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, 19 July 2014

Race day tomorrow.

All bags and bike checked in. Sitting in the premier inn watching the tour. There's a few days activities to fill in when I get back. Worried the hip may not hold out but more relaxed than I've ever been - it'd great when not looking for a good time.

Ella and George get here soon. Getting here yesterday was the right thing to do - got to bed at 7pm for 12hrs sleep.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014


30min - just to keep mobilised. Starting to get things ready. Have decided not to have only have Ella a George and Mum there - just too difficult to have all the family.

My bike tools arrived today - too late (needed them on Sunday)  - tried the master link pliers out it reduces that 2hour Sunday job to 30 seconds!!! - I thoroughly recommend them (Park tool MLP-1.2)

Tuesday, 15 July 2014


5km - the aim was to do 10km but at the 2.5km turn around I thought there was no advantage for me at my current level. Will leave the suffering until Sunday!


Did some work on my right obturator for what it's worth.

Had a phone call from a friend to say i'm in a triathlon magazine this month. Either triathlon plus or 220. Must have a look. 

Monday, 14 July 2014

Weigh in 76.8Kg

Swim 1.5km - easy pace just 300m at end at 65 strokes a minute

Day off today - no kids for a while! Did some long awaited DIY - changed a tap, went to the tip etc, Exercise wise thought i'd have an easy swim.

Just changed the countdown timer - it says on 5 days left.

Sorting out nutrition now - luckily found enough old packets of this and that so I don't need to buy anything. Don't think i'll be needing any manufactured sports Gels etc, again (I can always hope).

Fairly amazed about the weight - got down to my target without the fuss of previous years. Didn't obsess about it, ate what I wanted and only weighed myself once a week. This really has demonstrated that 30-60min of exercise a day and sensible choices can get it done.

Treated myself to a couple of bike tools - well I don't spend money on anything else right now.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

1 Week to go

Cycle 50miles

With a week to go it was time to get the bike sorted out - so maintenance in the morning and then test it out in the afternoon.

All the jobs were due to the change to a compact set up (smaller chain rings on the front)
1. Change back cassette - i've been looking forward to this as I have an old one that costs over £200 new and it just sits in a draw.
2. New chain - this always makes me nervous. Is it too short / too long when you commit to it there's no going back. It took me 2 hours to get the master link to come apart. So straight onto wiggle once it was done to order the proper tool for next time.

The jobs went well - tested it all out on a ride to Rob's house 25miles away. A quick game of cricket with his son Rafe. Tried out the new Kask Bambino hat - not bad.

So approx. half an ironman cycle - should be able to do double that next weekend. A bit of a swim and a long walk and it's done.

Germany Argentina tonight. 

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Rest day

The taper continues - Ella in London, i'm looking after Will and Rory. Rory screams for at least 50% of the time - it is hard work on the ears. Will's swimming lesson in the morning then took them for a cycle in the cargo bike. So not "rest" at all. Thought about doing something when Ella got back but watched football instead.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Rest day

Well this is turning out to be a real taper - lots of rest. In the past chasing a good performance I would be doing lots of shorter speed work so it doesn't feel like a taper at all. I'm looking after the kids tonight after a 10hr day with no lunch break at work. Ella has gone down to London so it's daddy day care tomorrow. What with the hip and family life there is no way I will be doing another Ironman - just hope I can make it round next Sunday - i'm more unsure than i've ever been.

Thursday, 10 July 2014


About 2.5km 60mins ish

Swam in London - just near Oxford street - a bit of a hidden gem. Killed some time till it was time for the train home. Quite congested at 6pm, became better later.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Rest day

A busy few days ahead - train down to London this evening. Had hoped to have a nostalgic run when I got there but it was delayed. Didn't get in till midnight.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Rest day

Long day today, no energy - decided to watch the football. Germany 7 Brasil 1!

Monday, 7 July 2014

Weigh in 68.6Kg

Swim 3km

Easy pace as 4 sets on 30 seconds rest. Felt easy - goggles letting in water. Another purchase needed.
I've only been getting on the scales once a week but did cheat yesterday - I was 67.6 yesterday - somehow i've put on a Kg in 24hours. Sometimes I think it is tissue swelling after running i.e. water. There always seems to be a big drop in weight 48hrs after doing a high volume day.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Rollers 30min

Run 10km (65min)

I had planned to do a lot more today - more out of habit than anything. As usual lots of distractions - went to a water park in Telford with the kids in the morning. Then finally got round to the bike maintenance - Having slept on the crank problem I worked out a way to get them off without the special washer - I just undid the bottom bracket and that had the effect of pushing them off. Very pleased.

So changed the bottom brackets and chain sets over. I have created a shimagnolo bike or does campagmano sound better. The 30 mins on the rollers are with this new set up - it seems to work just fine - it's now a compact as well so I have some better gears for the hills.
These jobs take a long time though.

Forgot to say I got a kask bambino hat on ebay yesterday £140 which is pretty good providing it hasn't been crashed. I sold my other aero helmet.

The run went really well - very slow but relatively pain free which is a massive improvement. Just 4 times that for a marathon.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Rollers 150min

Lots of jobs to do at home and wanted to watch the start of the Tour de France. I have a friend Monty who is doing the whole thing for charity a week before - he's around 1/3 of the way in now - see "the fullmonty" on Facebook.

So basically 10 lots of 15mins. Spend some time fixing the drum brake on Ella's commuter bike. Then took a look at what I was going to do in terms of changing the cranks over. Had a go on the time trial bike just in case but there is no way I can keep the position for 112miles this year. Discovered the special washer for removing the self extracting crank is missing - so trying to work out how to go about that. It's always like this before a race suddenly a million things to do. I always say I won't leave it till the last minute next year but that never happens - and this is the last!

Thursday, 3 July 2014


60min - hot and humid today so little energy for much. Put a load of shims in the shoes to see if it made any difference. The right leg is pretty fixed in its abnormal movement pattern.

Behind the scenes i've been looking into how to address the wobbly crank. A replacement is £500 which I can't really justify. It seems however that you can mix and match campagnolo and shimano equipment to some degree - see www.drivetraincalculator.com so I plan to take the compact crank off my time trial bike and put it on the road bike. Just need to work out the gear ratios now (see sheldon brown)

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Rollers 30min

Run 8 Km

Probably the best run yet. Maybe something happened after the massage - we talked about my previous strength and conditioning routine and i've started to do it again. I'd like to think it's making a difference. 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014


Rollers 30min - after the massage to see if anything had changed. Moved the saddle up to where it used to be - I figure it's easier to bring my leg up and through if I give it more room.

Swim - 3km

1250m x2 on 30sec
250m x2 at 60 strokes a min and 65 strokes a min

Swim was great for the confidence - did the 1250m at a really comfortable pace. Had loads left for the last 250s.

There's a few bike issues I need to sort. I wanted to use the time trial bike but there's no way I can keep the position. The road bike has a wobbly crank - I used it last year but need to sort it this time - it's only a matter of time before it goes. It's just difficult to spend the money it deserves when I don't really need top of the range stuff anymore - not much time to research though.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Weigh in 68.6 Kg

Rollers 2 hours

Did this in front of the TV - I could see the reflection of my legs and notice the asymmetry. Put a few shims in the right shoe to see if it would help - seemed to do the trick. I think all that turbo time taking away the balance component of cycling hasn't helped.

On call tonight and Will's first day at school so rushing around with all of that.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

3 weeks to go


45 min when got back from weekend away.

Saturday, 28 June 2014


9km down to the M25 and back. Very wonky hip stuff going on - great that I could do it though. Seems to get very slightly better each run - such a shame though I used to love the feeling of flow when running.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Rollers 60min

Lot on this weekend starting today - got this in before breakfast for the supposed fat burning

Drive down to Chesington for a weekend for families with children that have George's disability (Cri du Chat). The 2hr 45min drive took 6hours - mainly traffic and toilet stops! If I could train properly (hip etc) I wouldn't have the time anyway.

Thursday, 26 June 2014


620m x 4 on 30sec rest (easy pace) = 2.5km

Keen to up the distance a bit. Some left shoulder tightness - I'm starting to think after this race that i'm going to drop the distances and speed and aim for longevity.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Brick 60min rollers 5km run

I'm starting to like the brick sessions (Bike run) I'm more warmed up for the run which seems to mean I have less problems.

I had planned to swim - went down there but there's a gala on. Seems to be a constant battle with something or other to get the training in.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Brick 45min rollers 5km run 5min rollers

Away with work in Birmingham all day, zonked out & England game to watch. Became more energetic as warmed up.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Weigh in 68.8

Rollers 30min

Big work week for me this week. No junior staff between 5 and 8pm so not home till late. Only time to get a quick bike in.

Monday weigh in same as last week I think. Anymore to go, don't know.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

4 Weeks to go

Rollers 45min

Ella at dragon boat race all day. Looking after the kids - played in the garden tent and ate strawberries from the vegetable patch - sounds fun but full on. Not much left for training.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

am Rollers 30min

pm Brick rollers 30min Run 5km 

Still taking 30min for the 5km. Have to constantly concentrate on form (which is bad) - taking the fun out of it!

Friday, 20 June 2014


2km in pool. Bit of a sore left shoulder - took it easy 40min.

Thursday, 19 June 2014


am 60min (before work and breakfast - trying to go for the fat burning)

pm 60min (whilst watching England v Uruguay - nearly lost voice. Felt good - this could be the way forward. Bad result needless to say)

Wednesday, 18 June 2014


On call. It was 10pm before I had time, so just 30min.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014


Very low training volume considering Ironman is soon. Limited by wonky right leg and childcare!

Having said that - 100 times better than a year ago.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Weigh in 68.8kg

Swim 2km 
Bit of everything today

Sunday, 15 June 2014

5 Weeks to go

Road cycle 91km 4hrs

I was going to cycle with the tri club on the same circuit but they left at 8.30. It is fathers' day and it was raining so I set off at 10am.
Kept the pace very comfortable on the road bike but fuelled the same as for a race. It went really well. My right leg was really good for once this time I had left knee pain - seems like there's always something. It got me thinking perhaps the right is doing all the work. Anyway that's half an ironman cycle so it's been good for the confidence.
Soon as I was back it was time to take the kids to the park - that was a workout in itself as well.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Rollers 45min

GI upset continued in the morning - wanted to do something so a very easy spell on the rollers. The big debate is whether to stay up for the England Italy match. There's a triathlon club (SYtri) 50-60mile cycle tomorrow which is on the cards.

Friday, 13 June 2014


Came home from work and hand major GI upset (I won't be too graphic). Ella's had it all week and I thought i'd escaped.

Thursday, 12 June 2014


5km - not so bad. I've got some cycling of the feet coming back - the right had gone. Still wonky and a bit guilty it's only 5km but I have to work with what i've got.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Rollers 60min

Straight forward, right ITB must be tight, some right knee soreness. Spent most of the session trying to move the right leg like the left (assuming that one is moving correctly!)

Ella ill - more than likely I will catch it.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Weigh in 69.7Kg

Swim 3.1km

1.5km distance, 5 x 250m at 65 strokes a minute on 15 sec rest, cool down.

Bit of left shoulder discomfort, very mild - more things to massage. Otherwise comfortable.
Hope to get a little more serious about it all now. Did this before eating today. Hopefully in the fat burning zone.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

6 Weeks to go

60km cycle with the SYtri club

A great ride. The time on the rollers has improved things. The hip is still problematic but it was all manageable. Quick pace that I was just able to hold. Compared to the last outing I didn't run out of steam and if anything settled into it.

Afternoon with the family - more cycling with the cargo bike. That was hard work, they are getting heavy.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Rollers 60min

Doing a bit of body maintenance now. Lunges, foam rolling etc, the lunges with left leg forwards really hits the right quad which would go with my pattern of injuries.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Rollers 60min

20min with George and Ella - had to be seen to be believed. George loves joining in - he's better at scissor kicks (lying on your back and lifting alternate legs up) than both of us.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014


60min rollers

5km run

Probably the best run so far. Still bad with some pain etc, but so much better than this time last year - with horrible cramping hamstrings (short psoas and quads from too much bike training!)

Monday, 2 June 2014

Weigh in 69.9Kg


2km with 6 x 250min at 65 strokes a minute.

Happy to see the weight below 70kg, not sure what the target is. Relaxed about this these days. I guess it would be good to get to 68.5Kg that would mean carrying the water bottles for free?

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Friday, 30 May 2014

Rollers 60min


Back from holiday. On call today till 8am Monday morning! - the best i'm going to be able to do is to get on the rollers a few times over the weekend. Hip seems to be holding up.

Thursday, 29 May 2014


50min - drill and 5 sets of 250m at race pace. Aim to increase sets of this now, and get some 3km swims in.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Tuesday, 27 May 2014


Took the rollers with me on holiday. Borrowed a bike and did 60min in my trainers with clip in pedals! Not perfect but keeping it going

Monday, 26 May 2014


5km - I was a bit worried having done a decent run for once the previous day. Not too bad, but definitely felt it. Very humbling compared to a couple of years ago when 20miles really was nothing.

Sunday, 25 May 2014


10km - amazing weather, great scenery. Right on the edge of my various niggles. Found keeping my pelvis as forward as possible helped, minimising stretch on the right hamstring.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Thursday, 22 May 2014


50min drill and 4 sets of 250m at 1m/sec

Tuesday, 20 May 2014


50min - Distance. Didn't count - probably around 2km

Monday, 19 May 2014

Weigh in 71.0kg - it's gone up, too much pizza at the party.


1.5km fairly easy - bit of drill etc, just for the mobilisation.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

9 Weeks to go

am Rollers 30min Run 5km 30min

pm Same again rollers 30min run 5km

Will's 4th birthday party today so lots of running around with that. Felt a bit guilty training wish as Sunday is usually a volume day. I seem to be running better when it's off the bike - maybe because i'm warmed up.

Can't believe there's only 9 weeks to go!

Friday, 16 May 2014

Rest day

No time to exercise as out to dinner with friends and Will's birthday

Thursday, 15 May 2014


700m warm up and drill
Main set 5 x 250m on 30 sec at 65 strokes a minute
Cool down

Added one more set this week - the aim is to add one a week now building up to about 10 sets = 2.5km

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Brick session
30mins rollers
30mins run

My best run yet - great as motivation is hard to maintain with my hip problems

Monday, 12 May 2014

Weigh in 70.7kg


Warm up 330m
Single arm 330m
Main - 4 x 250m on 30 sec at 65 strokes a minute - this rate now feels comfortable - maybe I should start moving towards 70/min?

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Bike - rollers

Had planned to go out with the tri club but ran out of time.
2 hours as 8x15min
I really feel like this is undoing some of the imbalances i've developed by doing too much turbo work. My current thinking is that i've shortened my right psoas - I certainly have pain there when I try to adopt a more symmetrical position. More will be revealed.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Friday, 9 May 2014


The 5km loop - much better than a year ago. Each month is better than the last.

Thursday, 8 May 2014


Usual drill work
Main set 4 x 250m at race pace on 30sec
Felt great

evening - indoor rock climbing with some work colleagues. I haven't been for 20 years - great fun, requires complete attention - better than meditating. Forearms exploding.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014


45mins (3x15min)
Did some rolling on the foam etc, to try and mobilise the hip.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014


2km straight. Sore shoulders that eased off. Felt my technique suddenly hit a sweet spot towards the end which is a rare occurrence.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Weigh in - 71.5kg 12.9%fat

Bike - rollers
1hour = 4x15min
I've enjoyed building up the ability to do longer on the rollers - from a minute or two last summer.
I can now get out of the saddle which I thought would be impossible.

pm - core exercises

Need to work on getting the weight down - may have to get the calorie counter out

Sunday, 4 May 2014

11 weeks to go till the Ironman

My right hip is not so good but the Orthopaedic surgeon has said I should go for it, it might just hurt a lot!
I plan to do my best training wise with the aim of getting round under the 17 hours. There's going to be a lot of walking.

Today - swim
1.5km with 3x250m at race pace (1m/s)
Butterfly is getting better

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Had a break - leading up to 11 week count down

Sunday, 6 April 2014


Usual + 3 sets of 250m at race pace. Felt good.
Ella running half marathon today, so looking after the kids - she did really well. 2.02 on minimal training.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Friday, 4 April 2014

Swim 50mins

Warm up, drill
Main set - 1 x 250m 65strokes/min 2 x 250m on 60sec at 1m/s

Adding a few speed sets in now. Back stroke slowly improving

Thursday, 3 April 2014


Ella late working so might as well chill out.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014


50mins - bit of everything no out and out speed work. Of note:
Single arm - trying to do more of the swim smooth.com UNCO routine
5 strokes per breath
Medley - 2 lots - getting a bit better at this - back stroke feeling more fluid. A big improvement over last few weeks. Just getting the order right is an achievement.
Pull / Paddles etc,

Tuesday, 1 April 2014


8km - there were some good moments and bad. Only have to do 5 times this for the Ironman.

It's touch and go. Can't be that bad as planted 3 rows of potatoes afterwards.

Did some work with the band based on the wharton routine. Active isolated stretching he calls it. I'm going to have to get very into this.

Monday, 31 March 2014

The weekly weigh in - 71.0Kg 11% fat


Recovery session - just 1km rolling the arms over

Amazing that the dodgy hip feels great after the cycle yesterday. I guess it's a case of use it or lose it.

Fairly happy about the weight - it's been 9 months of eating whenever I want and it hasn't gone anywhere crazy. Not sure where the target is, probably 68.9kg and 9% - will give it some thought. It'll be good to be light for the hip replacement!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Road cycle

50miles approx.
Clocks went forwards - so was late leaving house. Cycled to Mum's for mother's day.

Right leg "wonky" but not too painful. Good for the confidence as felt like getting round the Ironman in July could be possible. I must remember not to take the most direct route suggested by google - a fair bit of it was almost off road, through farmer's yards and involved doubling back to avoid a big dog!.

Saturday, 29 March 2014


Felt good today. Usual drill work
250 warm up
250 single arm
250 kick
250 65/min
250x2 race pace
80x2 IM 200 paddles
cool down + messing about

Thursday, 27 March 2014


50mins - with 2 x 300m at race pace. Hope to add sets of this weekly.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

45min swim

Ella went for a run at 6am. Went to the pool but it wasn't happening - messed around and enjoyed myself.

Sunday, 23 March 2014


50mins drill and speed work.
This is the one area where my hip isn't having too much of an impact. I'm enjoying the drills. Need to start introducing sets of speed work - but don't want to get an injury here too.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Run 5km

There's going to be a lot of this "run 5km"! Would've swam but pool has strange hours - kids on a Saturday.

A fair bit of cycling with the tribe.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Run 5km

My standard 5km run. This time last year it was hurting just to do 1km. It's a world better but I massively over-reached on the bike - it's not surprising it's taking as long to get better.

Thursday, 20 March 2014


Too tired after marathon period of work, even if it was satisfying.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014


36hour shift for work + very short staffed. On call overnight - zero chance for exercise.
Had my follow up orthopaedic appointment - I had been told I need a hip replacement and this was the confirmatory MRI. Looks like I still do - "he'll do one whenever i've had enough"

So the plan is to soldier on and try and get round this 10th Ironman - before going under the knife. Boo-hoo.

Weight loss more important than ever - need to pick a date to start that.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

5Km Run

Very busy at the moment so the entries will be short 

Monday, 17 March 2014

18 weeks to go till Ironman UK - back to the blog!

This year will be the 10th in a row Ironman UK. It's hit and miss whether i'll get to the start line as i've been told I may need a hip replacement!!! (it's congenital maybe with a bit of overuse?!)

Anyway, I will do my best to get round this year.

I'll keep the entries short and sweet till I get up and running with it.

Today - 45min swim mainly drill.