January’s infamous “quitters’ day” failed to beat the 70,000 triathletes that took on British Triathlon’s #FeelGoodFive Strava challenge. At the height of the month, where most are said to let their New Year’s resolutions slip away, thousands joined the multisport community in staying motivated into February and beyond.
British Triathlon's #FeelGoodFive prize draw revealed the names of 25 winners, with NHS nurse Suzy Cole, along with two others, starting the new year with a bang by winning the second prize and taking home a Wahoo sports watch and RHA earbuds.
“I almost deleted the email, I’m delighted I didn’t,” said Cole. “January was tough in the hospital so having some good news when I heard I won really made my day. I never win anything so it’s brilliant. It will be great to be able to use the watch once we can start triathlons again and having something exciting to look forward to helps my motivation.”
The #FeelGoodFive challenge gave participants the freedom to record a five-day streak of activities of their choosing over one week in order to beat the January blues, earn themselves a British Triathlon #FeelGoodFive Strava badge and have a shot at winning some incredible prizes.
“It’s really hard to have something to aim for when you have nothing on your calendar, so having the #FeelGoodFive challenge was good and it worked. I got home from work one day and told my husband that I was too tired to do anything. He brought up the fact that we had entered the challenge and it was our last chance to get the 5 activities completed so out we went for our run. That decision won me the prices although I may have to put an end to his claims to the watch.
“It’s been really nice to be out running with my family, either my husband or one of my two boys or the occasional Sunday long run with a friend into the Blackdown hills which is beautiful.”
Cole’s dedication throughout the week paid off as she became the lucky winner of a Wahoo Elemnt RIVAL MultiSport GPS watch and RHA True Connect 2 Wireless Earbuds.
The NHS nurse was wowed by the Wahoo watch’s new, touchless transition technology that allows the wearer to go through T1 and T2 without having to manually record the change in discipline, saying: “I have to say that I’m really looking forward to the fact that you don’t have to tap it when going through transitions which I think is quite revolutionary,” commented Cole.
Cole is a member of Somerset RC Tri and has mixed her training up in a variety of ways over the last year to fit with her busy lifestyle, both working full time as a nurse and parenting teenage boys, saying: “Since Covid it has been quite full on, but it’s been great to just go out and run or be on the bike, I have this desire for outdoor space. However tired I am at the end of the day, I need to be outside.”
Cole began to cycle to work during the first lockdown, clocking up around 100km a week on her commute and now, in an attempt to shelter from the cold winter, has re-joined Zwift to replicate that rush of endorphins before and after a hard day’s work.
“Zwift has really been great fun and I’ve enjoyed getting quite competitive on the recent Tour de Zwift. It’s definitely made me put in more effort than just putting on a movie, going on the bike and not thinking too hard about it.”
Zwift isn’t the only virtual training that Cole has taken up as she often hunts for crowns on Strava, saying: “Personally, I’ve enjoyed going out and thinking ‘I know where that segment is’ and then giving myself a challenge to do. Even if that’s meant leaving my running partner for a moment or two”
Whilst the past year has certainly thrown up a number of challenges for Cole, she believes that this has allowed her to find new ways to enjoy the sport she loves, not just through experimenting with virtual training and online challenges, but by embracing the social side of the sport even more.
“There’s a few of us from the tri club that work at the hospital, so it’s nice to see friendly faces and catch up in the corridors to see how people are getting on with their training. It’s always helpful to get a bit of encouragement that way.
“Being active has definitely helped during lockdown. Wearing PPE at work has made me realise there is nothing better than being outside and feeling the fresh air on your face, however cold or wet it is.
It’s that outdoor space, the fresh air, the companionship, and it all feels more important than ever at the moment,” Cole continued.
“It’ll be great when we come out the other side and go back to doing team events, meeting up together and getting triathlon back on course. I love the adrenaline of racing; you can’t beat that feeling of finishing a race. Triathletes are a friendly bunch of people and are so supportive no matter what your level is.”
You can join the British Triathlon Club on Strava and look out for more activities and challenges throughout 2021 and beyond.
New British Triathlon Home Nation members can also register to receive a free training plan here whilst existing members can find this in their member area.