We arrived in Lanzarote late Saturday evening and after building the bikes and settling into the apartment we went for dinner. The day was going to be a write off as far as training went. The good news is that our apartment is facing onto the swimming pool so it will be easy to get to.

Day One.

If you want to follow the numbers more closely I’m on Strava as Rob Cummins Wheelworx or if you’re more of a pictures instead of reading type I post on Instagram as wheelworxrob.

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I have this week planned as being all about the swim and bike. I am determined to get my swim back to some sort of decent shape in the early part of the year and this camp will be a good way to do a lot of volume. The first session of the day was a decent long easy swim. I did 4000m without any real structure. It was a mix of 400’s and longer sets. I still feel clunky, slow and uncoordinated in the water but I am really enjoying swimming.
Session two for the day was 3h10 on the bike and it was windy as hell. I spent over 2.5 hours grinding out a low cadence in a big gear. It’s starting to feel more natural to grind away and I’m very slowly feeling some strength return.

Session three was a short recovery swim before dinner, I just did 1000m straight through.

Day two.

I was in the pool early again and swam just over 3k. I’ve provisionally set myself a target of swimming 30km during the camp but haven’t told Ais AKA the coach yet. This may be one of those conversations where I’m told not to be such a toolbox. I’ll broach the subject at dinner this evening, after I do another swim later.

Related: 20 Things I did to improve my swim

Session two for the day was a longish bike with savage wind and some climbing. Again I spent most of the ride in a big gear grinding away. I wont tell you the distance as it was embarrassingly low. I’m blaming the wind, not my lack of fitness.

Session three and I got back into the pool for another short easy swim but I was joined by a real swimmer, Ciara one half of the Ship My TriBike Team, who decided we should do a set. I asked in what I hoped wasn’t a terrified voice what she was swimming her 100’s on, she replied she would go easy and come in on 1:45. Relieved I said I can do that. I added the proviso that she wasn’t allowed to tumble turn and we should also have a long recovery between 100’s. We would go off 2 minutes which should allow about 15 seconds recovery she said. And then we were off. I was scrambling to get onto Ciara’s feet as she took off like a rocket. I got on just as we got to the far wall where true to her word she didn’t tumble turn but as I came off the wall I realised that it hadn’t made a damn bit of difference. She was 10 meters away already. I sprinted to get back to her feet and managed to stay on for the rest of the 100.

Which I came in on 1:33.

I haven’t seen a 1:33 in about two years and already I was breathing hard. Ciara took off again and this time I managed to stay on until about 75 meters and came in on 1:35. I was trying to remember how many 100’s Ciara said we were doing but the lack of oxygen made thinking about anything other than breathing very difficult. I think she said 10 x 100. I didn’t think I would last 5. Turns out I was right as on my third and fourth I started slipping, coming in on 1:37 and 1:42 before blowing up in a most spectacular fashion and “deciding” to swim the rest easy (there wasn’t really any deciding I could hardly stay afloat)

I broached the 30k of swimming idea gently and in a sort of joke fashion at dinner. Ais looked at me like I was taking drugs but because we were in company she refrained from calling me a toolbox. In my twisted logic I’m going to take that as confirmation that it’s ok to proceed (until I’m reigned in at least)

Game on.

I have written a report examining how 5 of the most successful Irish Ironman triathletes have qualified for Kona an incredible 29 times. You can access it free here.

You can read a little about us how we got into Ironman and how I went from smoker to Kona here

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If you want to follow the numbers more closely I’m on Strava as Rob Cummins Wheelworx or if you’re more of a pictures instead of reading type I post on Instagram as wheelworxrob.


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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.