TTH Athlete Q&A: Kurt Winship

This is the first in a new series of blogs where we will be doing short question and answer sessions with a variety of our athletes so you can get to know them a little better! You will hopefully learn from these that we cater to all athletes, from beginner to elite level across all of our coaching services. 

Kurt Winship has been a TTH athlete for over two years now and has taken part in multiple training holidays and is also a coached athlete. 

Kurt completed a lifelong ambition earlier this year by completing an IRONMAN event, which was a dream he thought would never become a reality after suffering heat exhaustion in a long course event last year, proving that anything is possible if you really want it!

Kurt with his IRONMAN medal,

the day after his race

Over to the questions...

Where do you train in the UK? 

In and around Oxfordshire and the Cotswold area

What’s your favourite training route?

For me I don't like the same training routes over and over again. I found I prefer to make my routes as varied as possible to keep me interested so often will get driven somewhere, then make it about a journey home.

How often do you train and how do you fit training around work?

Training varied from anything between 4 sessions up to 10 sessions a week, heavy weeks I would utilise lunch hours at work for strength and conditioning work and interval runs, used commuting to and from work too for medium distance rides up to 2hrs then all long rides would take over my weekends to achieve my goal.

Swimming was always done on my way home from work, I always tried to get the sessions done before I got home as when my bag hit the floor in the kitchen I didn't want to go out again so really tried to get things done before I was home. My work were brill towards the end when training ramped up as they allowed me extra time if needed as long as my work for the week was managed and completed I could take the extra time.

How long have you been working with Tri Training Harder?

As an athlete in the loosest sense of the word I've been working with TTH for almost 2 years.

What do you do when your not doing triathlon? 

To switch off from triathlon I grow bonsais and when they are all sorted I like listening to music and cooking, which I've missed a lot of due to my diet.

Why do you do triathlon?

I partake in triathlon to help give me a focus and to meet new people.

What’s your favourite experience on a TTH Training Holiday?

Meeting like minded made people and connecting with them about triathlon

How have you found having a triathlon Coach? Positives and negatives?

It's been an interesting experience for sure, having never had a coach for anything the positive is that there is always someone to turn to when the going gets tough, but also someone understands what you are going through. It's all very easy to blow up at those around you because you are hurting, but having a coach allows you to vent at them as they know and understand the sport better thereby saving arguments with your loved ones over nothing.

Also not having to worry about when you are training next as it's all done for you, it just appears in training peaks and away you go. The coaching set up on training peaks allows you to also switch your program slightly as work commitments change you can adjust the plan with ease making it more acceptable for the working week. The biggest positive of all though is you don't feel alone with it all, someone is always with you when the going gets tough.

So the negatives to having a coach? I'm not sure there is one from my point of view, but I'm that person who likes showing off when it goes well but also likes to understand why it might not have worked out too.

What’s your favourite workout?

Believe it or not it was a 1hr 45 swim endurance session, I hate swimming at the best of times, but this session really gave me the sense that actually I could do the full swim, but love all the core strength training as this sets you up for all the other sessions.

What is your favourite distance event?

Interesting question, I would say it was the uk triathlon events Ultimate half distance race in Shropshire, beautiful course and such a fantastic set up by the event organisers, really does show off the sport in its best light, and the half distance gives you a huge sense of "yes I can do the full distance" feel.

What are your plans for the rest of 2017?

The rest of the season is now about just enjoying life for a few months, catching up with friends who I haven't been able to see due to training so much. Hopefully get to have a few weekends away with some of them too, but more importantly throw a kick ass Halloween party

What are you planning for next season? 

Next season is mainly about preparing, I've come up with a hair brained scheme to go sub 11 hours for ironman, so must of next year is about losing weight and a huge strength and conditioning program to fire me into 2019 and have a crack at Copenhagen again in this daft time. But triathlon wise 2018 will be about enjoying the sport and doing sprints and half distance ironman events for fun, not watching the clock too much for them.

Nick PillingAG, TriathlonComment