Steve really started to enjoy running in the 1980s when it was combined with his love of the outdoors.
Meet Steve Burridge
I was part of a winning team of four competing in the Welsh 1000s. The Welsh 1000’s race took part in Snowdonia, starting at sea level at Aber and going via all 1000 meter summits to the finish on the top of Snowdon after 32km and 2,800m of ascent. “
A few years later Steve was part of a smaller team of two, this time with his friend Paul Miller competing in the Karrimor International Mountain Marathon in the lake district.
While searching for the results decades later he was very happy to discover the race had been subjected to a mini-documentary that had captured himself and Paul at registration.
The once vivid (but now faded) red coat I was wearing at the time stands out very clearly in the YouTube copy of the documentary. “
Steve kept up his running into the 1990s regularly taking part in 10km Volkslauf in Germany where he was working a the time.
Steve says that strength training played a big part in being able to cycle around the Fred Whitton Challenge course earlier this month.
This 113-mile ride around the lake district takes in several intimidating ascents and equally intimidating descents including, after about 95 miles, the daddy of them all: Hardknott Pass.
The bottom is a vicious 1 in 3 climb up over a shoulder and on to a less steep section before and even more vicious 1 in 3 switchbacks before the final ascent to the summit.
Steve simply didn’t have the strength for it last year and had to walk the steep sections.
He told us that this time, thanks to the help and support from Coach Parry, he was equal to the challenge! 💪
Steve’s Forum Post:
Delighted to have made it all the way around the 112mile Fred Whitton challenge on the bike this year including the notorious Hardknott pass that I had to walk up parts of last year. By the time I’d got to the bottom of Hardknott pass I was already around 95 miles of the course, my legs were tired and I was suffering some mild GI cramps. Strength training helped me maintain a short but not very productive squat in a field but which did ease the GI cramps and I composed myself for the climb ahead. Then the strength training started to really come into its own as I was out of the saddle grinding my way up the 1 in 3 slopes at the bottom before the road flattened out and I could give my now cramping legs a bit of a rest. I took a photo of the climb ahead including the final ascent up a series of 1 in 3 switchbacks. It doesn’t look so bad in the photo as it’s running away from you (you have to zoom in to see the line of riders). Last year from the base of the
1 in 3 sections it looked very much like trying to ride up a wall. This year it looked slightly less daunting and the strength I’d developed in my core and legs carried me to the top of what is one of the most notorious climbs in England.
Thanks for all the help and support from the training team CP 🙂, on to my attempts at Olympic Triathlon now!
Steve wanted to add that he bought a souvenir T-shirt last year. This year he treated himself to some great photos from Steve Fleming.
For anyone wanting to know more about this year’s event or were perhaps interested in having a go themselves, the following YouTube account nicely reflected how I felt about the day: Here.”
Another Achievement For Steve
This weekend was another first: I competed in my first standard distance Triathlon!”
He had been introduced to sprint distance Triathlons five years ago. A ruptured disc brought exercising to a halt and was followed a year later by a knee arthroscopy to repair his right knee.
To preserve my knee I limited my runs to 5km for a couple of years. Then, quite by accident, I ended up doing an ad hoc half marathon trail run with a friend. “
Steve and his friend had planned a much shorter outing but were loving splashing through the flooded terrain and just kept going. The knee didn’t object and opened the door to longer runs.
Becoming a Coach Parry Member
I’m just coming to the end of my first year with CP. I joined because I needed some help getting back into running and I was facing the prospect of my first Fred Whitton Challenge in the autumn of 2021.”
Steve told us that he was 59, and without the benefit of formal coaching. He was not getting anywhere by exercising as hard as he could whenever he got the chance… Instead, he was left feeling tired with no progress, which was frustrating for him.
Biggest Contributor To Steve’s Success
If I had to say just one thing it would be Coach Parry!”
Steve believes that there are many strands that have been significant to his success…
Having a structured program, learning to run easy runs EASY, the importance of recovery and nutrition, learning how his body is responding to the aging process and so much more.
Being with Coach Parry has been a real education with added benefits: the Coach Parry community includes some truly inspirational athletes, and the coaches have been super supportive including helping me cope with a bout of Covid in the weeks prior to my first Fred Whitton. I’ve learned not to be a slave to the program and to be kinder to myself.”
What’s Next For Steve
British Triathlon Championships in June this year.
He also hopes to lose some weight and perhaps complete a half IM before he is 65.
On the running front, having recently matched a 5km PB of under 25 minutes from 10 years ago I’m keen to see if I can match the 45min 10km I was doing 30 years ago.”
Difficulties Along The Way
Steve says he is 172cm tall and around 85kg give or take… so he believes he is about 10kg overweight and has been for some years.
This continues to take its toll on my joints and I’m confident I could perform better if I wasn’t carrying the extra junk around. I’ve worked with it and have achieved a good level of fitness notwithstanding. It does make it hard work coming back after periods of injury or illness.”
He also found it a challenge to cope with setbacks due to injury or illness.
Steve feels disappointed and depressed when he has to take a break while he’s on a roll, compounded by the withdrawal from exercise-induced endorphins and putting on weight.
That’s when the humanity of the Coach Parry coaches and the wider community can help, even if it’s simply reading in the forum about someone going through something similar.”
An Interesting Story Shared By Steve
Somewhere between his mid thirty’s and mid forty’s the impact of work and a busy social life crept up on him.
He put on weight and his fitness gradually went down the pan.
I started to try and regain some fitness when I became a father to two boys towards the end of the noughties. “
Initially, he ran a couple of times a week, then he bought a bike and cycled socially with a mixed group from the village where he lives.
Some more enthusiastic and able members planned a trip to cycle to France. I was very happy to be driving the support vehicle.”
A year later and building on the success of the 2015 Paris trip, an unsupported round trip to France from St Malo to Cherbourg was planned.
With no support needed Steve thought he was off the hook…
Then a vacancy came up at short notice and when the invitation was extended to him in the local pub.
I’d had one too many beers to say “no”. My hard work keeping up with the group was recognized and during the trip, I was invited to join in a sprint triathlon when we returned.”
He got caught up in the moment and after a glass to two of wine and accepted without reservation. And so began his time as a (Sprint distance) triathlete.
I was shocked and relieved in equal measure when we arrived in Cherbourg after a long and exhausting day to catch the fast boat back to the UK.”
He doesn’t know why, but they hadn’t had an occasion to handle bikes up to that point.
In unpacking and repacking to take advantage of the opportunity for a shower and change of clothes I needed to move a bike to get to mine. It was so light!”
Curiosity pricked; Steve tried the weight of some of the other bikes…
All so light and easily lifted with a single hand. My bike required feet well planted and both hands to lift. It quickly became clear that I brought much more with me than anyone else.”
A part of the reason that Steve had been struggling was not a lack of condition but simply that he had so much extra stuff… A pack horse would have struggled.
That was the last time I took my brogues for evening wear on a cycle trip. The irony is that the experience made me stronger!”
We love that story!😂
Well done on these incredible achievements Steve! We know you’re going to continue breaking personal records way into your mid 60’s and well after.
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