Two thoughts for the week while on training camp in Lanza with John Rogers.

  1. 1. Don’t waste belly space on less than excellent food while eating at a 4 star buffet.
  2. That and I think I know why they don’t have weighing scales in hotel rooms with as you can eat buffets.

Monday 8


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.

Work 9 hours

Tuesday 9 2:55 (1)

Bike 2:55 66k 700m ascent

Day 1 Lanza: We landed at lunch time went straight to the hotel, built the bikes & rode in afternoon.

It’s funny how I still think of three hour bike as not being a “long” ride. The memory of being fit seems to last quite a bit longer than the fitness itself.

In all honesty I was glad to last three hours on the bike considering that aside from last Sunday evenings 90 minute spin, my last ride was two weeks before the Boston marathon 5 weeks ago.

  • Energy 7
  • Motivation 8
  • Work —
  • Sleep 4.5 hours

Wednesday 5:45 (3)

Bike 4:45 105k 1500m ascent

Run :30 5k very easy

Swim :30 1500 very easy

I was even more surprised by today’s ride than yesterdays. The fact that I survived for close to 5 hours on the bike after yesterday’s 3 hours is making me question my old philosophy of massive volume. I think that my new training idea is to do nothing for a month then do 10 hours in two days. I felt great all the way through today’s ride.

Although if I’m honest I was in a bag of shite on the run afterwards.

  • Energy 8
  • Motivation 10
  • Work —
  • Sleep 9 hours somewhat broken, not used to the heat. First world problems…

Thursday 1:15 (2)

Swim :45 2000

Bike :30 10k

I was fried today, actually I didn’t feel too bad during the swim but as soon as my arse hit the saddle I knew I was in trouble. Turns out my new training philosophy is s but flawed. I’d set out to do maybe two hours easy on the bike and treat this as a recovery day.

I pedaled out of town and straight into a biblical rain storm (ok so not so biblical but it was raining) I was damned if I was going to get soaked just to get an easy coffee ride in. And anyway the weather forecast was for sunshine in the afternoon. I figured I could go back to the hotel, snooze for an hour and head out on the bike in the sun feeling recovered later on.

So that’s what I did.


Except for the going out in the afternoon on the bike bit.

Instead there was lots of rectifying of the cyclist tan I’d acquired over the last two days. That and a considerable amount of eating.

  • Energy 4/10
  • Motivation 4/10
  • Work —
  • Sleep 9 hours (good)

Friday 5:55 (3)

Swim :45 2000

Bike 4:50 106k 1555m climbing.

Swim :20 1000m

I was very surprised just how good I felt in the water during both swims today. Also felt really good on the bike.

After the swim I was getting dried at the side of the pool and there was a girl doing some stretch band work. I was trying to decide if she was an age grouper putting off getting into the pool by faffing around pretending to look like she was doing technical, serious looking stretches, or that she was a professional triathlete who actually knew what she was doing.

This is Lanzarotte after all and at the right time of the year every second person is a pro triathlete. I couldn’t decide which she was and continued to get dried and started to get my kit together.

I turned around to see her approaching me and she asked me to help her close up her wetsuit. She then asked was I racing Ironman the following week. I said no and asked her the same question. She also said no. She then added that she had raced Ironman Texas a couple of weeks ago. John asked how she got on.

“I was second” she answered.

That shut us up… and not an age grouper avoiding getting in the pool then.

There’s nothing like a less than 5ft tall, 45kg girl (she was definitely the littlest, really fast person I’ve ever met) who’s just done a sub 9 Ironman and taken home a big trophy to put a couple of part time age groupers in their place.

We left the pool quietly and without further conversation with anyone else who might have a house full of Ironman trophies.

After the swim we ate three breakfasts (don’t you just love hotel buffets) and then headed out in the bikes. All the while straining to suck in my belly in my “no room for any excess Lycra”

I’ve always been lucky enough that I can get away with eating a lot and don’t put on weight. But what does happen is that the sheer volume of food I’m able to wedge in can cause some stomach bloat before it’s digested or pedalled off. This does not make for a good look in skintight cycling kit so there was a lot of gut-sucking-in going on for the first couple of hours.

Another fairly long day in the saddle ensued broken only by a lunch stop. We pulled in at a tiny rural restaurant in Haria and ordered 2 portions of Canarian potatoes and 2 big salads.

The waiter looking concerned suggested that the Canarian potatoes came in quite a big portion and maybe we’d be ok with just one between us.

I’m not sure if he thought we looked too skinny to manage a bunch of spuds or if he could still see our breakfast straining our jerseys. Either way, I took umbrage with his suggestion. I’m no fucking lightweight and doesn’t he know that we’re Irish? We invented the spud and we damn well can manage to eat two portions for lunch.

Anyway, I ate mine and half of John’s (turns out he is a bit of a lightweight when it comes to potatoes) I think the waiter was suitably impressed with my potato eating prowess.

  • Energy 9/10
  • Motivation 10/10
  • Work —
  • Sleep 9 hours good

    Saturday 5:45 (3)

Swim :45 2000m

Bike 4:35 100k 1150m climbing

Swim :25 1000m

Less climbing but I was just floored today. After feeling great all day yesterday. I hoped that today would be similar and for the first hour, although the legs were heavy, I felt pretty good. At about 90 minutes it was like someone pulled the batteries out of me.

I ate to try to recover to no avail. So I ate again also to no avail. I tried a third time (I’m nothing if not determined) and it still wasn’t having any effect so when John suggested a coffee stop I jumped at the chance.

I also gently asked if he was happy with the route, hoping he’d say no and we’d take a short cut back. No such luck. I didn’t feel any better for the next hour but we did see a load of camels which was pretty cool and distracted me from my misery for a bit.

A while later we stopped for lunch and I took my time over it. Any excuse to not get back on the bike. Funnily enough the extended sit down and another welly load of canarian potatoes later and I actually felt good for the next couple of hours.

  • Energy 6/10
  • Motivation 7/10
  • Work —
  • Sleep 7 disturbed.

We got some new noisy neighbors in the hotel who kept us awake but when I did finally have enough and storm out into the corridor in my boxer shorts things went quiet.

I guess the scrawny 68kg of me stood there in my pink jocks, rubbing the sleep from my encrusted eyes, scowling must have looked savagely intimidating.

Sunday 4:05 (4)

Bike 2:20 55k 800m ascent

Swim :35 1500

Run 1:00 11.5k

Swim :10 500

Our last day in Lanza saw me squeeze in four sessions. Albeit the last swim was just a 10 minute, 500m dip after the run and before we headed to the airport.

I’m really happy with how the week has gone and I’ve a real fire in my belly to get into proper training again after a slightly extended break after Boston.

  • Energy 8/10
  • Motivation 9/10
  • Work —
  • Sleep 9 hours

Total 25:50 (17)

Swim 4:15 11500m (8)

Bike 19:55 442k (6)

Run 1:30 16.5k (2)

S&C :10 (1)


Total 29:20 (21)

Swim 4:15 11500m (8)

Bike 21:30 477k (7)

Run 2:50 32.5k (4)

S&C :45 (2)

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.