Triathlete's World Fab Four: MintyFresh

Introducing the first member of our Triathlete's World Fab Four… Kate K (aka MintyFresh)

Former county level swimmer Kate is keen to rediscover her love of competition - and the challenge of an Olympic distance triathlon debut at London is the perfect opportunity.

Kate will be using our brand new Olympic distance triathlon training schedule as a basis for her training (starting May 23).

She’ll be posting her training progress on a regular basis, and feedback the training and nutrition advice given to her by the team at Triathlete's World so make sure you check back regularly to find out how she gets on.

You can read more about Kate’s triathlon background and goals here.

Good luck Kate!




  • Hello,

    As the newest of the fab 4 to triathlon, I am excited by the challenges ahead and let’s face it-there will be many along the way!

    Our open water swim session last weekend gave me a real insight into just how tough the next 10 weeks are going to be but what doesn’t kill you make you stronger, right?!

    I do hope I can pick your brains for additional training advice and race day tips to help me prepare as much as possible.

    Minty x

  • Hi MF............where did you do the OW swim session..........are they going to organise many more for you.

     I love OW swimming but unfortunately nowhere near me to trainimage

  • goodluck  MF - you'll be grand image

     OW swimming is easy onceyou're comfortable in the wetsuit!

  • Hi Seren Nos,

    We did the session at Ham Lake in Richmond with RG Active. Bit of a trek for me as I'd come all the way from Buckinghamshire but glad to say it was worth it.
    As beginners we were all taken through the process of easing ourselves into the water, stroke technique, sighting, drafting as well as the dreaded mass start! I was absolutely exhausted by the end and shocked as to how different it is to pool swimming but glad I realised this now than two weeks before the race.

    I found I was finding it difficult to get into a breathing rhythm and was very one sided- any tips on this as I'm sure it would make a huge difference in my next session?

    MF x

  • Thanks for the support Mr Zuvai, quickly starting to realise that preparation is key! First time in the wetsuit was definitely an experience, thought i was going to tear it i was stretching it so much! Lucky for us Zoot supplied the suits and they made sure everyone's sizes were correct!

    Swim is on the agenda today,but think i might team it with a bike session too image

    MF x 

  • MF,

    OW swimming is easy. The water is no different to the pool except without the neat lines painted on the bottom. Maybe a temperature difference as well but depends on which pool and which lake!

    The only advice I can give is relax. When you get in get your face/head under the water. If possible do this two/three times and then you should be good to go. Relax into the training swims, start slow and build to steady. This should help with the breath control.

    My 2XU is very good at helping me relax into my swim stroke and my Speedo trunks cut a fine figure. My Zoggs goggles on the other hand are just goggles. image

    Seriously relax and enjoy the OW swimming and you will soon hate the pool.


  • Minty .. whereabouts in Bucks are you?

    There is a lake in Marlow that is open 2 (Ithink) evenings a week
  • Thanks for the tips Meface, maybe it was just the early start and the unknown that played on my mind- definitley looking forward to my next session and see how i progress.

    Pacing is probably my problem, i always preferred sprinting in both my swimming and running so whilst the training focused on staying consistant over a certain timeframe, come race day i was always pushing for a fast time.

    Hoping i dont end up hating the pool-that place is my salvation most days.

    Todays session was good, managed a 23k bike in just under 45 minutes and went straight into a swim session using paddles and pull bouy to work on my technique.

    10k run tomorrow stay away from the drinks tonight!

    enjoy your saturday

    MF x

  • SuperCazSuperCaz ✭✭✭

    Minty, don't worry about which side you breath on and how often.  We get told to breath bilaterally in the pool but that is less important in open water.

    Sometimes it is beneficial to breathe on one side only.  If the waves are coming from one direction then it is easier to breath facing them than with the back of your head to them.  That way you can see whether there is water there before you open your mouth and won't be caught out with a wave breaking over your head.

    Also if you are following a shore line then breathing to one side can help you to keep a straight line  relative to the shore.

    In a race, sometimes you might find someone swimming very close to you on one side, so it can be easier to breathe the oposite way, or you might prefer to breathe towards them so that you don't allow them to get too close.

    I think the important thing is to be able to breath to both sides.  Whether you swim bilateral all the time, or to one side only, swapping as the circumstances change is all down to personal preference.

    I also find that I need to breathe more often in open water.  I think the cold makes it harder to get air in and you tend to use air up quicker as you are working harder (body trying to use energy to keep warm as well as for the swimming).

  • I can only breathe on one side.........doesn't cause me a problem in OW.............until in the sea when if I'm in the wrong direction I get a mouthful of water each time.............

    great news with thewetsuits and the lessons.........good fitting wetsuit make a differenceimage

  • Hey guys,

    Sorry for the late responses, laptop got a virus and all was very messy!

    M...eldy- i live just outside Stoke Mandeville so Marlow would definitely be an option- I am planning on visiting Richmond again in a few weeks and also the lake at Cotswold Water Park.

    Supercaz- thanks for the advice, i was hoping someone would say it didn't matter! I am use to breathing bilaterally in the pool so guess if i practise breathing to just one side from now on, come race day i'll be prepared for what the water has in store for me!! I did find myself needing to breathe more in the OW session which then made me feel like i was struggling and the panic set in a little.

    I am learning so much about triathlon training which i never considered before signing up to the race- it is becoming strangely addictive though!

    I fell a little short of my 10k distance on Sunday so am focusing the training this week on pushing to the full distance- Runner's World are hosting a 10k race on Sunday which i'll use as a base for my run time.

    What races are you both currently training for?

     MF x 

  • mf - biking 23k in under 45minutes is pretty good pace and coming from a swimming background should make you quite competitive in the female rankings...
  • Hi Steve Ho,

    My competitive streak is definitley resurfacing! At the moment it is just in regards to the swim discipline but as the training progresses and I get closer to race day, i have a sneaky suspicion that it will strectch over to the race overall.

    I was unsure how my bike time/distance faired so good to know that it is a good pace- question is whether i can keep it up for the remaining 17k!

     MF x

  • do plenty of 40-50 mile and hill session will definately help you build lots of endurance and strength on the bike.
  • Steve Ho-

    Wow... the last time i did 50 miles was the London to Brighton a few years ago and that took me 8hrs- i was riding with 4 others who insisted on stopping at every pub on the way though so hopefully it isnt a sign of any timings for race day!

    Last night's training ended up being a mixuture of pacing and fartleks over a 5 mile route- not sure if that was what my training plan had in store for me but my body was telling me it wanted to regress back to being a 5 year old and running as fast as i could- so i went with it and felt pretty good afterwards.

    Pool session tonight- Thursday evenings tend to be a little quieter so gives me the chance to spend a decent time working on my technique and distance. 

    MF x 

  • MintyFresh wrote (see)

    I am planning on visiting ........the lake at Cotswold Water Park.

    MF - Let me know when you're thinking of as that is local to me and we can meet up

  • Schmunkee- that sounds great. It will be in a few weeks time when i am visiting my parents. Do you know how the timings and costs work out?

     MF x

  • Hi Minty and Schmunks - I'm going to Lake 12 at CWP first thing tomorrow morning. Assuming it's the same as last year the session is 8.15 - 9.30 every Saturday morning. You pay £5 to the lifeguard and they will look after your car keys while you swim. There is an excellent changing room and shower block and free parking. Everyone gets there about 8.00 to get into wetsuits - then the lifeguard goes out in a little boat and ferries bouys around to get the course set up then off you go. You get into the water from a sort of pathway along the side of the lake - just like getting into a pool and about the depth of the shallow end of a normal pool. The loop is about 400m clearly marked with bouys - the lifeguard is in the boat in the middle. It's usually frigid cold - wearing two swim caps helps a bit. Visibility is excellent - you can sight off the trees and some handy racks of brightly coloured canoes.

     That's all I can think of - no doubt more will occur to me tomorrow when I get there!

  • Waff - I am a member of Lake 32 so that I can swim weekday mornings and Tues evenings, but happy to nip to Lake 12 if you're going again sometime sson.  Can't do tomorrow as I already have something planned
  • Schmunkee - what's lake 32 like temp wise at the mo? I've got my first tri coming up on June 5th there and need to mentally prepare myself for the cold!
  • Hi Ecolime - it's 14 - 15 degrees. Have you swum there before?
  • No I went and did a recce of the bike course a couple of weeks ago. I'm training OW though so hopefully it'll be OK on the day! I'd love to get up and have a go but I doubt it'll happen.
  • Whereabouts are you?
  • Hey guys, Has been a bit of a manic week so apologies for not getting on here sooner! I was lucky enough to be able to visit Lake 32 at Cotswold Water Park last weekend and had a great chat with the administrator there (thanks again Phil- you were very patient with all my questions!)- although I won’t be able to use the lake until I’m back down there at the beginning of July, I am looking forward to a week of early Open Water Swim sessions to get me ready for London! It goes without saying that if anyone is around at this time and would like to keep me company- I’d love to have a training partner for the week image  I took part in the Runner’s World 10k Trailblazer event in the Forest of Dean on Sunday- it was an amazing atmosphere and a good chance to test exactly how my body reacts moving from road to trail- 4 minutes added to my time and strains on both ankles was the outcome! I put this down to lack of strength in my lower legs and possibly the wrong footwear but these things can be fixed! Due to the strains, I thought it best not to risk injury and have kept to swim sessions this week- not such a bad thing! Had a brilliant session on Wednesday where my energy levels were sky high and managed a 55 minute session made up of 200metre warm up/ 2 x 300metres alternating between 80% and 50% effort with a 1min rest/200 metre cool down and then a couple of lengths just plodding up and down! Am away this weekend so won’t have a chance to train- not ideal I know but with Monday afternoon and Tuesday to make up for it, I’m hoping my ankles will feel better and can get some brick sessions sorted. Hope you have all had a good week and your training is going well. Enjoy the Bank Holiday Weekend MF x
  • Minty - you have PM
  • Sorry... been a while!

    Busy week for me so far but am really starting to see a change in my fitness levels. Managed 2 swim sessions this week where i was able to cover an 1800metre distance within a 40minute timeframe. While this use to be a warm up for me when i was swim training- its been a fair number of years and am pleased to be able to see this advancement in my ability.

    Tonight will consist of a brick session and i plan to push myself hard on the run image

    I have a few races coming up over the next 4 weeks (only 8wks until London!) and will be using these as a good test of my stamina for the day. (5k and 10k events, a sprint triathlon)

    Nutrition advice would be great if anyone could help me out? I have the before and recovery bits sorted (was using these before entering into the race) but have never done a race long enough to require nutritional products during and am honest in saying i have no idea where to start.

    MF x

  • Mints, with the race nutrition stuff all I can say is test stuff out during long training sessions. And then test it again!

    I had a shocking London Marathon last year because I was chugging down gels and ended up feeling so queasy I could barely run. In my second marathon I went for jelly beans instead, and found it much easier to nibble on these as I went along.

    Jelly babies, Shot Bloks, Percy Piglets etc also seem to work well for me.

    Alice x

  • Thanks Alice, I realise it is mostly about trial and error. I have some Powerbar Ride Shots which i am going to test out this weekend- the idea of being able to eat percy pigs whilst running the last stage does intrigue me though!

    I shall conduct a thorough test this weekend and update everyone on the good, the not so good and those that made me feel a little too queasy!

    MF x

  •   Hi guys.... first off- I know its been a while since i last posted but it has just been bad time management more than anything else.As with my last post, I was keen to try and incorporate nutrition into my training, to get my body as use to the new products as I could- thankfully all seems to be going well and no adverse effects have been experienced! (so far anyway). Im experiementing with isotonic drinks throughout my long sessions and energy bars beforehand.Since my last post, I have taken a trip to Cotswold Water Park to get use to the open water again and hopefully try to pick up my speed. I managed the 750metre loop in just over 14 minutes and even though I have a lot of work to do on my sighting!!! it does make me feel like I’m still on target for a decent time in the swim section. I have to say I was very impressed with the facilities at CWP as well as the quality of the lake. Even though I was swimming by myself (with a family member sighting me from the bank), I immediately got chatting to other swimmers who were entering the water at the same time and the nervousness I felt that morning soon washed away. The desire to return in a few weeks has left me feeling excited about Open Water Swim training.The positivity of this session was met with a small disappointment on the Monday when my doctors signed me off training for a week-whilst I will not bore you with the details of this, I did obviously become immediately worried about the implications it would have on my training with only 6 weeks till race day. Thankfully I was able to start training again this week and have to say that the week off doesn’t seem to have put my progress backat all. While i am pushing myself at each session, i am able to complete the training set out in the training plan given so feel like i am at least on my way to being as ready as i can.This weekend sees me back in the pool for interval training and the Thame 10k tomorrow- the plan is to use the race as an indication of my 10k time and try to work on my pacing for the run section-in theory i know the pace i am planning for, in practice it is a whole other matter though!Word is the weather is going to tip just over 26 degrees tomorrow so guess that will also be useful for the supposed weather we should be having at the end of July.small questions i have as we get close to the race is drafting whilst on the bike- anybody got an tips on making sure i am within the set distance without it knocking my focus on my timing and pace?Hope you are all well imageMF x
  • Can’t believe there is only 2 weeks of training left- it clearly is something playing on my mind as I have had 3 consecutive nights of dreaming about the race and the fear of jelly legs has featured in each one!


    Last week saw me taking some time off from work to concentrate on my training and this helped me immensely in both the pacing and nutrition for race day! Circuits at Cotswold Water Park gave me the confidence to partake in a mile swim next week at Dorney Lake- put my technique and breathing to the test! Was nice to meet with Schmunkee on the Wednesday- *(note to Schmunkee- did I miss you on the Friday? I know I ran a little late but don’t think I managed to spot the bright yellow cap J)

     Before I left for my week off, the lovely guys at Timex lent me one of their Global Trainer GPS watches to use in the last 4 weeks of my training. Definitely something I should think about investing in- pacing is my main concern so being able to keep track of my speed and timings throughout all three stages means I can hopefully replicate these on race day! Have to say after a few times of wearing the device, I’ve become quite reliant on it and was lost on my bike session last night when the battery ran out! 

    This week's training will consist of a few hard session on the bike, 5k race tomorrow night and my sprint triathlon on Sunday- Anyone else doing the Thame Triathlon this weekend?

    MF x
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