Visiting old friends

Well after the revelation that I’ll be sunning myself in Lanzarote next year I thought that I’d better get some hills into my legs, so I decided to visit an old friend. The Jubilee Tower climb just outside Lancaster as you head into the Trough of Bowland.

I’d had a very busy day on Saturday at Waterstones in Liverpool signing books for a varied audience from an Olympic medallist to a guy who’d had his ankle fused and was getting into triathlon. It was a rewarding but a very tiring day but by Sunday I felt energised and ready to test myself.

The climb is a long one as you can see on the garmin data below. It peaks at over 900ft above sea level, and is perhaps at it’s steapest at the bottom ( about 14% ? ). There is no way I would contemplate taking the Roo Tri  bike over this climb, so I was on my trusty Giant road bike with the triple gearing. I did keep one gear in reserve but at times it felt like I was pedalling in squares as I battled into the constant headwind. The heat also made the climb tough but I was rewarded by the stunning views across Morecambe Bay at the top as I sipped on my energy drink before descending down into the Trough. By the time I made it home ( beating the thunderstorms by a matter of minutes ) I was feeling it, having completed almost 22 miles with 1829 feet of climbing. Looking at the heart rate data ( bottom graph below ) shows how hard I worked on the climbs. This has to be the habit I get into now over the summer and coming winter.

Bowalnd Tower ride

Bowland Tower Ride : Garmin details

The second old friend that I visited this week was a 2.4 mile open water swim. I’d not done one since the Outlaw last year, and COLT were putting one on for those racing Ironman UK next month. I had no aim other than seeing if I could still do it off little swim training. The water was warm as 30 odd people entered the lake, by the time I finished I was feeling the cold on my face. Hitting the occassional warm current didn’t make me comfy, it just made me wonder “Who’s been pissing in their wetsuit?” I swam steady and mostly controlled, and I wasn’t the last out of the water ( just ). I finished in 1.25:50 which I’m very pleased with. I’d forgotten just how far 2.4 miles is in a lake, it’s a long way. With book promotion this year I’ve been constantly saying that ditance to people / interviewers, rolling off the tongue like it’s a casual dip. It isn’t, and I’ve now renewed my respect for that particular challenge. Could I have I jumped on my bike and cycled 112, and then ran a marathon still? Well yes I think I could but it might not have been pretty. Again lots of work to do.

So these two old friends reminded me that if Ironman was easy they’d call it soccer. Hard work, consistency and quality are the key to success, something that I’ve been guilty of neglecting. Changes will be made.

Busy few days coming up as well. Tonight I’ll be live on The Simon Gowens Triathlon Show on LA Talk Radio in the states. That equates to 7pm UK time. You can listen live on the internet or download the show from itunes or the website about 48 hours afterwards. Really looking forward to this as it will be my first USA based interview following the launch of the book there this month.

The Simon Gowens Triathlon Show

And on Saturday I’ll be at the Galleries Mall in Bristol signing copies of Can’t Swim, Can’t Ride, Can’t Run at Waterstones from 1pm. If you are in the area pop in and say hi.

So have a good weekend everyone.


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