Victoria Ruffle

Q1. Which event are you training for?
I was training for ironman 70.3 Pays d’Aix, using the Windsor Duathlon as a warm up ..since completing that I am onto my next which will be the BRC Hills Challenge, Ride London 100, London Triathlon and of course O2e Ireland.

Q2. How are the preparations and training going?
Training for ironman over winter was tough, I love being out on the bike, but less so when its a windy, raining and cold 50 miler followed by an hour run. I had a coach and followed a strict training plan…which I stuck to religiously until it came to injuring my knee during the Windsor Duathlon. I have a partial knee replacement, so I had a load of physio and decided to leave the running until the day, despite having never run a half marathon distance before. Brave move? Or just daft?
I’m currently enjoying easier and more fun training which will ramp up in a couple of weeks. I intend to focus on my speed on the bike using a combination of wattbike sessions, hill rep intervals and club rides. I really missed club rides whilst training for IM!

Q3. What is motivating you to;

A) train
I want to be as prepared as I can for the events, from a health and enjoyment perspective. When I reach the finish line I will be confident that I did the best I could do!

B) do the event
I had a pretty major cycling accident in 2012 I spent 3 years having various operations and dealing with post traumatic stress syndrome. The positive was that whilst I was in the pool re-learning to walk I decided to learn to swim properly so that I could compete in open water swimming and hopefully triathlon. I won’t fully recover and have been told not to run (lets ignore that), I don’t have fully movement of my leg but my pain is under control and body fit enough to continue doing what I love…mainly cycling and ticking Ironman 70.3 off my bucket list….so figured I’d do a few more events whilst I had the fitness levels up to IM standard.

Q4. How did it come about that you’re doing this event?
The specific IM was chosen Mollie a friend I know through Beckenham Rugby Cyclists. I competed besides her and one of my best friends Chris. It was great to race besides friends. Ride 100 is an iconic event, the Windsor Duathlon was chosen by uni mate Joanne, the London Tri I decided to do with work mate Jaimesh and we chose central London…I thought it would be fun to swim in the River Thames…not sure if I will regret that one! O2e was an obvious choice and a great end to the season.

Q5. Tell us more about your training.
Training doesn’t always fit with what friends and the club are doing .. mostly I had some great company for long rides but it was very tempting to go for a club ride with a cake stop rather than a very specific speed and effort ratio for a set distance or time. I enjoyed most of my training by getting friends involved.
My advise is get a coaching plan and stick to it… no excuses!

Q6. What is going to be the toughest part of doing this event for you?

For ironman it was winter training, it was hard getting up at 5am most days in the cold and dark.

Q7. Confident for the big day(s)?

I never feel that confident, with ironman I was worried either my knee wouldn’t hold or I wouldn’t make it in the cut off time. I did, I was fine. So that has made me feel a lot more confident about the other events. Now I’m just looking forward to them!

Q8. How have family and friends reacted to your doing this event?

Family it has mainly been concern and then proud, friends fit into two categories: sporting and non-sporting. Sporting think its awesome and will be a great achievement, non-sporting simply think I’m nuts. like why the hell would you cycle 90km and then run a half marathon? But why would I not!?

Q9. How much do you hope to raise?
I will have another push before O2e and will exceed my target of £700

Q10. How would like the donations from your efforts to make a difference?

O2e gives vital funding to small charities that couldn’t otherwise raise that money. I think its really important to help children struggling with illness through sport giving them focus and mental strength.

Q11. Do you have any fundraising ideas?

I simply update people on what I’m doing, my fundraising so far has come from a couple of facebook posts and 2 emails. Mainly support has come from work colleagues. Charity and supporting fellow ‘Globalers’ is culturally really important at Global (my work place)

Q12. What is it about O2e that resonates with you?

It feels more personal and therefore I feel more connected to the charity. Taking part of the O2e big kevs ride was a highlight for me last year.

Q13. What type of event would really get you out of your comfort zone?

Cycling on cobbles..I don’t know how they do the Paris-Roubaix!!

Q14. Do you have any suggestions of how we could evolve O2e and what would you like to see more of?

Q15. Finally, what advice do you have for any would-be O2eer?

Train hard, enjoy it and be proud of your achievements!