An amateur triathlete from Lichfield who was “knocked for six” by Covid is celebrating after getting back in the saddle to race again.
Sue Stroud was forced to abandon her training after being struck down by coronavirus last winter.
The 54-year-old teacher admitted she had struggled to get back to full fitness after being laid low by the virus.
“I’ve loved triathlons ever since I started competing in 2016.
“I’m naturally competitive. I ran and played netball at county level as a schoolgirl, so I was keen to push myself.
“I had ambitions to reach the top of the women’s 50 to 54 age category, and was thrilled with the progress I’d made, but then I got Covid.
“Once I started feeling better, I began training, taking things very slowly, but the impact of the illness on my running and swimming was huge.
“I doubted my ability to compete again and was also worried that there might be some underlying, longer-term problems that were going to affect me.
“Both my confidence and my fitness suffered a big knock.”Sue Stroud
Frustrated by her efforts to return to full fitness, Sue worked with Medichecks where an endurance fitness blood test showed a potential issue with cholesterol.
After making dietary changes, she was able to build back her race pace and return to action at a triathlon event at Blenheim Palace, finishing 19th out of 135 in her age category.
“Once I’d received my test results, I tweaked my diet and also gained a big psychological boost knowing that there doesn’t appear to be any lasting issues from Covid on areas like my liver and kidney function, or my hormones.
“I still took it fairly easily at Blenheim, but now I know I can perform well again, I’m raring to go ahead of the new season next year.”Sue Stroud
Sue is now working towards gaining her Level 2 British Triathlon coaching award and regularly trains with fellow amateur triathlete Fleur Green, founder of the Happy Healthy Cycling and Happy Healthy Triers groups in Lichfield.
“One of the lovely things about triathlons is that the culture is so supportive – everyone is encouraged to get involved and there will always be others around to cheer you on.
“When I first met Fleur, I was bowled over by her passion for getting newbies involved and giving them confidence and that’s what we love to do with our training sessions.
“Now I’m getting back to fitness I can’t wait to do more, helping others to reach their full potential.”Sue Stroud