Adam Madge in Athlete Corner
I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a while now and I thought the beginning of a new year was a good time to do so.
I want to talk about my experiences of juggling a busy life on the farm and training to be the best triathlete I can be.
So here goes
I’ve loved life on the farm from a very young age I’ve been told my first word was tractor so a life of farming was always on the cards. We are a small family business farming around 450 acres - 350 sheep and 60 cattle. Over the last few years we have been trying to grow the business moving into a little contracting harvest work. I’m hoping this will continue to grow and expand into other avenues of farm work.
Sport has always played a big part in my life starting out as a track runner over 800m and 1500m. I’ve never reached a level I was happy with in athletics feeling I had more potential. 15 months ago I was talked into joining Belvoir Tri Club this was probably the best sporting decision I’ve made in a long time - multi sports was now for me. In September 2015 I started working with my coach Stefan Lawrence at www.tri-sl-training and have gone from strength to strength, - completing my first 70.3, qualifying and competing at the World Duathlon Championships. I now have sponsorship with Great Northern Physiotherapy who keep me in one piece throughout the working and sporting year. Sometimes treatment can be painful but is a must to keep those dreaded injuries at bay.
As you can imagine juggling a busy life of farming with training for triathlon can be very tough. There are a couple of times during the year when things get very busy for us on the farm, the first is Lambing time this is normally from the middle of Feb through till the end of March. During lambing time someone has to be with the sheep pretty much 24/7 keeping an eye on them and helping them out when they need it. This can sometimes mean getting the Turbo trainer set up in the lambing shed and pedalling away. The other busy period for us is harvest time this is slightly longer than lambing normally starting around mid-July and going on till October. During harvest a normal day for us can be 15 hours sometimes more and as you can imagine is very tiring. Before I started triathlon these busy times would be used as rest from training however I now try to keep my training going 12 months of the year with structured rest weeks planned in. A typical training week during the summer months is a little more relaxed than normal and does have to fit in around whatever jobs I may be doing on the farm but I still try to achieve 8-10 per week. With the late nights that are required at harvest a lot of my sessions have to be done early so I normally end up in the pool or on the turbo at 6am. This may not sound that early but if you’ve been working till 1am the previous night this can be a challenge. Keeping my training up during these busy times is certainly not easy but I know that when I come off the back of them it will be an easier transition into my next big block of training or racing. I found this out at the end of last harvest when I decided to enter a Duathlon. This certain Duathlon was a qualifier for the European Duathlon Championships I knew I would probably only going to be 70% fit going into it but thought I would give it a go. The race went well and I qualified. I have no doubt if I hadn’t keep my training up through harvest this would not of been possible. With any endurance sport consistency is key so working hard all year round does and has paid off.
I don’t want to bore you all too much with my first blog so I will stop there but I hope you will follow me on my journey through the farming and triathlon year.