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Meet the Pro Athlete

Continuing our regular profile, we are delighted and privileged to bring you another special feature. A big thank you to Reece Charles-Barclay for kindly taking the time to answer some questions on training and racing during this pandemic. Reece is an honorary member of Havering Triathlon Club and we are delighted to give you this exclusive insight.

How have you managed to maintain your training focus during the COVID pandemic with most races cancelled / postponed?

Well I actually changed my training focus to fit goals which I could achieve as I think that is key in any situation. I didn’t want to keep preparing for races and hoping they would take place so after the first few disappointments and no likely improvement in the situation I looked to Zwift races, road time trial races and even simple goals like improving my 5k and 10k run pb’s. This gave me the opportunity to control the variables a lot more and complete the process of train, peak , race and review even if the races were different to a normal season and often against myself.

What is your go to work out and most invaluable piece of training kit that has helped you train during 2020?

I think my go to workout would probably be a run set over 5-8 x 1 k reps, moving up the number or reps each week then resetting to 5 and increasing the pace. This can be done on a track, road, forest or field once you have marked out the distance you can just keep going back to the same place and repeat the session and it takes no fancy tools. Invaluable piece of kit would probably be Zwift, as long as my bike and treadmill are attached to it. Endless fun, challenges no rain.

You completed your first Ironman in 2014 and turned Pro in 2016, looking back what advice would you give to your younger self on the challenges you have faced from being an age grouper to qualifying and retaining a pro licence?

Everything takes time and although getting a pro license is a massive step, it is just the start of the next part of the journey. There is a reason people like Jan are the very best and it’s the years and years of building on the work done the year before.

Your top tip for club level / age group triathletes trying to stay focused in the hope of being able to race again in 2021.

Racing will come back and you don’t need to be on the first start possible. Take this time to work on improving areas you can control, S&C, bike intensity maybe run form. Once racing starts to come back your work will show, and as you build your all-around fitness and your improvements will drive your racing to a new level.

Havering Tri aquathlon has always been a dream of mine and the thought of standing on top of the podium at such an historic iconic race would be a dream come true.

Reece and Lucy will be racing next week at Challenge Miami and also making their debut at the Super League Triathlon here in London. On behalf of everyone at Havering Tri, wishing. you both the very best of luck!

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