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It’s all about the bike: Lucy Charles-Barclay aims for a sub-8 full-distance race in 2022

British star has some ambitious goals over the next year

Photo by: World Triathlon

There’s a lot to juggle on the training and racing front for Lucy Charles-Barclay right now. As much as she’s having fun with the short-course racing she did earlier in the season, Kona remains the year’s biggest goal. She’s hoping all the speed work she’s done to prepare for the races this year will help her move one step up on the podium on the Big Island. She also has her eyes set on another lofty goal next year – she’s part of the Sub7Sub8 project that looks to follow in Nike’s Breaking2 race to set new standards in the sport. “Breaking2” saw athletes attempt a marathon under two hours. The Sub7Sub8 endeavour will feature Alistair Brownlee and Kristian Blummenfelt trying to go under seven hours for a full-distance race, while Charles-Barclay and Nicola Spirig will try to break the eight-hour barrier.    

Related: Brownlee, Charles-Barclay, Blummenfelt and Spirig chase Sub7Sub8

“It’s all about the bike,” Charles-Barclay said when asked what is the biggest challenge when it comes to going that fast. “I believe I have the speed in the swim – that part we just have to get done … I can bring in some different athletes to help me, which should make a big difference. The other thing we’ll be looking at – I am super aero at the moment, but if I am just riding at the back of a train, do I have to be that aero or do I need to be in a comfortable position? I can be sat upright and the girls can block the wind in front of me. We need to look at how do we set up the bike to ride 180 km in a circle as fast as we can, and saving my legs to run a quick marathon as well. I’m still going to need to run in the range of 2:50 to 2:55, depending on how quick we bike. It’s a big challenge, but I feel that its still do-able with the right people around me. I already have a great team and I’m building the team of athletes who can help me do that.” 

For Charles-Barclay, the Sub8 project is all about breaking barriers, and helping give her the confidence to move to a new level.  

“I definitely believe we haven’t nearly seen my run ability yet in an Ironman, so it’s pretty exciting. I feel that if I am able to break the sub-8 barrier with support, then it would give me the confidence to believe that one day I could do that in a race without any assistance,” she said. “And hopefully it will inspire other athletes to believe that is possible and will be breaking down new barriers. Proving to female athletes that anything is possible.” 

Charles-Barclay is featured on the cover of the July/ August issue of Triathlon Magazine Canada. Photo: James Mitchell

This story originally appeared in the July issue of Triathlon Magazine Canada. Read the full feature by clicking on the link below:

Related: Lucy Charles-Barclay balances Kona desires and Olympic dreams