A day in the life… Age-Group triathlete Joe Spraggins

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05.07.18 at 10:00 am

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After narrowly missing out on a qualification place at Kona last year by less than three minutes, Joe Spraggins is back for round two. Joe has four iron-distance triathlons under his belt and is ready to leave it all out on the course as he fights for his place at Ironman UK next weekend.

Ahead of the decisive race, we catch up with Joe to find out what a day in the life of an Age-Group triathlete is like.

 

 

Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m Joe, I’m 28 years old and I’m an age group triathlete from Wimbledon, in South London. I live with my partner, Katie Lysons, and I’m a member of the Clapham Chasers running/triathlon club.

My alarm goes off…
At 6am every morning, maybe slightly earlier at the weekend if I’ve got a long training session planned or we’ve got to travel to some far-flung part of the country for yet another race. When I’m not in lyrca you’ll find me working in the city as a financial race controller at Formula E. I’m definitely an early bird; I never struggle to wake up in the morning, and within seconds I’m thinking about the session I’ve got planned. I tend to train fasted, so I eat afterwards once I get to work; a huge bowl of porridge usually hits the spot.

I got into triathlon…
When I finally accepted that I was fairly useless at team sports. My mother once produced a one-liner which my friends have never let me forget; “Joe has always loved sports, but sport has never really loved him.” It was around then I’d just moved to London after University, and realised I’d let myself get seriously out of shape. I also wanted a release from being stuck behind a desk all day. So, I entered the London Triathlon, and there was no looking back from that point. I just had the small issue of not really knowing how to swim.

My typical day…
On most days I’m out training twice, once before work and then again when I finish up at 6pm. My weekly plan is now dictated by my ‘Sporting Director’ Paul Burton, himself a very accomplished athlete, having qualified twice for the Ironman World Championships in Kona. As this is my ultimate goal this year and what I’ve worked solidly for for the last six months, he’s a fantastic person to be trained by. If I can, I’ll combine my commute to and from work with my session that day, although I think swimming up the Thames from Putney to Hammersmith would probably be frowned upon!

My most memorable moment…
Was running the London Marathon in a pair of swimming trunks, breaking a Guinness World Record in the process. The support I got on the streets of the capital was absolutely incredible, and I managed to run a personal best time in the process (2:42, which I’ve since bettered in Valencia – 2:39). It might be the only time it’s socially acceptable to run past Buckingham Palace in a pair of Speedo’s. Friends and family might not look upon that moment with the same fondness, as they now groan every time it comes up in conversation; I think they want me to move on!

 

The best part of being an age group athlete…
Is the satisfaction I get from following through with a training plan, reaching the end, and seeing tangible improvements. This, combined with the opportunity of travelling to some really cool places to race, and getting to meet loads of similar like-minded people on the way, is definitely why I’m now completely hooked on the sport.

The worst part of being an age group athlete…
Is the act of trying to juggle work and a social life alongside fitting in all the training. I’m rarely finished for the day before 7:30, and then it’s a case of refuelling and catching up with everything else before being in bed early enough to get a decent night’s sleep. Luckily, Katie is also really into her running, so completely understands why I do it, and helps me through each training block. This also means we can train together; running with her is always my favourite workout of the week.

After work…
I’m usually at a Clapham Chasers session or tuning up my swim stroke with Ray Gibbs, at Swim Canary Wharf, who has helped me considerably over the last year or so. Once finally at home, you’ll usually find Katie and me rustling up an omelette; always our go to meal after a long day. If it’s been a particularly long one, it may well be accompanied by a nice Belgian beer or two.

 

You can find out how Joe gets on at Ironman UK on his blog or via Instagram @joe_spraggins.

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