We’ve decided on a target for the year, myself and Aisling are going to race Ironman Mallorca in September where I am hoping to chase a Kona slot. It will take me that long to get fit enough to realistically have a shot at qualifying.

Mallorca is a qualifier for Hawaii next year, 2017 so if I’m successful then for the first time I will have a full season to prepare for the World Champs as opposed to just having a two month run in after qualifying in a late summer Ironman like I have both previous times.

Ais is coaching me again and one of the questions I’m asked quite often usually by someone with a big grin on their face is whether I find it hard to have her telling me what to do. The truth is that it’s not hard at all (well maybe it was a bit in the beginning) but I trust her implicitly, much more than I trust my own judgment regarding my own training.

Related: Coaching

I often suffer from the “can’t see the woods for the trees” syndrome when I’m training. I think having someone who is one step removed and hasn’t got the same emotional attachment offers invaluable perspective. Ais can evaluate whether pushing on through tiredness is a good idea or if an easier rest or recovery day is more important, basing her decision on the current situation and facts where as I might push a little too far because my decision would be tinged by my emotional attachment to the outcome or target of qualifying for Kona.

There are days when the drive and motivation I get from the desire to get back to Hawaii will be used to get me out the door when I don’t feel like training but some days that huge level of motivation could be counter productive.

So this post will just be an update on where I am at the start of my training and I will aim to update regularly with how things are going. As for my swim I’ve had 3 months in the water over the last two years. That was last summer so I’m really starting a long way off where I was. I’ve also been off the bike for close to five months the only good news comes in the run where I have been staying fit and in touch with it regularly since last summer. I’m not in what I would consider good shape in any of the three sports at the moment but I am somewhat fit and feel ready to start training.

My specific Ironman training started in mid January so I’m just three weeks into what is my first properly structured triathlon training in a couple of years. My first month is just about getting back into the routine of 8-10 sessions a week. It will be in month two that we will introduce some volume. In fact we have a training camp in Lanzarote in February that should be the first big volume block of training in a long time.


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

Please feel free to share this 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.