Squad Athlete: Neil Wicks

My first ever real endurance event was the Stratford marathon in 2003. I was going to do the half-marathon but realised for an extra £2 I got double the distance. Bargain. However, finishing in a time of 4:00:50 annoyed me so I had to do more. This is how my triathlon journey started.

Before this I was an unfit footballer who left university like many others – a bit chubby with little idea of what committing to a sport really meant. Initially running was simply meant to burn the calories that my love of food and alcohol put on.

Post my first marathon I started swimming and cycling with the aim of improving my running. A combination of You Tube videos got me swimming front crawl and quiet country roads got me cycling longer and longer distances. Eventually duathlons and triathlons followed with my first ever triathlon a sprint in 2007 on a hilly Malvern course.

Over the years I’ve gradually got quicker and have gone longer distances with a total of 17 iron-distance races to date. My key for choosing races began with interesting places to visit but as the family has grown, races have become family holidays or local races in order to keep a family-life balance.

With two kids (1 more on the way) and a full-time job, I’ve found innovative ways to train such as strength & conditioning with toddlers and 5am cycle-trainer sessions whilst sorting emails and catching-up on news.

My one key word for triathlon training? – fun. By enjoying the training you automatically get consistency. This then leads naturally to improvements and more fun. Make every session enjoyable whether its music during a hard interval workout or including your favourite snack on a long-ride. Variety also adds to the fun whether it’s a new route or with new people. This is where DO3 comes in.