I have played sport for the majority of my life playing at a professional level up until 2008 when I retired due to work commitments. At this point I ballooned from about 210lbs to 230lb in no time at all without changing too much else in my lifestyle. I tried different ways of trying to keep in shape but due to my love of food and socialising at the weekend I always failed in this endeavour. At this point I decided to compete in a marathon purely as a means to lose weight.
I completed the Blackpool Marathon in 2010 in a time of 4:23:52 after completing the first 22 miles at 9:00 min/mile pace before completely hitting the wall and bonking for the last 4.2 miles. Upon review, my pre-race nutrition consisted of a Powerade about 30 mins before the start and during the marathon I drank nothing but the water that was offered at the aid stations with no nutrition what so ever.
During 2010 a friend, Roger, who I met through my brother-in-law temporarily moved up to Wigan for 12 months from London on business. Roger was already keen on cycling and had recently migrated into triathlon. He had already completed a couple of triathlons and joined a local triathlon club (The Endurance Store) which I tagged along on some of the swimming sessions. It was at this point I became aware of the Ironman triathlon its appeal.
After Roger stating that he was going to sign up for the Ironman UK I entered the IMUK 2012 on the 4th November 2011. At this point I did not own a bike, a wetsuit or hadn’t realised that Roger was in training for the IMUK 2013!!
I embarked on a steep learning curve during 2012 to get myself ready for the IMUK on 22nd July 2012. I had an indifferent start when it came to the methodology of my training but one thing that I stayed consistent with was logging my training on a daily basis. The theme of my training was based upon the 13 Weeks to a 13-Hour Ironman. The aim of my first Ironman was complete the event in the cut off time constantly reminding myself of the Ironman mantra ‘to finish is to win’. My secret personal goal was for sub-15 hours but I came in under 14 hours to my amazement and joy.
During my preparation for the IMUK 2013 I put a lot more effort into planning my training. I purchased the Triathlete Training Bible and produced a training plan implementing a lot of the methodologies and advise from the book. However, my execution of this was poor at best. I quickly became frustrated by not maintaining the training that I aimed to complete due to work commitments and was increasing de-motivated to get out there and train. One thing that I did continue to do was to log the training that I did complete on a daily basis. My aim for the day was to beat my previous time but I failed and came in at 13:59:28. I did have a flat and my chain came off twice during the bike so all in all my lack of improvement was due to my lack of preparation. (Roger killed it by the way finishing in a time of 12:45:32).
Next time around, I completed my 3rd Ironman UK for the charity Scope, I am keen to see much improvement on previous best finish time. This page was my vehicle to documenting my strategy, progress, struggles and ultimate success and raise money for the charity which was surprisingly successful through the site.
This time around I have devised my own plan during my off year in 2015 and will continue to train to that, document it here and raise money for my chosen charity. If people choose to read this and follow me on my journey that is all the better.
All the best