BLIPS - Introduction to BLIPS and conversation with Katie Wright

Introducing BLIPS, a new podcast/interview series by athluxe, where we will be talking to a variety of creatives, athletes and influencers from various different industries spanning all sorts of topics.

Each podcast/interview will offer a 'blip' into a persons life sharing interesting, useful and fun stories, all within a short time frame.

So why short? The average person has an attention span of 8 seconds – yes 8 seconds – so we lose interest quickly if we know a video, programme or podcast is longer than 15 minutes and we don’t know how much of it will be relevant to us. Of course this doesn’t apply to intense dramas, hilarious TV programmes or gripping thrillers, which we find ourselves staying up till silly hours in the morning watching episode after episode but for our podcast series we feel short but sweet is the way forward.

Check out our Instagram for recorded podcasts and have a read through the interviews on our journal!

Kickstarting BLIPS with the lovely Katie discussing all things aquathlons and cows...

Hello and welcome to our new podcast series BLIPS where we will be having short yet insightful discussions with various different inspiring and active individuals and creatives. Today we are talking aquathlons with the lovely aquathlete Katie. I don't know if the term aquathlete actually exists but we're going to find out.

So how are you Katie?

I'm good thank you, I knew you were going to ask me something about the word aquathlon. I never actually know myself whether your supposed to pronounce it aqua-thlon or aquathlon or whether the word aquathlete actually exists either so yeah maybe someone else can tell me!

Yeah I cause I have no idea if aquathletes even a word but we'll go with it! So could you briefly introduce yourself and how you initially got into aquathlons and also could you explain briefly what an aquathlon actually involves as many people may not actually know?

Ok so aquathlon is a swim followed by a run which is different from swim-run because in swim-run you'll have more than one swim and more than one run but with aquathlon it's generally a 1km swim followed by a 5km run. So yeah swim then run! And how I got into it, I started off as a swimmer and I've been swimming since I was about 7, then I started doing athletics as a young teenager but both of them I was very much a sprinter so short distances and I did most of those till I was about 17. Like a lot of teenagers do I kind of fell away from doing it and had quite a bit of time out but always carried on keeping fit and swimming for fun although I probably never swam for fun in the way that most people would, I always kind of swam in a training style way because that's just what I'm used to.

When I was 35 and had children and wanted a new challenge again, I joined an athletics club and started doing longer distance road races - I think my sprint days are behind me! And I started getting a bit more into my swimming as well and someone mentioned that maybe I should have a go at 'Go Try' so I went and gave 'Go Try' a go, did a couple of those and realised yeah this might be something I might be quite good at, so started to looking at more events I could do.

Amazing - that's so fun! So have you always wanted to do an aquathlon from that point onwards or was there a certain point in your life when you thought I could do this and started training for one?

I never actually knew they existed and I know that sound ridiculous. When I was growing up, there were these people that road bikes and swam and ran and there was a club pack track near but I didn't really know much about what it was and didn't really pay much attention to it especially because I wasn't that great on the bike. I only realised in recent years that there was actually an event that didn't involve the bike. So yeah I kind of fell into it in that sense, if I'd known about it sooner, I probably would've done it! But yeah it's more the encouragement of other people and meeting new people that did it and got me started.

Fo r sure - I mean everyones heard of triathlons, marathons even like a decathlon y'know. The things that I suppose are in the Olympics or huge events but an aqauathlon, I'd never heard of it either until recently so it's very exiting! Have you ever had any coaches or have you always taught yourself?

I was coached at my athletics club, Peterborough athletics club, when I was a youngster as a junior and I swam under a coach, Brian Brinkley, at City of Peterborough Swimming Club for four years. As a grown up, I've pretty much coached myself. I get lots of help and advice from coaches at my club and then in the last year or so I've started getting coached weekly with Patrick, so I go and see him in the Summer and Spring at Pells Pool in Lewis and my running clubs Arena 80.

Amazing - that sounds so interesting and obviously it's been a weird year and we're all in a strange situation at the moment. Normally, would you train with other people or would you train on your own?

In terms of training for running, on a Monday I would do my club track session and I also help out with coaching and doing the warm up with so that would be with other people and then it very much depends on how it fits in with my schedule with family life and things like that. I do a lot of training on my own, a lot of my longer runs I'll do on my own and recently I've been training with a friend who's a similar speed to me and we help each other on for our intervals and fast pace stuff which has worked really well. Swimming, pretty much since I started, I've trained on my own apart from the sessions which I'll do with my coach which are part of a group but I'll still complete the session myself.

For sure! So when you train I'm guessing you do different distances in both swimming and running, so what's your favourite distance to run and favourite distance to swim?

Ahh well actually it's quite funny because I actually like the longer distance swims so in swimming I'd say my favourite distance is 5km so the longer distances in swimming, whereas in running I'm very much more suited to the shorter stuff so probably 5km again so if there was an event where you could run 5km and swim 5km that would be absolutely perfect for me I think!

For sure, like a good balance there I suppose! So when you go swimming, do you swim in the sea or do you go to the gym or?

Yeah so I do a bit of everything, I was very very much a pool based swimmer and that was all I did for years and even swimming outside in a lido was kind of like ooo outside but a couple of years ago I started to do a lot more sea swimming and got my first sea swimming wetsuit. So yeah in the summer, I love swimming in the sea, but I still wear a full wetsuit, rash vest, socks, gloves, hat, maybe 3 hats, even in the summer and I've really struggled this winter. I'd say the seas more for long training swims in terms of just being out in the elements and getting used to the cold and the conditions, whereas all my endurance training sessions I would do in the pool.

Amazing, so obviously you haven't had access to a pool over lockdown so how has your swimming training been? Have you been able to do any?