Fraser Cartmell: A Day In The Life

1st Jul 2016 | Written by Ewan Mowat

Recently, we shared a video documenting a typical training day for professional long distance triathlete, Fraser Cartmell. We took the opportunity to speak to Fraser about the video and his racing season.


How did the idea for the video come about?

It was general brainstorming for the upcoming talk I was doing at the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling really. I had briefly chatted to Iain at ImacImages Photography in the past about some sort of photography to capture my training but that hadn’t ever come to fruition. With him now doing more videography, I ran the idea past him and thankfully our diaries matched up. The determining factor thereafter being the weather!


The video focuses on your day of training, how has this changed through your career?

My word, that’s a whole different topic that needs a lot more space! Absolutely, my weekly training template has altered plenty of over the years as I’ve moved up the distances and into non drafting events. As a simple example, 10 years ago I was still racing ITU Olympic distance events and it would be fair to say that I probably never rode my bike for 4 hours, let alone 5 or 6 and I doubt I was ever doing ‘brick’ runs off any of my bike rides. I would rarely have ever run more than 90 minutes either, but these are fairly obvious differences that are to be expected as your training slowly evolves with time.


Were there any difficulties in filming?

Not particularly, Iain had some simple but really effective bits of equipment that both allowed him to easily film me underwater and out on the road as I rode too. For anything of interest, I knew that we’d need moving footage of me riding the bike as there is only so much you can do from a static stance at the side of the road as a photographer.

Over the years I’ve had plenty of experience with motorbikes and vehicles following me both for sponsors photoshoots and TV production during races but this time we just had Blair [Cartmell, Fraser’s brother and Triathlon Scotland Performance Centre Coach] driving his car with Iain filming mostly in the open boot or out the back window!

The only issue then was finding a quiet stretch of road, given we didn’t have the luxury of closed roads. On a Saturday morning it’s easier said than done, but luckily Stirlingshire roads are still fairly sleepy at 10 am. Finally, it just required Blair driving smooth and steady so that neither I ended up in the back of the car or worse, Iain lost his camera! We managed fine but, like all things done well, it looks significantly easier than it really is.

“We just had Blair driving his car with Iain filming mostly in the open boot or out the back window!”


How was your talk at the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling?

I think it went perfectly well. It was only a small gathering but the reaction was positive and the Q&A could’ve gone on for quite some time I think, which is always a good sign. We have held the talk at the Run4It shop on Lothian Road in Edinburgh, so thanks again to the McAndrew brothers for hosting once again.


You’ve spoken at the event in previous years, how did the link come about?

Gregor Angus, who stays in Queensferry just outside Edinburgh has been a part of the Festival organising committee for a few years, and he simply asked if I would be keen in early 2014 as it would be a slightly different addition to their schedule. The first talk was well enough received that we’ve now done three of them.


You’re competing at Ironman UK this year, where you finished second in 2015. What are your aims for the event?

Yes, Bolton is nearly here, just over two weeks away… It comes around quicker every year but I’m looking forward to it, what with this being my fifth time racing there since I first raced in 2010. As for aims – I’d love to win the event again, and last year I gave it a good go but was happy with second as I pretty much got the most out of myself that day. As long as I do the same this time around I will be content with the outcome, and I would hope that would put me close the front of the race.


Have you got other events on the way, either as preparation for IMUK or afterwards?

I have just returned from the west of Ireland where I raced at the Challenge Galway Half distance event, finishing 11th. I’d never been to that side of Ireland, so that was a motivating factor in taking part, and three weeks out from an IM is a good time to get a race in the system I think. It wasn’t the best race I’ve ever executed, but it wasn’t the worst either!


What would constitute a good 2016 season for you?

Certainly a podium at Bolton wouldn’t go amiss and most likely something similar in a 70.3 later in the summer would be great. I’ll likely race in Dublin in August and Weymouth in September, and perhaps a later IM such as Wales, but I will wait to see how the body holds up before setting any concrete plans on that front.


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