I was 3300 meters into the planned 4k swim when I saw Patrick gliding effortlessly through the water towards me. “Shite” I thought, and not for the usual reasons. I wasn’t worried that he’d be kicking lumps out of me. Patrick was on an easy week after swimming the channel last week. I was also almost out of time and needed to go to work so there would at least be a limit to my Patrick imposed suffering.

Rather I was thinking “shite” because Patrick is very old school and looks at us triathletes with all of our swim toys with derision. I knew if he saw me all banded, pull-buoyed and paddled up then I was in for some stick. So I was hoping to finish the last 400m of the 5 x 400 set with my paddles, pull buoy and band before he arrived. Unfortunately I’d timed it rather badly because there he was.

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.

And now I was caught playing with my toys.

And with less than 50m to go too. Shite.

If he had arrived 2 minutes later I’d have had my guilty pleasure and he would have been none the wiser.

Damn, here he comes.

If you missed last weeks post you can check it out here.

Patrick glided into the pool wall as I gracelessly struggled to untangle the band from my ankles without swallowing a mouthful of pool water. As he popped up beside me he was laughing and asking what the hell I was up to with all of that crap.

I mumbled something about it being good for strength work which he laughed off and asked how much I’d already swam. I told him I’d 3400 done to which he replied “Good, you’re almost done so we will just do 6 x 50 sprints”

“Deadly” I thought. That’s, like, less than three minutes of suffering, probably… I can suffer for three minutes then it’s cake and coffee time.

Patrick said he would swim behind me and tap my feet to keep me under pressure. He counted us down and I took off hard. I was probably only 10 seconds in when I felt the first tap on my feet, then I felt a push. I shit you not. He was actually pushing me!

I was not only flailing full gas with my arms but my graceful (in my mind it is anyway) flutter kick was gone to be replaced with a full speed, as hard and fast as I can kick. And he was still managing to push me. Jesus….Then he accelerated, pulled alongside and finished beside me. He called it as a 44 second 50m and promptly told me I was supposed to be sprinting, going full out. That was way too slow and for the next one I was to go full gas.

“Jaysus that was full gas” I answered but he brushed that off and simply said go faster. So I tried to go harder and came in with maybe like a 43. Patrick did not look impressed and was not shy in telling me. He couldn’t even say I was swimming like a 10 year old girl because the 10 year old girls swimming in the National Aquatic Centre would be so far ahead of me that I wouldn’t even catch their draft. Instead he pointed out that he could swim the pace that I was supposedly sprinting at for 4k.

That’s the problem with full gas intervals with long recovery. Patrick was getting to not only kick lumps out of me while I was swimming but he was now getting to abuse me while we watched the clock tick around for the next 45 seconds. I couldn’t decide which was worse, suffer for longer with almost no recovery or suffer less during the interval and get the abuse in between.

Anyway I ran out of time before I decided and we went again. I emptied the tank and I swear I saw a 42 second interval but Patrick was too disgusted to acknowledge it and instead gave me some more stick for using the paddles before he arrived. That was about as fast as it got and Patrick finished the session swearing that he would make me faster if it was the last thing he did.

So on that note lets see how the rest of the week went…

Monday 2 Oct 3:00 (1)

  • Run 3:00 30k. First 2 hours v easy. Last hour at IMRP/effort
  • Energy 6/10. Sore and tired from last weeks hard training
  • Motivation 7/10
  • Work —
  • Sleep 8.5 hours. Good

Tuesday 3 Oct —


  • Energy 6/10
  • Motivation 6/10
  • Work —
  • Sleep 9.5 good.

Wednesday 4 Oct 3:10 (2)

  • Swim 1:40 4600m
  • Bike 1:30 40k easy
  • Energy 7/10
  • Motivation 7/10
  • Work 3 hours
  • Sleep 8.5 hours. Good

Thursday 5 Oct 1:30 (1)

Swim 1:30 4000

Friday 6 Oct 3:15 (2)

  • AM Bike 2:55 69k climbing 900m ascent
  • PM Bike :20 8.5k


  • Energy 6/10. Tired & sluggish
  • Motivation 6/10
  • Work 8 hours
  • Sleep 9 hours. Good

Saturday 7 Oct 3:25 (2)

  • AM Bike 2:25 80k
  • PM Run 1:00 12k
  • Energy 9/10
  • Motivation 10/10
  • Work 6 hours
  • Sleep 8 hours. Good

Sunday 8 Oct 4:15 (3)

  • AM Run :30 5k easy jog with dogs
  • AM Bike 2:20 73k
  • PM Bike 1:25 44k


  • Energy 8/10
  • Motivation 8/10
  • Work 6 hours
  • Sleep 8.5 hours. Good

Total weekly hours / sessions

  • Total 18:35 (11)
  • Swim 3:10 8600m (2)
  • Bike 10:55 314.5k (6)
  • Run 4:30 47k (3)
  • S&C —
  • Work 31 hours


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.