With Lucy Byram
CES Sport is committed to developing the best triathlon wheels for both pro and amateur athletes. As part of our commitment to the sport, we sponsor up-and-coming riders with the wheels they need to be competitive. After an amazing maiden year racing as a pro, we were excited to catch up with our very own Lucy Byram for a chat to discuss all things triathlon.
Lucy is the newest member of our team of riders.
Getting started in triathlon
Before we delve into this past season, every story has a beginning. When did you start competing in triathlons, and why?
I first started competing in triathlons when I was eight years old after being introduced to the sport through my running club, Holmfirth Harriers. I went from doing a few local triathlons to competing for the county of Yorkshire at a national level.
Do you feel that there is a particular type of personality that is drawn into triathlon? If so, how does your personality fit?
I feel it brings a different type of personality than other sports. It can be quite a lonely sport at times, so you have to be dedicated enough to go out on your own and get the training done. Unless you are lucky enough to have a coach with you for all your sessions, you are accountable for your training, so you must be very self-motivated. Like a lot of sports, it can also bring an obsessive personality, which can be both good and bad.
Personally, having an obsessive personality is good for getting all the training done for the day and ticked off, even when you have 3 or 4 training sessions in one day! However, it can also have a downside in the fact you can push yourself a bit too much. Triathletes have to train a LOT, which means you end up being tired more often than not. It can sometimes be hard to know when you are too tired and should take a rest or to keep pushing through and ticking off the training.
Preparing for a triathlon event
When people hear about triathlon, they’re automatically drawn to the physical aspect of competing in 3 disciplines, especially when we start talking about 70.3 and the full ironman distance. However, they often forget about the mental aspects. Which is more difficult to prepare for, physical or mental?
When you’re racing anywhere between 4 and 10 hours, depending on the distance of the race, you must be physically prepared to put your body through a lot of physical stress. During normal weekly training, you would have to put the hours in but rarely push yourself to the extent you would have to in a race. Due to this, I think the mental part is more difficult to prepare for. Even if there is good support out on the racecourse, you would still be alone in your own head space for at least 85% of the race, which can be hard at times; especially if something isn’t going to plan.
A bit of self-critique now; which discipline is your strongest, and which is your weakest? Why?
For me, it has changed since moving to long-course triathlons. My swimming used to be my weakest discipline due to the rough nature of short-course swims and not being able to get out fast enough. But since moving to long course and having more clear water around, I have been able to come out with the lead swimmers or very close behind.
Preparation is key to success, so what does your training regime look like when you’re at the height of your season? What keeps you fuelled?
During the season, training will become more specific to the racing I will be doing. For the run and bike sessions, I will try to simulate a race. For example, running off the bike at race pace after doing a fatiguing bike session to get the legs used to being tired while running.
What keeps me fuelled is thinking about all the people that support me and help me with my triathlon career. I want to make them as proud as I can and give a performance that my training reflects.
The 2022 Triathlon season in review.
So let’s focus a bit now on 2022. Your first full season as a professional, you must be pretty pleased with how it’s gone? What has been your highlight?
I went into the season just trying to learn as much as I could from each race. I started each race with no expectations, just wanting to enjoy them, which I did. Finishing on the podium at four races this year is way, way above what I expected I would achieve this year. So for that, I am very proud. But I know I have lots still to learn and even more to improve on, which is quite exciting.
One of my highlights from this year has to be winning at Challenge Wales and taking the finish line tape at the end, which was the first time for me.
A win at Challenge Wales, followed by 2nd at IM70.3 Vichy and then another win at IM 70.3 Jesolo, you must have gone into your final race of the season at Challenge Paguera Mallorca pretty confident?
Going into Peugera, I knew I was in good form from my recent results, so was looking forward to seeing how I would get on against some top-class women. However, I also didn’t know what to expect as it was the first time I had done two races on back-to-back weekends (these happened to be six days apart, too!). Finishing 4th on the tough course still left me a little disappointed but seeing the women I finish behind; I can’t complain too much.
What’s next in Triathlon?
Do you have a plan of what races you’re looking to be on the start line for in 2023 yet? What are your goals?
I haven’t really made much of a plan for next year yet, but I qualified for the 70.3 world championships in 2023, so that will be on the list. I would also like to race at Challenge Wales again, and any other races in the UK would be a great experience.
The main goals for me are to enjoy the racing as I have done this year and not put any pressure on myself. Trying to be on the podium at a few more races would be nice, though!
Being only 23 and already racing as a professional, what advice do you have for other aspiring triathletes?
Make sure you love it! It’s a lot of hard work every day, and when there’s a session you don’t feel up to, you still have to get it done and remind yourself why you do it.
Finally, something everybody wants to know – just how good are CES wheels? 😉
Both the training wheels (26mm alloy) and my race wheel (60mm carbon) have been perfect for what I have needed then for. The race wheels have been great for some of the hillier courses I have done as they are super light, as well as the deep rims which help with the aerodynamics.
Training wheels are perfect and ready to go for the day-to-day mileage. I’m not the most mechanical, but I’ve been told the hubs are super easy to work with and keep on top of maintenance. They’re also lovely and light. With all the additional things like mudguards and lights etc, it’s nice to have a light pair of training wheels to keep my bike feeling fast.
Race wheels, the 60mm depth is a lovely mix between lightweight and aero! I’ve done a mixture of races this season, and I’ve really noticed how responsive and light they feel on hilly courses, and on the flat, they really hold the speed without me feeling scared of a cross wind.
Keep up to date with Lucy and what she has up her sleeve for 2023 over on her Instagram account: