Helen Russell

World Champion Quadrathlete and Duathlete


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British Canoeing Awards
Helen is one of only three shortlisted for a British Canoeing Virtual Award for promoting paddlesport using digital methods during the pandemic. The 2020 British Canoeing Virtual Awards celebrate the great spirit of the paddling community throughout the challenges of Covid-19 and Helen was shortlisted after being nominated in the Digital Category. Helen has promoted both kayaking and stand up paddle-boarding, on social media and has written articles with guides on how to get started in these sports. The winner will be announced in December.
Unfortunately, all of the races in the British Quadrathlon Association and most in the World Quadrathlon Federation calendar have been cancelled, due to COVID19. This means that this season Helen will not be racing. Helen wishes to thank all her sponsors and supporters for continuing to support her this year, despite not being able to race. Please check them out here
Returning to training
Helen has returned to quadrathlon training after taking a break to stand as the Labour candidate for Mid Worcestershire MP, during the recent General Election. Helen‘s focus for the 2020 season is the European Quadrathlon Championships. The decision to return to international racing was made at a recent warm weather training holiday in Benidorm but it is unclear what impact the break in training during the election will have had on her fitness.

Helen explains: "With the General Election taking place, I was not able to do any proper training as I wanted to focus fully on the campaign. Therefore, I have to be realistic about what is possible. I would love to add the European title to my world and British titles but am not going to put too much pressure on myself."

Helen will combine her training for the European Championship with continuing to be involved in local community campaigning and activism, including in the local Labour Party and trade union movement.

"Although I am returning to racing, I am still committed to continuing to work to reduce poverty and help those in need and will continue to campaign for a society that is based on the principles of fairness and opportunity for all. This means I won‘t be training as much as I have in previous years, so this will inevitably have some impact on my results. It will be interesting to see what is achievable on a reduced training volume."

The European Championships will take place in May in Brigg, Lincolnshire, and will see the continent‘s best quadrathletes compete over a 1,500m river swim, 7km kayak, 38km bike and 10km run to be crowned European champion.
Warm weather training
Each year Helen goes to Benidorm in the Costa Blanca region of Spain and this winter she was lucky to be able to return to the resort as a base for a short block of warm weather training. The location for Helen‘s stay was the bike friendly Terralta Apartotel, which, situated near a number of Vuelta a Espana climbs, is ideal for cyclists. She was provided with a hire bike by Ciclo Costa Blanca/Meta Bike Café. The main focus of her training was cycling but she was also able to take advantage of the warm sea temperatures to do open water swim practice. The athletics track and woods behind the Terralta Apartotel were the ideal settings for some interval sessions and steady runs, as was the Poniente Beach promenade. Helen has now returned to the UK where she will focus on getting fit for the European Quadrathlon Championships. Helen had travel insurance from SportsCover Direct.
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