Growing in confidence.

I’ve really stepped things up over the last couple of weeks, and as a result I’m starting to feel a lot more confident about the challenges ahead. The thought of the bike course in Lanza still terrifies me and I think it always will but I now feel that I could get round and finish in under 17 hours. I might even be a little bit quicker if all the planets align, I have a 112 mile tailwind and I find my marathon legs on a dull, overcast race day…..

It probably doesn’t sound a lot but I’ve put in two weeks each at 12 hours of training. Within those two weeks I’ve completed my longest swim, longest bike ride and longest run since 2010 at the Outlaw. These sessions have of course been complemented by shorter, focused training such as coached swim intervals, pyramid sessions on the turbo trainer and some fast interval running. Which in total means I’m getting a well-rounded approach to my forthcoming adventure.

My longest swim kind of happened by accident, my coach had set me a 3000m swim but I was just having one of those mornings where it felt easy so I just kept going until I reached the Ironman distance of 3.8km. IF I can get out of the sea at Puerto del Carmen feeling that relaxed I’ll be over the moon, but I guess adrenaline, sea water and 1500 other people knocking hell out of me will be a lot less relaxing.

My longest run saw me out the door before 6am, again wasn’t intended but it was a stunning morning so after the planned 30 minutes at 8.30min per mile I decided to keep going for two hours. I relaxed the pace slightly and averaged just over 9 min / mile for the two hours. I was supposed to run home from work later that day but my legs were trashed, so I ducked out and got a lift. No sense in pushing it eh?

The bike ride was planned. I met up with Andy H for the first time in months – with work commitments and family commitments we just haven’t got together at all. I wished him Happy New Year before we headed out for 65 miles on the bike in the drizzle. Again I think I could have kept going, which is a good thing as we’ve both signed up for the Jodrell Bank 80 mile sportive this Sunday. I’ve got a lot of training to get through before then…..must admit I can’t wait.

I can’t go without congratulating my younger brother Craig, he attempted his first 100 mile running race this weekend. He only ended up winning the Thames Path 100 from Richmond to Oxford in a time of 15 hours and 11 minutes, beating the next person by an hour.

He obviously got the running legs in this family πŸ˜‰


14 responses to “Growing in confidence.

  1. Fantastic, your book inspired me to get off my fat ass, now your blogs continue to make me think I can aim higher. Sitting here with sore legs, perhaps I could even blame you for that?

    • Go on aim higher, you know it makes sense……but then again do you really want to take adice from a nutter like me ?
      Sorry about the sore legs, if it makes you feel any better mine are still sore from yesterdays 15 mile run. Will treat them to a half hour run later and an hour of turbo pyramids. They won’t be speaking to me again by tonight πŸ™‚
      Keep up the training Andy.

  2. What a great few weeks! Not sure I’ve ever headed out for a planned 30minutes and done two hours either, that is something! After a rough start to your family’s year, it’s nice to see you rewarded with some flow! How often do we we get good spells like this with swim, bike, AND run all at once? I’d say you hit the trifecta!

    • Thanks Cort – yeah after the start to the year that I had, I’ve felt like I’ve constantly been playing catch up. Feeling like I’m getting somewhere close to where I should be now. 11 more weeks like the last two and I’ll be Ironman ready.
      Yeah 30 minutes to 2 hours is a bit of a gap, but the sun was shining, the legs felt strong and I was loving it – to be honest if I hadn’t have had to go to work i might have gone longer.
      A good spell like this is a rarity, hopefully it will continue though πŸ™‚

  3. i love reading your blog and training-
    Got me out the door more than once. Your bro didn’t just do good , that time was awesome. I’d kill to be able to run 100 in a time like that. Tell him to come and do the Hardmoors 110 over the north york moors and coast. It’s tough , stunning and cheap ! oh and the winner of the lakeland 100 is running πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Flip.
      Yeah he was pretty amazing really given that he only took up ultra running in November and has won all 3 races he’s done so far including a 50 mile race last month in 5 hours 55 minutes.
      Mind you he’s always been a very good runner. When I spoke to him last night he was in a world of pain, and wasn’t committing to any further 100 mile races ( I said that after my first Ironman ).
      One of my mates from COLT, Tom Phillips, a Bob Graham veteran did the Hardmoors 50 ( I think ) this year, up near whitby.

      Must admit the though of attempting a 100 mile run is very intriguing…..

      • Hiya, sounds like your bro is a natural -something i’ll never be but for my sins it’s my first love. My tri training is my way of getting ot the start lines unbroken (broke my foot four times ) . Mind i find i’m thinking Tri more and more ! I suppose thats becuase i know i can run 100 miles of hills but i have no idea how i will react to the outlaw. will i do ok or bomb -it’s intriging ! The hill races are very diferent to TP 100 (far more beautiful and fun for a start) and he really should have a look. If he needs any info i’m a friend of the race and also edit the website ,run the twitter and facebook for it.

  4. Thanks – will mention it to him.
    I’m pretty certain that given that you have the endurance to run a hilly 100 miles that you’ll have no such problems at the Outlaw. In fact I’m sure you’ll be home way before me.

  5. I can’t imagine 100 miles of running. For real?! I’m almost midway through my half marathon training and loving every session I’m out there. The book’s definitely got me pumped up to aim for a Triathlon. All I need is a bike and swimming lessons… πŸ˜€

    All the best mate – like I tweeted you before, LOVING your book.

    • Yeah for real, totally mad ( and admirable ).
      Glad to hear that the half marathon training is going well.
      Once you dip your toes in the triathlon waters you won’t look back!!

      Thanks, always good to hear.
      Keep training hard.

  6. Hi Andy
    Looking forward to seeing you at the weekend, Jo and I got out for 40 miles on Saturday, which is the longest ride this year, think its going to painful on Sunday.


    • Hi Q,

      Yeah looking forward to seeing you as well. I’m sure that you’ll both be ok. You both did the 80 last year didn’t you? I only did the 50, but feeling a bit fitter this year so hopefully I’ll be alright, I am expecting it to hurt though.
      You setting off early doors?

  7. Hi Andy,

    Thought i’d leave a comment on here for a couple of reasons. First and foremost to say that i’ve just finished your book and thought it was a brilliant read! I’ve been a runner and cyclist for a long time but you have inspired me to take the plunge and sign up for Ironman UK 70.3 this year, so i’ve joined a tri club (Clapham Chasers) and have thrown myself into the training with gusto! Secondly to say that i cycled the Ironman Lanzarote route last year as part of a holiday at Club La Santa and our tour guide for the day was none other than Chris Wild! while i was reading your description of him in your book i thought ‘that guy sounds familiar’ and had a little chuckle to myself when you confirmed my suspicions a few sentences later! The Lanza bike route was tough, but also quite enjoyable and the scenery is spectacular in places. We were lucky and got a pretty calm day wind-wise when we did it (plus we weren’t swimming before or running afterwards) but i’m sure you’ll smash it on the day πŸ˜‰

    Looking forward to the next book!


    • Hi Guy,

      Thanks for posting. Really glad that you enjoyed the book. Good luck with training for 70.3, get plenty of hills into your legs as the bike and run sections are notoriously hilly.
      Chris Wild is a brilliant guy, he’s actually over in Lanza at the moment leading a training camp and holding his own with several Ironman champions. He did amazing at IMUK last year and qualified for Kona, couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
      I’ll be hoping for calm wind free day come May. I don’t know about smashing it but I’ll certainly give it my all.

      Good luck with the training, and enjoy being a member of Clapham Chasers.


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