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Sunday, 29 August 2010

Sky Sports 4 - Outlaw Triathlon

Apparently on Friday night I was on TV, Sky Sorts 4, 8:30pm, me crossing the finish line at the Outlaw Triathlon! My god, what a mess that must have been! Thankfully I don't have Sky, and am not impressed that a few people I know have seen it! That said, my little boy Henry was running along side and he looked great!!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Personal Training

Came back in out of the pouring rain after an hour of taking one of my trainees on an off-road run. 1 hour of running/walking, incorporating some hill running and some short sprints. One of the most enjoyable sessions I have done, and great to see someone you are training develope over time. 3 months ago this lady could not run for more than 2 minutes wihout stopping to catch her breath. Now, through a balanced and varied exercise routine and small changes to her nutrition and a more balanced diet, she has managed to surprise herself with what she has managed to do today. To help somebody to do that and to see what a positive impact it has on their lives is a huge privilege and is immensely rewarding and satisfying. We are now looking at her taking part in a 5K event in October, something which she never thought was within her capabilities. Triathlon after that???!!!!

As for my own training, taken a bit of a hit again, bad back!!! But on the mend, and with some massage and stretching will sort it out. I am now entered into the Weymouth Classic Triathlon on 12th September, and the New Forest Middle Distance Triathlon on 19th September. Weymouth will be a warm up for the New Forest race. The ever popular New Forest race features James Gilfillan, Dave Woodgate, Will Newbery, Frederic Devos, Lawrence Down, and a host of other top triathletes. I had a good race last year, finishing in a very respectable 12th place, though I didn't run very well. Hopefully I can go well this year. Getting off the bike in 6th place was a real buzz for me. Hopefully this year I can do the same and hold it together whilst running!!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Highs and Lows

Extremes in one day. Up early, refreshed and feeling much improved. Booked slot in Weymouth Classic triathlon in September, 2 weeks away. Took boys swimming, then picked up youngest, and bang, there goes my back! Quite obviously a pulled muslce right in my lumbar region. Best course of action is to keep moving, pulled back muscles before and never been much of a problem. Went for a run, just no good at all, too much pain and I turend round after 5 minutes and walked home. Shut the door, went up to my room and lay down for half an hour feeling totally miserable. More time out from training. I am feeling slow, lethargic, I have definitely put on some weight. I feel out of shape. I start as a Personal Trainer at Virgin Active gym tomorrow in Corfe Mullen and it's not the best time to be putting one's back out. I know why it's happened. Lack of quality training over the last few weeks, lot of stress, illness, too much driving, sitting and general day to day stuff hampering things. To help keep things in perspective I remind myself I am not a full time athlete and I don't rely on triathlon to pay the bills, it's just something I do for fun. But it ain't fun at the moment. I just want to get back to the quality training and shedding some pounds, getting lean and mean again. I'll race at Weymouth yet again knowing that I'm nowhere near my best, frustrating, but I'll just go enjoy myself and take some business cards!!!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Ironman Recovery

Nearly 2 weeks on from the event and I am still snotty but feeling much better, and have at least managed to get out and jog and spin and swim over the last couple of days. Off for a morning swim once I have had a caffeine fix, and then will have a little jog in Wareham Forest and a spin on the bike later this evening.
Trying to find a shorter race to do. Can't get into racenewforest's Middle Distance tri in September, and a bit disappointed about that as I had a good race there last year, finishing in 12th place, and know I can go there and do well again. But that's how it goes, these races are becoming massively popular as it is very picturesque to do one in the New Forest. Might wait until their One Last Tri in October. Othr than that, most races seem to be booked up. I would have done the Littledown Bournemouth tri in September but that's been cancelled. There is Weymouth Classic in a couple of weeks so I might give that a bash. Then again, I might just not bother and sign up for a few running road races and a few bike TTs.
Feeling a bit cheesed off with it all at the moment, and probably just need something to focus on to get me back into it.

Monday, 16 August 2010

How to stop a cold?

Anyone any ideas?
I have not been doing any training, very little exercise for the last 10 days, been resting, eating, sleeping well, but can I shift this bloody cold? Nope! Wearing me down and the body is now seizing up. Think I might just get out on the bike and have a blast for an hour and see what happens. If I keep effort level low, the worst that can happen is that I'll need more tissues for my nose!
Not much else to report, Swanage triathlon was great yesterday, my good friend James Gilfillan was first again by 8 minutes from Dave Woodgate in second. Was nice to catch up with him after the race. Had a good chat about Ironman racing and has helped put a lot of it in perspective. It still felt odd not to be out there competing and I woke up in the night thinking how I could have squeezed into the top 10 there, and have beaten a couple of people who finished up there. Next year, I'll add that on the 'to do' list for local races!
Must mention Ceris Styler( James G's sister) who won the women's race. She is coming back to form and both her and James are the World Duathlon Champs in Edinburgh in 3 weeks' time! Best of luck to them both!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Outlaw Triathlon 2010 Race Report

I sit here writing this 4 days on from the event, feeling full of cold and fatigued, and generally pretty rubbish. I have had lots of time to reflect on my first long distance race and put it all into some perspective. I have mostly been reflecting on how this season has gone in general. But more of that later.

Team B got up to Nottingham and checked into a Travelodge on Friday evening. We ate in the nearby pub/restaurant type thing! Big mistake. Dreadful. But not a lot we could do, after benig stuck in a car on the way up for nearly 7 hours. Remind me never again to drive anywhere in the UK on a Friday!

Had a decent night's sleep but woke up really snotty and feeling very tired, still coughing. And headed off for registration and the like. Thankfully we were only 10 minutes away from Holme Pierrepoint, the venue for the race. And what a brilliant venue. Looked very well organised, nicely laid out finish and registration was a breeze. We even managed to get a decent breakfast there with the boys and it was a nice leisurely mornig getting sorted out. I got on my bike and did a lap of the rowing lake, just to loosen the legs and check the bike. And this was the first sign that I wasn't quite right. Coming down into a headwind I pushed the pedals a bit more and it felt hard, my legs were sore and I was starting to breathe hard. Not right. Anyway, I didn't dwell on it and hopped off to get changed. Bike then racked and transition bags delivered to the change tent and back to hotel. Now I sort of wanted to sleep but didn't feel like it so we walked down to the river Trent and had a picnic and chilled out. Rest of the day was fine and got to bed early and slept soundly.

Race day.

Woke at 3am, feeling knackered! Sound talking to infront of the mirror, which I am sure everyone has done at some point, and I got my kit on and packed bags. Had some cereal, couple of slices of bread and cereal barsand banana and a load of water. Felt better for eating. Also down some co-codamol as I was still feeling snotty and bit of a sore throat. Stuff together and off we went.

Lovely morning, but chilly and a massive queue for the car park. But eventually got sorted and all went smoothly from then on. Westuit on, hugs and kisses and off to the swimstart. There were 4'bays' in which we all started from, loosely based on predicted swim times. I got myself into the 1 hour and under group, hoping I could get on someone's feet and be pulled along for a 50something swim. Anywhere between 1 hour 5 and 1 hour 10 was about what I was thinking, to swim easy and save myself, as I did not know what to expect, never having done an Ironman before. I was in the water, it was wtill and calm, a small breeze, but promised to be a lovely warm day. 3-2-1 Go!! 50 metres gone,m straight into weeds! And not just a little bit, proper grab hold of you and pull you under type weeds! Spent the next 200 metres negotiating plenty of the stuff and didn't find any feet! So eventually got into a rhythmn that was comfortable and got to the turnaround in good shape. Coming back was fine, but still no feet. I got my sighting right this time, but it was a bit easier, as the swim was in the rowing lake and it was very straight and easy to see the bank on the right side when I was breathing. I coasted the last 200m and swam very easy, and had a very enjoyable swim. Out into transition, was ok. Wetsuit off, change tent, grab bag, change area, elmet and shoes on, food in tri top, glasses on and off to get bike. Ran past it( again!) and back to it, run with bike, mount bike, and off we go!

Bike leg. Got into my riding pretty quick and once the lap of the rowing lake had been done I was out onto the roads and into a rhythmn that I was able to keep up all the way round. Now this was billed as a fast course. Well, there were fast sections. I did go through the first 10 miles under 25 minutes, mostly on the fast dual carriageway section. And there was a section of the 3 loops that was very quick, and a few other quick downhill sections, but on the whole I thought this was a pretty good course. There were certainly some long slow drags, nothing steep, it was big ring all the way, but enough to slow progress and to make the legs really work. Also in a lot of places on the looped section it was into a bit of a headwind. The course was an out section then 3 loops of about 30 miles and then back from where we came. 112 miles in all.

I took on water at most of the aid stations and ate and drank well. But I still don't think it's enough. Most of the water I poured on myself and I only had 4 gels, 4 x 750ml bottles of High 5 energy drink, and 4 Elevenses cereal bars. I will have to look at eating and drinking on the bike and just do more of it! As for the bike on the whole, I was just down on speed, but I rode solid all the way, 56 mile splits were almost the same. 2' 35" for the first and 2' 33" for the second. But I felt sick as a dog at mile 30 and was coughing up the green stuff for a lot of the ride. But my mind just willed me on and on return to Holm Pierrepoint a marshall shouted I was 18th, including a few relays teams. So that cheered me up! Transition was easy, bike taken off me and into chnge tent. Swapped race belts and socks and shoes on and straight out.

Run leg.

The run was a 3 lap affair, which included 4 loops of the rowing. I settled into my pace straight on it, and I was feeling good. 4:50 km pace. and I managed to maintain that through to 21k, halfway on the run. The run was very flat, all the way out along the Trent, under one of the stands of Nottingham Forest football ground and to a turnaround by the river, and back along the river again to Holme Pierrepoint for another loop and repeat! Gels and water were the order of the day and it was all going very well. I hit my halfway point with 1hr 39 gone and I was then going to hold it and try to push on a little. 3hr 20 was what I was aiming at and I was bang on target and feeling great. OK, you know what's coming. BANG! Went for a drink and carried on, then stopped! Agony, IT band on left leg in spasm, above my knee and I couldn't even walk. Couldn't even stand on it. Massage like mad, stretch and drink and I managed to stand and hobble forward for a few minutes. ANd thus the rest of the run went like that. I did manage to run for some sections, but it was at a greatly reduced pace and I had now begun to cramp all ovetr the place. To be honest I don't remember much of the last 13 miles, except the point where I sat down next to the rowing lake and was just going to quit. Not just the race, but the whole of this triatlon thing. Why was I putting myself through all this. I was hating it, proper hate. If someone could just have picked me up and offered me a lift home I would have taken it. At this point I had 16k to go. I don't know what made me get up and get going but I just had to finish. So I went on as best I could, hobble, shuffle, walk, stop, stretch and it took an eternity to get to the finish line where my boy Henry ran over to me and ran alongside to the finish. Crowd support was excellent and a big cheer over the finish line. I was greeted by a medic who was looking at me with great concern and got me to sit down asap. I don't think I looked or sounded very good. I just wanted liquid, I think I was dehydrated. My mind was mush! I was elated to just finish. Had I managed to run like I should have done I would have got myself a top 10 finish, but in the end, it was 50th place(56th if you add in the team relays). 10:33 in the end. I'll look closely at why it happened, maybe I was dehydrated, not enough condtitioning, fatigue, ill, or body just decided enough was enough!

My journey towards Ironman has reached a temporary conclusion. Will i do another one? Well I'll have to, I have signed up for Challenge Roth next year.

This year has been a funny one, I have had some quality training, but my performances have been disappointing. A lot of stress been going on, change of career, illness, getting to Roth and not doing it. I have also had 10 weeks of an intensive Personal Training course that really exhausted me at a time when I was hoping to really get solid trianing under my belt. And I have had the recnt added stress of trying to find work in my new chosen career.

On reflection I have done as well as I could have. The biggest question I have been asking myself, 'did I enjoy it?' 3 races, 3 different repsonses. Swashbuckler triathlon, I hated every minute of it, I felt tired, rubbish swim, no bike legs, and I just couldn't run. Weymouth middle distance, I enjoyed, I had a solid race, and stuck it on the run when I started to feel bad! Still slow, but I was happy, I did my best. Outlaw triathlon? My first go at Ironman, and not the race I was expecting to do. Preparation hardly the best, but on reflection I really enjoyed it( most of it!). Difficult to be totally honest as I am still feeling the effects and I'm full of cold. When the dust settles I will have a think about the whole triathlon thing and get some perspective on it. After all, it's just something I do for fun, and if I'm not enjoying myself out there then time for a change?

2 weeks off from anything heavy and I will try and find a short race to go and do. Also will get back to time trialling and trying to find my speed!

For anyone wanting to do a long distance race, I hope the Outlaw is here to stay, I recommend it highly and it is definitely one to put on the race calendar.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Outlaw Triathlon Race Report

Swim : 1:03
Bike: 5:08
Run: 4:16

Add in Transition and I have an overall time of 10:33.

Report to follow. As every triathlete knows the numbers never tell the story. Delighted to have finished in the end and enjoyed (most of) it!
Very sore and have full on cold and feel pretty rubbish, and that's 3 days on from the event. Plenty to work on and has given me lots to think about. Ironman distance racing is certainly in the head!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010


Brilliant swim vids on efficient freestyle swimming, and so refreshing to hear the commentary that goes with it.


Thank you to all those people on Facebook who have taken time to wish me well for this weekend's Outlaw Triathlon. After the disapointment of not getting to do Challenge Roth, this is my chance to put all the training to good use. 3 days to go! Now for some quality rest!

Monday, 2 August 2010


I am so up for this race on Sunday. Mental preparation begins in earnest. I am going to go there and give it my all and just enjoy the atmosphere of race day, and remind myself of why I do this fantastic sport!
Love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Grrrrrr!!!!!

Alpe d'Huez Triathlon

Coach and elite triathlete Harry Wiltshire was on form at the Aple d'Huez Triathlon last week, storming through with the fastest run split and first out of the swim. Unfortunately some idiot(or whatever the French is for it!) nicked his bike the evening before the race and Harry had to borrow one, which was not the right fit and left him aching all over after the bike leg. But he managed to run himself through the field for a great finish. Well done Harry!
Results here:

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Outlaw Triathlon

So another 7 days to my first 'Ironman' distance race. ANd unfortunately I am not in the best of shape. Laryngitis has cleared up and I feel ok, but not 100% and I still have a little catarrh hagning around a a niggly cough. Voice is still a bit hoarse. I have not ridden my bike for 3 days, and only swum and run on Thursday, now Sunday. I have been building a patio at home with my father the last 2 days and it has been tiring me out. All done now and a place for BBQs, so now I will get out and about on the bike today, but I feel a bit lethargic and not at all in any shape for racing. Maybe in 7 days I will be better, but mentally and physically I am just nowhere at the moment, and it's disappointing. I am fit enough to get round in a reasonable time. But I want to go there and race hard and give it my best. I know I won't be 100% and as fully fit as I was going into Roth, but I need 7 days now of mental preparation and focussing on racing as well as I can.
I will give myself a solid talking to when out on the bike today!!! Come on Steve!
Outlaw Triathlon website:
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