I started this blog in 2010 when there were 11 weeks to go before my next Ironman triathlon. People have found it interesting (mainly my Mum!) so I continue to write.
The Ironman is a long distance triathlon; Swim 2.4miles, Cycle 112miles, Run 26.2 miles (marathon). I have competed in one every year since 2004. I hope this blog can help others see what is involved. I find the process of writing it makes me more accountable and motivates me to do the harder sessions when i'm not feeling like it!

Saturday, 21 January 2012


Parkrun 5km, then 5km run home.

George's disabled swim session makes getting to the park run on time difficult. As a result I was 8min late starting, and chasing everyone - at least this week I went round in the right direction!
A little over 20mins and achilles fine, so happy with that.

The highlight of the day was George starting to use goggles!

Friday, 20 January 2012


Went to Marylebone physiotherapy today and saw the lovely Amy. It was brilliant. I feel like i'm starting to understand some of the niggles and have a plan now. Let the work begin. I can't recommend Amy enough, she'll sort out any problems you may have.

I now have to;
1. Stretch pecs
2. Loosen the posterior capsule of shoulder
3. Do arm exercises without using the pecs
3. Lift my legs with my lower abs/core and not the upper
4. Improve the height of the right single leg calf raise


Two things coincided.
1. The swim smooth people sent me an email about the benefits of breathing every 5, 7 or even 9 strokes!!! (I couldn't even do 3 in 2005)
2. I'm reading a book called "Bounce" which is all about the purposeful practice of Tiger Woods, Beckham and other sporting ledgends. Basically if you keep trying at things that seem just out of reach your performance will sky rocket. You have to be comfortable with a lot a failure though.

So tonight
Warm up
10 x 100m as 3,5,7,3 strokes per breath repeated - each of these took 25m so it worked out nicely.
400m as 60-70 strokes a minute (faster than normal)
400m as 25m closed fists 25m open fists
Cool down
Total = 2km

This is the first time if attempted 7 strokes per breath - it was managable. I think the point is that you then find 5 much easier.
The reasons they gave;
- It rids the lungs and blood stream of CO2, the build-up of which is what leads to feelings of tension or even panic.
- It makes swimming more aerobic by improving the gas exchange in your lungs.
- It means that when you do go to breathe you only have to inhale, not exhale and inhale in the short window available to you.
- It reduces the buoyancy in your chest which helps keep your buoyancy balanced, bringing your legs up higher towards the surface.

Thursday, 19 January 2012


15min warm up
4 x 5min x 300W on 5min recovery
2 x 2.5min x 300W on 2.5min recovery
Cool down

I had secretly been dreading this session. Just before new year i'd managed 5x5min and knew I should be repeating this. In the end I split the last set into two it just felt like the right thing to do and leaves me somewhere to go. The total work done was the same though as was the recovery. I raised the saddle after the second set which I think helped.

I had a 5min cold bath after this. It was interesting to see my heart rate rise with the anticipation of getting in and plummet as soon as my feet went in (i'm a bit of a physiology geek)

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Rest day

We've all got colds so some enforced rest. I'm doing the occasional marching drill from Monday nights whilst walking round the house (George and Will like it)

Tuesday, 17 January 2012


The usual drill work.
Added another set of 200m at race pace on 25sec recovery to make 3 in total.
Total 2.3km
Forgot my towel - doh!

Had a fun time with Will today on the wobble cushion;

19 months old and he's better than me!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Monday weigh in! 71.5kg 13.1% moving back in the right direction after Christmas.

I haven't done any core work for a couple of months. I did my usual routine (from Greg McMillan) which was surprisingly OK. Will was asleep and George for the most part tried his best to imitate - this could be an avenue worth exploring with him - the main barrier is not surprisingly his attention span.

Run technique
We really rattled through the various drills we've learnt. I'm glad I signed up to this as it has forced me to go to the track on a cold winter's night.
I forgot we also did some core exercises - I tried to keep a low profile as it's the first time my abdominals have involuntarily cramped up.

Sunday, 15 January 2012


10km easy pace. Too nice a day to go to the pool or cycle indoors so I decided on a run along the river. I tried to focus on some of the technique that i've been learning on Monday nights - without looking too ridiculous. Finished the book "once a runner" - some great insights into what's involved in running a sub 4min mile.

The afternoon was spent working on an essay on intercultural medical education! It's interesting but has now got to the stage that i'll be glad to have it finished.