Nicola and Jane warming up for the Zurich Marathon. Wonderful images by Chris Godfrey.

Here at we’re not scared to do things differently.

So it was business as usual as we had the Olympic Champion warming up for her triathlon comeback at the ITU World Triathlon Series at Cape Town next week with an international marathon. She was joined on the start line by team-mate, Jane Fardell, who was coming off a ‘disappointing’ 2:45 marathon in Paris just a week earlier.

We decided that Jane’s race the week before, where we were shooting for sub 2:40 was not her fault, but a result of a flawed plan of attack during the taper period.

On the Tuesday before Paris, Jane and I were worried as her run was not as it should have been and she wasn’t sick. So we summarised she hadn’t recovered enough from her long training race in Rome earlier in the month, and that the travel had weakened her.

So we went straight into rest mode to try and salvage the Paris race. Yet despite the added recovery on race day Jane could feel the lactate rising after only the 2nd km. That she was able to put together a 2:45 with zero in the tank is a testament to Jane’s mental strength. What it also showed is we got the taper wrong.

Jane wasn’t injured or over-tired for Paris, but underdone. So as she was already in Zurich the following week we decided that she may as well do the race with her training partner, Nicola. She backed it up with a great performance to take a podium in a large international marathon, her 3rd marathon in a month and a solid time on a much tougher course. A show of good old fashioned heart from Jane. Well done.

Zurich PodiumThe Podium: Yoshiko Sakomoto (1st), Nicola Spirig (2nd) and Jane Fardell (3rd)

Nicola Spirig on the other hand carries the burden of going into her first World Series Triathlon race since the Olympics.

Her race brief: Negative split and don’t even look at it as a race until the last 6km. Look for the podium only then. The WTS race has not been a consideration. The Swiss are struggling for points towards the Olympics after a failed Down Under campaign, so The Champ is stepping up and going to collect some for her country.

But as her triathlon season doesn’t start properly until June, Coach thought the marathon in her home town was a good opportunity to spend some time with the family before a very hectic July, August and September. It was also a chance to pay tribute to all her fans that came out to support her at the European Marathon Championships last year.

As usual, Nicola executed the race strategy with military precision (a sub 18:30 last 5km) in a performance that should provide some real confidence that she can give the Rio Olympics a shake in not just one sport, but two.

Both girls showed what we see every day – they are tough, uncompromising and always willing to take adventurous option when it’s presented.

Nicola_ZurichAlways nice to be running sub 4 minute k’s with a smile.

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