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. 

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.

Kona Secrets book available

Kona Secrets: Lessons learned from over 50 Kona Qualifications.

Knowledge doesn’t produce results, action does. Just knowing how to do something doesn’t guarantee success, especially something as difficult as qualifying for Kona; you have to put in the hours. In this book I share some of the lessons I learnt between being a back-of-the-pack beginner to qualifying for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

The eBook is now available to buy as an eBook on Amazon UK or Amazon US.

Every session is hard, and not just in a physical sense. Sure, some of the workouts are very tough but mentally I’m exhausted and want a break. I’ve been here before, plenty of times and I often cave and back off but I think that this is often when the last gains are made. I’m trying this time to push right to the end. To get all of the work done.

Ais is giving me sessions day by day at this stage. I feel like she’s balancing me on a tightrope. Pushing a little here, backing off there, trying to squeeze every last ounce out of the preparation for this race.

I swing from feeling invincible to exhausted. Last week I ran a hard hilly 16k loop that I’ve been running for more than 10 years. I ran it almost 6 minutes faster than I’ve ever done before. 6 minutes! That’s an unbelievable improvement on a 75 minute run.

I got so caught up in the excitement and endorphin rush that I ran much harder than I should have. I knew a huge PB was on the cards and pushed the last 5k way too hard and as a result all of my training for the rest of the week was compromised. I was sore and tired for days afterwards.

I felt like an idiot. It was such a stupid thing to do and to make matters worse it’s not the first time (and I fear not the last) I just allowed myself to get caught up in the enjoyment of the moment and didn’t think of the effect that such a hard session would have afterwards.

Actually if I’m honest I was completely aware but chose to ignore the voice in the back of my head saying this isn’t what Ais said to do and she’s not gonna be impressed by a fast time on an inconsequential training run. Especially if I fry myself and can’t train properly tomorrow as a result of going too hard today.

I remember reading years ago a post by a coach called Gordo Byrn where he listed some of the qualities of a Kona qualifier and self control was right up there near the top of the list. And not just self control in the race but having the self control when you feel like superman that you don’t go and leave your best performance on the road in a training day beforehand.

In the end I was too tired and sore to complete any of the sessions scheduled for the rest of the week properly. They were all compromised. One epic day or breakthrough session at the cost of a good solid week is a bad choice and we only get to make a certain amount of those without screwing up my chances in Florida in two weeks time.

Monday 23 7:00 (3)

  • Swim 1:10 3800
  • Bike 5:05 161k
  • Run :50 10k
  • Energy 7/10
  • Motivation 6/10
  • Work —
  • Sleep 8 hours. Good

This was my last big training day before I start to taper. It started with a full distance swim. I knew Ais wanted me to do a big day but I was so tired and sore that I put off asking for the exact details until late on Sunday night.

I was hoping for maybe a 2.5-3k swim, a 3-4 hour bike and a 30 minute run. What I wasn’t expecting was a full 3.8k swim, a 5 hour ride topped off by an hours run. I groaned inside but dared not show any sign of weakness or complaint. It was only one more day and I could just get on and suck it up regardless of how tired I was.

I cruised through the swim going easy, feeling like that was the only gear I had. On the way home in the car Ais gave me the rest of the days session in detail. I somehow thought it would just be a time in the saddle type of day but Ais had other things in mind. I didn’t think for one minute I could get through it and fully expected to just go out and ride for 5 hours.

I was really surprised to feel good 30 minutes in and built into the session and by the time I got back home with 161k done I felt like there was another 40k or more in the tank.

The run off the bike went just as well albeit on very tired legs. I cruised easy and kept the effort at around what I would expect to do off the bike in the race and was pleasantly surprised to be close to the pace I would hope to be on race day.

Given the volume of the last 4 weeks and the fatigue in the body I took a great mental boost from the days training.

It never ceases to amaze me how well Ais reads me. I would not in a million years have thought I would get through another 7 hour hard training day given how I felt at the start but she calculated it perfectly as usual.

Like I said I was pretty chuffed with my day and thought I was all done and ready to kick back, get the feet up and taper. I was quickly disabused of this idea during dinner when Ais told me I had a two hour run in the morning. Ouch….

Tuesday 24 2:25 (2)

  • Run 1:55 19k
  • Bike :30 10k easy commute


  • Energy 4/10
  • Motivation 4/10
  • Work —
  • Sleep 8.5 hours

Wednesday 25th :25 (1)

  • Swim :25 1300m
  • Energy 7/10
  • Motivation 7/10
  • Work 9 hours
  • Sleep 8 hours

Thursday 26 —

Off training

  • Energy 6/10
  • Motivation 5/10
  • Work 7 hours
  • Sleep 8.5 hours. Good

Friday 27 :45 (1)

  • Run :45 8k easy with dogs and strides to finish.
  • Energy 7/10
  • Motivation 6/10
  • Work 5 hours
  • Sleep 8 hours. Good

Saturday 28 :25 (1)

  • Run :25 5k
  • Energy 6/10
  • Motivation 5/10
  • Work 6 hours
  • Sleep 7.5 hours. Good

Sunday 29 —

Off training

  • Energy 7/10
  • Motivation 5/10
  • Work —
  • Sleep 8 hours.

  • Weekly Total 11:05 (8)
  • Swim 1:35 5100m (2)
  • Bike 5:35 171k (2)
  • Run 3:55 42k (4)
  • S&C —

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.


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.