February Newsletter and a note from the Fairy Quadmother Jean Ashley

Just as we are starting to come out of a long winter, it is announced that finally the lockdown restrictions are going to be lifted. It’s been a time of spending time with some members of the family, not seeing others and generally being more cautious than we would normally be around others. The one hour of training outdoors has encouraged more people to take up running and cycling rather than sit watching the TV all day. Let’s hope these new athletes remain with the healthy lifestyle after the lock down ends…..and what a day that will be.

How’s your training been? Have you been able to continue as normal as possible? Have you started something new or just carried on as usual?

LincsQuad has seen an increase in activity in the last three months than in the last six, I think we were all unsure during the 2nd lock down as to where this will all go. Attempts were made during the first session of staying at home but this was only taken up by a few and it quickly became tired. However, thanks to new thinking and a push from our Club Secretary Sallie, the coaches have awakened from their slumber and written new virtual training programmes aimed at all of our members whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a novice, there’s a programme for you all……it’s up to you. If there’s nothing there that you fancy a go at then contact the coaching team and they’ll be able to help you whether that’s running, cycling or swimming and rumour has it that some of the team are kayakers…..so you never know you may be a budding Quadrathlete.

As the country is starting to open up again, our thoughts turn to the coming season, we are still awaiting confirmation of the direction with which BTF will take us over the next few weeks/months and what format our beloved Brigg Bomber and Brigg Sprint events will be take this year. Hopefully, this time away from being able to participate will bring renewed interest and attendance.

On that note, after speaking to our Fairy Quadmother Jean Ashley, she has put together an inspirational note to us all regarding the quad community and how she became involved in Quad,

Be Inspired ….. Join our Quadrathlon Family

They call me the ‘Fairy Quadmother’ …. I’m Jean Ashley, and passionate about my sport of Quadrathlon, which I have been involved in for at least 25 years! Prior to that, in my teenage years I was a white water kayaker, and then after that I took up triathlon for at least 12 years. In the 90’s I came across an article in the 220 Tri magazine, it was about ‘always looking for something different to keep your spirit alive’. So, after a long year of hard training and an Ironman Race, it was time to find that special something….. I did my first Quadrathlon. Maybe if you add all those years together, you can see why they call me the ‘Fairy Quadmother’. Still very young at heart and still competing, I love to share my passion and spread the word about our wonderful Quadrathlon Family.

I am secretary of the BQA (British Quadrathlon Association) the governing body of our sport. We run a British National Trophy Series, this includes 5 -6 races each year, each race varying in distances and the mixture of the four disciplines. The venues all vary between lakes, rivers and the sea; some have off road bike and run sections; some are technically demanding, whilst others are more suitable for newcomers. We try to cater for everyone so any athlete can come and enjoy the challenge of putting the 4 disciplines together.

Our Quadrathlon Family are very friendly and happy to help and support anyone in all disciplines and aspects of the sport. We have an annual training camp to inspire, train and improve skills, plus we have ‘QuadKidz’ a series of events for our youngsters, the stars of the future! Camaraderie is a positive aspect of this small but ever growing sport, and many more quadrathletes like me love to share their passion and experiences. If you have seen pictures or heard stories and now you want to try it yourself, here’s a brief introduction to the World of Quadrathlon!

Joining the Quad Community

Quadrathlon is an exciting endurance sport that at first seems quite complicated, but once you’re in touch with our community, you will soon realise how easy it is to get started in our sport, and you will also get to know what a wonderful friendly bunch we quadrathletes are!

Most quadrathletes come from from triathlon or kayak and adventure sports. If you are a former paddler you are probably familiar with running and biking as these are often used as training alternatives, if you are already a triathlete all you need to do is get in a kayak! We very much, welcome everyone who just enjoys the outdoor elements! You don’t need a racing-bike, a MTB or cross bike is fine, you will hopefully have a pair of running shoes, but you will need a wetsuit (certainly in GB waters), these can be fairly cheap to buy. If you can’t front crawl, breast-stroke is completely okay to get you going. At many of our races you can rent a kayak for the race, don’t think you need a full on racing kayak either, just as long as it’s not a blow up kayak and you can paddle it in a straight line.  You’re now good to give quadrathlon a go!

Get Inspired

If you want to know more, unfortunately there are not many Quadrathlon Clubs about, so why not look for a Triathlon Club, or Swimming or Kayaking Club to get the technical aspects sorted? It always helps talking to other athletes and quadrathletes, being able to join in club sessions and train together with them is the best way of learning.

Training for Four disciplines each week can be daunting, but it is possible with a ‘time plan’ – if you just swim, bike, paddle and run once a week, or even every two weeks, then that finish-line in a quadrathlon is achievable! You will soon build up a good endurance by regularly training these different disciplines. It’s easier to stay motivated if you have someone next to you involved in the same sport, so there are benefits in finding likeminded athletes.

Moving Forwards

Being part of a club will all most certainly help you move forwards. Getting to grips with the basics is easy in the beginning, but the longer you train and the deeper you get involved in the sport, the more you want to improve, and the more you will want to know about technique training. You may of heard of intervals, high-intensity and periodisation, and someone may of mentioned things like tapering and rest-days. Also you may have read about racing-kayaks, brick-sessions, nutrition and sport-psychology. These are all things you can try if you want to dig deeper in this varied and inspiring sport.

All these additions are progressions you may want to work towards, but Quadrathlon can be fun at whatever level you choose. At all our races we have experienced athletes, age-groupers and total beginners all standing on the start line next to each other. There are no time-limits we just embrace everyone who enters the race and crosses that finish line!

Be open-minded talk to others in quadrathlon and come and join the Family!

More information visit our website www.britishquadrathlon.org.uk

We are hopeful that we will return to club training in the near future and as always we will keep you informed. As soon as we know you will too. In the meantime, there is the Guinea Pig Virtual Sessions and the Super League Virtual Run and Cycle races on Zwift to keep you busy.

So for now, take care and we’ll see you soon.