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
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.
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
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
I’ve been asked to post any old race reports I have and I’ve put a couple of them up over the last few months. Here’s my first Kona experience in 2012.
It’s hard to know where to start with this one. I’ve been waiting to get to this start line for 15 years or more and its all exceeded any expectations I’ve ever had.
You eventually reach a point, or at least I do, when you’ve had enough of the training and you feel ready to race. Maybe ready isn’t quite the right word, maybe I just feel like I’m at the limits of what I can do to get ready for this one.
I sometimes think I almost love the training and lifestyle more than the race itself but at the end of the day the race dangling out there in the distance is what motivates and drives me to keep on pushing when I might back off if I didn’t have the pressure of an event hanging out there. Read More
Aisling is giving me sessions a couple of days at a time depending on how I’m coping with the load. How I’m handling it is changing by the day and on Monday I’m not coping so well. I feel like I’m hanging by a thread.
I was down for a three hour run. It was a “just get it done” run. No structure, no intervals, efforts or pace targets. It was a “just get three hours on your feet” sort of day.
I lasted 2:50 and just couldn’t bring myself to add in a last 10 minute loop once I arrived back home. I was empty, both physically and mentally. I tried not to look at the rest of this weeks training stretching out ahead of me because I was so tired I might just cry at the thought of another 6 or 7 hour training day.
It’s funny how when the training builds to this level that the sheer difficulty of it can knock all of the enjoyment out of it. The exhaustion makes what would be the simplest of sessions on any other day seem insurmountable.
Maybe torturous is a better word.
I was so happy that tomorrow was a day off. Ais hadn’t given me the weeks work yet and I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t want to know. Read More
Monday was hanging out there in front of me with a combination of excitement and trepidation. Excitement because for the last few weeks my fitness has been on an upward trajectory and Ais had me down to do a very big day which I always love the challenge of.
Trepidation because the last couple of weeks have been hard and I was tired and it could end up being a 7-8 hour slog instead of an enjoyable long day of training.
It was to be a 4000m swim, 5+ hours on the bike and to run off it. Back in 2013 that became a fairly regular way to spend a Monday and I always think that those long days had probably the biggest impact on fitness of any session, of course first I needed to be fit enough to cope with 6, 7 and 8 hour training day or it would have the opposite effect and leave me flattened.
I’ve done a couple of them this year but at a much easier pace than Monday was to be at.
One of the funny things about these training days is just how long they take. My normal long days consist of a bike and run and I’d often have 6+ hours done by 1:30 on Sunday and then go into work for a few hours. Because I was including a swim it meant that I wouldn’t get onto the bike until after 10am. So I leave the house at about 6:50 am and usually dont finish at about 5pm.
The whole day is gone, just like that. There’s usually only time for a shower before dinner when I’m done, then we walk the dogs, have a coffee and then it’s time for bed. I’d forgotten that and I somehow am always surprised that it’s tea time when I’m done. Anyway lets get on with it… Read More