Coached Athlete: Lucy Mapp
I’ve always been sporty and have a background predominantly in athletics. Turning my hand (and legs) to everything that was going in track & field at one point or another: high jump to hurdles to heptathlon to pole vault and then to middle distance… you name it, I’ve done it (and yes that includes the hammer!)
My introduction to triathlon came on a summer activity holiday. After a week of tennis, wakeboarding and kayaking I wanted to tick off everything that was on offer so signed up to the early morning easy(ish) bike ride. Having never ridden a road bike before the first challenge was how to balance, and then how to keep going and be under some sort of control. By the time we reached the top of the first long climb and re-group point I was up at the front and absolutely loving it!
Having a background in running and swimming since I was little, with this new found love it made sense to give triathlon a go and spurred on by some others on the ride who were triathletes and ex-GB squad members. They not only sowed the seed but sparked a fire inside me.
For the rest of the week I was truly hooked on road biking and went out almost every day on different and more challenging rides. Definitely the under-dog with no bike shoes, cleats or a fancy jersey with pockets for my ride snacks (something I was super jealous of), just my running kit and trainers. I later devised my own snack carrier using a spare water bottle and the second water bottle cage on the bike and finding the straightest banana I could and stuffing as many other goodies as physically possible around it for the ride!
Back in the UK I was ready immerse myself in the world of triathlon and shortly after, signed up for my first race. The following weeks were a whirlwind of activity and a steep learning curve, trying to learn as much as I could about the sport - the rules and requirements, different types of trisuits, how to get into and out of a wetsuit (and quickly in transition), open water swimming practice, and just what I would actually need to compete a triathlon race! 6-weeks later I was at the pre-race brief, a little apprehensive of what was about to follow and how it would go, but also very excited to see what I could do. A swim, bike, run, two transitions, a few disasters but a lot of memories later I had finished my first race and was ready for the next one!
I knew I wanted to see how far I could go in the sport, and had investigated coaching in the build up to my race. I was eager to get the ball rolling, however I also knew that it was sensible to get the race under my belt first to make sure that I wasn’t basing this all on a far-fetched dream. Race done I was straight on to contacting a couple of coaches I had lined up as potentials. Dave immediately impressed me with not only the speed of his response but the time, effort and personal approach he took (even before I had decided to commit to his coaching programme). He took me seriously, took my goals, ambitions and dreams for what they were, never for one moment made me feel like I was aiming too high or being unrealistic and was encouraging even beyond my original targets.
Training with Do3 has already paid dividends – my swim times have come down significantly as well as fine-tuning my technique to a more triathlete-friendly stroke, my bike power is slowly inching up and sessions I would have once thought were impossible to ask of me, I’m completing without a second thought. It’s not just the training sessions and weekly plan but the whole package: the individual coach-athlete support where everyone is taken as an individual, but also the encouragement, advice and companionship of the rest of the like-minded squad members – something I’ve found in valuable.
Chatting with Dave and Corinne is a breath of fresh air; as athletes they see and understand things in a very different way and can relate to so many things that others can’t. Becoming a part of Do3 coaching has, quite literally, changed my life! I’m now pursuing a totally new, and completely contrasting career path to the one I started out with, and with aspirations to achieve the childhood dreams I had of making something of myself in sport.
I’ve still got so much to learn in many different areas - racing, training, equipment, nutrition, jargon… – and a long way to go to build up, get stronger, faster and fitter to push myself to the top of my game in order to be able to compete up there with the best. It’s a journey, one that I’m very much enjoying and look forward to each new part of it as it unfolds. I know that with David and Corinne, and the rest of the Do3 squad behind me it’s going to not only be the greatest journey of my life, but also a very enjoyable and hopefully successful one too.