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Monday, 21 December 2009

Man City Blues

Well, poor old Mark Hughes. He has done a great job as City manager over the last 18 months, but let's be honest, he's not the high profile name that the City board and owners want at the club. It is very disappointing. What message this shows youngsters coming into sport I don't know. Nothing about perseverance, commitment, loyalty and trust. If it's broke, then throw it away and buy something else. Such is the way of the modern football world.
Good luck to Mark Hughes, I can see he will do well at a club that are prepared to give him 100% backing and let him really get on with his job.

These footballers could learn a lot from the world of triathlon, how elite athletes commit 100% to what they do for a mere fraction of the financial reward. They are committed to becoming the best they can be. Pro footballers think that they have become the best they can be by just playing in the Premiership and many do not seem to have the drive and determination to push themselves beyond their limits. Not all, I might add, are like this. Just look at City's Craig Bellamy who amongst all the bigger names at the club is determined to be the best he can be.
There is always room to improve, and that's what keeps us going. The moment we think we know it all, we should stop.

As for me, I just keep ticking the sessions off, one by one, giving them 100%, staying fit and healthy, not doing too much, but staying strong and feeling in pretty good shape.
Another Boscombe 5k last Friday, usual 19 minutes and a bit time, on a bitterly cold night. What was pleasing is that my legs recovered well after and no signs of any after effects on my 4 hour ride the next day and 2 hour run on the Sunday, both in very cold and icy conditions. Swam today and body has recovered well, getting a couple of nights of decent sleep. Massive help!

Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Latest News

Hello everybody!

It's not been an easy time of late, hence no posts for a while. The day to day trials and tribulations of life in the big wide Birtwistle World continue to pound the energy reserves!
But I'm still here, and the sessions are getting ticked off. Challenge Roth gets a little bit closer. Consistency is key and thankfully so far I have avoided alsorts of germs and bugs that have been all around. Now, there we go, I've just tempted fate!
Big bike mileage the weekend just gone, quality swim sessions and a good swim session with coach Harry this lunchtime at the Dolphin pool. Few pointers for me to improve on, but on the whole stroke mechanics are pretty good and it's all slotting into place. One thing though, I do not swim hard enough!!! I have to make those max efforts really max efforts. We did some 'open water' 100s, was good fun, and what a difference it makes to really draft off a great swimmer. Just sat right on Harry's hip, I could feel the pull, but still I had to work hard to stay there, and when he did push on a bit I lost my position in the water, found mysekf instantly on his feet and that was it, like a goosed rider, 'out the back' of the peloton. Session was very useful, and always find that after Harry's coaching session I come back swimming beter than before. Hopefully this will happen again!
Easy 60 minute run tomorrow, swim drills on Friday and then bike and run Saturday and long run for 2 hours on Sunday, will end another solid week of good work.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


Out it came, after 3 years of hiding under the bed, it ventured out after removing a huge layer of dust from the case! It will take a few weeks to get back into playing but I got over the initial shock of seeing it and then blew some notes! Surprisingly it still works, and so do I! Watch this space for more musical info!

Good swim and run today, in awful weather. The run was wetter than the pool, and a lot colder!
Film, leg massage, food, bed is the order of the evening. Fighting fit for tomorrow's early morning turbo! Arrrghhhh!!!!!! :)


At last, some proper November/December weather! I am layered up ready to set off for work.
Training has been steady, a good 4 hours of running over the weekend, a spin on the rollers last night and I'm feeling in good shape. Back to normal now, will be able to swim as per usual and get some long bike miles in at the weekend.
Charlie, will drop you an email when I get 5 minutes! Kerry, give me a ring one evening this week for a catch up. James, are you out and about on the bike this weekend? Lawrence, are you at the Reliability ride on Sunday?
See you all soon!!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Steve Lumley Triathlete and Triathlon Coach

Highly successful athlete and coach, now looking after a certain someone who shall remain nameless until I get his confirmation that it's ok to mention on this site.
Check steve's blog, very funny!

BTW, it's not me he is coaching! I am still with Harry Wiltshire and DrivenToTri.

Friday, 20 November 2009


Not a great deal to write about this week. Training is ticking over nicely, had a bit more pool time this week, still maintaining a decent feel for the water even though I haven't been able to get in as much swimming as I would have liked. Dolphin Pool in Poole is still closed!
Hopefully get out and get some long bike miles in this weekend, if the weather is not too bad, some running and swimming. As Tracey and the boys are visiting friends for the weekend it gives me a great chance to get in some extra eating and sleeping between sessions! Bring it on!
Just been looking at the results from Clearwater, man it must have been one quick race. 3hours 39mins won the 70.3 world champs, that is insanely quick. Lots of 'legal' drafting on the bike pushed the pace and quite obvious from the splits that packs of riders formed and 2 hours for 56 miles is quick riding. With a pace that quick you would expect the run times to be down, but lo and behold they were damn quick. Winner ran 1:09 for half marathon. To do that without drafting? I find it hard to believe. Average 28mph on the bike on your own and then run a sub 70 half marathon? Superhuman!
Check the website for results.
If I wasn't doing Challenge Roth next year I would give Clearwater another go, but the cost of racing is on the increase, and actually getting into the qualifying races isn't easy. Ironman UK 70.3 is already sold out. So good job I don't want to go to Clearwater, I would have no chance of qualifying anyway!!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Wimborne 10 miler

Nice weather! Seriously, it was warm and sunny and a welcome break amongst all the rubbish we have been having recently.
Big turnout, obviously a popular race, lot of club runners. I ran solid, and that's about it. Bit disappointed I wasn't quicker. I felt good, just never really got going and didn't push hard. I built towards the end and second half was slightly quicker, but I never got breathing really hard and my legs didn't really hurt. 65' 51" was disappointing, really thought I would be closer to 62. But never mind, it's my first one and I now have a better idea of how to pace myself. It's a decent marker, and the upside is that I felt good and could have pushed on for another 3.1 miles, putting my half marathon at 1:25, which I would have been happier with.
So onwards and upwards. Massive thanks to Charlie for the lift down and well done for his 68' finish, he'll get quicker too!! Well done to Simon Harris, back to running and putting in a good effort.
Results on
The cakes were lovely post race!!!!!! Well worth the entry fee!!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Wimborne 10

I'm waiting to get out on my bike! While this wet weather and wind is here I'm playing it safe and sitting it out, hopefully there will be a break in it soon, blue skies in the distance.
Just an easy 3 hours today, at some point!
Tomorrow is the popular Wimborne 10.
Couple of friends are racing. Charlie, if you are running and reading this, I'll give you a ring today, need a big favour, any chance of a lift there!!? Was going to ride as it's only 10 miles away, but just a bit of a hassle locking it up to something and carrying the keys around with me. Recovery ride in the afternoon.
Simon, see you there, have a good one!!
Hopefully if the rain stays away will be an 'enjoyable?' run!!! Oh well, only an hour or so of pain!

Friday, 13 November 2009


Time, or lack of it, is one of the major problems of being an amateur triathlete. Not that I'm complaining, but it's not always easy to fit everything in. Home and family life come first, then work, and then fitting in with all the other general stuff that crops up! Had to bin a couple of swims this week, through no fault of my own, cut short another one, had to cut a turbo set short. Will not be out as long as I really need on the bike at the weekend. It would be ok if I was getting quality eating and rest, but sleep has been all over the place this week, and if you ain't getting the hours in 'under the covers!' then it makes getting up for the training sessions hard.
So today is completely off, not even commuting to work, and then hopefully I can hit the long bike in good shape tomorrow and be raring to go for Wimborne 10 on Sunday.

First 10 miler I will have done, so keen to put down a good marker, despite the awful weather forescast!! Report and results to follow.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

How on earth am I going to run a marathon?!

Well, I was out today for a solid training session, turns out it was one of the toughest I've done for a long time! 3 hours build on the bike, followed by 20 minutes easy run and then 20 minutes build the pace. Ouch, I was done for with 15 minutes to ride, not enough nutrition, and somehow managed to drag myself round a ridiculously tough run. Should it have been that hard? I'm sure it's done me good, but oh my lord, I just kept thinking to myself, ' how on earth do you run a marathon after 112 mile of riding a bike?'. I rode 66 miles in the 3 hours and was pretty much finished! Oh well, it's only November, and it was cold and windy. And what doesn't kill you etc, etc, etc!
On a lighter note, let's hope James Gilfillan has done the business at Ballbuster today!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

What a difference 2 days make!

Well, I am on a relatively easy week, after 2 weeks of good quality work. Just come back from an accelerated run session, and feeling very positive about my running. At last, new shoes have helped. I am now a fully-fledged Nike convert. Off-road, racing and training shoes are all Nike. Never thought I ever would, but they seem to be working for me.
Sat on the turbo for 90 minutes last night and watched Tropic Thunder on DVD whilst spinning away. Great fun! Certainly made the time go by a bit quicker! Indoor biking is not the most fun activity on the training calendar. Bournemouth Jubilee reliability ride this Sunday, sets off from Merley community centre, 50 mile ride. More info on the Jubilee website.

Monday, 2 November 2009

AECC Dash Back 10k

Weather! Ouch! Wind! Double Ouch! Somebody using me as a windblock for 8.5k, triple ouch! Advice, if you can't run your own race at a small, local event, go find something else to do. At least share the workload with other runners when faced with such race conditions. Such blatant freeloading is never welcomed by anybody.
Anyway, moan over. This was very much a training exercise in holding a strong pace for 10k. Turned out, it was nearer 11k, at 6.7 miles on the Garmin. It's pretty accurate.
Had a solid weekend, best part of 4 hours riding on Saturday, and a 20 minute easy run off the bike and then a long run warm up before the 10k. Was actually going to be a 3 hour bike but atrocious weather made me think differently, and my legs were a bit tired from the day before. Anyway I stuck it out and actually came away with having done a solid workout. 3 miles on the return into a full on headwind was very hard work and I was at maximum just trying to keep my momentum going forward. I was pretty much gone with 1k to go, and had let my head drop with having somebody sit on me for most of the race, which was poor on my part. But all a learning experience, won't let it happen again.
Had 25 minute jog straight after and recovered well in the afternoon. Bit tired today, but a spin on the rollers later will see me right and I'll crack on with the week ahead!
Looking forward to seeing how James Gilfillan gets on at Ballbuster duathlon this Saturday. Go James!! Info and Results will be out on

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Sandy Balls Duathlon Results

Sandy Balls Duathlon 2009

Sandy Balls Duathlon 2009 Race report, October 25th.

Saturday, rain and wind, and I was not feeling that positive about an off-road run in the cold and wet. But Sunday morning arrived, a bit earlier than expected even thought the clocks went back, and we turned up fresh and in good spirits in the autumn sunshine. Got registered, collecting number off Mr. Gilfillan who was helping out on the day. And he was out marshalling, giving a good amount of abuse as expected, but surprisingly not quite as bad as I thought!!
So we were led like horses to water down to the start, at the bottom of the campsite, by the river and a loud shout of off took all by surprise and it was like a stampeding herd back up from whence we came! Hilly would be about right and straight into uphill trail and into the campsite. The first mile was generally uphill and to a quarter mile of downhill the first left turn, then uphill for quarter of a mile and …..You get the picture!! 5.5k or thereabouts of up and down and back into transition. I had a mixed run, did not feel great but I was still keeping up with the pace, although a good couple of minutes down from the real fast guys up at the front.
Onto the bike, pretty smooth changeover and into my riding. Felt reasonably ok, but not sure if I was fast or not, as had no gadgets for this race, just went on feel. Course is a straight out and back with about a mile loop as the turnaround. And how much of a crosswind on the way back! I had chosen to ride a disc and it took some holding on! With about 6k of 20k to go I had caught and passed both Emma Dews and Will Newberry within a couple of seconds of each other and was making reasonably decent progress but tough going into a full on headwind. Got into T2 ok, in about 10th place( had a quick count up of bikes!) and set off with cramping calves for a 5k second run. Pushed on and gritted my teeth and thankfully ran it off. Shouts of come on Will behind me after nearly a mile made me pick up my running and first Will past me and then Emma a minute or so later. I tracked as best I could but they both got away with half of the second run done and I managed to hang on for a very pleasing 14th place overall in a time of 1’ 19” and something. I worked hard which was the main thing and it was a real confidence booster to take into my winter training. Lee Piercy was in a class of his own out front and dominated by over 3 minutes from the rest of the top 10 which was full of quality athletes. Well done Lee. I’m sure he’ll be up the front at Ballbuster duathlon in November. Emma Dews won the women’s race in 1’ 18’ something and Ceris Styler(James Gilfillan’s sister) was 2nd in 1’ 23”, watch out for her next season!
Yet again, Racenewforest, led by Richard and Jo Iles, put on a great race, was a really nice atmosphere, good mix of athletes there and always a pleasure to be amongst it all. And they like to make even a short duathlon tough!! I highly recommend their races to anyone out there, from pros to just starting out. Great fun!!
Back to training this week, nice hour run yesterday and on treadmill for a bit of run analysis with Coach Harry tonight. Now to find out just how bad my running really is!!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Where does the time go?

So, Boscombe 5k came and went, a new PB, but I need a bit more practice at these 5k things, only the second one I've ever run! Pacing, and how hard to go etc, I have to learn all that. But I felt good and ran at a level of effort I would normally run for 10k, so pleasing. Well done Lawrence Down who came in with a solid PB of 18:30 something.
Sandy Balls duathlon on Sunday, and sore throat and hectic life aside, I feel in good shape, if a little tired. What a difference a good night's sleep makes though. Slept for a solid 8 hours last night, and can't remember the last time that happened. Most refreshed today and looking forward to a good lunchtime run session.
Good turnout at Sandy Balls in the women's race, should be a good one. Emma Dews, Helen Dyke, Kat Grimmet and Ceris Styler head a class field, all of them World/European duathlon champs of some description, other than Ceris, sister of some triathlete by the name of James Gilfillan! She was a two times winner of the British time trial Grand Prix series in her younger years and is making a return to racing. She won her last triathlon back in September in Stratford by over 6 minutes and was 2nd at Swanage sprint tri behind the overall winner. Both girls there beat all the men!! So Sandy Balls promises to be a good race. Check out for more info. Starts at 8am on Sunday, directions to race are all there. Well worth going down to watch.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Boscombe 5k

This evening is the start of the Boscombe 5k winter series. 7:30pm start at Boscombe Pier, turn up, get a number, pay your money and run! Very well oragnised and popular race. More info at Poole Runners website.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Dame Chrissie Wellington

Well, if an Olympic runner can win 2 gold medals and become a Dame, then Chrissie Wellington should be made Prime Minister!!

3 times World Champion at Ironman distance. She holds the Women's Ironman world record and she broke the Kona course record at the weekend! Why is this lady not all over the media today?! She should be on the front cover of every newspaper and we should be applauding the massive acheivements of our best ever female athlete, bar none! In fact, among our best ever athletes, male or female. Definitely Sports Personality of the Year 2009.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

World Champs

It's that time of year again - Hawaii!!
I shall be tuning in this weekend. Chrissie Wellington for win number 3?

Latest News

Hello everybody.
Been watching loads of Family Guy, making some music now I've got my studio back up and running, re-learning how to use all my kit( synths, fx units and sequencers). Been good fun to get into something else for a change. As much as I love triathlon it is not the be all and end all of life, although it does feel like that at times!
So, I started back to training this week, easing my body back into the routine. A couple of easy runs, easy swims and couple of sessions on the bike, experimenting with a better aero position on the bike. I'm not making the most of my bike power and my position is very high with a lot of resistance in the frontal area. I shouldn't be so damned big! And I'm talking about chest and shoulders.
WIll take out race bike at some point over the next few days and see what it's like riding in a lower position. I don't want to sacrifice comfort and power for more aero, as that means no gains. But if I can present less air resistance and maintain power then happy days!
Have pulled out of Slent Half marathon on Sunday. Not really in any sort of race shape and to be honest I can get a good training session in on my doorstep and don't need to drive to Southampton to plod round 13 miles at the risk of pushing myself too hard and gettin ginjured. Long road ahead preparing myself for Challenge Roth next July, so easy goes for the next couple of weeks. I have Sandy Balls duathlon to look forward to on 25th October. Will just use that as I good workout and go have some fun!!! for more info on that one.

Friday, 2 October 2009

DrivenToTri Big Weekend in Bath

Last weekend in November I shall be going on DrivenToTri's big weekend in Bath, a swim, bike and run fest over the whole weekend, training alongside Pro triathletes Harry Wiltshire, Pete Freedman, Jim McConnel and some of the UKs top age groupers. Looking forward to getting stuck in to a full on weekend of training and getting another opportunity to get in the 50m poool at the university. Brilliant facilities there. For more info check out the DrivenToTri website.

Monday, 28 September 2009


Steve Birtwistle at New Forest Triathlon 2009
I've had a nice rest week and had a great weekend with the family and even managed a nice sociable ride with James G on Sunday, weather was glorious. We headed over the Purbecks over to Lulworth and Durdle Door, and happy to say that legs were in reasonable shape, nice to ride steady and not have to worry about pace and heartrate and all the other things that go with training.
So I have now signed up for a few running events. The Solent Half marathon on 11th October, Sandy Balls Duathlon on 25th October, the AECC Dash Back 10k on 1st November and the Wimborne 10 miler on the 15th November. That's plenty of variety and will help keep it fresh as we head into winter training. Still havingan easy week this week, nothing structured, just whatever I feel like. Bought new running shoes today and a new pair or racers. Still gone with the Asics GT2140s, I tried a few pairs of other shoes on, but can't escape the fact that they feel right on my feet. A new pair of Nike Zoom racers felt lovely on my feet, light and fast. Well, hopefully fast!!
So might go and have a jog off-road towards the end of the week and get out again on the bike at the weekend, and possibly dip my toe in the pool on Thursday, but nice to have no pressure and I am really looking forward to starting the long haul through to Challenge Roth next July!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

New Forest Middle Distance Triathlon 2009 Results

New Forest Middle Distance Triathlon 2009 Race Report

James Gilfillan was going to win, I said it for weeks before. Having run and biked with James a fair bit over the last few weeks I knew he was up for this one. He was going to win, just a simple question of by how much. I did think 10 minutes. I knew once out of the swim if he had a 4 minute lead then that would be game over. He dominated it, every leg, by over a 13 minute margin. Awesome performance!!
As I crossed the line back in 12th place having suffered with cramp for the last 3 miles of a long run leg, 13.45 miles on my Garmin, James was there with the customary 'what time do you call this, I've been here half an hour!!' Yep, thanks for that James! Was really pleased for him, he's had a fantastic season and is just getting stronger and faster.

So, the day started at 4am as usual for these things and all sorted very easy and off to Ellingham Water. Got sorted in transition and was very relaxed, focussed and looking forward to getting out there and giving it some. Water was lovely, air temperature was warm, not a breath of wind and off we went at 7am. I set about trying to find feet but couldn't, so I just knuckled down to solid swim pace, nothing frantic but certainly a hard effort. 2 l;asp of Ellingham water and a slippery slipway out of the water, and it seemed like I'd been swimming along time. In fact, it was a very long time, 36 minutes to be precise. Now I'm no Michael Phelps or Harry Wiltshire! but I swam 29' 12" at Antwerp 70.3 I have been swimming 1' 30" pace for 100s consistently well for a few weeks now and was in good swim form. As it turns out all swim times were 'slow'. Long course, as everyone will tell you. Just mention now that on the results, Transition 1 is added in with the swim time and T2 in with the run. So I got to T1 feeling good, had a good swim(despite time) and took far too long getting suit in the designated bag and then shoes on, helmet and getting bike. Not my normal swift changeover.
Anyway, to the bike. Now I did set off like a loon at Antwerp and did hold it together(apart from when I crashed) but here I thought I'd just ride within myself for the first few miles and feel my way into it. Anwyay, turns out that riding within myself actually was still damned quick! I felt in great shape on the bike, big ringed the climbs, pushed on over the top and felt smooth on the flat bits. Didn't really notice the headwind on the sections going North, and before I knew it I was getting info from some spectators and marshalls(thank you guys) that there were only 7 riders ahead of me. Oooh, that's pretty good going. I caught Nick Buis with about 5 miles to go and then as I got to T2 I saw Will Newbery just going in. One big problem I forgot to mention, I lost a bottle on the bike, don't know where, must have been going over the numerous cattle grids. But I was worried a bit as one aero drinks bottle is not enough juice for a big lad like me.
I hopped off bike, jogged into T2 and got run bag and sat next to Will, who I think was surprised to see me. We were at down next to each other as I emptied my run bag, took off cycling shoes and helmet and tried to stuff them in the bag. Now Richard and Jo Iles have put on a fantastic race, perfect. But Guys, please get some bigger bags. Trying to get aero helmet and shoes into one of them when your brain is not at it's most youthful ain't easy!! So while I was faffing Will got away and I shortly followed.
So to the run. I know this course, having doen the Heartbreak Half back in February with a stinking cold(should not have run) and it's tough. Very tough. But I felt awesome! I was in fantastic shape. I looked at my heartrate, big mistake! I saw 160 and thought, ok this feels very comfortable, I'll hold it here for a while. And that was it I managed to hold it for the rest of the race, no wonder I ran so slow!!! Felt great thought. Nickl Buis went past me after quarter of a mile, and I saw Will up ahead, about 200 yards infront, and that was my second mistake, should have gone with him when I felt good and not play chicken. But Ididn't know what would happen later with the hills and not having enough liquied on board and there being only water on the drinks stations. Sorry, Infinit guys, I'm not liking the drinks! Up to mile 9 my hold on a top 10 position was looking good, but then the cramp kicked in. And the rwest of the run was spent trying to fend it off. With 1 hour 10 of the run done I had done 9.25 miles and thought, ok, if I can up it a bit I can squeeze under 1:40, and I would have taken that. But cramp was no good and still some long hills to do, Sandy Gallop, Heartbreak Hill and the last hill up to the road for the mile run in to the finish. Cramp would not let me push on and I was resigned to just holding on. But I had a smile on my face for the rest of it and I throughly enjoyed it all. Loads of support to the finish. In the end I stuck it out for a 12th place finish with a time of 5 hours and 1 minute. Not that far off where I wanted to be and I was really pleased with how the race went.
Great day, great race, fantastic course, great marshalls. Shall be back next year to swim, bike and run faster! But definitely run faster! With stronger bottle cages!

Monday, 21 September 2009

Pics for now

Steve Birtwistle runningJames Gilfillan runningJames Gilfillan and me in action at the New Forest triathlon.

New Forest Middle Distance Triathlon 2009

James Gilfillan dominated the New Forest Middle Distance Triathlon to win by 12 minutes!!!!! I was 6th off the bike and hung in for a respectable 12th place!! Good day at the office. But oh boy, my legs hurt, that is one tough tough run!!

Results, pics and race report to follow.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Weather Forecast

Wind has dropped, going to be dry and clear. Do I ride with the disc wheel or not? Got 3 hours to decide as have to take bike today and rack it for tomorrow. To be honest on that course I don't think it will buy me any time.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

New Forest

Ok, so 3 days to go. I've just got back in from a solid ride, including the Wareham-Wool 10 mile TT course, which I rode at a good pace and was pleasantly surprised by how quick it was in very difficult and blustery conditions. Thank god I didn;t have the disc on because a few times I was fighting to keep the bike in a straight line! Definitely no disc on Sunday.
So tomorrow is just an easy swim and jog and then Friday easy spin and down to Sandy Balls( ok I still giggle at the name) Campsite to register for Sunday's race, which also include racking the bike at Ellingham Water ski park and droppping run kit off at Sandy Balls. Split transition which is a bit of logistical pain, but it is what it is and I'll just get on with it.
Last race of the season, and I've not really done a great deal of racing this year. And I've not put my training into practice yet. I was there at Antwerp but wet tram lines brought me down in full flight and that put paid to a great finish. But these things happen. Sunday is my chance to put things right and do myself and my coach justice.
Big up to James Gilfillan, he's in great shape and he's gonna be tough to beat. We had coffee today and were discussing the weekend. Both in a positive frame of mind and raring to go!
And what's more, after Sunday I can have 2 weeks rest!!!! Yippeeee!!
Pics and race report to follow as soon as poss.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Training update

Well, just ticking over at the moment, getting through my sessions and doing them well. Bit tired and life is busy as always, but should be able to get to Sunday in good shape.
Here is a link to the website for the New Forest middle distance Tri.
James Gilfillan is looking strong and I don't see anyone getting close to him on Sunday. Once out of the swim, he'll be gone. As for big ol' me, if I give it 100% then I'll be happy.
Nuff said!

Monday, 7 September 2009

School reunion

Well, this was either going to be a disaster or a riot! It was fantastic. Best time I have had for a long ol time! So many happy memories returned and just great to catch up with some people that I had forgotten how much they still mean, even after little contact for the last 20 years!
On the day I still managed a 2 hour bike in the morning and a 10k run. The Blackpool Hilton 10k. My god, the weather!!! Shocking! Almost swept away by the sea! And that is only a mild exaggeration! 40 mins and 8 secs, I'll take that on the day, and ran strong, espeically after a tough 2 hour tempo ride in gale force winds and having driven up from Poole to Blakpool the day before, not getting in til midnight.
Richard Daniels was third, old school friend and great to catch up with him. Richard if you read this, well done, good solid 3rd place there and just a shame we didn't get to have a good natter at night. Usual thing of trying to catch up with everyone! Definitely coming to see you next summer when I'm at Roth.

Back to full on training this week. Swam this morning, bit tired, but ok swim time wise. Will spin on rollers tonight, in need of some bike miles in the legs! But plenty in the schedule for the rest of the week and will get me up for New Forest tri in 2 weeks! Just hope this lousy weather improves!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Catch of the day

Great fun! Me and dad went fly fishing on the River Avon, up near Tomintoul in the Highlands of Scotland and got great reward for our efforts. This fish tired me out as I had biked for the best part of 2 hours and swum for an hour beforehand!!
The fish had merely swum a mere 3000 miles from off the East Coast of Canada and was happily on it's way upstream only to be pulled out by some mad fool resembling something of a fisherman! This time, not on a bike! The fish did go back and will hopefully now be in Loch Avon with her partner. :-)

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Quick update

Just got back after 2 weeks away from Blogging! Had a great time in the Highlands of Scotland, some quality swimming, biking, running and fishing! Eating and sleeping(not enough!) And just hanging out with the family and the boys! Pics and write up to follow.
Just building up now for New Forest Middle Distance triathlon on the 20th September. Confident of doing well, and hope that the quality training I have been putting in can continue to bring some good results.
Off for a swim, be back soon!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Still sore

Body has mended well, but the cuts and grazes are still sore as they are healing. I must remember not to fall off bike any more!
I TT'd on Wednesday evening, Poole Wheelers 10 and had not a bad outing. Riding very controlled, seem to be ok strengthwise even if a little tired, a 22' 21", 20 seconds quicker than on the same course back in May. Similar conditions, but this time round, not quite the lung-bursting effort of before. So good progress made on the bike and hopefully will just keep the top end speed ticking over for the next few weeks. Results on the Poole Wheelers website.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

back to training

Have been easing myself back into some regular training after an easy recovery week and weekend. Got out for a run today and even in the warm sun I was feeling good and able to push on a bit. Swim tonight after a commute home via Studland, about 25 miles, just easy riding. 10 mile time trial tomorrow night, regular swim sessions for the rest of the week and a weekend of longer miles on the bike will get me back up to strength to push on now for building up to the New Forest middle distance triathlon on 20th September.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Antwerp pics

Found some pics taken By Freddy Devos of Zoom Tri Club. Cheers Freddy!
On the far left is me, Lawrence Down of Zoom Tri Club and Dries Reheul, Belgian triathlete.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009


If anyone needs motivation and inspiration to get off their backside and put some effort into life then this picture says it all. Taken at Saturday's Ironkids triathlon event in Antwerp, day before 70.3 race.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Harry Wiltshire

The man done good!
My coach was 6th at London triathlon. After helping to set a blistering pace on the bike and setting the race up Harry hung on for a tremendous finish in the world's biggest triathlon, excellent stuff boss!!

Antwerp 70.3 2009 race report

Gosh, where to start. Great weekend, great time, great race, not-so great weather, great city and great result(under the circumstances - more of that later!)
Arrived there Saturday afternoon after a very easy journey over, and relaxed in the afternoon, bit of a snooze and pootled off to register. No hassle, very well organised and back to hotel to chill and out in the evening for a small bite to eat and then an early night.
And lo and behold the rain came race morning, and kept on coming until towards the end of the bike leg! Never thought it would stop, and massive amount of surface water for the first half of the bike.
But anyway, I was feeling in great shape for this one. Wave swim start, not my favourite of things as meant I had to pick my way through a large number of bike riders once onto the bike. Butthe swim was good, very solid, took it out reasonably hard and maintained that effort and got out quickly to bike and was into my riding pretty quick and was motoring along, went through 10 miles in 23 minutes and was pushing on with real prupose until 12 miles and bang, I hit the wet tram lines and down I went. My god, it hurt. A lot! 13 minutes worth of sitting/stanidng/wobbling, bleeding and generally tryingt o make sense of what had happened and not making a good job of it. Eventually when I felt better enough to climb back on the bike I gingerly rode off and thought I'd just play it by ear and see what transpired. As it happened, everything was moving ok and I was back up and speeding along inbetween bends and tram lines where I was slowing down more than I normally would. I was still in and out of a lot of bikes and repassed people I had passed earlier on. Groundhog day!!
So the rest of the bike went without incident and at 50 miles gone I was almost back into central Antwerp and was flying along. Into T2 and a quick transition saw me gather my 2 gels and set off. I didn't think about the aches/pains or blood and just pushed on, deciding to realy attack the run and try and hold it. Under 20 minutes for the first 5k and I was feeling good, but then after reaching for my caffeine gel only to discover it wasn't there, I suddenly hit my first real low point, and for those of us who know what that's like, it can really start playing with your mind and then the body seems to follow!! The pain kicked in from there on in. To the end of the race I kept fighting with myself to push on through the hurt of the crash and the general fatigue that set in. The final lap of a 3 lap run course was tough and I was pretty much battered by then, taking on anything at the drinks stations. 500m to go and a bit of cramp in the calves followed me home!!
4 hours 33 for 70.3. 13 minutes of that spent on the floor in pain. I was very happy with my result. Sure, I would have gone a lot quicker had I not fallen, but that's how it goes sometimes. It went wrong, I dealt with it, and I gave as much as I could. Massive learning experience for the future. Bodes well for the coming seasons. 4 minute PB in the swim, my ride time on the bike was 2 hours 12 if you take off the 13 minutes lost to the crash and it was a 70.3 half marathon PB. All in all a good day. 21st in my age group in the end. It was a big field, a lot of Pros and some very quick Belgian age groupers in what is without a doubt one of Belgium's biggest triathlon events of the year. 130th overall. Again, time and position for me were secondary this time around, I was more concerned on goin gout hard and seeing what the body could cope with. And a massive positive that it can actullay cope with a lot more than I thought. Training has made me strong and this race has just made me much stronger.
Onto the New Forest middle distance tri in September with even more confidence!!

But, oh how my body hurts!!!


Pictures to follow.

Thursday, 30 July 2009


Well, my repaired wetsuit has not found it's way back to Primera Sports yet. Thankfully, the good people of Primera have managed to get 2XU to send through a demo V1 suit for me to use at Antwerp70.3 this weekend. Bit of a result, as they're 2xu's top-o-the-range suit. But then again, if it doesn't fit well, then it ain't any good!!! It is my size , so we'll see. At least I have a suit, I was beginning to worry slightly.
Other than that, we're on track. I'm grumpy and pacing around like a caged tiger! Sign of a good taper. I was the quickest I have been for a couple of months in the pool this morning, and raring to get on with it now. Resting off the bike today and will do a 40 minute easy run this evening. Light spin on rollers tomorrow and that's pretty much it, travelling over on Saturday.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Antwerp 70.3

6 days to go and I'm feeling in good shape, legs recovering well after my last hard weekend of training and a nice taper this week, which will have me on the race line ready to give it some!
Swim today, run tomorrow, swim and TT Wednesday, swim and run Thursday and then rest Friday, light stretch and loosen legs Saturday after travelling over and then race. Sociable start time as well, I go off at 11:11am.
Website: Antwerp 70.3

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

disc has had one too many

Well, got a valve adapter to inflate disc wheel, and on checking the wheel after, lo and behold it ain't true! Damn! Took it into Bikelab( great bike shop by the way!) and we all agreed it wasn't my dodgy eyesight and it was out of line. The nice people at FFWD wheels will replace it, and in the meantime I can use the current one. Hopefully will have replacement and front wheel by the end of the month in time for Antwerp 70.3.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Vineman 70.3

James Gilfillan 11th, fantastic result, go James! Joe Gambles won it in 3hrs 49, must have been flying. James was 4hrs 8 mins.
For results go to :

Cracking weekend

Where to start?! Wedding anniversary today( I did remember!). Taking boys to Wareham Carnival. Aussies getting thrashed at Lords by a rejuvenated England, fantastic! Bradley Wiggins right up there in top 10 overall GC at Le Tour, top 5 finish I reckon! Great training session by me yesterday, new disc is awesome, with solid hour run off the bike! Easy ride this morning, legs in great shape. Sun has come out. James Gilfillan about to do some damage at Vineman 70.3( will follow online tonight!). Go James!! 2 weeks to go til Antwerp 70.3, time to go out there and throw caution to the wind and hit it hard.
Can this weekend get any better? Doubt it! :)

Friday, 17 July 2009

James Gilfillan at Vineman

James Gilfillan is racing in San Francisco this weekend at the Vineman 70.3. Promises to be a cracking race and he's in great shape for this one. Follow his progress here

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Evening 10

Poole Wheelers Evening 10 results

Another solid 10, not quite with it tonight, legs tired and not quite the power there. Reasonable conditions, tailwind/headwind scenario. Definitely missed a disc on the way out. I was averaging 30mph for the first 5 miles, which with a disc would have had me quicker and made up time on those infront. Rode strongly and very controlled back into the wind, and made up time here. Averaging over 27mph I felt pretty good and was not the all out effort of previous 10s from earlier this season. This is my fastest '10' time of the season so far. Once I get the disc on and get similar conditions on the same course, will be very interesting to see what I can ride.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Just got even better

New disc wheel arrived today, not long til I get the front wheel.
Front will be an F9 deep section rim.
Disc is loverleeeeeee!!!!!! :-)
Won't try it out til the weekend. Have evening 10 tonight, but no time to fit cassette and tubular tyre. Want to savour putting it together and getting it on the bike!!
Oh yes, quick times here we come!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

tough morning

Back to the hard stuff today, and what about this lousy weather. My god, I was struggling for the first hour into a nasty headwind with driving rain. 'Orrible!
Then, 'bang', woke up, legs started firing and did 3 hours of solid riding on TT bike, covering 65 miles. Got back, quickly chnged into something a littl drier, run shoes on and straight out for interval run session. Attacked it today, and feeling a lot more positive about my running as I'm coming off the bike a lot fresher now, as I'm finding some good form on the bike.
Off now for an afternoon snooze to make up for being up with Elliot at god knows what time in the wee small hours! Little monkey!!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Monday, 6 July 2009

Bournemouth tri Piccies

Lady Birtwistle is a bit handy with a camera. Here's a couple of shots of Bournemouth, race winner James Gilfillan and a bloke in a red suit! Nope not Santa!

I was just very pleased with myself because I had got over my 'dark' moment feeling ready to quit after exiting swim, but mentally got myself together and finished strong.

Bournemouth Triathlon 2009 Results

In the end, doesn't make for bad reading( if you take the swim out!!). The run was long, 6.58 miles, so hence why all the run times seem a little on the slow side. That should cheer everyone up!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Bournemouth triathlon 2009

What an absolute horrorshow of a swim! My god, I have never been so bumped about by waves, or lost my sight, goggles filled with water, swallowed half the ocean, felt sick, went off course, and generally just wanted to get out of there!! 30 minutes for 1500m, how awful is that. It took a massive effort to dig deep and attack the bike, and going up Richmond Hill at the start was a nightmare as I couldn't get my feet in my shoes,. At this point I watned to get off. In fact I had to to put my shoes on. At this point my wife was taking photos and if it wasn't for a bit of encouragement and a lot of swearing from me, I would have gladly got in the car and gone home. But I cursed and swore and powered up the rest of the hill in the big ring, 3rd gear. I don't think anyone would have gone up there quicker today, and that was it I was back in business and posted a quick bike. And that was followed by a very solid run. Somewhere in the top 20, around 2:15 overall, an Olympic distance PB by 6 minutes.

But my god, that swim!!!!
Results posted later and will have some photos too.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Easton Wheels for sale

Ok, day has come where my Easton wheels are being sold off! They have been fantastic for me and have lasted 3 years and have had some great results.
Picture and details to follow, but if you want any more info then please feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you.

Easton Tempest II, carbon tubular deep sections rims(58mm). Ideal for TT, triathlon and road racing.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Evening 10

Well, I was on a good ride tonight, just kicked myself that I eased off in the last mile and could have pushed harder. Finished 2nd by only 6 seconds! Bike legs are coming good.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Antwerp Ironman 70.3

This is the bike leg route. I followed the directions on the Antwerp 70.3 website and plotted it in but I think it's a little short as I didn't come far enough back down for the Loop back on the top part of the course. But overall it's pretty much there. And pancake flat!!!! Just check out the elevation( or lack of it!)

Monday, 29 June 2009

Another bonkers athlete!!

Check this out, maximum respect!

Summer Sizzler

Results are out, no splits and not in order:


I was about 4 minutes off my predicted time, and just had a thought, I wore a tri top and shorts in the pool, no wonder I felt slow!! Drag!! Why on earth I didn't wear a full trisuit I have no idea. Oh well, you live and learn. That's why it's a training race. Hopefully I'll get in the fast wave for Bournemouth tri this Sunday, which will get me firing on the bike and give me something to chase on the run.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

It's all about the bike

Well, that's what it's felt like this week!!! Lots of riding, legs have been in good shape and my body has repsonded well. Been back in the pool as well and getting back my feel for the water.
After 70 miles and a lot of hills yesterday, and an afternoon sea swim, this morning I rode 12 miles out to the other side of Wimborne to take on the Summer Sizzler. If I am totally honest I was not all that convinced about doing this race, but coach Harry thought it would be a good idea to get out and blow the cobwebs away.
Well it went ok in the end. I raced hard and bagged 3rd place. Were it not for being placed in a slow swim wave in an 18m pool and having to dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge the breaststrokers, I would have been out much quicker and may well have nabbed the win. 30 secs would have been enough. But c'est la vie, never one to complain. I had noone to race against really so in to time trial mode on the bike, and felt good, apart from trashed legs! Still maintained reasonable leg speed and got into transition without any hiccups. Onto the run I felt a little jaded but held it together, until the last hill and then my trashed legs felt a little more trashed!! Slowed a bit, picked it up to finish and was pleased with how the morning went.
James Gilfillan met me down there and we hung around, watched most finish, and then headed off for a 'spin'!! Well, 20 odd miles later and I was home, totally spent!! Rode at a good tempo and gave my legs a further workout! Recovering well, and off for a snooze before much needed tea!!!
All in all good to be back and returning to somewhere near race form. Just my running legs need sharpening up, but that's ok, I have 5 weeks to Antwerp and I am confident of running strong by then.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Summer Sizzler bike leg course map

Click on the map title and it will open up in a new window

Chris Lieto and Craig Alexander duel

Checking through triathlon results these days and keeping track of all that's going on is not an easy task, as so many races around the globe. A good friend of mine emailed me the results of Boise 70.3. Two guys at the top of their sport showing just why they are at the top of their sport!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Change of Plan

Well, couldn't make the aquathlon tonight, work and transport made it impossible to get to Bournemouth in time, so Evening TT again, and well worth it. Hard riding conditions made for an interesting ride,
Only 4 seconds off my best on that course(22:05 last year in very good riding conditions), and I had really mega tired legs this evening after 5 days of hard riding and a lot of miles. But it's paying off some more of the same will see me stronger on the bike, and in a positive state of mind going in to Antwerp 70.3 on 2nd August.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Back on the training

4 days, 250 bike miles later and I'm feeling much better about triathlon. Determination and motivation to do well has come back. Having a go at a beach aquathlon down Bournemouth tomorrow evening, should be good fun in this weather, that's a one. One of a series of 4, but something different, 600m sea swim, 6k run.
Coach Harry has suggested I do the Summer Sizzler on Sunday just to have a 'hit out' and get some racing in my legs. Sounds like a good idea really. That one is through
My body is in good shape at the moment, got to re-focus the mind and get my race head back on. Dunno where it went last week, but it's coming back and hopefully if I can put together 5 weeks of solid training then I should be going to Antwerp with a lot of confidence.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Back on the bike

Out today for a long easy ride. I am going to learn how to ride again! Once this weekend is out of the way, I shll be picking up the mileage and getting more hard miles in my legs. My bike let me down at Wimbleball, and I have never felt so lacking in the leg department as I did that day. It won't happen again!!!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Jon Rainford Photography

For those who use Facebook Jon has pics of most of the UK 70.3 race, loads of run shots, most of the top 50 or so bikers(I just about scrape in there as the last 2 pics in the album!) and loads of swim pics as well.
If you get in contact he will let you have the hi-res photos. Just acknowledge him if you do use them anywhere else. Excellent work Jon!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

UK Ironman 70.3 2009 non race report

Well, after much deliberation and serious consideration I have decided I cannot bring myself to write a report about this race.
It is a great race to do, has everything in it that makes endurance sport the best in the world. Some of the world's best athletes are there taking on what without doubt is a tough tough race. Massive well done to everybody who got round that course, from Phil Graves who won with an absolutely astounding bike ride, to Iain Sainsbury who was last over the line inside 9 hours. Maximum respect to all and their supporters. Great event and I would like to think that I will be back taking part another year.
But for me, it was a bitterly disappointing day. I felt so flat, had nothing to give and could not raise my game to anywhere near what I have been doing in training. Trying to get my head round what happened, why it happened and then move on. So no race report, other than to say it still was a great day just being part of it all, huge thank you to all my family who were there supporting, I'm just sorry I let you down.
But on to the next one. Antwerp 70.3 on 2nd August. Before that I am going to get angry at Bournemouth International triathlon on 5th July and I may be doing Purbeck tri the following week. Attack, attack, attack!!!

Monday, 15 June 2009

UK 70.3 2009 results

steve birtwistle

Race report to follow from me after I've had a day's rest to think on my performance. Not the best day I have had in a trisuit as the picture speaks for itself!!

Monday, 8 June 2009

Healing well

Was back on the bike today, just a nice easy ride to and from work, although going off-road not the best idea I have had, jarring my shoulders, arms and hands!
And 20 minutes easy run when got home this evening, just to test the body. Still a bit achy from fall, but that aside I must admit I'm feeling pretty strong. Swim tomorrow and another easy run and steady as she goes, easing my body forwards towards Sunday's race.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

A healthy dose of road rash!

Well, it's been a while, but it happened again today! This time a wet cattle grid was the cause of a spill. Ridden over it a hundred times beofre, always the same, take it straight on. Today, just didn't want to play. Was like something just pulled the bike from under me and at 20mph, no time to react. So nothing broken, all in one piece, just the usual aches and pains all over, right leg grazed and bruised from ankle to hip and taken a fair bit of skin off my arm, elbow a bit swollen. Came at 50 miles and rode 8 to get home. As my legs go, in pretty good shape and o n target for next Sunday's UK 70.3 but I will no doubt miss tomorrow's swim set. But if that's the worst of it then all ok!! :)

Friday, 5 June 2009


Well, easy week is proving to be rather a pain! Literally, sore back, tight glutes, dull ache in knee and generally feeling below par.
But that is to be expected. Stretching and massage is helping relieve the tightness and only two days before I get out on the bike for a 3 hour easy ride which should reinvigorate my system for the week leading up to Wimbleball. To be honest I do feel quite rested. Well, my heart does feel a little more relaxed, and aftter 5 days of very little training I have just about got out of my impression of Mr. Grumpy!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009


Well, it is nice being on an easy week, but then again, I'm itching to get going and put some effort in. I think the idea is that by the time UK 70.3 comes around I'll be ready to go nuts!!
I'm a bit grumpy as well. This will get worse as race day approaches! Apologies to my lovely wife, Tracey!
I really want to do this evening's 25 mile time trial with Poole Wheelers, but I'm not allowed! Such a shame as the weather is so nice at the moment, great riding conditions.
I have a rest day on Friday and Saturday as well. How on earth will I cope!!!???

Tuesday, 2 June 2009


3k easy swim today, no pressure, no time, no target. What a difference, just relaxed and concentrated on stroke...oh, yes, and counting! Trying to keep track of 90 lengths in a 33 metre pool ain't as easy as it would seem!!
Was with James today, he looks in good shape after his recent podium finish at TriAthy in Ireland, and he's looking forward to Windsor, which is same day as UK 70.3. As is Bala Middle distance tri, the UK middle distance tri champs, and INEOS Beaulieu triathlon. Come on race organisers, sort it out!!!
Thankfully some great pros now lining up for UK 70.3, both men's and women's fields, promises to be a cracking race, especially if this weather continues.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

My legs hurt

92k all out effort on TT bike, straight into 6 mile tempo run. Ouch! And in this warm weather today, was tough. The stairs now require one gargantuan effort just to get to the top! I am avoiding them as much as I can. About to sit down with Matrix Revolutions, coke and a bar of chocolate! Feel like I've earned it. The new 2xu Tri kit from DrivenToTri is very good, much impressed after it's maiden outing today. Complete change of colour for me, as I was just so sick of wearing black.
Recovery week to come! Yippee!

Thursday, 28 May 2009


Steve Birtwistle at Half Ironman UK 2008 Name of the game so far.
Just keep going, one session done, move on to the next one.
Another Poole Wheelers 10 last night. Really enjoying these midweek burn ups!! Beats the turbo any time. Friendly club and I have no worries in recommending them to anyone who wants to join a cycling club. I may even join up myself for next season, will see how this season pans out.
Results from last night out on Poole Wheelers website

Wednesday, 27 May 2009


Was just browsing during work lunchtime hour and signed up!
Interesting to see what the tri pros are up to!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Half Ironman UK 2009

Well, in the immortal words of Carly Simon 'it's coming around again'. 2 weeks on Sunday sees me return to Wimbleball for a 3rd time. Very excited about getting back there, to what is without a doubt the toughest 70.3 triathlon out there.
Fraser Cartmell will hopefully be back to see if he can make it 3 wins in a row!!
More info on the web

Sunday, 24 May 2009

No stoppin him

James Gilfillan wins yet another triathlon, this one in Gloucester, where his sister Ceris was in action and was fourth lady!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

James Gilfillan

At last, some well deserved publicity, although they could do more to highlight his fantastic results over his triathlon career.

Well done James!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Stop thinking!

Well, I've been getting in plenty of pool time but my times have been off the mark. Maybe a bit of tiredness, maybe it's the cold I've had, maybe I'm just not swimming well. But to be honest, the problem is I am thinking about it too much!!!!
Just get in the pool and swim the set and get out and be done with it! I have got back to worrying about my stroke mechanics too much, and not just relaxing and focussing on swimming hard. I just need to grab hold of the water and work with it. I'm fighting it too much.
So tomorrow morning, I'm going to swi mhard and just not even bother thinking about what my arms, legs, stomach, lats, back, feet are doing! They all get in the way!

On a more positive note, had a storming 2 hour tempo ride this evening, over loads of hills! Legs were hurting by the end, but still pushing a high gear, UK 70.3 in 3 weeks, so far so good me thinks!!

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers 30

Steve Birtwistle
Absolutely dreadful riding conditions kicked off about 15 minutes into this 30 miler! Wind and torrential rain in places. Never have I felt so cold on a bike, or after a race. Completely soaked to the skin!
I had just about got rid of a cold by this morning, but still feeling a little weary and on starting I had no juice to really get up to speed. My speedo wasn't working so I just got into what felt like pushing a reasonable gear and held it at that for most of the race. By the end the surface water was susbstantial and the roundabouts were pretty treacherous, a lot of grease and diesel to be seen. Lot of punctures and DNFs and a lot of non-starters, who must have predicted the weather.
I was about 5 minutes down on what I would normally ride over that sort of distance, but that was my first official '30', so I'll take it as a marker, and if I rode like that on a triathlon bike leg I'd be quite happy. Well done to Julian Jenkinson who rode strongly to win in very tough conditions.


Saturday, 16 May 2009

Swim time calculator

Time to post this link up again, as I am using it more, now open water swim time is upon us.

But unfortunately will not be in the sea today. Full of cold, was off work yesterday. Usual rubbish, loads of people at work with colds in an unventilated office spreading their germs. Just what every triathlete needs! So will miss 3 days training now whilst I get it out of my system. Might do my 30 mile TT tomorrow but depends very much on the amount of sleep I can get.

Thursday, 14 May 2009


Well, bout time I indulged in a bit of a luxury for once. Rest day tomorrow and after posting a very good 10k PB last night and a solid week of training and racing I thought I needed something hot and spicy!
We settled in for some take away and a veg on the sofa. 9pm and sleep is a must!! I am definitely getting old!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Happy Birthday Elliot

My little boy is one today!!! Doesn't seem 5 minutes since my other little boy, Henry, was one!! Where has the time gone!?!

Sunday, 10 May 2009


Today in transition pre-race, I heard two athletes talking about some of the early starters who would have been finishing well down the field. There were really quite disrespectful and if I had not been trying to sort my bike out and get myself ready, I would have gone over and said something. We have all started out in triathlon from humble beginnnings and whatever level we are at, we put in the effort to test ourselves. Some people need reminding of that from time to time. If I hear such talk again I will definitely be saying something.
Everybody in the sport should be suppportive of every athlete whether at the front or the back of the field. And it matters not what clothes people wear on the bike or what shoes they run in. It's all about challenging yourself, and above all else it's about having fun!!

Dorchester Triathlon results 2009

provisional results, no splits yet.

Glorious weather today for May, real Spring day. Was nippy thismorning riding over and there was quite a lot of early morning mist. But nice to stretch the legs for 25 miles beforehand. Usual check in and found myself nice and relaxed.
And to the race. I was in a good swim wave and was alongside James Brown who was 3rd at Ballbuster duathlon. I tagged along in the swim on his feet and we both exited and into transition together. I managed to get held up whilst running to mount my bike and he got away but a mile down the road and I ent passed and concentrated hard on building a lead, as I knew James is a very strong runner. However, a couple of roundabouts later and my lead had been cut and we came back into T2 alongside again, and that was it! He was off, and I was left to foolow. But I didn't disgrace myself and gritted my teeth and ran better than I have before and finished in a very repsectable 1:06:11, 400m swim, 15 mile bike, 4 mile run. James Brown was 2nd in 1:03:12. Just my run speed really, but that will come over time as I learn to suffer a bit more and get my legs moving quicker! So 5th overall and age group win, and a very enjoyable day! I am now actually 'racing' and it feels good!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Poole Wheelers 10

New course, well different from the last 2 weeks, harder, and wind made it rather tricky. Certainly the 5 mile out was hard work and got to the turnaround at around 13 minutes. Came back very quick and felt good. 23' 36" in the end, winnnig time was Max Baldock in 22' 22", out on his own again, 2nd and 3rd were 23' 23" and 23' 24 respectively. These are only provisional so I'll post the linkto the website when official results are up. Go to
Top end speed is coming good and I find myself just dropping my cadence a little and pushing a higher gear, seems to be working for me. 25 mile TT next Wednesday evening, really looking forward to that, and should come away with a good time. Then a 30 mile TT the following Sunday, on the same '25' course, with a variation, but should suit me, and it's great because it's only 5 minutes from my front door to the start line!!

Monday, 4 May 2009

Dorchester Triathlon 2009

Sunday 10th May, 9:45am. I'll be setting off again on another whirlwind of a race, 400m pool swim, 15 mile bike and 4 mile run. This is very much a training race, but I still want to go there and race hard. I will ride over there, about 20 miles and back again, just to get plenty of miles in and a good warm up. Seems like a quality field again. James Gilfillan might be there again, if I can persuade him to race. He was in winning form again yesterday at the New Forest Traithlon. Results on
So I had a fairly restful bank holiday weekend, got out yesterday for a long run which I haven't done for a while, and seem to be going well. Was out for a 90k ride today, hilly and an regular route of mine taking in Blandford, Dorchester, Weymouth and Wareham. Nice and steady, pushed on at race pace in the last hour and my bike legs are ok. Just need to find some more hills to ride up and down before UK 70.3 which is less than 6 weeks away!
Back to schedule tomorrow, in the pool and interval run set, and then evening 10 time trial on Wednesday, and a sea swim at some point. Then ease down a little into race day.

Friday, 1 May 2009

May First

Well, 4 months gone of 2009 and I'm sat here with tired legs and weary body wondering just where it has gone. But equally pleased that I have managed to get to this point of the year injury free, just one bout of sinusitis that interrupted what has been a tough training schedule. But it's all about consistency, and that's where I've made big improvements.
4 hours swimming a week, 200-250 miles on the bike a week and between 30 and 40 miles running, all at various intensities and varying sessions to keep it interesting and to help keep me motivated. Not raced much, just Ballbuster duathlon and Winchester tri, which have both been training races, and it's all been very positive. I've suffered both mentally and physically and it's not always been happy, happy, happy!! Some sessions I have hated, some I've not wanted to do and yet I've stuck it out. Hopefully this will pay off in the long run. Some big races to come this year, UK 70.3 in 6 weeks, Antwerp 70.3 in August and possibly Clearwater, Worlds 70.3 in November. Hopefully I can stay fit and healthy and with more of the same then the rest of 2009 should be good, and will lay a solid foundation for longer racing in 2010.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Another Evening 10

Same course as last week, trickier conditions, bit cooler and I was following Max Baldock, winner yet again. Well, all in all, not a bad ride, considering my legs were hammered from training and I just felt really tired. 22' 44", just 3 seconds down on last week, so consistent. Certainly felt more controlled tonight and didn't seem to be 'blowing' as hard, but my legs were sore, oh yes, they were damn sore!!
Results on poole wheelers website as per usual, think I ended up in 4th place, but a bit nearer the quick guys this week. Time for pasta, cereal and sleep( hopefully!)

Tuesday, 28 April 2009


Love this pic from Winchester triathlon. To the uneducated onlooker you would never guess there's a race in progress. And to the experienced triathlete, you would also never guess there is a race going on!!!
And in the middle of the pic that's me starting out on the run leg.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Training update

Thus ends another successful week. More miles in the bank, another seemingly endless wave of tumble turns completed and sore legs!
I hit the Sunday weather just right, between 7 and 9am, sun was up, as was the wind, and was nice just to spin legs out, recovering from Saturday's tough 70.3 session.
Next race is Dorchester tri, on the 10th May, which is really a training exercise. I will ride over there, about 20 miles, race and then ride back. Did the same last year so will be interesting to see what happens.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Poole Wheelers Evening 10

Great cycling club, really friendly and their evening 10 mile TTs are ideal for a good workout. I went down tonight to put right my faux pas from last season, when I missed the first turn off when I was flying!! Not quite flying tonight, in tricky riding conditions, and my legs were feeling tired after Winchester tri. But on the whole I gave it my best shot and finished with 22' 41", think it was 5th or 6th in amongst the faster Poole Wheeler time trial specialists!
Well done to Max Baldock, he is quick, another win with 21' and not a lot! Results out later this evening on their excellent results site. I cannot find a more thorough results service anywhere on the web, it's tremendous.
Recommend time trials to anyone who rides a bike. Just turn up, pay your 2 pound and go as fast as you can! It bloody hurts! But great fun!

Southampton Tri Club

Excellent tri club, really good website, and they always have a healthy group of top triathletes competing in events in the South of England and further afield, and seem to provide great support for all their atheletes. Well worth checking them out.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Winchester Triathlon 2009 race report

Well done to everyone who turned out to race, marshall and spectate! Really good atmosphere for this race, even though a lack of cheering at the end! Congratulations to Dave Woodgate and Tracey Cook who came away with the wins. Steve Birtwistle - Winchester Tri 2009 And special mention to Freddy Devos who won the 20-24 age group, of Zoom tri club. Unfortunately a the presentation afterwards they hadn't got the 20-24 age group prize sorted out! But great to see Fred making excellent progress and performing well.

Well, the sun was out at last and the weather was lovely. Well, it would have been if the bloody wind had died down. My god, the out leg of the bike was a toughie anyway, but the headwind that blew up around 5 miles got stronger, and towards the turnaround I felt like I wasn't going anywhere!!
Anyway, big turnout for this conceptsport FastTwitch triathlon, 400m pool swim, 19 mile bike and 5 mile run. I was in the 9:30 wave. One of the benefits of my improved swimming is that I get to go off in a later wave, which means more time in bed the night before!! The waves go off based on predicted times, the slower swimmers in the early waves and so on. As I haven't done a pool based tri for a year, I was a bit unsure of swim time, so I guessed at 6:20 ish, and got out roughly on schedule, although not seen my splits yet. Had a good transition, no mishaps apart from dropping my glasses, and got into my riding, only to find my legs were still back in transition( or the swimming pool!) Took about 3 miles to get loose and then ok, until the wind picked up!! The turnaround was a hop off your bike, walk across the dual carriageway to the other side and get back on your bike! Safety thing after last year's accident in the same spot. Legs deserted me momentarily but got going again, a downhill thankfully and a tailwind. Nothing quite like getting over 40mph on two wheels!! Great fun! And I was pretty quick back into T2, swift change to running shoes and then mile and a half of uphill! Always gets me and got me again today, just find that first mile really takes it out of me, and no time to get into your running. Got to hit it straight away over the shorter distance runs. I found my rhythmn after 2 miles and was striding out nicely, but by that time, race is nearly over and it's the final push for the line and did find the last incline a bit of a tester on the legs.

Steve Birtwistle - Winchester Tri 2009In the end, had a solid race, and thoroughly enjoyable, my first one of the season and coming in a block of hard training, with a very snotty nose and sinuses a little bunged up. But on the whole, extremely pleased how it all went. Up on last years' time by a few minutes and managed to sneak an age group win, finishing 12th overall!! Good day a the office. And even better, Man City won 4-2!! And Robhino scored his first goal of 2009! Yessssss!!!!!!!!

Winchester Triathlon 2009

Steve Birtwistle - Winchester triathlon 2009
Gosh, this has come around quick. My first tri of 2009 and not sure how I'm feeling! 400m pool swim, 20 mile bike and 5 mile run. I won my age group last year, well, I got the 1st 35-39 prize as they award prizes for the first 5 overall, and one of them was 35-39. So technically 2nd in my age group, but was delighted to get something anyway for my efforts. And I had a shocker of a race last year, felt dreadful, had a knee injury and ran like a novice. So I have got to do better this year. Have I????? Let's bloody well hope so!
I will be happy to know that I gave 110% on the run. That's my weak point, just backing off when it hurts. But that's stops from today!! Well, at least, that's what I'm saying now. I'll tell ya later if it worked! Good luck to all racing and looks like it will be good weather!


Report to follow!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Latest News

Well, it's been a busy Easter weekend.
Me and James did the Bournemouth Arrow 10 tt on Easter Friday. Was a rough course in tough conditions but we both put in solid rides. James finished 5th in 22' 47" and I was not far behind in 11th in 23' 25". Winning time was 21' 40", by Paul Jones of Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers, and he seems to be going very well at the moment looking at results on

James Gilfillan was at it again at the Steyning duathlon on Easter Monday, coming away with yet another duathlon win! Becoming a bit of a habit James! That's 3 wins so far this season, and unfortunately James DNF'd at the National Championships due to a puncture at the far end of the bike course. He was going well and would have been interesting to see if he could have nicked a win. Have a read on for more info on the Steyning result, sounded a very eventful race!

As for my training, things are going well, despite having a bit of the sniffles this week and feeling a little below par. Big mileage on the bike over the Easter weekend, and a lot of running over the last 2 weeks. Have got back in the pool for some hard swimming, a bit slower than I would like, but a bit of tiredness set in and having not swum over Easter, 4 days of not being in the water, does show up. I have Winchester tri coming up on Sunday 19th, which will be my first proper test of the year, and give me a good idea where I am.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009


Well, had to happen eventually. I did a run session today, supposed to be an hour steady. The hour, yes, but my god, it was as if I'd just come off finishing a marathon. I was totally shattered, stomach cramps half way round and could not raise heartrate or legs! Just a bad day, but at least I finished the session, got through it and more miles in the tank.
Was off the back of Sunday's half marathon, Monday's swim and Tuesday's hour time trial prep set on rollers followed by 15 minute run and swim in the morning, and riding to work. Bad night's sleep, up with boys in the morning, off work to look after them coz Tracey is poorly and I'm just physically pooped. But the positive side is my mental state was good, which got me through a tough run. Hopefully sleep tonight, easy day tomorrow, ready to hammer it hard for 20 minutes on Friday morning's TT.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Bournemouth Bay Half Marathon 2009 results

New PB for me, and was in good form today, feeling super strong and had plenty of gas to really push home in the last mile. Very pleasing result. Very enjoyable race and good atmosphere. Weather was fantastic. Went for a 20 minute jog later in the day to get my legs moving again, and all looking good to continue the hard work into next week's training.

And photos from the run.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Bournemouth Bay Half Marathon

Well, the weather so far this April has been lovely, albeit only 2 days!! It has put a spring back in my tired legs. Bike training has stepped up a gear - or literally nany gears! - and my quads and glutes have been feeling the pain. All good though, so I'm told. Continuing to make good prgoress in the pool, with some solid sessions. Running is looking good as well, and hope to put in a decent performance at the Bournemouth Bay half on Sunday. Not sure what to expect as it's part of my training, and will be riding 3 hours on the bike the day before. No tapering for this one, although I have had a lighter running week. Anything under 1 hr 30 and I will be happy. Anything close to 1:25 and I'll be delighted. See how I feel on the day.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

March is at an end

Well, it's been a good month. Solid block of training with my balls busted on Box Hill in amongst it all! This weekend has been an excellent end to the month with some good workouts which have got me turning the pedals with a bit more vavoom!
April looking good with Bournemouth Bay half marathon on the 6th, Winchester triathlon on the 19th and a couple of time trials inbetween. Hopefully another good month shall be had by all.
Right, off for some sleep.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Ballbuster duathlon results

Ballbuster Duathlon March 2009

Well, here we go. Far too early, it's 4am and I'm just waiting for the kettle to boil. Coffee is most definitely on the agenda this morning. 30 minutes to get myself together and get car packed up and set off. As per usual, I can feel every soddin little creak and sore muscle in my body and I look at my bike and I keep thinking 'how do I pedal again?'. My kit is strewn all over the kitchen floor, amongst turbo trainer, track pump, toolbox, footwear a plenty and various children's toys!
Race report will follow later today. Chip timing as well, so race results should be immediate and will get them posted asap!
Right now, where's the sugar...?

Well, race is now over, it's the following morning, and I have just had to get up with the boys at 5:30am!! No chance of a lay in, with it being Mother's Day and all! Oooh, me calves are sore! Race went very well, good solid start to the season. Lovely weather for it and once up there had to queue a while for registration, collected the necessary chip and numbers, visited the ladies loos as the gents was full, got changed and looked at watch, 7:30am, no time for turbo warm up. Got racked and then 5 minutes to go! Stomach not at its best, back to the gents this time! Rushed over to start and off!!
Stomach feeling decidedly rough as we set off, but my legs were in good shape and I soon settled into a comfortable pace, probably a bit easier than I would have liked but not having done this race before, all the rumours of it being tough were praying on my mind. I let a lot of runners go and just shrugged my shoulders and took in the scenery of Box Hill. After 6 comfortable miles the serious climbing began, 2 miles of 6%. And I attacked it, nothing stupid or balls out effort but solid running and it got me past a lot of guys who'd obviously gone off a bit quicker. However, last section of the climb my guts decided to scream for release! Damn, ran off -road to do the biz but loads of general public out walking and didnt think I could go, not fair really, so I go back on road and ran off up to the end of the run and before I got to transition made a diversion to the gents in the cafe! Cost me a good couple of minutes, not in the best of health and felt pretty ropey. But got out of there as quick as I could and off onto bike. I faffed around a bit in transition and after a rocky run to the mount line I got going at a reasonable pace until bang, cramp in left calf. God knows why, I think it might have been the cold wind on the bike, having heated up a lot on the run. Dunno, but I spent the whole of the bike leg fighting it off and couldn't push a high gear. Really annoying as I was feeling my bike legs return. I was solid up the climbs and picked off riders steadily along the course. Very enjoyable bike and could have happily ridden a lot longer had it not been for the cramp. 3 lap splits were very even, and it was nice to do this on new road bike and the Scott CR1 pro was ideal for this race. Didn't miss the aero bars really, but I think it would have saved me a minute maybe, just for the first 3 miles of the loop, but other than that, drops were fine. So off onto second run and noooo! the cramp in calves had returned, so I had to really slow down and gingerly run along until it had gone off and I just slowly began to get into stride and was running strong until mile 5 and then groin went! Not been a problem before but all of a sudden my pace dropped as a result and I was left to plod home for the last 3 miles.
Thoroughly enjoyable day. Made even better as James Gilfillan was on terrific form again with a 6 minute margin win!! He is in great shape at the minute, the turbo sessions have obviously been working as his bike speed is top class and a very strong second run. Well done James. And thank god you didn't buy those horrible looking Nike lunarlite racers!!
So, a lot learned from first race of season, lots of little things went wrong, and with a bit more prep and focus sub 3 hours is comfortably doable. But so far so good, training is obviously working and nice to know coach is pleased with my progress. Well done too to other driventotri athletes, Emma Smith who won the women's race and Piers Constable who finished in 22nd. I was back in 39th, so 3 DTT athletes in the top 40, good stuff.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Man City into last 16 of UEFA cup

Oh god, being a lifelong City supporter is as hard as training. In fact, watching last night's Uefa Cup second leg against Aalborg, was harder work than completing a Half Ironman!! 85 minutes of comfortable control without any alarms and bang, before I knew what was going on we're staring defeat in the face and after 30 minutes of nothing in extra time we're into penalties. Good job I didn't have my heartrate monitor on, otherwise it would have broke. Thankfully their last two penalty takers choked and we went through! Please, if any City players ever read this, then do NOT put your fans through it again! In fact, regardless of the manager in charge, City have always been the same! Why????????? I do hope we can get rid of this shocking away form and get SWP and co firing as well as they do at Eastlands. Then we can become serious contenders in the Premiership.

Ballbuster duathlon

First race of the season and after my bad days of Wednesday and Thursday, I'm now feeling much better. A gentle jog this morning for 20 minutes just freshened me up a bit and I rode to work very easy, starting to think about tomorrow and get in the right frame of mind. Got a lot to sort out tonight, bike, running shoe laces, new battery in watch, work out what gear I'm gonna wear, find some CO2 cartridges from somewhere, or whether I'm even gonna bother with changing a flat. And generally getting ready. I gott a be up at 4am and leaving by 4:30, travelling up with James Gilfillan. Really hoping he goes well and can come away with the win! After winning the Peopleton Duathlon last week, he's obviously in good shape and dominating the bike as well as running strong.
Race Report to follow, and wishing fellow DrivenToTri athletes all the best for the race, and indeed, hope everyone who races has a fun( if slightly painful!!) morning!!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Not always positive

Well, I experienced a new low whilst training last night. I was swimming at Wareham pool and after a bunch of 100s that went pretty well, I was swimming easy and I just stopped half way down the pool, floated to the end and got out 15 minutes before the session ended. I just had the urge to get out of there as quick as possible. I didn't want anything more to do with swimming, biking or running. I thought to myself 'What the f*** am I doing all this for, what's the f***ing point!'. I got in the car and drove home completely vacant. I don't feel much better about things this morning, and I'm in no state for racing on Saturday. Mentally frazzled. My legs seem to have been like jelly all week which hasn't helped, I have no top end speed on the bike and I've been struggling with bike pedals since I changed to Look. I've now gone back to Shimano and much improved. But I don't know what I can do to get over this mental low point. I'm sure it will pass and a decent night's sleep is bound to help.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009 has had an update. Excellent resource for planning training and racing for all triathletes. Sign up and use it for free.

Monday, 16 March 2009

James Gilfillan wins duathlon

James Gilfillan
Well done James, good man, I don't know why you were worried about your bike legs!

Come on James, Ballbuster is there for the taking!
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