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Graig Howells: Inspired by GO TRI to get active

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We caught up with 41 year old Craig Howells, from Walsall, to find out how GO TRI helped him out of a rut.

We caught up with 41 year old Craig Howells, from Walsall, to find out how GO TRI helped him out of a rut.

"A few years ago I managed to damage most of the tendons in my feet and because I ignored it for a while I ended up with bone scrapes in my heal, which made it very difficult to walk for long periods of time. I ended putting on weight, smoking excessively due to boredom and feeling quite down about myself, thinking there was no way forward.

My family was kind enough to get me some physio and cognitive therapy. I was using a exercise bike as part of this and decided to take the plung and buy a road bike. After wrestling with the cleats I finally got the hang of them and challenged myself to complete the 'Coast to Coast in a day'; a 150 mile cycling challenge with thaty I took on with my brother and a keen cycling friend for support.

I joined the cycling club Newport Shropshire Nover Raiders, who opened my eyes to time trialing. I enjoyed it and after following a few people on social media I came across the GO TRI website. I put in a local search and found a super sprint being held locally at Cannock Chase Leisure Center.

As I had not done any swimming or running I asked  around for some advice and it turned out one of my friends was a swimming coach and another had run ultra marathons. I had my gait measured and was fitted for some running shoes and proceeded to take a few swimming lessons. 

The day came of the GO TRI triahtlon, a 250m swim, 10km bike and 1km run. I found everyone to be extremely helpful and the fact that most of the competitors where first timers was really conmforting. I didn't feel put off by some of the seasoned athletes who were obviously using it as a training exercise as for me it gave me a chance to find out about other distance events.

I really enjoyed the experience and because of it I have now entered the Blenheim Palace Triathlon next year, but have yet to do a open swim!

For anyone who is thinking of entering a triathlon, the only advise I can give is start of small like I did, with either a super sprint event or sprint distance event. Find someone else crazy enough to try it with you as training for the event will be much more enjoyable and don't go out and spend a fortune on kit as it's not everyones cup of tea at the end of the day. It doesn't matter if you finish at the back of the field, crossing that finish line gives you one heck of a rush! "

To find out more about GO TRI and get involved, click here.

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