Tag Archives: #Ironman #Training #Focus #Kidsout

Feeling weirdly relaxed – (Still scared though)

We have made it through the long winter, the sun has shone, early weekends have meant long bike rides in solitude and loving the tranquility and beauty of our great countryside….Life affirming and exciting, if a little chilly. Apparently, not as chilly as the lake.

In previous missives I have shared my fears about the bike, having only recently graduated from a Raleigh Grifter with various decorations on the wheels that really don’t help triathletes in anyway and the general fears about such an event. However, bizarrely, maybe after reassuring words from my coach and perhaps gaining a greater perspective a feeling of calm has descended. Perhaps ancient buddhism is right. Learn to accept the challenges, focus on the now and probably more realistically, learn to breathe properly. This is clearly a clear way of prevention of panic attacks and hyperventilating.

There is a serious point in here – the training and concentration do induce a sense of well being and calm. Of course, there are worries and fears, but I am not sure this is specific to attempting an Ironman. I could easily trot out cliches about ‘controlling what you can control’ and other such meaningless mantras, but in essence having a focus and enjoying what you do is far better than worrying about what you cant do or what might not be right.

This is not an attempt to stop striving for improvement, far from it, but it is an attempt to stop trying to achieve perfection. As specialists in Continuous Improvement will tell you, the clue is in the title…. The journey will not be linear. Some weeks, some days will feel better or worse than others because that’s life. However, it is important to acknowledge, and even celebrate getting out for that run swim or ride, or even a walk. The tough ones are probably the most valuable for so many reasons. In addition, listen to your coach, not every session has to be hard. There is a method and purpose to easy sessions. Maybe this is something to dwell upon in life. Beating ourselves up for the smallest error or taking it easy, is no way to live. Enjoy the fact we have down time. This is perhaps when we get better at things.

Spectating at the London Marathon this weekend was just the tonic – watching different folk with all sorts of different goals, and reasons for running puts everything in perspective and does remind me that the human spirit is fundamentally, strong, good hearted and resilient. That is something to aim for…And helps keep the training in perspective.

I am sure the fears and the panic, will rear their heads again. I will be open to that and enjoy the process. After all being scared can be helpful some of the time…Right?

If you can please give to this amazing charity



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Sleep is now my new best friend…The journey continues..

My new appetite for chocolate biscuits or, in fact, anything vaguely edible was well document last week. The hunger and grumpiness with lack of food is a common problem/challenge for endurance athletes the world over…. What I guess you can never factor in is tiredness..

I am not talking here about ‘ I am so tired, I have had a busy week at work’. This has a part to play but I am tired because of a busy work week, child care duties and I ve fitted in 2 runs 3 swims and 4 turbo sessions. This fatigue really creeps up on you. It has stealth, like a cat. It takes you by surprise. The focus of an Ironman has changed my behaviour. I now look for any opportunity to squeeze in a training session whether it be first thing in the morning, lunchbreak or after work. What I didn’t realise is this same behaviour is focussed upon any opportunity to fit in sleep.

Sure the training does ensure you, generally, sleep well at night, but I can now find justification for a nap at anytime and in any place. Commuting is my favourite (clearly by train not car). Warm trains, albeit not hugely comfortable are perfect for 30-45 mins of shut eye. I am your worst nightmare, quite possibly dribbling on your shoulder, but oblivious because twenty winks is pure heaven. Weekends….Oh my having to get up early for the Run/Bike  or swim sucks but come 2pm on saturday afternoon…Cup of Tea (chocolate biscuit clearly) and away we go…What could be better…

Some click bait article last week suggested that there we merits to dating a triathlete…all mainly focusing on physical attributes and sexual prowess (surprise surprise). However, the downside is that your partner may think you have turned into a cat. When not training, sleeping for any amount of time necessary. The one upside, as a triathlete, you would never know your partner is cheating on you – you are either asleep or training!!!!

Happy days!

Please give if you can…





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Chocolate Biscuits, The Pool and other Ironman Hazards

Last week you may have heard me perhaps complaining about my committment issues (not romantically) although my partners’ maybe be sorely tested when it comes to cravings regarding chocolate. More of which later…

February has brought a couple of challenges, earlier in the month, the stabilisers came off the bike but another stabiliser, the turbo trainer has become a mild obsession. For those not familiar a static bike stand so that you can ride indoors in the winter. Advantages are that you can avoid dangerous icy roads, avoiding crazy drivers. Disadvantages, anyone living in the house or visiting while you are training, leave the room convinced that this middle aged man in Lycra has completely lost his marbles.

I have no idea what my children think, but thank god they haven’t yet told me. As for my girlfriend, very supportive yet probably pondering the merits of going out with someone obsessed with staring at the wall on a stationary bike quoting motivational mantras. I feel a bit like Gareth Cheeseman for any of those familiar with Steve Coogan.

This weeks major challenge has been the diet. I have been relatively good since Xmas. Alcohol intake reduced hugely, being very good wit a nutritional diet (clearly obsessed I have made a food diary and had it analysed) and hydration. I have managed to avoid the nuttier end of the spectrum, I have no truck with crazy foods or fads or supplements. I am a realist and whilst the merits of a healthy  lifestyle are obvious, I m not going to suffer the opprobrium of friends and family who are desiring a burger and chips whilst I munch on quinoa or alfalfa hoots.

So the challenge….Chocolate biscuits… It seems I am a crazed man when faced with this temptation. Trainspotting  lime addiction is being sorely tested. Like a junkie I am driven to nearly any means to procure them.  Bingeing is not even adequate. Boredom ennui..  And starvation may well be a normal response to this increased level of training.However, as mentioned earlier I am testing my partner’s love and resolve because being the purchaser of said biscuits, she isn’t really getting a fair share. For this I am truly sorry. However, she can be consoled there is no way I could ever be cheating on her. I am too obsessed with Heart Rate zones and wondering what my VO2 max can be ….With Valentine’s Day looming she is in for a treat….

So the title suggests I have something to say about the pool….. I don’t …..125 lengths this week and not even half way through the week…Next week I might be able to get the damned armbands off. Is the sense of mania, boredom and fear coming through ? I hope so…
Until next time.


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My Ironman Journey begin….

Whatever it is that has inspired our small group to do this, I don’t know but the hard work begins here….

Ironman Journey has begun so  rather thinking about buying a sports car or other such extravagance the hard yards start here. August 20th Copenhagen. Over the years I have completed a few marathons – but and Ironman……

So since New Year, instead of looking to sample the local ales on business trips, you find me scouring the local area for swimming pools and or running routes. So far averaging 6 hours of focussed training per week and Pilates. In equal measure excited and daunted. I am an ok runner and Swimmer but cycling…Well at least I don’t need stabilisers. This is a whole new world.

I am motivated by the economist – Tim Harford ( you listen to a lot of podcasts in indoor winter training sessions on the bike) that this type of disruptive nudge (messy he calls it) prompts us to change behaviour and improve. Since entering the event in August – I have become a bit more focussed, a bit better organised and certainly healthier. I sleep better and I do think a bit differently. My daughter is not convinced that a man of my age should be entering these events. (Thanks Izzi) but in for a penny in for a pound….

So to help me keep my eye on the prize I have decided to raise money for Kids Out. A great charity helping disadvantaged youngsters throughout the UK.

So rather than rattling a tin… would you be able to spare a few quid?








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