comprise:
- One long run
- Two ‘tempo’ runs
- One interval running session
- One hill training running session
- One fast run
- Daily strength and conditioning sessions
- Four indoor rowing sessions on a newly purchased home rower
- One long bike ride
- Two bike turbo training sessions
- HIT, tabata, stretching and simulated outdoor swim sessions
In the last couple of weeks, open water swimming has been possible and Ellie has been in her wetsuit at the lake twice a week.
In terms of competitions, a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel has now appeared with the re-arrangement of the postponed European Aquathlon Championships to Bled in Slovenia in the second half of Summer 2020; a good motivation to keep training hard.
All of the above is being achieved against a background of Ellie tracking A* for A levels, her EPQ and mocks this summer!