Triathlon

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Towards the end of Ride For The Child I said to myself that I wouldn’t do anything like this again, I hadn’t “caught the bug”, I proclaimed. At first I didn’t, I was happy to go on a few benders and do relatively little, but then I started getting itchy for some action.

I went back swimming, something I had done in January when a back injury prevented me from cycling. After that I started running for the first time in years, I set myself the goal of running a marathon before xmas (something I still want to achieve). Then, before I knew it, I had my heart set on a triathlon (tri). Naturally I entered the full – and most challenging – tri, a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike ride and finishing with a marathon (26.2 mile run).

I would be a liar if I said I hadn’t considered a tri before. Throughout my cycle training I met lots of people who were undertaking tough, one-day challenges and a 140.6 Ironman (full distance tri) was right up there. I had enjoyed the little swimming I did and I massively admired the machine-like triathletes, perhaps I could do it too, I thought.

“my ride has opened my eyes a bit to what’s achievable, you can do whatever you want if you put the effort in”

I’m in the best condition I’ve ever been in my life so it would be a shame to waste it all. I’ve been training hard for 13 months, so getting up at 6am to go swimming or running before work doesn’t bother me at all. Additionally, my ride has opened my eyes a bit to what’s achievable, you can do whatever you want if you put the effort in.

Whilst I’m relatively fit, I’m in for a rough ride for these next 6 months. The biggest problem is that fact I can’t run too well! I’ve been training and I’m up to a half marathon, but it leaves me limping and in pain after. Thankfully my cycling training has taught me you just need to build the muscles up, it will come. I’m confident about riding 112 miles and I can now swim the 2.4 miles in a pool, but doing one after the other is another matter. Here’s my training schedule for the next 4 months…

December
Mon - 1 hour swim
Tues - 1 hour cycle
Wed - Day off
Thur - 1 hour run
Friday - 1 hour swim
Sat - 1 hour run
Sunday - 2/3 hour cycle

January
Mon - Day off
Tues - 1.5 hour cycle + 1 hour run
Wed - 1 hour swim
Thur - 1.5 hour cycle + 1 hour run
Friday - 1 hour swim
Sat - 3/4 hour cycle + 15 mins run off the bike
Sunday - 40 min open water swim + 1.5 hour run

February
Mon - Day off
Tues - 2 hour cycle + 1 hour run
Wed - 4km swim
Thur - 1.5 hour cycle + 1.5 hour run
Friday - 1 hour swim
Sat - 6/7 hour cycle + 10 mins run off the bike
Sunday - 45 min open water swim + 1 hour bike + 2 hour run

March
Mon - Day off
Tues - 1.5 hour cycle + 1 hour run
Wed - 4km swim
Thur - 1 hour cycle + 1.5 hour run
Friday - 1 hour swim
Sat - 4 hour cycle
Sunday - 30 min open water swim + 1.5 hour cycle + 1.5 hour run

Last week I biked 85 miles and then went for a one hour run. It’s a really weird feeling, like your legs aren’t functioning properly. This is because, as your body switches exercise, it needs to increase the HR and shift the blood flow to the new muscles being used. Mix in the fact you’re already fatigued and it gets very challenging indeed!
The other issue I’m really concerned about is swimming open water. I’ve never swam outside of a pool and the cold is something I’m really worried about. My hands and feet are effectively rendered useless in low temperatures. I actually cried this week running on a freezing cold morning – not a full emotional breakdown, more tears rolling down my face – as the pain was too great in my hands, thankfully new gloves have solved the issue.

I wanted to enter an official “Ironman” event, but the prices are extortionate at £500+ to enter. Instead – after recommendations – I’ve opted for “The Lakesman Tri”, a £275 event based in Keswick, in the Lake District. It’s on 18th of June so I’ve a good 7 months to train for it. I will be blogging about my training and stuff in the lead up to the event.

Here’s a video of some people collapsing and such in ironman events, wish me luck!!!

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