Training time this week was tight to fit but despite that the quality of the sessions was good. It turned into a very run focused week as a reaction to the time constraints. I should really incorporate some more turbo work in a week like this as the bike is my biggest weakness at the moment so therefore the area with the biggest potential for improvement. The weekend took us to Leeds and the ITU World Triathlon Series and it was the most fun I’ve had at a race in a long time. We got to meet loads of the big stars of the ITU and the Olympics including Gomez and Jorgensen. There was also an incident with the flight home so read on for the full story.

If you missed last weeks gripping instalment you can catch up here or if you’re new to all of this you might like to settle in with a coffee and cake and go right back to the start here

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.

Monday 6 2:55 (1) Work 9:30-6 8.5 hours
Bike 2:55 71k
Big gear seated reps 4×15. I headed out early to get this session done before work. Myself & Ais were on the early shift today covering the bank holiday. The shop was nuts all day. It’s been getting very busy the last few weeks as we head into what is the busiest time of the year for us. It’ll be like this through June, July and August, at least it will be if the weather is good. So it’s becoming more and more important to plan everything in advance so as to fit training, work and general life stuff in as time gets crunched.

Tuesday 7 2:35 (2) Work off 

Run 1:25 17k 8×5 mins at 5k pace
Swim 3000 1:10

200m & 400m time trials. The splits were 3:10 & 6:39 to establish Css pace (1:45) Css (critical swim speed) is a way of measuring pace for certain types of swim training and is particularly effective for Ironman. I’ve done it before a couple of years ago and found it really good. Because of my focus on biking and running it is limiting my time for swimming so I’m trying to make sure every swim has very a Ironman specific focus. Currently that’s either a session based on Css, strength or endurance.

Wednesday 8 2:30 (2) Work 9 hours 

Bike 1:45 42k big gear seated reps 3×15

Bike :45 18k easy spin

Thursday 9 2:30 (2) Work 8 hours
AM Run 1:30 17k 45 mins v easy then 45 mins @ 4:20-4:30/km pace felt really good & enjoyed this run.

PM Run 1:00 11.5k easy hour.

Snuck out of the shop for an hour late afternoon for a second run. Motivation and energy levels returning to normal.

Friday 10 3:10 (2) Work 9 hours

Swim 1:25 4000m

Bike 1:45 51k
The swim was 10×400’s easy/steady I wasn’t expecting much from this one as I’ve done so little in the water lately. I just want to reintroduce some regularity and rebuild fitness. I was pleasantly surprised when the times got progressively faster. Until they then got slower. So my swimming isn’t too bad, I’m just lacking strength endurance. I felt really good until about 2.5-2.8k and then the arms got heavier and heavier.

Splits for those who like the numbers.

7:26, 7:38, 7:24, 7:17, 7:14, 7:16, 7:23, 7:37, 7:54, 8:17
The bike session was to be 4×30 mins at 1/2 Ironman pace but I had to cut it short and just did two x 30min as I had to get into work a bit earlier than expected. It was one of those times where you’re equally relived and disappointed. On the one hand there’s a part of me that’s relieved to have an excuse to cut the session short, the rest of me is a bit sick as I was half way through and know I’ll have to go and do it all again.

Saturday 11 Work 6 hours
AM Run :40 9k inc Parkrun 19:16

PM Run 1:00 12k treadmill. Build run.
First treadmill run for quite a while. Today was always going to be difficult to get training in. We were in work after the Parkrun but also had a late flight out in the evening so it was looking unlikely that I’d get my second run in. As it happened some Euros football competition thing has just started so the shop was unusually quiet in the afternoon. I didn’t want to take a chance on going out for a run in case it got busy so I decided to have a go at a treadmill run in the office. I have a bike on a turbo and the treadmill set up in the office out the back of the store so I can jump on for a quick session if I’m under pressure. I really enjoyed it and felt great but what the hell is the story with the treadmill feeling way faster than it says you’re going? Maybe it’s a cadence thing. I must check the Garmin to see if it is higher than on a standard run…

Ok I’m back. I went off and checked, cadence was actually lower than any recent runs both easy or hard. Funny that. Maybe the treadmill is calibrated wrong and I was actually running sub 4 min k’s for the last 30 minutes…. Yeah right.

Sunday 12 Work 8 hours

Run :50 8k easy jog.
Really early start today as we were working at the ITU World Triathlon Series race in Leeds with Ciara from Ship My Tri Bike. We had to transport the pro athletes bikes from one transition to another. After moving the first lot we then had 90 minutes free before the next load so we went for an easy 50 minute jog to turn over the legs.


We had the equivalent of backstage passes and got to meet all the superstars of the World Triathlon Series and a whole bunch of Olympians. Try as I might I found it hard not to be more than a little star struck meeting people like Javier Gomez and Gwen Jorgensen and discovering they are completely approachable and very friendly.



A selfie with Gwen Jorgenson



A happy looking Vicki Holland after the race


Irish tri superstar Aileen Reid

Olympic medallist and all round legend Emma Moffatt

We got to watch the women’s race and met all of them afterwards and should really have started moving ourselves towards the airport at that stage but we were enjoying it so much we briefly considered staying another night and flying back early Monday morning. Common sense prevailed and we decided to stick with the original flights in the evening (otherwise it would be a very expensive race experience) what we did do was work out that we could stay and see most of the men’s race and still catch the flight if we hustled and headed off before the finish.

So we did, and it was savage. The only problem was we hung around a little too long to see the end of the race and then because the girls were getting in photos with semi naked sweaty boys (and we wanted to get a post race pic with Gomez)

We left the race site at 5:40 with only 1hr45 to go to takeoff and the airport was still 30 minutes away in a taxi which we hadn’t booked.

It was carnage in the city after the races and although there was a lot of taxis they were all either full or übers which we couldn’t hail at the side of the road. We decided to run out a bit and find a taxi rank.

20 minutes and several kilometres later we were sweaty, hot and still running. I’m putting this one down as a training session I swear. We had 10kg backpacks on and it was all uphill. Ais eventually guilted and harangued an über driver who was stopped at a set of traffic lights into taking us. Telling him in her best Orphan Annie impression that we were about to miss our flight. When he relented he then took it very seriously and only hit the road in spots all the way to the airport. We got there just in time for the boarding call only to be told five minutes later that the flight would be delayed.

I swear you couldn’t make it up.

Weekly hours & sessions

Total 16:10 (12)

Swim 2:35 7000 (2)

Bike 7:10 182k (4)

Run 6:25 74.5k (6)

S&C —

Monthly accumulative hours & sessions

Total 25:25 (17)

Swim 3:40 10000 (3)

Bike 13:30 337k (6)

Run 7:55 90.5k (7)

S&C :50 (1)

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.