Hi All! My name is Richard Anderson. I am a 29 year old triathlete based in Carlisle, Cumbria. I have been using the Kendal Mint Co range for the past couple of months and will be using it to fuel my training and racing in 2020. I am going to be keeping a blog, mainly around my approach to nutrition in training and racing. Here is my first blog which sets the scene, explains how I found KMC and how I faired in my first race using the products. I hope you enjoy!
I have been racing competitively in triathlon, running, cycling and swimming for just over 10 years now. It is fair to say that 2019 has been a year like no other. I started the year 'in retirement', no races entered, no training plan, about 5kg overweight and just doing a bit of running and cycling 'for the crack'.As summer came round I entered a few fell races and the Scafell Pike Trail Marathon. The fell races went better than expected but sadly the Scafell Marathon didn't… I led for the first 10 miles and was in 4th after about 17 miles when I tripped, smashed my head open and lost a front tooth. I was brought off the mountain by Keswick Mountain Rescue and off to A&E for 4 stitches in my head.
At this stage it might have been logical to return to retirement. I did the opposite! I picked up the phone to my coach Paul Savage and began to plan my triathlon comeback. I started training properly again in mid-July. I was miles off the level I had been in the past but I just knuckled down and trained hard.
Come September I was starting to feel a little fitter. I wasn't really doing any speedwork, but the sensations were good and it felt about the right time to do a race, the Carlisle Half Marathon. I had no idea where my fitness was so decided there wasn't any point wearing a watch or trying to stick to a pace or heartrate. I just ran on feel and it worked incredibly well…I won in a time of 1 hour 12 minutes. Obviously, this was a massive confidence boost and all of a sudden, my motivation, ambition and love for racing was restored.
After winning the Carlisle Half, I figured it would be cool to try and do 'the double'. So I began training for the Great Cumbrian Run, the other autumn half marathon in Carlisle. My training was unconventional, lots of long runs on the fells, long bike rides and my only real speedwork was in the pool. As I looked into the Cumbrian Run, I became aware that it had an interesting new title sponsor 'Kendal Mint Co'. Handily for me, my swim training partner and good friend Myles Little knew the Director of this new up and coming Cumbrian business, Jack Barker. Myles introduced us and we met the Monday before the Cumbrian Run. From the off I loved what I saw and heard. An iconic Cumbrian product, modernised and refined to provide a full range of sports nutrition products. Jack asked if I'd like to run for 'Team KMC' at the Cumbrian Run and I jumped at the chance.
Going into race week I was feeling great and my steady runs were faster than ever. I actually picked up a bad cold and sore throat on the Tuesday and didn't' really train in the run up to the race but come race day the cold had begun to shift and I was on the start line with fresh legs.
For any race over an hour, pre-race nutrition is key. I got up early to eat my usual breakfast three hours before the race. This is very simple, consisting of 2 coffees, fruit and natural yoghurt followed by toast and honey. In the 90 minutes before the race I sipped a 500 ml bottle of KMC's isotonic hydration and energy drink and 30 minutes before the race I had a chocolate mint energy gel.
The clear pre-race favorite was 3-time winner and 65 minute half marathon man Marc Brown. My PB was 7 minutes slower than Marc's and I had done no structured run speedwork for about 5 years. So, what did I do? I took him on of course! Leaving Carlisle, Myself and Marc opened up a big gap on the rest of the field. I pushed the pace down Botchergate and up London road, going through 5k in around 16 minutes. After that I paid a little for the early pace and Marc began to pull away. But I held it together and hung tough, eventually coming home in 1 hour 10 minutes and 5 seconds, in second place just over 2 minutes behind Marc. This was a huge PB and a performance I am immensely proud of.
Post race I enjoyed a 500 ml bottle of KMC pro mix chocolate mint protein recovery and then a well deserved pint. It was great to stand on the podium in my KMC kit and be presented with my second-place trophy by Jack! The start of what I hope will be a long and successful partnership!
That's all for now! In my next blog I'll talk about my winter training and how this is being fueled by the KMC sports nutrition range.