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Highway to Hell

An Introduction

ghylandby ghylandApr 14th 2010
I have a read a few other people's blogs and thought I might put some of my thoughts about Triathlon down for posterity and keep a record of what I am up to training and racing wise.

For those that don't know me I am 33 years old and have been doing Triathlon for less than 2 years. I decided to take up the sport when I lost my father to lung cancer in 2007 and had always fancied a crack at Triathlon and wanted to take on a new challenge and raise some money for charity. My first race was the Steelman Olympic Distance in July 2008 which was a real struggle. I look back at my training now and realise I did well just to finish!

I had been, frankly, a fat, lazy couch potato getting heavier and less fit over the years. When I was 21 I weighed about 12 stone and excercised about 6 times a week but by late 2007 I was over 15 and a half stone and had not done any meaningful excercise for well over 5 years. Before I started running and training in early 2008 I had never run further than 5km in one go, had not swum more than probably 500 metres without stopping and had ridden my bike only sporadically despite having a decent bike in the garage. I would use it maybe 3 times a year for a short and breathless ride when the Tour de France was on telly!

I was a wannabe 'athlete' living on past glories: at school I was a talented runner (over 200-400m on the track plus a good x-country runner, a decent swimmer (sprint freestyle) and played rugby, cricket, football and racquet sports. I was a naturally quite gifted athlete and played golf to a decent standard in my late teens as well as representing my University at Badminton. However, I never put in the work to maintain the skill levels or fitness after University and I am now a rather sad has been who rather like the bloke in the movie 'Run Fat Boy Run' was convincing myself I was a bit unfit rather than being fat!

Anyway, I managed to get round my first tri in one piece. During the build up I basically did the bare minimum training; bashed out a couple of 10km running races as I knew that would be where I would suffer most, did precious little on the bike and managed to swim 1500m in the pool withouth stopping a couple of times. I had naively hoped to go sub 3 hours but missed that by 20 minutes. As soon as I crossed the line I knew I could go faster.

I have done 4 triathlons since then but would say 2010 could be a breakthrough year as I now have nearly 2 years of some kind of consistency behind me, some race form to look for sources of improvements and a desire to be a good athlete. My aim is to go sub 1:10 for a sprint race and sub 2:30 for an Olympic distance race. I am not expecting that to happen this year, its just something to aim for. My dream goal is Ironman but I have to put my family before racing and with two kids under 4 years old 4 hour training rides, 2 hour runs and 4-6 months of total commitment to the cause is not possible and most likely I would not achieve the goals I would want.

My race plan for 2010 looks something like this:

April 17 - Swimathon, 2.5km individual
May 15 - Eton SuperSprint Tri
July - Steelman Olympic
September - Cotswold Sprint Tri
October - Bike Blenheim 100km Sportive
Winter - maybe have a crack at a 1/2 marathon and a couple of road running races

Till next time!
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