Coach’s Corner

Top tip for swimming

When going swimming always start with a warmup, start off slowly and build speed over about 8 –12 lengths and then do any drills before the main set.

By doing drills when you are fresh, you will not only perform them better but it will also then help your swimming in the main set!

Example Swim Session

  • Warm up with 200m – 400m
  • Drills – focusing on the catch – fists, little fingers, cow horns, normal hands (2 lengths of each)
  • Swim 4 X 200m (if you are a stronger swimmer or want to swim longer 4 X 400m) with 20 seconds of recovery between sets
  • After each 200/400m, swim 4 X 2 lengths fast with paddles with 15 seconds rest
  • 100m easy old English backstroke (or normal backstroke), to stretch out the chest muscles.

Race Report: Peter Mountford

Event: South East Swim Run Series
Date: 19th May 2024

SwimRun, as the organisers explained, was invented by the Swedish as a way to explore their landscape. Swim to an island, run across it, and then swim to the next. Don’t know why they couldn’t just have used a boat but that would have stopped the 100-odd of us gathering at QuaySwim in Mytchett to leg it around the lake and jump into it a few times.

This was an intro event with a 2.5K or a 5K option, normally these things go on far longer. It was very much hosted as a friendly event, it’s more about exploring than a race, unfortunately, Sheena did not see it that way, so I geared myself up to get smashed by her swim power.

Sporting my trisuit, trail runners, swim hat, whistle and pull buoy, I was ready for action. As I looked around at the start line, I noticed I was one of maybe three people wearing a trisuit, the professional looking people around me were all sporting swimrun neoprene wear (yes, this is a thing and possibly your next bit of additional kit you never thought you needed). I suddenly felt that I might be about to get pretty chilly.

The klaxon went and off we all dashed for the first 1km trail run, the entry to the lake came soon enough and I heeded the advice of the organisers, taking it slow entering the water. You, like me, might have thought why bother bringing a pull buoy, turns out it keeps your bum up when trying to swim in trail runners, wonderful invention. Six hundred-odd meters later I exited the water and trotted off for 500m to the other side of the lake where I gently flopped back into the water to swim the last 400m back to the start.

Leg one of two complete, so around we went for a second time. Now I know what you’re thinking, was Peter putting on a brave face to stop the shivers or was he a smug git because it gets bloody hot running in neoprene? Smugness was the order of the day!

I crossed the line, as predicted behind Sheena, and after some gentle South African banter, we posed for photos and had some cake.

If you’re thinking of signing up for the next one, you only really need something to swim in, a pair of running shoes and a whistle. The whistle is mandatory in case you get in trouble. If you’re thinking of going for a longer distance event then definitely get a swimrun wetsuit (I was only smug because we stopped at 5K) and a pull buoy.

All in all, a really enjoyable event and we will be going to the next one in Richmond.

Event Report: Ethan Aspin

Event: Club Ride to Brighton for Fish and Chips 🐠 🍟
Date: 18th May 2024

My alarm blasted away at 5:45am. Funnily enough, I awoke from a nightmare about being late to meet up and missing the ride! Fuelled by ambition, I managed to set off and meet up with the Viceroy’s crew at 7am.

8 of us showed up all eager for a mega ride. We rode at a solid pace of around 26km/h but you can bet there were a few toilet and snack stops along the way.

The consistent pace scrambled as we shot up Ditchling, with Jason and Euan absolutely blasting up the hill. After that large effort, we happily made our way to grab some fish and chips at Brighton Pier with many opting for a coke to revitalise the sugar and caffeine levels.

Brighton definitely has something going for it – anti-cyclist dogs and drugged-up cyclists going around the pier without the need for a handlebar to name a couple!

As we set off back to London, energy levels returned, and a few hills and coffee stops later, we made it back to our respective homes after being in the saddle for 200km.

Kudos to Euan for taking on 99% of the headwind and setting the pace, and Jason for buying 7 cokes and 1 flat white. Cheers!

Race Report: Larissa Clay

Event: The Roc Wales
Date: 11th May 2024

Marit, Lance, Laurence and Lara took on The Roc Wales on Saturday 11th May as part of The Roc Trilogy series of events. Wales is the first race. 1.5km sea swim, followed by a 49km bike to Snowdon, 12km hike (or run!) up and down Snowdon, 49km bike back, before a final 1km run along the beach to finish. The weather turned out rather hot.

Lance was first out of the water, with Marit, Lara and Laurence all close behind. Lara could have done with some cold water training, it was so cold she couldn’t get her breath.

Lara rushed to the mountain overtaking Lance on the way, some might say she overcooked it slightly! Onto the mountain, Marit was hot on the heels of Lara, storming to the summit and catching Lara on the way down. Both high-fiving Lance and Laurence not far behind, reassuring them that the summit really wasn’t that far, secretly very grateful the scramble to the top was done for them!

Laurence took a little detour at the top, wanting to take in some further sights! Then again near the bottom in a beautiful lake to cool off.

The bike back was tough. Legs were shot from the mountain and it felt all uphill with a headwind. It was quite some relief to enter Abersoch, but then just for fun, there was a 1km beach run. The atmosphere on the run was probably the only thing keeping one foot in front of the other, before the finish line applause, a massage, and a drink from the bar, in a boat, on the beach!

A really tough event, especially early in the season, but that’s what makes the achievement so much better.

Event Report: Euan Robertson

Event: Mallorca 312
Date: Sat 27th April 2024

Riders: 8500
Bike: Road
Routes: 167/225/312km

I arrived in Mallorca a few days early to ease myself into the 312 by riding a few scenic routes prior to the race. The roads and landscape were magnificent and raised my excitement for the big day. The first day I did quite a bit of climbing, including the most famous climb on the island called Sa Colabra. After that, I gradually eased off for 2 days and did Cap de Formentor before an easier recovery day prior to the event.

There is a large expo that opened on the Thursday where I picked up my bib number and which offers a large number of assorted items for purchase such as cycling jerseys, socks and lots of other stuff. Previously, I had heard horror stories from some Viceroys members and others that the 2023 event was not very organised. Fortunately, this year was far more orderly and structured. I can’t fault the organisation at all.

The big day came around and it was a 4 am start for me. The official start was 6:30 am but people arrived very early to make sure they got in the right queue and not stuck at the back of the line. I managed to cross the line at about 6:45 am which is a good start time. Off we went!

The first 25km were fast and flat before you hit the mountains which were all in the first half of the ride. The gradients were relatively easy – estimated 6% average. Everyone was taking it steady up the climbs for obvious reasons. The scenery was fantastic and fortunately for us, it was warm but not too warm and the clouds kept the sun off us. In the mountains there aren’t any flat roads – it’s just up and down repeatedly so you just have to ride at a comfortable pace. It was a little windy on the day and so the descents had to be negotiated carefully. I saw a few crashes on the road so you just need to ride within your limits and be aware of other people who are not.

The feed stations were very good. They served cold Coca Cola, sandwiches, gels, fruit and organisers were happily refilling bottles of water for riders. They didn’t have any energy drinks or electrolyte mix so I’d recommend bringing a your own. I stopped at 3 of the feed stations but I believe there were 7 or 8 in total.

Towards the end of the mountains, the coastal scenery was fantastic, and the roads were lovely. After that, you are then on to a lot of long rolling hills and flat sections where the trains come along at significant speeds. Quite often on the flats, bigger groups were riding at 45kph+. You had to find the right group for you so you were not killing yourself just to stay on the back. At that point, there were still another 100km+ to go. There were still some climbs, but they were mostly 100m kickers just to get over.

I finished in just under 11 hours (Garmin) which was 11:30 official clock time. I was ahead of my goal of under 12 hours. It takes a little time to recover after such a long ride, but they had free pasta, drinks, and ice cream for refreshments. You could even get a massage for free, which I took advantage of and it worked wonders. The expo was buzzing at this stage as people were finishing. They had music and lots of other things going on. It took me a bit of time to get my appetite back after the ride but the pasta was just what I needed in the end. It was a really fantastic event, and I really enjoyed it.

Arguably, the 225 gives the best views without the extra distance so many people choose to do that. 8500 people is a huge amount and the only thing to be aware of is that some people do push past on narrow roads and descend too fast. My advice is to be very careful and watch your surroundings.

Other than that, it’s a great event and a fantastic trip in general as you also have the opportunity to enjoy the quieter days to do some other rides.

I flew out with my bike on British Airways and it was very easy. I also got the public bus from the airport to Alcudia where I stayed which turned out to be a smooth journey.

Note – the 2024 event sold out in 6 minutes. I didn’t get a place. However, many people either get injured, can’t go, don’t train or for whatever reason return their place. Those places then go back on to a “marketplace” for people to purchase and I found it very easy getting a spot that way. So don’t be disappointed if you don’t get one in the first entry sale.

Race Report: Sam Holloway

Event – Dorney Sprint Triathlon ATW / DorneyLakeEvents
Date – 4th May 2024

A bit apprehensive coming into this one, with a few firsts and experiments.

This would be my first open water swim of the year and first wetsuit swim of the year. Not really recommended, but not a lot I could do about it, unless you enjoy being cold. Also, this would be my first ride in anger on my new (to me) TT bike, I was fairly happy with my position but still had a fair bit of uncertainty.
Oh well, we’ll be fine!

Races at Dorney are always a pleasure, a combination of a closed course with a slick operation makes for a great venue. The marshalls were extra supportive and attentive. There were plenty of first-timers too and I was more than happy to share some tips and answer any questions in transition for the newbies.

Swim – 750m 11:21
As expected, fricking freezing! Entering the water before the start it took a few moments before I could get my face in the water and do a few strokes. I then spent the next few minutes doing what I could to get acclimatized and ‘warm’ whilst the rest of the wave entered the water. So a few swimming strokes, some sculling with kicks, just to get the blood going and comfortable in the wetsuit. Maybe a quick wee. 3,2,1… we were off!

I tend to like a strong start, as swimming is my strength, and try to get out in front. One swimmer to my left was off like a rocket and I tried catching his feet but he was too quick and soon out of reach. He ended up being 2 mins quicker. I then swam solo following the rowing buoys and the rope under the water to the far turn buoy. Here I was starting to feel the strong start bite me a bit and was keen to settle the heart rate plus give my shoulders a bit of break. I eased up a tad and another swimmer started touching my feet, I decided to ease up more to allow the other swimmer past and then sit on their feet for some of the return leg down the lake. I started feeling stronger again once I settled the heart rate and shoulders started coming back to me (inspiring confidence for other races this year.)
Not my quickest time but for a first outing, pretty solid. Exited the water in 3rd.

T1 – 1:53
Out of the water and run across to the bikes, stripping the top half of the wetsuit on the go. Arms were quite fatigued so a little trickier than normal.

It was quite painful running on the tarmac with frozen feet, thankfully I was quickly onto the grass area where the sprint transition was set up. As it was cold, I opted to put socks on but because I couldn’t feel my hands or feet this was an absolute nightmare, ended up on my arse putting them and my bike shoes on.

Helmet and sunglasses on, unrack the bike, and out of transition. No flying mount today as I hadn’t practiced that on this bike, also whoever decided to put the mount line on a slight hill is a bit crazy.
Exited transition P4.

Bike – 19k 30:48
Ok, anyone who has done a race at Dorney knows it’s a quick course and with little to no wind, it was ideal conditions. I spent the first ‘out’ settling my heart rate and trying to get comfortable. I could see 3rd place not far ahead and 2nd quite a way ahead.

Everything was going fairly smoothly up until the second lap. I’m not sure what happened but I think my saddle tilted down slightly over a small bump, this had the effect of putting a lot of pressure on my arms, back and neck holding the TT position and I felt I couldn’t push the power as easily. Also, I struggled a bit with reaching for my water bottle (maybe an upfront hydration pack needed).

I was keeping general pace with 3rd but he was slowly getting ahead.

Reaching the end of the 4th lap I reached down to take my feet out of my shoes ready for the dismount, again a little trickier on the new bike, it was at this point I realised I still couldn’t feel my toes. This would be fun.

T2 – 1:02
Safely dismounted before the line and a short jog to my racking position, trainers on, again slightly tricky when you can’t feel your toes. And out.

Run – 5k 18:43
Off we go, I could see 3rd place maybe 400m ahead. So that was my target. Dorney can be a bit mentally tough as it’s flat out 2.5k and back 2.5k but I had a target to chase so it wasn’t too bad.

I still couldn’t feel my feet so running was a little more awkward, but I caught 3rd just after 2k. On the return I could just make out 2nd but he was easily 1k ahead so it was just about securing 3rd and posting a good time.

I was feeling pretty great, so continued to push all the way to the line.
Over the line comfortably in 3rd. Woo!

Finish time 1:03:49
Overall 3rd/208
Age Category 2nd/53

A bit rusty around the edges and big gains to be made on the bike, but very happy with how it all went.

Race Report: Tracey Mills

Event – Hart Triathlon Series
Date – 6th May 2024

What a day! Very, very wet and the support crew hid in the cars!

• 🌧️ personal rain cloud, standard issue
• 🏊‍♀️ didn’t get my toes tapped 💪🏻
• 🚴🏻‍♂️ didn’t fall off 💪🏻
• 🏃🏻‍♀️ overtook some people and kept running 💪🏻

First event back from fracturing my pelvis in crash at the Age Group Worlds in September  – safe to say I was initially pretty nervous of the rain…soon forgot once on the bike.

Finish time 1:18:19,
Age Category 2nd
Overall 71/177
Female 16/74

Tears of laughter and fun with friends = priceless 🥰

Race Report: Tim Ferguson

Event – TCS London Marathon
Date – 21st April 2024

Boarding the train at Surbiton it felt as if the event had already begun, with the train heaving with supporters and runners, everyone in a relaxed mood.

Arriving at Blackheath and the scale of the event really unfolded. This is a huge park and it was overwhelmed by a sea of runners.

The advice from the expo was to join a queue for the portaloo and by the time you reach the front, you’ll need it, good advice.

At 10:28 my wave started and despite all the advice, I went off harder than I’d planned. After 10km I settled into a rhythm and maintained a consistent pace until about 32km, then it drifted slightly for the last 10km.

The event itself is truly magnificent, having spectated many many times, I had no idea how inspiring the crowd would be. Tower Bridge is just jaw-droppingly incredible. It’s hard to express how overwhelming the sounds and sights that confront you as you turn onto the bridge are. I wanted to stop and take it all in, but I also wanted to break 4 hours…

Between miles 17 and 20 was the first time I began to really feel the fatigue and for the first time was concerned that my pace was dipping and that breaking 4 hours would now be a struggle. In reality, although my pace did drop, it wasn’t by nearly as much as I thought and there had been nothing to worry about.

Running down the embankment and scanning for Big Ben, knowing that it would be a right turn followed by a left turn then 380 yards to the finish. To my surprise, the famous clock didn’t really come into view until quite late, about mile 25. That last right turn was a turning point, finishing was guaranteed and sub 4 hours seemed extremely likely. Again the noise was like nothing I’d ever experienced, and the energy from the crowd carried me through to the finish. However my first question upon receiving my medal, and what a magnificent medal it is, was to ask how to withdraw my ballot entry for next year!

Reflecting on this race, it is unquestionably an unforgettable experience, if you were there and cheered on random strangers then thank you, it means the world to us.

London Marathon 2024 Tim Ferguson
London Marathon 2024 Tim Ferguson
London Marathon 2024 Tim Ferguson

May 2024 Newsletter

Welcome to the Viceroys May Newsletter where we highlight all the main events, news and things you need to know for the month ahead! But before we get into May, let’s take a look at how the 2024 season kicked off.

April officially got the season off to a great start with track sessions resuming under the guidance of Coach Ralph, an amazing kit swop/shop evening where members got the chance to have a chat, ‘hydrate’ and meet new members and our new coach.

We’ve also had an amazing series of Race/Event Reports, catch up here, featuring Spring Onions, New Forest Classics, Paris-Roubaix Challenge, London Marathon and more.

Plus, Coaches Corner is back and will be updated throughout the year, so if you have any requests, please do let us know.

So let’s get to it then, here is EVERYTHING (well almost everything) you need to know for May…


The 2024-2025 Membership Cards have arrived! Whether you’re an old or new member, you’ll need to get your hands on this seasons membership card to access the FREE swims at Shepperton Lake.
Committee Members will be bringing cards to track, cycling and swim sessions, so please don’t forget to claim yours!

Contact Marit for more information.


As of the beginning of May, we’re swapping our usually cycle meeting point from the Ashely Car Park to Cowey Sale Car Park. Ride Captain Nick has done a review of the local car parks, and Cowey Sale came out tops for the reasons listed below. So we will be testing this as a new meeting location going forward.

Contact Nick for more information.

Cowey Sale Car Park (alongside Thames next to Walton Bridge):

  • Still a fairly central Walton location
  • Away from traffic (safety)
  • Away from houses/flats (noise complaints)
  • Easy to access when you know where it is
  • Well known location
  • Restrooms available (no bush wees)
  • More opportunity to generate interest from passers-by when gathering
  • Free parking
  • Traffic is busy on the bridge junction (but we can use the underpass when on our bikes)

Every Tuesday Evening
6:45pm Cowey Sale Car Park

Our Tuesday evening social rides are BACK! Meeting in the new car park as mentioned above at 6:45pm to leave at 7pm, we take a ‘quick’ 30km spin through the Surrey countryside, usually returning just after 8pm.
Our first ride of the season was under beautiful blue skies and sunshine, with one group heading towards Ockham and the other taking in the sights of Leatherhead.
Riders of all levels welcome and it’s a great way to end the day.
Come join us and don’t forget your bike lights!

Contact Nick for more information.

From Saturday 18th May
Shepperton Lake

Whoop, whoop! They’re back!
FREE Saturday OR Sunday morning swim (May to August / September) with a valid FULL membership card (one swim per weekend).
Again this is weather dependent on Shepperton Lake opening from the 18th May, so please check the VTC app before you head out.
This is a great way to get your weekend started!
NB: You need proof of FULL membership with a valid membership card.

Saturday 18th May

If fish and chips are your thing or you love nothing better than a stick of rock, then THIS is the bike ride for you!
You can bike there and back, bike there and train back or train there and back, it’s really up to you. This year we’ll be going on road bikes, setting off from our new meeting point and heading to the coast.
So sign up in the VTC app and get ready to fight off those seagulls.

Contact Nick for more information.


Early June TBC (dependent on when Shepperton open the lake for midweek swims)
6:30-8:00pm, Shepperton Lake

Coach Ralph and Swim Captain Rachel are looking forward to diving into the new swim season with a splash.
Weather permitting, we’ll be getting our first coached sessions underway early June. The first 6:30-7pm session will be for development swimmers, with the 7-7:30pm slot for intermediate, and 7:30-8pm slot for the torpedos.
If you have any queries about which session is best for you then speak to Ralph or Rachel.
Remember to sign up in the VTC app as places are limited.

Contact Ralph for more information.

First Coached Swim Session TBC
6:30-8pm, Shepperton Lake

What better way to plunge into the swim season than a cake fest! Starting from 6:30pm at Shepperton Lake, we’ll be having another kit sale/swop, PLUS CAKE!
So if you need new kit or have kit you want to sell/swop or just fancy some cake and a chat, then pop down to the lake (you don’t have to be swimming) and enjoy the sunshine, view and company. And a dip.

Contact Carla or Marit for more information.

Saturday 8th June – Sunday 9th June
Shepperton Lake

What’s better than swimming in the glorious sunshine? Swimming with a flamingo, people cheering you on, music playing, lights at night and all your VTC team mates, obviously!
This will be VTC’s third year at the event so we’re hoping to sign up 4 teams of 8. The more the merrier and friends and family are welcome to sign up for our teams as well!
It is a fun, low pressure overnight adventure where we swim in one hour slots. You can swim in skins; wetsuit; flamingo – whatever you fancy! No times just enjoying it!
We make it as flexible as possible so we can make it work for as many people as possible.
Click HERE to sign up. Team: Viceroys3. No password needed.

Contact Rachel for more information.

Sunday 30th June
Thorpe Park

The Club Championships are designed to bring the club together and race the same event. Whether as an individual or as part of a team due to injury, we hope everyone has a great time.
Distances: 750M Swim, 20KM Bike, 5KM Run
Thorpe Park Sprint Triathlon offers a unique opportunity within the thrilling amusement park.
The lake is London’s ultimate watersport’s resort and the flat grounds lend themselves to a totally flat, fast bike and run course. This is the perfect venue for a chip timed personal best.
Join in the fun and book your spot by clicking here.