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How to be an ironman: 12 weeks to go

I’ve been training and trying to be an ironman for a long time now. Since January 1st. Which is quite a lot of weeks following a training plan, really… and there are still 12 weeks to go, which is quite a lot of weeks following a training plan.

I knew what I was letting myself in for, and I’ve loved training – in the main. There’s something really awesome about getting to the end of a week and being able to tick off even more hours than I did the week before and banking more and more miles than I thought was possible. I’ve been getting faster at swimming, stronger at cycling and find running even more fun than normal.

It’s not all been easy though. The past month has been really difficult. I’ve been traveling for work, and spent 2 weeks in South Korea and 2 weeks in Japan. When I’m away for work, the days are longer and more intense and dealing with jet lag brings a whole new level of fun to ironing.

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I got through it (yay!) and am now trying to ignore the fact that I’ve missed 15 hours (not that I’m counting or anything) in the pool and on the bike and in the weights room. I’m not being an idiot and trying to make up the hours, mostly because in the days after I got back from Japan, I was really poorly and slept for pretty much the whole of Sunday. I think my body might have been trying to tell me something there.

 

But what, I hear you cry, I have learnt over that past million weeks swim, bike, running? Anything, anything at all?!

I’m really good at time management

If I want to fit a training session in, I will. I know that sounds incredibly boastful, but I really think it’s the only way I get most of this ironing done. I plan all my time with military precision and training takes high priority – and I’m good at sticking to it!

I have a very high boredom threshold

I spent 3 and a half hours on a indoor bike. ‘Nuff said.

Anything is possible if you’ve got a support network, even if they’re miles away

I spend a lot of my time away on Whatsapp and Twitter, with the most wonderful people cheering me on from 9 hours in the past. You’re all great.

Shorts and exercise bikes are not a good mix

Exercise bikes have very wide seats. Take care.

Running on a treadmill will always be more rubbish than running outside

We all know this is true.

Swimming in a 20m pool means an awful lot of maths, and an awful lot of lengths.

125m reps. Hmmm.

Gym kit always has one more wear left in it.

So it stinks, but you don’t know anyone else in that hotel and you’ll never see them again. Meh.

Sometimes training will be terrible.

This will be true no matter where you are in the world. I always promise myself that I’ll just try. Run for 20 minutes, then I can stop if I want. Swim just 1K, then I can stop. This nearly always results in doing the whole session and feeling really smug and chuffed with myself.

 

I’m back in the UK now with the hardest 12 weeks ahead. On Sunday I’m running the Brighton marathon, a week later, London and 4 weeks later I’m doing The Grafman half ironman. The next weeks also bring the longest hours per week of training, topping out at 20 hours in June *hides under the sofa*.

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But I’m still going! I can’t wait to get back outside on the bike and into the Downs and into Pells Pool and the sea.  Bring it on, Bastion!

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