Meet the athlete: Mitch Frearson
Havering Triathlon Club’s regular feature on our athletes is back with a PUNCH!
Introducing one of our newer members to HTC, Mitch Frearson.
Some of our members will know that you are a professional boxer, what brought you to triathlon and joining Havering Triathlon Club?
I’ve always wanted to compete in triathlons but the intention was when I was done with boxing. When COVID hit and my boxing career was put on hold, and gyms were closed it made keeping fit a lot harder. A couple of my friends Taylor and John were into cycling so I was always keen to try and felt what better time to start. It was a great opportunity to stay fit whilst socialising sensibly.
The next progression was the open water swimming which I started training for at the beginning of July. This was a massive eye opener from normal pool swimming, a total new discipline which required a different type of fitness. I was a complete novice for the first swim. I felt like I had zero fitness, it was a mixture of a lot of splashing, front crawl, breaststroke and lots of breaks at each buoy.
Your first race was the 70.3 distance race at Hever Castle in September. How did you structure your training and what was your favourite and least favourite parts of training for the race?
It was a bit of an off the cuff decision, there probably wasn’t as much structure as what there should have been. It was just a matter of asking Graham Goddard and a few of the boys for advice in person and on our WhatsApp groups, researching on google and going with the flow. I made sure I was swimming a minimum of twice a week, as it was still new to me and I had a few swimming lessons with Kay and Graham, which helped a lot. My favourite part of the training was definitely the cycling. I spent a few weekends cycling around Surrey, which had beautiful scenery, to get used to the hills. I didn’t have a least favourite part, I enjoyed all of the training but I suppose the swimming was the most challenging.
How did you find the race on the day, can you share your experience?
Leading up to the race the weather had been really nice but a few days before it took a massive U turn with cold temperatures and high winds which wasn’t ideal for a man who doesn’t like the cold and having to get into a freezing lake followed by a cycling route known for lots of hills. The overall day was great but mentally challenging.
Throughout the training although I found the swimming the most challenging, I had it in my head it was the shortest distance so would be over the quickest making it the easiest section, however I was wrong. With the weather changing, I’m pretty sure the water temperature was around 10 degrees. With there being no start line, you were set off in 10 second intervals so it didn’t allow time for your body to acclimatise. As soon as I jumped into the water the shock instantly hit me and it became a scene from the film Ace Ventura, where he is in the shark tank splashing around frantically. I managed to find my stroke and salvage the swim, managing to complete it in a time I was pleased with. The short amount of time in the water was a lot harder than any other challenge I faced in the race.
What’s next triathlon wise, are you planning to race again next year?
I will definitely be racing again as the Hever Race well and truly gave me the bug. Now I’ve got a rough idea of what to expect in triathlon, I feel l will be able to plan my training regime better. As to when it will actually be just depends on boxing. Hopefully at the beginning of next year I should have an idea of when my next fight might be, so I am going to keep training with the club and hopefully I can make both dates work. The whole build up and getting to know everyone at Havering Tri made an uncertain summer a very enjoyable one.