I was standing on the start line of my third running race in less than 24 hours. My legs were sore but it was only a 5k. How bad could it be?
I came back to triathlon or more accurately to Ironman in 2015 after an almost two year break following back surgery. I discovered that year, twice in fact, at Ironman UK and Ironman Maastricht that remembering being fit does not equal being Ironman fit. In 2016 after talking to Ais about trying to make a proper return to Ironman racing with a realistic view on getting back to Kona I started training properly.
2016 proved to be a difficult year training wise and by the time I got to Ironman Mallorca in September I was close but alas there was to be no cigar. Actually I wasn’t even that close in the end.
We also had the small matter of our wedding coming up after Mallorca and Ais suggested that we take in a race somewhere exotic during the honeymoon. Perhaps an Ironman? I did not need to be asked twice and I entered us both in Ironman Fortaleza in Brazil sharpish. Read More
In 2017 we had a record amount of athletes race the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. As we start 2018 we already have seven Irish (or adopted Irish) athletes qualified for Kona in October.
Click on through to see who has ticked the Kona box so far…
I took a little break from the blog but now I’m back. My last posts were my 2017 Ironman Florida race report and Ironman Florida race Analysis back in November. I haven’t been hiding, rather I had a couple of other projects I was working on. This is more of a personal update than the usual training one, those will resume next week. Click on through for all the latest including book launches, my next Ironman race, eleven dogs, yes you read that right. ELEVEN DOGS and more.
We are regularly asked in both the bike shop and through our coaching should I train using power? In my opinion the answer for most people is no (it’s important to remember that I’m also selling power meters, so there’s a potentially large sale at the end of a yes answer) despite this the answer more often than not is still no.
But why am I reading everywhere that training by power is the most effective and efficient method of training?
I’m not for one minute saying it isn’t efficient and effective. What I’m saying is that it’s not necessarily the right tool for most athletes.
So how do I know if I’m better off with or without a power meter?
I feel like I’m straining against an invisible leash. My legs saying ‘to hell with it let’s go’, my head saying ‘don’t be a clown’. I pass the three-kilometer marker. My legs have settled after the cycle and every part of me is grateful to be upright and not crouched down over my tri-bars. I shake my arms, working out the stiffness from the bike and my Garmin beeps to tell me I’ve done another kilometer. That was quick, I think. My pace is now bang on target but it still feels way too easy. I tell myself to have patience but the fear of being caught is building inside me again. I look over my shoulder, but there’s still no one close to me. Read More
One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned for Ironman is that your training should teach you how to race, not just make you fitter. To this end a lot of our training sessions are designed to not just improve fitness but also to teach you an aspect of Ironman racing. Be it pacing, nutrition, how to deal with fatigue, self control or some other part of racing.
The problem with either “racing” or just completing Ironman is that most of us only get to do it once a year and some don’t even get to do it that often. So how do you learn how to race a distance that is probably twice as long as you go in training and that maybe you only get to do a couple of times in your life?
In our own training and in our coaching we focus on the main areas that people struggle with in racing and try to design sessions to mimic what you will encounter on race day. Of course there are parts of Ironman that you will only experience on race day and will find impossible to replicate in training without frying yourself.
So what are the most important lessons to learn for Ironman racing?
We had another two Irish athletes take not only Kona slots but also an Ironman trophy and a spot on the podium.
Click on through to see who are the latest members of the Irish 2018 Kona contingent. Read More
This race was the culmination of almost two years of work. My aim was to qualify for the Ironman world championship in Kona. I’ve qualified and raced there twice before, in 2012 and ‘13 but then I had back surgery in 2014 which took me out of the sport for over a year. I raced a couple of Ironman races in 2015 but wasn’t really fit enough to enjoy them and promised myself that if I did another I would be fit enough to race it. Read More
There were no sharks, I didn’t drown and I was more or less on time getting out of the water. So in all of those regards the swim was uneventful, thankfully nothing really went wrong. Oh, except that I’m still slow. I exited the water not knowing that I was in 275th overall and in 45th place in the age group. This did not bode well considering I needed to be top four in my AG and probably top forty overall for the Kona slot I was chasing. Read More