It’s supposed to hurt.

It’s been a mad few weeks after my awards nomination was announced. I suddenly found myself in demand again, with radio and tv interviews. This coupled with the last few weeks of hard training meant that I’ve just not found the time to blog.

Well I can’t believe that Lanzarote is now less than 3 weeks away, where the hell has the past 12 months gone? I’m now officially tapering, but so far madness hasn’t gripped me. I’m sure it will. I just have to stay healthy, fit ( that might be a challenge for me ;-D ) and focussed. These last few weeks are as much about getting your head right as they are about maintaining your body.

My head got a massive boost last night after meeting up in the pub for a COLT Lanza seminar led By Coach Richard Mason, John Knapp and Mr Lanzarote, Chris Wild. All three are multiple finishers, 2 are sub 10 hours and they have all qualified for Kona. So basically a hell of a lot of experience. They talked us “newbies” through the course, gave us tips and advised on what to do in the days before and on race day. My confidence was raised by the fact that I now know that as long as I pace myself correctly, take on enough fluids, and don’t attack the hills early I should survive the bike. I will be studying the course, watching the DVD and formulating my race plan in my head over the coming weeks.

To me Lanza has always been about the bike, if I get off the bike under the 11.30 cut off, I shall complete the marathon despite the fact the tarmac could be touching temperatures of 50 degrees by mid afternoon on race day. So on May 19th at around 6pm when I reach T2 and hand my bike over I’ll have a huge grin on my face…’ll probably fade within a mile but hey what the hell, it’s Ironman, it’s supposed to hurt !!


21 responses to “It’s supposed to hurt.

  1. Hi Andy, two of the guys I coach for swimming are going to IM Lanza as their first ever triathlon (!). Any advice/info on the swim section? Thanks! Dr Jill

    • Never swam in the sea, so it will be a first for me. The course will be set up in the days before hand so will get some practice in. The advice last night was at the second turn, and on the leg closest to shore try not not to swim too close to the shore as the waves make it choppier. Stay on the beach and to the right if you aren’t a confident swimmer as it’s a narrow start and you’ll get battered if you head into the mele. The current at times will be against you, and it will feel like you aren’t moving, the water is so clear that you can gauge your progress by the coral you are passing on the bottom. Also as you turn for home there is a huge hotel near the finish which is great for sighting. Oh and if you are prone to swallowing water you will be very sick ( high salt content ) DON’T gulp down energy drink as soon as you get out, sip or you could upset your stomach. Run through the showers, wash the salt off and then let them cover you in sun screen, get it on your forearms and small of your back – areas that are exposed in aero position but often forgotten about.
      Hope that helps.

  2. Craig Alexander

    ..Andy…read your book yesterday….truely inspiring stuff. As a rookie making his IM debut @ IM Germany this July I took great confidence from how your journey to Frankfurt has mirrored mine in so many ways…thanks for being such a positive role model to all of the Triathlon community!

    • Thanks very much Craig for your very kind words. Glad you enjoyed the book. Also very jealous that you are going to Frankfurt, apart from my wedding day and Charlotte being born that wasd one of the best experiences of my life.
      enjoy thye last chunk of training and savour every minute of the Ironman experience, you won’t regret it 🙂
      Best of luck.

  3. Good luck in Lanz, two club mates will be there and there biggest worry is sunburn of lilly white skin going into the blast furnace, especially as no early season tan lines just water marks from all rain.
    Read you book over Christmas whilst recovering from bronchitis. Inspired me to go up a distance, will be talking half ironman distance the summer.
    Enjoy the taper, don’t eat too much ice cream yet !

    • Thanks Zoe – glad you enjoyed the book, and cool that it inspired you to take on your first half ironman. Good luck with all the training and I hope you are fully recovered from your bronchitis.
      Yeah sunburn is a worry, not just on race day, will be smoothering myself in sun cream in the days before and on race day. And yes no comedy cycling tan lines for me yet either, due to it being wet and cold. Good luck to your clubmates.

  4. Perhaps having some distraction over the last few weeks has been a good thing, leaving less time and energy to fret! It seems you’ve done all your training, strategizing, and investigating. It’ll be nice to actually get to the start and finally just DO it! I’m excited for you!

    • Yeah I think you are probably right, Lanza has been in the back of my mind, looming but not all encomposing. Training hasn’t been ideal, missed a lot of long bikes becuase of family illness and although I’ve lost over 14lbs in weight, I’m not as light as I would have liked. BUT I’M READY and psyched, I’ve done all I can and now I just want to get there and test myself in the hardest physical and mental arena I’ve ever stepped foot in.
      Thanks for all your support as always Cort.

  5. Andy, I didn’t realise Lanza was so close. Enjoy, but most of all look after yourself. Remember that you have a cheersquad of people around the World following your exploits and supporting you. Draw on that energy when you need it! Andy you’re an inspiration. Scott

    • Hey Scott, yeah it’s come round very quickly all of a sudden. I will try and enjoy it, savour it and feed off the support at the side of the road. Knowing that I have many people supporting me from all corners of the globe will keep driving me forward. I’ll be drawing inspiration from all of you kind people that have sent me messages, and will hopefully find a small time frame on May 19th to just log on and check how I’m doing. That to me is inspirational, people that have never met me ( and those that have ) actually caring about how I’m getting on. Thanks 🙂

  6. Andy. Really enjoy this blog and have recently finished your book. Inspirational stuff – so much so I’ve decided to get into the sport myself. On the plus side I’m a reasonable long distance cyclist and runner although for some reason as a child I didn’t really learn to swim…..

    Anyway, my first swimming lesson is booked for this weekend which is making me excited and scared in equal measure.

    All the best for the next few weeks.

    • Glad that you enjoy the blog, and that you liked the book as well. Cool that it helped you into this great sport as well.
      Given your background then you should do pretty good, and have great fun overtaking all the good swimmers once you hit the bike and run 😉
      Good luck with the swimming lesson, hope it goes well.

  7. Andy,

    See you in Lanza for my first IM.

    Any more tips that have been shared last night that you can/want to share with us?


    • Hi Thomas,

      Cool !!!
      Just that usually there are no gels at the bike aid stations, so carry any you need. Don’t blast the bike early, and once you get over Rio, although it’s fast downhill there is still some climbing to do. Also the road surface just past that summit is awful, watch you don’t lose bottles etc. On the run on the prom, try and get on the concrete path rather than the tarmac as it doesn’t get as hot, and therefore not as much heat reflects onto you.

      Hope that helps – see you in PdC. Not long now !!


  8. I did my first Ironman in Austria in 2009 and was in the same Outlaw race as you in 2011 but I’ve done very little since then. I picked up your book to get my mojo back. It’s worked a treat. Really looking forward to getting back into. Swim 2.4 miles, bike 112, run 26.2, brag for the rest of your life!

    Great book, thanks very much. Funny but with some important life messages and reminders in tehre too.

    • Thanks very much Dan for your kind words, dead chuffed that my book helped an Ironman/Outlaw vet into refinding their mojo. That’s so cool.
      Good luck with the comeback and the training.

  9. hi , is there anything else i can do with a sore knee other that ice and ibobrufen as i have the belfast marathon on monday. any suggestions greatly appreciated.cheers

    • Hi Phil,

      Sorry to hear that your knee isn’t good. I’m no medical expert so not really sure. Depends where the pain is? You could wear a knee support, use freeze spray etc… I usually just tape with a single strip of elastaplast just below the kneecap when slightly bent to help it track properly. Physio showed me that trick, helps me BUT you might not have the same problem as me.
      Get it looked at properly as soon as you can, try and treat the source of the problem ( injury, gait etc… ) and not just the symptoms.
      Good luck for the belfast marathon, hope the knee holds up and you have a great race.
      Let me know how you get on.

  10. would say did too much on it, plus not enough stretching , little before and i never do any after training so need to stretch hamstrings and quads. will try all of the above and if that doesn’t work will drink guinness on route to kill pain.all the best

  11. i did it so one happy bunny , a lovely wet and windy day and time was 4h 49m 31 secs , just so glad to get through it. next one will be in wales, so some extra work needed to build strength in quads because they ached a lot.ta ta for now

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