June 16, 2014 | Posted in:General

Hi there

It’s been quite a while since my last post about the purchase of my new bike. I’ll keep this short but since my last post have been continuing my training towards the IMUK 2014 whilst fitting in a very very busy schedule at work. Even though I have not be posting on here I have been continuing to read quite a lot around the topic of triathlon and will post a further update on a great book I have read by Chris McCormack called I’m Here to Win. Anyway I’ll move on…


So yesterday I completed the Middle Distance Triathlon the Cotswold 113. It is called a middle distance as it is basically a half ironman with slightly shorter bike section (51 miles I think). I would highly recommend this triathlon which is really well organised with a massively relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Plus the course is pretty much pancake flat!!

So how did it go? You ask. Well… It’s wasn’t the best day at the office to put it mildly. I ate something that didn’t agree with me the night before and had an upset stomach in the morning and felt drained most of the day. Also, to top it off I fell on the run and landed in a load of nettles. Other than that I finished in 5:58 which is pretty respectable all told.

Right so what can I take away from the day?

Firstly, the night before I are far too much food and in an unfamiliar place. Previously I have ‘pigged out’ two nights before and ate pretty light the night before. Although I don’t think the volume of food was the issue I still took an unfamiliar step in my prep for an event which I had not attempted in training beforehand (massive schoolboy error).

Secondly, the first game of the England World Cup game in Brazil kicked off at 11pm the night before and I made the decision to stay up, watch the game and finally went to bed at 12:45 getting up only 2:15 later at 3am. Again this could not be helpful and I was naive that I could deal with and perform on only 2 hours sleep!!

Thirdly, I left my heart rate monitor chest strap at home by accident and didn’t have a heart rate monitor for the day. I have lost my Garmin 910xt and have yet to replace it so was planning on using my old Polar FT5 to solely monitor my HR and ensure I maintain a rate lower than my LT (152 in my case). Again I naively thought that I had done enough training to pace by ‘feel’ as I have done many hours training in my HR zone so it should be no problem. Wrong! I have know way if truly knowing this but I pushed too hard on the bike. Even though I felt drained and tried to pace myself my legs started to feel the pace during the last 10 or so miles and I really struggled off the bike which is usually one of my stronger points.

Lastly, I have previously mentioned that I massively struggle with cramp. I used to suffer as a child growing up and used to have to take quinine tablets to help. I have previously taken cramp tablets with varying success during marathons and ironman events. After reading the I’m Hear to Win book mentioned above I decide to hydrate my muscles by pre-loading them with salt tablets in the weeks running up to the event. Again this is something that I handed practiced in training but I still ended up struggling with cramp and really feel that this is mainly due to poor pacing and pushing too hard too early.

OK, are there any positives I can take from the weekend?

The Swim: I finished there swim in about 34 minutes which I am pleased with. I have not been putting as much effort in the swim as previous years as the time gains will be little in comparison to any I can make on the bike or run. However, I do think the indoor rowing sessions I have been doing have helped out with my swim. This being said I think I posted a decent time as I maximised he use of drafting as much as possible and not by staying on someone’s toes but by getting in the shoulder and riding their wake. There was a stretch when I was I between two swimmers slightly behind them and I’m sure that they were pulling me along at one point.

Bike: as mentioned previously I feel that I pushed too hard on the bike and will be investing in a new replacement for my 910xt this week as I do not want to leave pacing to chance as I obviously do not have the experience to pace on feel alone. However, my new bike is great and I even though I’ve yet to put my tri-bars on yet I was really comfortable and could have stayed on the bike all the way. I am still struggling with my speed on the bike but am now conscience that pacing is of paramount importance and being fresh off the bike is what matters.

Run: I felt drained and really struggled on the run all the way through. However, I did show some metal by keeping going all the way and found that coke, water and the odd gel are all I need on the run. I did carry and take salt tablets but I still cramped and think this was due to not enough liquid rather than salts as I soon recovered after an extra drink at the aid station. I have been for a recovery run since and my pace was pretty strong (for me that’s sub 9 min/miles) without too much effort so feel I’m fit enough I just need to dig deep and grit my teeth and push through it as long I have I am happy with my hydration and nutrition. I do have a longer 18 mile run scheduled for tomorrow so I’ll see how I get on and update with my thoughts.

In summary Cotswold 113 2014 was a bad day at the office for me but I have learned a lot from the experience and feel I can push on and through IMUK in the back of it.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress and good luck with your training.


Remember you can sponsor me for ironman uk for the great charity scope at Ironcrab’s Scope Sponsorship Page.


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