I started cycling back in 1999 after quitting smoking. I’d been a smoker for about 10 years and went through 40-60 a day at that point. Needless to say I was in pretty poor shape. I was hardly able to walk up the stairs without being badly out of breath and went from one infection or illness to another. I stopped smoking on March 17th ’99 and bought myself a mountain bike about a month later as an incentive to stay off the cigarettes.
I rode intermittently for a year or so before entering my first mountain bike race where I came dead last and was lapped by most of the field. I stuck with it and gradually got to a stage where I was only getting lapped by the leaders. I bought a road bike to train on and over the next couple off seasons drifted into road racing until in 2003 I discovered triathlon.
In 2003 I did my first race, the Olympic distance Dublin City tri and was hooked. In 2005 I raced 16 triathlons including a half Ironman and swam all of them breast stroke as I still couldn’t swim properly. ’06 saw me learn to swim and I stuck with sprint and Olympic distance racing but in the back of my mind I was always drawn to Ironman.
I did my first Ironman in Nice, France in 2008 and finished in 12 hours 27 and in about 1100th place. I trained much harder for my second attempt at the distance in 2009 in Switzerland With the aim of becoming competitive in my age group. I finished in 10 hours 57 and only just broke into the top 1000. At this point I was almost resigned to the fact that I was slow and Kona was way out of my reach.
In 2010 I asked Ais my partner if she thought there was any chance that I could qualify and I was more than a little surprised when she replied with an emphatic yes. With her help we set out to see if I could qualify for Kona. We fonud a coach and asked him if he would take me on in March and just over four months later I raced Ironman UK. I finished 36th overall and 8th in my age group missing a Kona slot by only one place and 2 minutes. It had only taken just over four months to get from 1000th to the top 40.
In 2012 and 2013 I went to Bolton again to race IMUK and both times qualified and raced Kona. Aisling is my coach and has been since 2013. We have been coaching for the past number of years, mostly Ironman athletes although Ais also coaches a number of runners. We offer a very close one on one coaching service and as a result work with a very limited number of athletes.
If you are interested in talking to us about coaching you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you made it this far thanks for reading. Feel free to check out more posts and follow my blog by clicking on the “follow” tab for updates whenever I post a new training article.
Chasing Kona eBook available
From smoker to back of the pack triathlete to the Ironman World Championships.
Read about how I overcame all of the odds and discovered what it would take to get to the Ironman World Championships – my eBook is now available to buy as an eBook on Amazon UK, Amazon US, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes
It is also available as a paperback at Wheelworx.