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Five Olympic Distance races and The Bastion: James Purdy on his 2018 Castle Triathlon Series challenge

Five Olympic Distance races and The Bastion: James Purdy on his 2018 Castle Triathlon Series challenge

February 28, 2018

This summer James Purdy, a sports massage therapist and keen triathlete, will be taking on the challenge of a lifetime – The Bastion at Hever Castle as well as the five Olympic Distance races at every Castle Triathlon venue. We sat down with James to ask about his inspiration for the challenge, and how sports massages and physio are helping him to be fully prepared for his 2018 triathlon season.

You’re taking on the Bastion and 5 Olympic races this year, which is an impressive challenge! How and why did you begin your triathlon journey?

When I reached the age of 30 I felt I needed a change of pace after years of weight training for size and vanity, I liked the idea of changing my focus to something that would promote longevity. I thought training for a local sprint triathlon sounded like the thing, a nice mix of disciplines swimming, running and cycling. That’s where I started and as with weight training before it became something that began to take over my life as the thrill of pushing my body to improve is compelling.

You’re taking part in both the Bastion Full Iron race and all Olympic races at Castle Triathlon Series this year, how is your training evolving with these challenges in mind?

Over the last few years I have focused on sprint distance triathlons along with cross fit competitions. These tend to be full on sprint style events, 100% effort the whole way through and my training was always intense and flat out. The migration towards the longer events is seeing me apply a more polarized style of training. Previously, I have always trained to failure in a threshold fashion (often leading to strains and sprains), so the majority of my training is now at low intensity. I feel the process of slowly developing endurance without putting my joints or muscles at excessive risk will be integral to completing the Castle Triathlon Series challenge. I am also learning about heart rate zonal training and heart rate variability and blood glucose testing to help predict training trend. For the first time I need to learn about fuelling during a race.

It’s no mean feat to be taking on 5 Standard Distances races, and The Bastion ay Hever Castle this year. How important is incorporating physio into your training regime to help with recovery?

Undoubtedly it will become one of the corner stones to my hopeful completion of this challenge. Along with helping the recovery process, Physio and Sports Therapy will keep me ticking over and avoid any niggles becoming greater issue. Having someone who can assess movement and injuries and help show you how to correct them, the right exercise’s to do, the relevant stretches and appropriate treatment to stay on top. With both the pre event treatments and post event recovery treatments I am confident I can be kept functional especially as the season draws on.

How does your vocation and knowledge as a sports massage therapist help with incorporating treatment into your training regime to help with recovery?

Hopefully I can use the knowledge and experience I have gained over the last few years to help. I expect I will try to draw from both advice given to clients and Theory I have learned about. Although I think the advice and information received from clients experience through similar events will also be a big help. The vocational aspect means I also have a good network of skilled practitioners who I can ask for advice like the Six Physio team.

Is there one piece of advice you would give those looking to prepare for an Olympic Distance race?

Regular sports massage leading up to and after the event is a winner! You have to really ‘control the controllable’ by which I mean doing your preparation from getting a bike fit or at least learning how to set it up, having spare inner tubes and canisters for your bike. Put the hours into training and get your nutrition right.

Which discipline of triathlon are you finding hardest to train for, and how are you developing your preparation to tackle this?

Normally I don’t venture over the 40-mile marker on the bike so the big challenge is stepping up the time on the bike. At this point I am using one session at the weekend to slowly increase time in the saddle. It’s more getting comfortable for potentially over 6 hours of pedalling- a daunting prospect!

What made you choose to compete in the Castle Triathlon Series races?

With Six Physio I have had the pleasure of working at the Hever Castle Gauntlet. The atmosphere and “Athletes Village” were brilliant. There was plenty for family and friends to keep busy at and speaking to the participants who had finished it was clear the course was a bit of a different challenge. The tipping point though are the venues the castles and grounds are stunning and who would not want to swim round a castle lake!

About Six Physio

At Six Physio we know it’s really easy to make someone feel better, it’s slightly trickier to get them better. Long term gain always over short term relief.

Our mantra is Don’t Treat, Cure…we love being different and showing our patients why and what they need to do to manage their symptoms, long term. Our patients need to be given the ability to move better and they need to be coached and shown how to keep moving better – we use 2 different physios for this, with most patients seeing both. We believe in super-skilling all of our Physios. It’s not about our patients having something done by any person, but having the right thing done by the right person, be that manual therapy or really decent, functional rehab.

Over 12,000 new patients trusted us to get them better last year, a number that grows by 10% each year – we must be doing something right. Find out more or book an initial appointment here.

Race distances

Race distances

For the absolute beginners and children to the professional triathletes, the Castle Triathlon Series offers a wealth of race distances to suit all levels.

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Hosted at a selection of stunning and iconic castles across the UK, Ireland and France, the Castle Triathlon Series events all promise an inspirational and memorable race experience.

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Take part

We pride ourselves on offering a bespoke and tailored offering for all those wishing to take part and grateful for all those who want to be involved on the day.

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We would always recommend training in preparation for any event, but how much you do, and the style you take is down to you.

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