The saying goes “write about what you know”, so, having completed a 20 week training programme for a middle distance (half Ironman) triathlon, I’m comfortable telling you about it.
Before you roll your eyes, I promise it will not be a forensically detailed training and triathlon race report. There are plenty of those out there packed with way too much information.
I also promise it will not be a ‘me-fest’. There is nothing extra-ordinary about my triathlon journey, I have overcome no adversities, nor was I doing it for a charity, or for a sick family member or friend.
So that leads neatly to the big question: why do it? Well, some people choose exercise to exorcise their demons. I am one of them, and I chose a triathlon.
After selecting a suitably challenging event – the Loch lo Man middle distance triathlon on May 22 2016 – lots of Amazon deliveries started appearing with regularity at my front door. But I did not go triathlon daft (my wife might read this so I have to say that).
My kit is all entry-level stuff (my wife might read this so I have to say that). Joking aside, I raced in a pair of £6 cycling shorts from Decathlon and ran in a pair of £60 running shoes.
I also found a great free programme for triathlon beginners here and got started first week in January. Totally free and easy to follow!
Unfortunately, I was fuelling the training with indiscriminate sugar and carb-loading and by the end of March I was fitter, but I was also a lot fatter. I needed structure in my diet and I got that here from Holly at It’s nutrition.
I then continued to work my way through the training. It was not easy, but not unpleasant – maybe a bit lonely at times. But while it is true that endurance training can be lonely, that doesn’t mean we are working entirely under our own steam.
It is worth remembering that we are also pushed along by friends, fellow athletes, groups and clubs who give us confidence, advice, and support. And then there are those close to us who let us get on with it. If we are very lucky, they might even come along on race day.
You will have guessed by now, my training and support paid off and I had a good race at Loch lo Man, my first Half Iron distance triathlon.
Yeah, I did say ‘first’